DIY Deep Drop – Lowrider Garage – Hydro

Jimenez Bros. Customs’ Affordable New Two-Link Kit

As we’ve all seen in print and even online, lowering the front end of early Chevy passenger cars (’37-54) can be as easy as unbolting the old and bolting in the new. When you factor in the aid of additional modern technology, the frontal ride height can be drastically reduced. However, to do so on the opposite end with an equal drop takes a little more effort than simply busting out your basic hand tools; bolt-on leaf kits are limited to the space between the bottom of the top-hat frame rail and the rear end axle tube.

Even with a decent C-notch, leaf spring-based rear suspensions have their pre-determined limits, thus adding a similar type of adjustable component as the frontend (i.e., airbags) ultimately defeats the inherent function of the leaf to begin with. For many, including myself once or twice in the past, the solution was to remove individual leaves from the spring pack. With a dually-convoluted air spring, which acts as a coil, it’s not so bad―but when using a sleeve-type airbag, that’s where the mechanical issues arise. Leaf springs were simply not designed to act as adjustable locators for your car’s rear end.

There are options, but unfortunately, they’re not as inexpensive as the aforementioned bolt-on kits, nor are they as straight forward installation-wise. If your goal is to go as low (or lower) than your front end, you’ll want to consider going with either a parallel or triangulated four-link, or a truck arm style two-link. Four-links are almost as popular as Mustang IIs these days, and because of that, there’s a good variety out there to choose from. (If this is the direction you decide to go, definitely go the triangulated route.) However, the two-links are gaining more and more popularity as of late, and you’re about to see why.

With a properly designed two-link (or trailing arm) setup, you have a rear suspension with no compromised components; everything works in unison, giving you ample adjustability and great ride quality. You also end up with a more user-friendly geometry of parts that offer both better ease of installation as well as the room needed to route your forthcoming exhaust once all is said and done. These upgrade possibilities inspired Jimenez Bros. Customs (JBC) to come up with their own two-link kit.

The setup JBC offers has plenty of flexibility fitment wise, so its application goes well beyond the ’37-54 Chevy you’re about to see it installed on. In fact, at the time this was done, they were fitting one to a ’50 ‘Merc, which didn’t need the step notch due to its high arcing rear rails. JBC’s two-link consists of square-tube trailing arms with bolt-on/adjustable rear end mount, adjustable forward link mount crossmember, four-piece step notch kit, tubular upper shock mounts, shocks, a Panhard bar, and airbags (which we sourced from RideTech along with a two-way RidePro setup).

Before we could incorporate everything, we needed to do something about the rearend. This is also something many of you will be faced with, especially those of you still running the stock closed driveline. Due to the fact that we wanted to go the Chevy route rather than the usual Ford 9-inch, we went to Moser Engineering and asked them what they recommended. As it turned out, they suggested a little of both; 12-bolt housing with 9-inch style ends and 30-spline axles―with one of their Muscle Pak complete rear end kits. And by “kit,” they mean drum-to-drum, chrome diff cover to pinion yoke, and even E-brake cables and hardware.

Once the new rear end arrived from Indiana, Jimenez Bros. had their first prototype two-link ready to install―that is, once the ’47 Fleetline body had been removed from the chassis and all the factory obtructsions rid of..

1. Having already been equipped with a Heidts front

end (currently outfitted with coilovers, which will soon

make way for ShockWaves), the rear suspension on my

Fleetline needed to be addressed in a major way. I won’t

have a custom with its nose lower to the ground than

its rear, period.

2. The solution; Jimenez Bros. Customs’ new adjustable

two-link kit, complete with RideTech airbags, on a

Moser Engineering Muscle Pak 12-bolt rearend with a

two-piece driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline. The

kit provides form (lowness) and function all in one shot.

3-4. JBC’s two-link comes compete with square-tube

trailing arms with bolt-on/adjustable rear end mount,

adjustable forward link mount crossmember, four-piece

step notch kit, tubular upper shock mounts, shocks, a

Panhard bar, and airbags (from RideTech along with a

two-way RidePro setup).

5. If at all possible, removal of the body allows for

substantially less “overhead” work and gives you a

much better vantage point for plotting out and installing

components, although the kit does not require it

for installation purposes. Once we pretty much had

everything stripped from the trans-crossmember back,

the frame was leveled on jackstands.

6. Beginning with the step notch portion, using the

stock wheelbase gave us a great starting point. Since

the rear wheels on the ’42-48 Chevy two-door Aerosedans

(Fleetline) are exactly centered, we made the

necessary adjustments to ensure they would be the

perfect kick-off, especially at ride height. Preparation

means not having to rely on fender skirts to conceal an

error that can easily be avoided during this initial stage.

7. Once the side plates are squared up and placedwhere

they’re supposed to be (in relation to the wheelbase),

they’re welded to the frame. The metal thickness on

the main portion of these frames is rather thin and

fragile, so short weld sections were made to prevent

any damage from excess heat.

8. Next, the flat plate top sections are welded in place.

Starting from top center (with the plates themselves

centered), they’re tacked in sections then bent accordingly

as you work your way down to the frame rail.

9. Now, with the sides and tops welded up and the

frame supported from both sides of the notch; the portion

of framerail can be removed from the notch section

using either a plasma cutter or a Saws-all.

10-11. The final component of the notch, the inner

hoop, will tie everything together and re-establish the

integrity of the framerail.

12. The inner plates are supplied slightly longer than

may be necessary just trim off the excess as needed.

13. The three holes on each side of the boxing plates

are not only used for welding purposes, but to indicate

front (two holes) and rear (one holes) positioning.

14-15. Now we were able to turn our focus toward

the actual suspension, beginning with the Moser

Muscle Pak rear end. Since this is a 12-bolt, having had

its ring and pinion already setup by Moser, it remained

in place, but the axles/brakes would not. Fortunately,

the external-flanged axle housing made it much easier

to do so, rather than having to remove any C-clips from

the differential.

16. Basically, we’ll bolt all the components together,

from the forward-mount crossmember to the twolink

U-bolt mounts on the rear end, before welding

anything in place.

17-18. The blocks that mate the trailing arms to

the rear end’s axle tubes actually bolt to the arms,

making it much easier to assemble everything with

just two hands, as shown.

19-20. The front crossmember for the trailing

arms has sliding frame mounts, allowing for any

adjustment if needed. Ultimately, the ends will get

welded to the crossmember as well as to the frame


21-22. With the links installed onto the rear end

first, they’re simply lifted up and installed on the

crossmember. Having the rearend positioned on a

floor jack will help in positioning everything when

determining and setting the desired wheelbase.

23. The pinion angle can be set simply by loosening

the U-bolts to allow the rearend to rotate. When all

is said and done, we’ll most likely weld the blocks

to the axle tubes, but considering the amount of

horsepower/torque the car “won’t” have, that may

not be totally necessary.

24. Now for the upper airbag mounts. These will

be supplied as shown on the right—pre-drilled but

flat with slots for bending the side gussets (as illustrated

on the left in the vise).

25. At this point, both the bag mount and the upper

shock mount have been tacked in place simply by

installing the ‘bag/shock on the lower mounts and

cycling the rear end through its range of travel of

estimated travel. No real science there, but still

plenty of room for error.

26. Only after we were 99.9 percent certain that

the mounts were in the proper locations, at the

proper angle and range, did we proceed with the

final welding duties.

27. The last item to be welded onto the frame was

the Panhard bar mount, which uses a flat plate base

welded to the frame with attached tabs, making for

a stronger piece with less stress on the thin rail.