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..