Well, I'm excited with the last couple days worth of work. I now have a front frame stub with an engine sitting in it on it's own suspension. I built my spring mounts for the trailing arms to mount the spring so i could see at what height the front frame rails would sit. It worked out like this:
I wanted the frame to sit 2.5 (give or take, c'mon now) degrees nose high and the motor to be doing the same. The motor actually wants 5 degrees nose high for the carburetor to sit level, but to hell with that. It looks goofy. It just works out that setting my axle to 10 degrees positive caster and setting the frame right on top of my heim joints with the 2.5 degree frame setting gives me about 2 1/2 to 3 inches of front axle to frame clearance. Nice. Does that seem like exessive clearence?? I'm guessing here. That olds motor is heavy.
A long time ago, I measured how much the spring squatted under the weight of that beautiful olds. Squatted 2 3/4". I decided I wanted 2" of suspension clearance. Why? i dunno, I usually end up driving my cars hard and beating the crap out of them. So i put 5" worth of blocks between the axle and frame, angled the frame 2.5 degrees nose high, installed the spring, leveled the shackles parallel to the ground, centered the frame between the spindles, and made some shackle mounts for the trailing arms, welded them to the trailing arms, and mounted the spring. That process looks so easy after I typed that, why did it take 12 hours to accomplish?
As you can see, my rear transmission/motor mount will double as the bones mounting points. This moves the trailing arms closer together by about 2 inches at the heims vs. putting them directly under the frame (actually it's 4 inches because i moved the frame rails towards each other an inch on each side, so the rails are basically parallel). I'm trying to overcome the negative side effects of this splitting wishbones business. The spring and shackles being the only transverse locating device is weird, but screw putting a panhard bar in (for now). I also didn't like the pivot of the trailing arms directly under the frame nor on the outside of the frame rails because with that '47 (?) axle having such a wide bones perches at the axle, I've been told the tires will rub the trailing arms when turning. Looked like it too. So i've moved the heims as close together as possible while maintaining a sane amount of caster.