View Full Version : Relocating leaf springs

06-29-2010, 09:09 PM
Guys, I am contemplating relocating my leaf springs inward of the frame rails to accomodate a wider rear tire/wheel combo. Does anyone have any good photos of how they relocated there leaf springs that they would be willing to share.

Also any other tips or tactics would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

06-29-2010, 09:18 PM
Mike.....Are you aware of the spring pocket kit that is available.....See link: http://www.classicchevy.com/chevy-rear-spring-pocket-kit-1955-1957.html


06-29-2010, 09:40 PM
Uh........no I was not. But now I feel a little foolish. That looks like exactly what I need.

Now , if I were to buy this kit and install it. I understand I would have to widen the inner wheel wells but I would not have to narrow the frame rails or narrow the rear end?

I really want to stick a set of 295/50R15's under it. They are a 12" tire on a 10" wheel. With enough wheel back set, could I run these under my 57 BelAir by simple moving the springs inboard and modifying the wheel Wells?

Thanks 557B210 for your help.


06-29-2010, 09:49 PM
Mike.....No need at all to feel foolish.....That's what this site is for......To give and receive info about these fine TriFives with others.

Here's some info about the kit: This weld-in kit allows you to install a wheel up to 12" wide with a 13" wide rear tire if the rear inner wheel wells are moved inboard to the frame as well. This kit requires some cutting & welding (but not narrowing) of the rear frame rails.

There should be someone here that has actually done the mod that can be of more help.

06-29-2010, 09:50 PM
Thanks, I'll wait and see if someone else chimes in.


06-29-2010, 10:23 PM
Mike....Let me make you aware of something else....If you click on product information for the kits, you will get the installation instructions.....In this case I belive the wheel information tha t you are looking for is there.....See link: http://www.classicchevy.com/assets/pdf/classicchevy/21-131.pdf

06-29-2010, 10:50 PM
Also any other tips or tactics would be greatly appreciated.

Hey Mike here is my tip:
Its all about the correct backspacing on your wheels!
Take a look here for a rear wheel calculator.

I have 295 45 18 with only the pocket spring relocation kit and no mini tub.

06-29-2010, 11:09 PM
I have downloaded the product information and read it, also the calculator. One question........... The tire/wheel size calculator takes into consideration the leafspring measurements but is assuming no minitub........correct?

I did not see a place to enter relief area for a minitub and a minitub would buy you just that much more room if I read it correctly?

Thanks, Mike

06-29-2010, 11:15 PM
Nevermind.......I need to read the calculator a little better before wasting you guy's time. This is all just a little overwhelming at first but I think I am getting it figured out.


06-29-2010, 11:21 PM
I do have one question........ What is considered a "safe" or minimum clearance values when using the calculator?


06-30-2010, 11:37 AM
I do have one question........ What is considered a "safe" or minimum clearance values when using the calculator?


Good question. Several guys have said 3/4 to one inch.
If your roll the lip on your fender you will gain another 1/2 inch in clearance.
With leaf springs there is some small amount of lateral movement, especially if your leaf spring bushings are original which could cause a tire to rub.
So if you do the pocket kit also replace your leaf spring rubber bushings.

With my 295's I have slightly over 1/2 inch clearance. If you end up with some tire rub your may want to install a rear sway bar.

I think there could be several opinions of "safe":dontknow:

08-15-2010, 09:04 PM
how wide of a tire can you put on a stock 55 and what back spacing thanks

08-15-2010, 09:26 PM
You can get a 275 tire on a stock 55-57 but you won't have the recommended clearance. And you'll have to have the absolute correct backspacing, and your frame and body will have to be symmetrical so that you have the same clearance on both sides. A 255 tire is a safer bet.

There is a wheel and tire calculator spreadsheet on this site, or a link to it, but somebody will have to tell you how to find it, sorry I don't know where.

Old Buzzard
08-16-2010, 08:29 AM
how wide of a tire can you put on a stock 55 and what back spacing thanks

reading "material"...

08-16-2010, 08:38 AM
I am doing a spring pocket kit with mini tubs running a 15 x 10 in rim with 29 x 12.5 x 15 (315 ) Mickey Thompson tires , they fit in with ease !!


08-18-2010, 02:25 PM
Here is a good question. I have installed the leaf spring relocation pocket kit. It is cool so far and the frame is at the powder coater. The triangular rubber bumpers that go on the differential attach with the metal flange held by the tab and one u-bolt. Now that the leaf springs are directly under the frame, the flange would have to go inbetween the two u-bolts...I assume. Is there another flange available or do I need to modify the stock ones.

08-21-2010, 08:07 PM
Guys I'm only guessing here but I don't think 1/2" is enough (when you're changing a flat) but 1" is probably to much so 3/4 ought to be about right.:wavey:

08-21-2010, 08:27 PM
Since you'll are talking about leaf springs, 57, 210Post 4 or 5 or what was used?

08-22-2010, 09:31 AM
If you want to locate the springs inward of the frame? All that is necessary is to remove the stock bracket. And swap then to the inside of the frame. Swap them side to side. Put the right side brackets on the left and vice versa. Randall

09-14-2010, 09:50 PM
Is it possible to weld the brackets on the bottom of the frame without cutting the frame? I was looking at my Durango and that is how it is done on there. I know it would raise the rear, but couldn't lowering blocks be used?

09-14-2010, 09:56 PM
If you want to locate the springs inward of the frame? All that is necessary is to remove the stock bracket. And swap then to the inside of the frame. Swap them side to side. Put the right side brackets on the left and vice versa. Randall

not quite that easy you have to move the gas tank

09-18-2010, 10:07 AM
We really had no idea what we were doing. We just tore into it and tried to follow the instructions that came with the pocket kit. It took a weekend to complete but we had a little extra work to do as you will see.


I had quite a bit of rust around my pocket area. I don't know if this is common but we will have to do some reinforcing.:confused0006:


This is really the only area my frame showed any rust. Must be a bad area for collecting debris.


more rust


One pocket installed......not yet welded.


Oh, did I mention it helps to have a brother-in-law who is a pipefitter.:D



Sizing up the rear brackets



Had to add some shims to make them perfectly level. Troy's a perfectionist.:)


Cuttin out the rear bracket pockets.


I think I cut this one.:rolleyes:........last time I got to touch the cutoff wheel.:confused0006:


While Troy was working, I cut out some templates for reinforcement plates. These will be welded on the frame to solid-up the rust areas.


They will be cut out of this plate, then welded on after the pockets are installed.


Troy trying to figure this thing out................I'm coaching.:rolleyes:


Laying a bead:)


Tacking on reinforcement plates.


Another view of our frame plates we made.



Both rear pockets welded in.:happy0030:


Back from the powder coater.


Looks pretty good.:tu


Actually it looks awesome. They did a great job.:congrats:



Well, that's it. Hope these pictures help someone. I don't know if we did it exactly the way it's supposed to be done but the leaf springs fit perfectly and they lay straight as a string so I'm encouraged.:party0031:


09-18-2010, 10:26 AM
Very nice, Very nice, great post with the pics.

09-18-2010, 08:34 PM
that my friend was a good informative post. i may be in contact with you for some measurements if you dont mind

09-19-2010, 07:45 PM
No problem. I'd be glad to help you if I can.


09-19-2010, 10:38 PM
im getn ready to do the "tuck" on my car, was gonna tell you what the thread was called but cant rememeber now. lol . i picked up some steel and am gonna make my own stuff, and ur pics really help alot

were you located at in ks

09-19-2010, 10:54 PM
East Central Kansas near Colony, Kansas


10-17-2010, 09:23 PM
Yes, excellent post. That is pretty much what I have done as well. Here are photos of progress.

Old Buzzard
10-18-2010, 08:28 AM
doing it w/ the frame out of the body is THE WAY to go!
Doing mine assembled, and have a good chance to end up in the burn unit @ Emory hospital!!:eek:

TRULY, a PITA! I'm into it for the 3rd day, and have a LONGGGG way to go.:banghead: