It’s amazing the reactions we’re getting to our van project, and the names folks have come up with for it. Some are good, and some would probably help you end up in jail. The thing is, it’s fun. Period. How long has it been since a project could just be fun? It’s easy to slip into a serious build, with the “as long as we’ve done this, we might as well do that” conundrum. It’s a slippery slope. Hot Rods can and should be fun, whether high dollar or lo-buck and fun is the path this one is taking us down.
We dropped the front suspension first, and in the last issue we got the front brakes installed. And as far as the front brakes were concerned, in some ways that was the easy part. They were relativity straight forward with the Baer Brakes kit. The rears would present a different problem… creating a working parking brake. It took a little fabrication on the part of Dutch Miller, our install guru from Baer. But no worries if you’re thinking of taking on this project yourself. Dutch is “Da’ Man” when it comes to these challenges at Baer, and once it’s done, it’s done forever and becomes part of the kit.
After the rear brakes were completed, Baer also installed one of their proportioning valves to get the front to rear brake bias adjusted. Keep in mind how important this is, especially when you’re dealing with a van or even a pick up. The van has a ridiculous amount of it’s weight on the nose, so without the bias adjustability the rears could easily lock up in a panic stop, ( little weight on the rear axle), and make the van want to swap ends. We’ve included this install as part of the story here.
So… now that the brakes are done, what’s next?
Well, dropping that rear end about 6 inches for one thing. And as long as we’re there….. “we might as well” tub those rear wheel wells and narrow that axle so we can get some Flintstone-mobile like wide rear tires on this beastie!
Whoops, I’m feeling that slippery slope! Keep watching for the van project in future issues of Rodding Revolutions. And as they say, “Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel”!
Click here for complete story in Issue 3 of RODDING REVOLUTIONS
Words: Randy Lorentzen Photos: Randy Lorentzen