50 Ford F1 w Monte Carlo Clip
Let me start out by saying this site is great... It has been instrumental in getting my project rolling. I have read all 120+ pages of Hotrodders Knowledge Cluster: Front Clip Installs/Subframes/Frame Swaps. Which by the way is a freaking GOLD MINE of information. I have tried to filter and summarize its contents as applicable to an F1 below.
I have a 1950 Ford F1 1/2 Ton. I have every intention of swapping in a 01-02 LS1 with T56 ($$) or LS2 with T56 ($$$). I have a 9" from a Lincoln Versailles with 28 spline, big bearing and disk brakes (ugg - not easy to find parts). I also have more time than money, and enjoy learning how to do new things even if it takes me a few tries. Im not a professional welder but Im pretty dang good (Ive spent a lot of time working on 4x4 trail rigs skid plates, sliders and all sorts of stuff that is subjected to severe shock loads). My welding is solid and has been put to the test. I will also fab my own motor mounts if need be. With that said.....
Below is a list of vehicles that have been used at one point or another for front stubs/clips:
Chrysler Cordova - NO good luck finding one or parts
Dodge Dakota ???
Ford Mustang II (out of an actual Ford) NO not strong enough
Ford Mustang II (Aftermarket - Heist, Fatman, etc) - See Below
Chevy Monte Carlo - See Below
Jaguar XJ6 NO good luck finding one or parts
Chrysler Volare NO mushy ride, ugly, hard to find parts
Chevy Camaro Track width too wide at 61.5
Ford Aerostar - See Below
Chevy S10 - See Below
Ford Ranger - See Below
AMC Pacer - NO good luck finding one or parts only 400K made
Chevy Nova - See Below
Chevy Malibu - Same as Monte Carlo??
Oldsmobile Cutlass - Same as Monte Carlo??
Buick Regal - Same as Monte Carlo??
Pontiac Grand Prix - Same as Monte Carlo??
Pontiac Bonneville - Same as Monte Carlo??
Chevy El Camino - Same as Monte Carlo??
Comments on the Mustang II(Aftermarket) before we get started:
- Will this be heavy duty enough to support big HP and torque (500/500) and pull a 2000 pound boat.
- Despite its huge popularity there seems to be a growing trend of failures, most notably with Fatmans and those that have eliminated the strut rod. Whatever the reason may be (I have my own speculations but Ill leave them out), it boils down to my first note - is this a rugged tow capable design. It seems to me that many of the components are rather dainty compared to those on even a Gen 2 Ford Explorer (ie small A-arm bushings, small A arm tubes, small ball joints - just small everything).
- Expensive as snot. I live in Canada so whatever it cost in the states, say $2000 for a hub to hub with rack and pinion is going to cost me another $1000 by the time it gets to my doorstep.
From this list I have narrowed the results down to:
Chevy Monte Carlo (Gen 3 78-80 and gen 4 81-87):
- This seems to be the ticket. Can I get more info on similarities/differences between years. Are they all front steer? Which Gen 73-77, 78-80, 81-88.... Will my LS1 fit.
- Track width is 58", which is better suited for the F1 than the Nova 60" or the Camaro 61.5".
- Other than track width are all other components the same (ie brakes, ball joints, A-arms,etc). In other words is there any downside to using the Monte Carlo clip over the Nova/Camaro.
- Is it possible to get 11 or larger rotors with the same bolt pattern as my 9 and callipers to suite?
- Complete rebuild will be necessary (pads, rotors, bushings, steering box etc ). Although costly I am still further ahead than buying a Mustang II.
- Without Zd the frame what sort of drop can be expected?
- Is the Malibu, Regal, Cutlass, El Camino, Bonneveille, Grand prix all similar to the Monte? Track width specs?
- is the Monte as beefy as the Camaro or Nova?
- How does it steer and drive, like a modern sports car or like a Town Car.
- Not so popular BUT its also not 30 years old and can be found for free. Now I know the track width wont work in stock form but whats to say that the cross member cant have a few inches cut out of it. I have seen 3 cut out of a camaro clip to work with an F1. Is this an acceptable practice?
- Again is this beefy enough.
S10 (complete frame swap or clip swap):
- Seemed to work out well for Lokota. Only downside is the S10 frame is very wide in the rear and would not allow for very fat tires. Maybe have to stick with just the front clip.
- Lots of aftermarket parts available and lots of information on V8 swaps.
Front Steer vs Rear Steer:
- So we are all one the same page as me (and I could be wrong) Front steer refers to tie rod in front of the axle, rear steer tie rods are behind the axle.
- There seems to be some questionas to which one works best for my application. Has anyone had clearance issues with the LS1 and a front steer Monte clip.
I think I pretty much have my mind made up on the Monte Carlo. As far as I can tell it is identical in every respect to the Camaro/Nova, parts are interchangeable, but it has the advantage of fitting.
Sorry for the long post but I am really trying to get a feel for what the experts think before I commit and chop my frame in half.
Last edited by joe123; 05-25-2008 at 04:00 PM.
My 51 F1 has MII in it, I have always liked it also my last door racecar (not my dragster) was a 62 Chevy II it also had MII under it and I ran it for 10+ years running 9.20s at 150 MPH with no problems. Both have stock Ford control arms and the chevy II had stock Ford brakes till 02 when I changed them to Willwoods. All the hype about failure latley I would suspect someone bought a crossmember and did not know how to weld but they put it in anyway. Or they had a 110V welder that did not have the power to penatrate when they welded it.
Just My .02, Mike
I used a 76 Nova clip[ in my 51 F1.......It is a tad wide, but the tires don't rub. I did it 15+ years ago and have towed my 19 ft house trailer thousands of miles with it.....Needless to say, I am satisfied with it.
Poncho62.. Can you tell me a little more about your truck. It looks really good in the pictures. I guess the usual questions to ask would be:
What size of tires are up front and in the rear?
Do you have any pictures of how you grafted the clip in. Do the frames overlap or are the butted together.
For those starting a project for the forst time:
I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. One minute Im looking for an engine the next I'm researching 4 links. I was feeling a little overwhelmed at first, plaiged by indisition. What I needed was a game plan: 1. Get the front suspension/clip in. 2. Take care of the rear suspension. 3. Install drivetrain 4. Body work 5. Prime and Paint. Simple when you break it down. Oh and if I'm bored there is always a hole in the firewall that needs to be filled.
Check this out I have a few pictures of the MII install on my webshots page. I have about 350 pounds on the frontend in the ones on the ground the running boards are about 5 1/2" in front and 7" in back.
Joe...The picture that I posted is the only one I have.....The frames are overlapped. I cut the original frame to fit into the clip. I welded it together and then added angle iron pieces to strengthen it. As you can see in the pic, the Nova clip is a bit wider than the original frame.
I use 185-14R on front and 275-15R on back.
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