What is Dropped Axle? Definition of Dropped Axle, Dropped Axle Meaning and Concept
A dropped axle is a straight front axle that has been altered or built to drop the ride height of a vehicle. It became popular in the 1950s, and the trend remains a popular alteration and styling hack on modern-era custom vehicles. Originally created by heating and stretching the original solid beam axles sourced from the vehicle manufacturer, a dropped axle provided the custom stance of a vehicle while retaining the original ride quality. The art of stretching an original beam axle while providing the proper axle geometry was made less expensive by the addition of the round tube, the dropped axle.This shaft uses a round tube section fitted with custom forged shaft ends fabricated to the proper height and welded onto the ends of the round tube.
Used in nearly every type of vehicle, from the roadsters and coupes of the 1930s to modern hot rods and pickup trucks, the dropped axle is often the most cost-effective method of reducing a vehicle's position. This is possible by eliminating the need to replace other expensive suspension parts, such as shock absorbers and springs. The dropped axle retains all of the original suspension components, as the only alteration to the factory suspension is that the axle ends are stretched, thus pulling the tires further up and away from the road. This makes the vehicle sit lower and places the front suspension closer to the ground.
Occasionally, with an extremely dropped axle, some modifications are required to allow the steering linkage to operate under the bottom of the vehicle frame. This is achieved by adding spacers between the tie rod ends and tie rod mounting points on the front spindles, the original front suspension geometry is left virtually intact, preserving the original factory ride quality of the vehicle. The success of the dropped axle has led to the introduction of dropped spindles to be used on independent front suspensions, achieving low stance without altering ride or handling quality.
While a number of companies make the round tube drop axle to fit almost all of the most popular custom vehicles, the number of vendors that can deliver a dropped axle from a stock beam axle is decreasing.
Very few fonts can create the fall of the original straight shaft style that helped foster the lasting trend.
When a qualified producer is found who can apply the required drop to an original axle, it is not uncommon for a long turnaround time to accompany the delivery of the custom axle.