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Old 12-20-2003, 08:06 PM
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fatman IFS

Hi all,any body out there have any knowledge/experience with the fatman fabricators vintage independant front suspension(VIFS)
This is the kit to cut a dropped axel in half and hinge it from a center point. it came out in STREETRODER magazine about 2 years ago. I copied the design for a customer, ( takes real stones to cut a new axel in half!) but when he saw it tacked up, he changed his mind, and went traditional (dago drop/split bones) and left me holding the bag... now I'm thinkin' about tryin' it on a track roadster,(spec build) but I've never seen one installed.or talked to anyone who has driven one the kit uses the transverse leaf spring, but I want to build a strut/rocker/coilovers on the cross tube,inboard type setup.(with batwings and 4 bar system to locate the axel) similar to early F1 cars (penske-rahall) and hide all of it under the track nose, for a traditional look with (I hope) high tech handlin'. the frame is currently set up at 120 in.W/B to use a chevy inline six/power glide/ford 9 in.drive train, with a finished weight less than 1300 LBs. comments ?

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Old 12-21-2003, 06:58 PM
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Fatman crap

I can't say that I'm familiar with the front end that your talking about but my only experience with a Fatman product was terrible.

I refuse to buy anything from those people and I'm not sure how they stay in business.

As for a split dropped axle... if it's set up correctly it should work fine but there are no real advantages to it over a straight dropped axle. The unsprung weight is not sugnificantly less and so with all of the other pieces involved to make it work properly the sprung wheight is greater. Plus this type of front end is more proned to have steering geometry problems.

Your customer was probably wise in choosing a different front end.
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:17 AM
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While i can see no advantage, I can see much disadvantage. This is a swing axle. As the car corners and tries to roll the outside tire under, the axle geometry will cause the front end to jack up. Swing axles on the early Corvairs prompted the book Unsafe at Any Speed. Ford trucks used a much longer swing axle with its twin I beam, but did you notice how quietly they switched to A arm suspension after the Firestone/ rollover controversy? However a street rod has very little suspension movement, so it should be okay. But as to advantage, you lose half the weight of the axle tube and don't get feedback from one tire to the other. I'd think cut the swivel out and weld up a narrower axle.
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Old 12-23-2003, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil1934
Ford trucks used a much longer swing axle with its twin I beam, but did you notice how quietly they switched to A arm suspension after the Firestone/ rollover controversy?
I must have missed something here. The problem with the rollovers was from blown tires on SUV's that are prone to roll-overs. There has been no history of Ford trucks with twin I beams rolling over that I am aware of. My family has owned numerous Ford Trucks with that suspension and had no problems with them because of it.

The theory of the split axle is that it gives a ride similar to an independant suspension, with the look of a dropped axle. Altho it should ride smoother, I have my doubts that it would be worth the cost. I also believe that it will be more likely to have tire wear problems since the axle was not really designed to be split and used that way. The tire movement during the suspension travel would seem to me, to change the alignment angles too drastically, causing scrubbing of the tires more. I would feel that you would be loosing as much in handling as you would be gaining in ride.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-24-2003, 04:45 AM
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I just used trucks as most people are familiar with them. Same thing with the Explorers. They were twin I beam until 1995 when they went to A arm.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:27 AM
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Vintage IFS

Fatman here. I know this is kind of an old thread, but interesting just the same. I had this system on my 32 Ford highboy seda, and currently on my 34 Highboy sedan. Both have shown a measured 20% reduction in ride harshness on a G Meter. Neither has experienced tire wear issues at all. And it doesn't do the shimmy on rough roads. Not intended as an ad, just honest experience.
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