As far as the CUSTOM CLASSIC TRUCKS crew is concerned there are two great truths: there is no such thing as making just one modification and if a little of anything is good then more is better. These principles seem to be particularly applicable to our 1964 Chevy pickup project.
It all started with the installation of a Scott's Hot Rods and Customs bolt-in independent front suspension. Not only was the new IFS a major improvement over the original, but the swap was quick and easy and the lowered ride height up front looked cool. Of course that's when the issue of not being able to make just one modification cropped up. Obviously we would now have to drop the tail to match. On that end we installed a Scott's four-bar system and Panhard bar and planned to C-notch the frame to provide the necessary suspension travel.
Before tackling that project we stood back to look at the truck and admire our handiwork. That's when the "if a little is good, a whole bunch is better" school of thought came into play. The decision was made to lower the front an additional 2 inches with a pair of drop spindles from Scott's. It should go without saying that the changes to the front of the truck meant changing our plan for the back.
To get the rear of the chassis where we wanted it a C-notch was not going to provide for adequate suspension travel which meant the 'rails would have to be notched and stepped, so we made another call to Scott's. As we expected Justin Padfield, owner of Scott's, had the solution in the form of a frame stepping kit that includes a pair of inverted U-shaped frame sections that mimic the shape of the original 'rails. The replacement sections are high enough to allow enough axle travel for those who want their truck to "lay frame" or they can be trimmed for less extreme applications.
As with any frame modification, keeping the 'rails square and maintaining all the pertinent dimensions are major concerns. For those reasons the notches were welded in place before the original 'rails were cut away below them. In addition, angle iron braces were tack welded to the 'rails to hold them in position when the stock crossmembers were removed.
In our case the desired ride height put the rearend housing up against the bottom of the factory framerails, so we trimmed the notches to fit slightly above the top flanges. Stepping the frame would not only get the truck low, it was a way to provide more room for suspension travel—everything we were after. It all goes to prove more really is better.