Since we are dealing with axles that are over Seventy years old, the surface condidtion of the axles is quite variable. Our pricing reflects the condition of the axle, so we have no set pricing shedule for the various axles. We grade the condition of the axles coming in, from those with no pitting, to ones that have extensive pitting. For cars withe painted axles, the pitting is a non-issue as the primer and paint will increase the apperance of the axle greatly. Our nicest axles are alwasy labeled as “Suitable for Chrome Plating”, and will be priced according.
We recieve core axles from a variety of sources, but the process of remanufacturing and dropping a Ford I-beam axle is the same for all of them. First the axles are visually inspected for damage. Over the years they get holes drilled in them, tube shock mounts welded onto them, worn shackle bolts let the springs wear on the top line, etc. Once they are evaluated and it is determined what needs to be repaired, the axles are media blasted back the bare base steel.
After any repairs, the axles are straightened and aligned, checked to by true and straight in our jigs before any dropping occurs. Kingpin and perch bores are inspected and repaired as necessary. After the axles are dropped, they are again check in our jigs for correct kingpin inclination, and that the kingpins are in the same plane vertically – this is important so that the car will have the same amount of caster on each side.
After this process, the axle is ready to go on a hot rod, and is most likely going to live forever. These axles are the lucky ones that didn’t get melted down in a steel factory to make a refrigerator in 1952!
Many people that aren’t that knowledgeable about the history of hot rod building often ask this question. They come in our shop, an see our craftsmen spending hours straightening, repairing, cleaning, and dropping axles. The simple reason is tha they just have the right look and feel for a period-correct hot rod. New drop axles from the aftermarket simply do not look correct on a car with ’40’s era brakes, steering, and suspension components.
Its one of those ‘if you have to ask, then….” questions.