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Old 05-31-2011, 07:02 PM
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Cheap suspension for 32 Roadster

I'm looking to build a 32 roadster. I want to put a 350 into it and will be trying to find a car from a junk yard for cheap to get the drive train. The only part I am worried about is the front suspension. What would be a cheap and simple front suspension for a open engine hot rod.

Thanks for the help all!

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Old 05-31-2011, 07:33 PM
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About the cheapest that will look right is going to run $500 for the basic axle/ spring and $1k ontop of that to mail order the spindles/ brakes and steering box.. That's probably your best bet.. Unless you can source original examples, and spindles from a '41-'48 Ford, you can make it all work possibly a little cheaper... No IFS will look 100% right on an open wheeled car. a Good alternative is earlier F series Twin I beam. Cboy has done a few of those setups, and they look pretty traditional. But they will require suspension geometry calculations to rebuild the suspension onto a custom frame..
'clipping' a '32 with an F series front frame will look a little somthing like this
..
This is a my project and is a ranger front but pretty identical to the F series, just a little smaller. It works for me because I'm just after a low cost hotrod. but for a '32 it is NOT where I would cheap out
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:22 PM
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If you have a original style 32 frame ... a split wishbone and a set of 37/48 Ford spindles works pretty well. Add a set of 56 Ford F-100 brakes and it also stops pretty good.



The above chassis has a disc brake conversion ... but drums do work well on a light car like a 32 roadster.



The front end is SO VISIBLE on a 32 Hiboy roadster ... that any mis-step can ruin the looks of the roadster ( and it's resale value )

The suspension and the brakes are NOT any place to cut corners. As for a donor car ... a early Nova ( 68 to 72 ) is a good choice. You COULD get a SBC, a turbo 350 and a rear end that is almost the correct width for a hiboy 32. A ratty old 4 door would be the lest expensive.

You do not have to have all the chrome, disc brakes and such ... But it is NICE to have



You may want to go to my project journal to see how I did my 32 Ford chassis for my 32 3W. My 32 roadster has the same chassis ...

Go here http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ge=5&reverse=1

See how IMPORTANT the front suspension is on a Hiboy ??

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:27 PM
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farm wagon-trailer

I bought an old farm hay wagon that had a 46 lincoln I beam suspension for $25.the axle is wider than a Ford but has the sought after good brakes. I did some backhoe work for a neighbor and came home with a farm trailer. 40 ford front suspension under a model A pickup bed. Not all the good parts are in the car parts collectors stash. I've seen used complete I beam axle-disc brake stuff at the swap meets for $ 500 when some one decdided they wanted an independent front end.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:31 AM
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True the suspension is important but I am going for more of a rat rod on a shoe string type deal! I wanted to use what ever came on the chevy donor car but I am not sure what I will get. I am building this with my high school students as a teacher funded after school project
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:02 AM
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a '32 body is a large cost for a rat rod...You could always build a body. Truck cab or a sedan won't be that hard for a basic shape. Old truck cabs make decent rat rod cabs also.. Being this is for your students, a good idea, would be to use the F series or Ranger I beams ( a V8 truck would make a good donor ). Figure out the geometry and build a simple ladder frame.. Figuring out the geometry and rebuilding the suspension into the ladder frame will teach them not only how to repair suspensions, but teach them how and why they work. As far as rear suspension. you could use the leaf springs from the truck, just remove all but the bottom leaf to use them as axle locators. figure out what spring rate they still have and calculate that into a set of coil overs... Ford explorer rear ends are cheap and strong/ about the right width to fit many hotrods, and would match a 60"ish track width a F series would have
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:25 AM
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In one short sentence - cheap just wont do it nor will it instill good values in 16-18 year olds. What the guys above have noted, especially Deuce, is the tried and proven suspension for an early, '28 - '34 Ford works and wont look like a committee designed it from their scrap pile.

You say you are a teacher and you are "paying" for this car - this is not giving them tools to work with. Do your own home work first using this and many other similar sites and gain some basic knowlege which, reading between the lines, might be slim. Give your student's their assignments as well to research what "works" for an early model Ford or whatever you use.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:39 AM
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Me myself if I was teaching kids how to do this I would teach them the right way... When it comes to your suspension... Cheap isn't the way.... You don't want the kids to think OH !!! THIS WILL WORK !!!! Speedway sell's a dropped axle cheap enough not to point them the wrong way on this build..There is so many other things you can be cheap with on this build... SUSPENSION ISN'T ONE OF THEM..


Remember!!! what you teach them today, May or may not get them in trouble later in life.. Teach them the right way.. Are don't teach them at all..Just my thinking on this..


Here's some link's to speedway..$499.99 FOR AXLE.. $599.99 FOR THE REST OF THE KIT..

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Spring...les,36592.html

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Ford-F...xle,22712.html

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Old 06-01-2011, 11:14 AM
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Yup..teach em right in the first place..I have shopped all over the place and have found Speedway to have the best price and service for early ford stuff unless you are into the pure restoration end. Call them and tell them you are on a budget and want the plain unpainted front suspension kit complete. I would go for the disk brake kit myself as the cost involved is about the same as drums when you are buying from scratch..

Now on my own project I am doing it bit by piece with all donor parts and since my front end is covered by fenders I can use a GM donor frontend as it will not be seen unless the hood is open. Soo my take is of it is to be a full fendered car you can use the front clip of the donor. Try finding a more suitable body style or roll your own as the classic deuce has gotten spendy to build..

just my thoughts

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Old 06-01-2011, 11:44 AM
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Cheap doesn't always mean it will make a bad suspension. Well that is in terms of performance and safety. When it comes to looks that is a different story. I think I may look for a I beam suspension because I do like the looks of that. I like what cboy did on his rat rod I want to try and create something along those lines. the only reason I was looking for a more simple solution to a front suspension because I know IFS can be difficult to get all the angles and parts installed correctly.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:27 PM
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If you were going to go with the Twin I beam like Cboy did, your students will learn a lot in how a suspension is set up, and what the geometry plays in the suspension. .. Not to mention, I'v seen rust bucket trucks go for $500. that gives you your beams, spindles/ brakes, engine/ trans some peices to part out for funding and some scrap for funding aswell.. Twin I beam, is a good compromise between IFS and a straight axle, and altho some do not like it, it's not that bad on a limited use vehicle, And Cboy has proven it can look good..

The Speedway axle is a good idea, looks 100% 'right' on an open wheeled car, but coming from someone has graduated a high school automotive tech program in the distant past ( 2007 ), I would have loved to have learned about suspension geometry and how it plays part into the vehicle, and ride characteristics.. The Speedway axle has all of that 'built in', so there is really no math to the axle beyond getting it straight and centered.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:07 PM
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It depends a good deal on how traditional you want to look. Deuce and others above are quite right that the tried and true traditional straight axle provides a safe and appealing look for open wheel early rods.

For the money, however, I don't believe you can beat the Ford twin I-beam independent front suspension from 1976 to 1979. This is particularly true if you are building your own frame to go under a '32 body. It is much easier to to incorporate this suspension into a straight ladder type frame than to try to alter existing '32 frame rails.

Below is the front end of my open wheel sedan-delivery. The entire front suspension is from a '79 F-100. And for $150 I got the suspension, a 302 engine, a 3-spd trans, and a Dana 44 rear end. Obviously all of these components need to be cleaned, overhauled and put into safe/operational condition, but as a basic platform, it's hard to beat the price. For a closer look at what is involved in building with twin I-beams you can check out my journal starting about here.





My roadster (below) is a little more "low buck" and uses '81 F-150 twin beams. The step by step construction of the roadster starts here.



This third example shows '78 twin I-beams under my full fendered pickup. This suspension utilizes air bags as shown in the second photo.



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Old 06-01-2011, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
The Speedway axle has all of that 'built in', so there is really no math to the axle beyond getting it straight and centered.
Yea !!! And some people still put them on wrong... You still have to know how to set it up right... You would find that out down the road at around 70 mph if it isn't right...Let them front wheels go to shaken... So I wouldn't tell anyone it's just a bolt on.. And yes there is some math in it..
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:53 PM
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What he said X2!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
a '32 body is a large cost for a rat rod...You could always build a body. Truck cab or a sedan won't be that hard for a basic shape. Old truck cabs make decent rat rod cabs also.. Being this is for your students, a good idea, would be to use the F series or Ranger I beams ( a V8 truck would make a good donor ). Figure out the geometry and build a simple ladder frame.. Figuring out the geometry and rebuilding the suspension into the ladder frame will teach them not only how to repair suspensions, but teach them how and why they work. As far as rear suspension. you could use the leaf springs from the truck, just remove all but the bottom leaf to use them as axle locators. figure out what spring rate they still have and calculate that into a set of coil overs... Ford explorer rear ends are cheap and strong/ about the right width to fit many hotrods, and would match a 60"ish track width a F series would have
If you use only the main leaf and coil overs you will get terrible axle wrap with even V6 power.You would need to add some type of ladder bar or traction bar .So if you are going to put coil overs and ladder bars there is no need for the leaf spring and it would look better also.
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