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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2007, 10:33 PM
Jr 1948
 

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1981 ford frame suspension help

Hey has anybody out there put any kind of independant suspension in a 1981 ford f-150 and does it narrow the front end cause i'm putting it under a 1948 ford f-1 are should i just put the stock 48 ford front end under it but its a rougher ride cause of the leafs are does anybody know what i could do for a suspension set up cause i wanna lower it at the same time... Thanks derrick Would be very hulpfull to my project

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Old 12-08-2007, 10:36 AM
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A lot of rodders install a IFS out of a Plymouth Volare ...







Go to the link below ... then click on Car tech ... the third one down has a article on installing one ...

http://www.carnut.com/findex.html

It is a lot easier than switching chassis...
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:43 AM
Jr 1948
 

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Yah thanks but would that fit on a 1981 ford f-150 frame i think its wider then the plymouth IFS
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:11 PM
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I am doing a 48 F1 right now but using stock frame with a 1980 camaro front clip. You could do the same to your newer frame.If you are a welder fabricater you could narrow your twin I beam and Z the frame to lower it.
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:45 PM
Jr 1948
 

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hey what does it mean to Z the frame and yes i can weld and fabricate
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Old 12-08-2007, 12:59 PM
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You off set the frame at the fire wall.
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:00 PM
Jr 1948
 

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oh ok thanks for the info dunno if i wanna do that tho lol
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:13 PM
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If you Z the frame you dont have to alter the suspension so you keep proper geometry and factory ride.You can do it right at the fire wall so it doesnt show much and it is a free lowering kit.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:31 PM
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Twin I-beam ??

You will want to check out the work done by c-boy!! He has built several lo-buck rods using remounted twin I-beams. There doesn't seem to be a lot said about the most recent -- the beams are mounted above the frame .


Jim
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrick_500
Hey has anybody out there put any kind of independant suspension in a 1981 ford f-150 and does it narrow the front end cause i'm putting it under a 1948 ford f-1 are should i just put the stock 48 ford front end under it but its a rougher ride cause of the leafs are does anybody know what i could do for a suspension set up cause i wanna lower it at the same time... Thanks derrick Would be very hulpfull to my project
Derrick,

Folks have grafted Volare, Camaro and other clips onto their vintage frames. There are also many independent suspension kits out there based on the Mustang II design. Check out Fat Man Fabrications, Heidt's, TCI, Chassis Engineering, and others. There are pros/cons with each method including swapping complete frames, so do your homework before proceeding.

I put a TCI kit onto my 55 Chevy pickup frame recently. So far, I love it. It handles like a go-cart now, the truck is about 6" lower, has 4-wheel disk brakes and power steering too. Even with my limited welding skills, I was able to install it nicely with minimal fuss.

Hope this helps.

Antny
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:57 PM
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I'm a bit curious as to why you would go to the work of swapping a later frame under the truck and then turn around and swap suspensions on that frame.

I could see doing the swap to get the F-150 twin I beam, disk brakes and late style rear end plus most likely the engine and trans but to switch out frames and then install a different front suspension on that frame doesn't jive for some reason. There are probably as many chassis mod pieces made for the 53/56 F100 frames as for any other single model of vehicle.
Now if you didn't have a frame to start with, it was damaged or rusted beyond repair or someone else had hacked it up doing engine or suspension swaps previously I can doing the swap.

In that case I think I would want to set the cab on the late chassis and see how things fit up. Block the cab up on the frame so that it sits just like you would want to sit when it was finished. get the front wheel wells centered on the tires and if you don't have the engine and trans in the chassis place enough weight in the area where the engine would sit to equal the weight of the engine and trans. An old dead engine would work fine.
This way you could see how the truck would sit with the F-150 chassis under it. If it is only a few inches higher than you want the final ride height, the after market boys make lowering springs and sell dropped Twin I beams. Not cheap but they are available. On the back you will most likely have to go with a flip kit for the axle and "C" notch the frame but I would get the front sorted out first.

Personally if the stock F-100 frame was in good shape I would go with it. Install either a Volare front crossmember (there are several kits available) or install a custom front crossmember from one of the suppliers in the truck magazines. I say that because unless you have been involved in frame swaps before or have someone who has close at hand to help you sort things out they can be a royal pain before you are done.
for starters
Every body mount will have to be fabricated.
you will most likely have to raise the floor in the bed several inches to
clear the kickup in the later frame.
You may have trouble getting the wheel centered in the wheel wells.
Along with that the tread width on the later chassis may be quite a bit
wider causing even stock steelie wheels to stick out too far.
If you do not currently have a clear title for the F100 you need to document every step of the build including all receipts. Some states and Provinces frown on mixed and matched body and chassis
Without an extensive inspection. If you have the title to the F-150 keep it
untill the whole process is finished. The inspectors like it a whole lot better when you can produce a title to the chassis that is under your truck. They will send that in with the inspection papers but it proves you owned the chassis. Most of the guys here will tell you to keep every receipt for every thing you buy for the truck. That is right down to every nut, bolt and flat washer. A couple of reasons for that are 1. to prove you legally own each piece and 2. If the liscense people (in some states) want to place a value on the truck that is way higher than what it cost you to build it you may get that tax reduced. If you have the title in your name and have current plates on it now that isn't an issue.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:15 PM
Jr 1948
 

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hey thanks for the info the reason its going on a 1981 f-150 frame is cause i don't have the original frame lol and it wasn't that bad mounting it had no problems with the box are anything like thay just the track width is to wide so i want and got a drop axle out of internatinal truck with the leafs and all and whata you know all the disk brakes off the 81 bolted right to it no problems at all and yes i've been keeping all the receipts and such and i have the title for the frame but not the body do you know how i could possible get it cause there no vins are anything on the body as well thanks for the help
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:24 AM
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Twin I-beam ??

Why cut the frame in half when the stock suspension from the '81 will work?? Just replace the bushings (poly is available). The truck can even be lowered by using dropped beams or the old way by having them "stretched" like a straight axle. This frontend can also be air-bagged very easily.

Frame width on most full-size trucks has been 34" since way back, so only the track width (tire center line to tire center line) might be too wide. The same problem can occur with a frame "clip", only they're commonly too narrow. Mustang II swaps under a truck don't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Check out this link: IFS failure = tragic results The same thing can happen with a clip.

The '81 Ford is also going to have bigger brake rotors and calipers. In fact one of the newest "Big Brake" swaps uses F-100 rotors (redrilled to 5 1/2" or 5 3/4" BC). Oh, and did I mention you don't have to cut the frame in half ?

Jim

Last edited by thx_1138; 12-16-2007 at 01:04 AM. Reason: darned back button
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:01 AM
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Twin I-beam ??

bump

Sorry,
Jim

Last edited by thx_1138; 12-16-2007 at 01:09 AM. Reason: I really don't like the back button............
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