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Old 02-22-2008, 05:10 PM
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Lowering Econoline

I am planning on lowering a 1964 econoline van and i would like to know your opinions on getting it low. i was thinking a Mustang II Front suspension and a custom frame all the way around. i also plan on relocating the engine back about 20" and raising it a bit.

Thanks
Drew

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Old 02-22-2008, 11:36 PM
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YES!!! the old shoebox vans are totally beee-itchin! I own a 65 GMC handivan.. the suspension systems are pretty much the same as your econo.

As far as lowering, it depends on how low you want to go... on both front and rear, we have a Spring under axle setup, so if you are just looking for a little drop, like an inch or so, you could try simply removing a leaf or two out of the front and rear springs. You could also have custom springs bent from a spring shop. You can get monoleafs like they use on some of the camaros, and custom tailor the spring to the length and tension you need.

Once you get the desired ride height, you'll need some good quality shocks so it doesn't ride like total crap. On lowered vehicles in the past, I've had good luck with koni yellow adjustables. They're expensive, about $150 each, but you can dial them in so your ride will actually handle decent after you lower it.

An MII front IFS would be badazz on an early van, but it sure would be alot of work. If you can acheive the drop you're looking for by simply modifying the springs, you'll save yourself a ton of hassle wiithout having to try to reconstruct a whole new suspension system. A radical drop will require alot of fabrication and might be more hassle than its really worth. It all depends on how low you want to go... Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:57 AM
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Here is my desired ride height, its just in mock up now, no front axle or rear end under it at all. just jacks and blocks
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:14 AM
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That looks totally badazz! Going that low will require a sh*tload of fabbing. You have alot of work ahead of you. Check out this guy's 66 chevy on VCVC.org he is going for the same look you are, he is using airbags in the front and tubs and notched frame in the back. You'll probably have to make some mods on the front wheelwells if you want to make turns when its slammed

http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/Forum9/HTML/000124.html

Last edited by kookykrispy; 02-23-2008 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:29 PM
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I have ideas of building a full frame inside the actual subframe and maybe doing a C Notch in the rear. I need help figuring out how to link the steering on the mustang II To the steering column if i run a MII. Im probably gonna run something like a 14x3.5 on the front, and a 15x7 or 8 on the back. Check out my blog here
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:35 PM
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dropped axle

Is the van still a single beam front axle. my brother made special brackets and moved the spring below the axle in his old ford pickup. or a dropped axle/ on the rear can you spring under and c notch and mabe change the spring mounting brackets
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:44 PM
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It is still a single beam front axle, but springs under axle would only get it down a couple of inches from stock height. Ive seen Jimmy Shadows Van here and ive tried to contact him to ask about his suspension but have had no luck.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewDay
It is still a single beam front axle, but springs under axle would only get it down a couple of inches from stock height. Ive seen Jimmy Shadows Van here and ive tried to contact him to ask about his suspension but have had no luck.
Look at this pic, the van you want to copy is using the stock axle
with air ride...

http://www.shadoworksart.com/Eng.jpg

HTH

K
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:06 PM
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If i was to run only air ride on the stock front suspension, im pretty sure it will most likely ride like ****, wont it? What are your opinions on an S10 frame under the van, because im pretty sure they run from 90 something inches long to 107 depending on series. anyone know the exact dimensions of an S10 frame? then parts availability will be better and price will be cheaper(which is always better)Also would a twin i-beam front suspension, a volare, an 80's Jag, or an aerostar, or what? lemme know your opinions.

Drew
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:30 AM
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I had a 64 Econoline. Short box like yours, I drove that van everywhere...it was my carpet installer van..(I even loaded my wife and kid in it and drove from Santa Cruz Ca to the Grand canyon)

It rode fine with the straight axle.

If you go putting an s-10 frame you are in for a serious amount of work,, the frame is not long enough in front and the frame shape will require alot of floor work.

A MII would be a better setup. You could slip some 2X4 tube inside the existing unibody frame rails from front to rear, then do your crossmember install on those.

You could get your steering coumn hooked up via a set of sprockets and a double roller chain.(It works, that's how they did many of those right hand drive conversions that went to Australia) You may need to reclock the steering rack and put a U joint somewhere in the mix to get your angles right.. A set of right angle gearboxes and jackshaft may solve the problem too.


You are in for wheelwell work too.

Later, mikey
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:14 PM
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ford aerostar

I have seen the ford aerostar conversion in old pickups .. the upper a arms are high and might not fit under some cars ... the aero has everything on one crosmember. ...there is one up on the mountain on someone's ranch dump...I have been thinking about getting it to put under my 48 nash sedan ans an 8.8 lincoln disc rear...
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:46 PM
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In reality, the solid front axle ride is just fine, you have to determine
how much money you are willing to part with, vs how much time you
want to spend, on getting the van how you want it to look...

You could C-notch the front of the frame, as well as the back, which would
be cheaper than trying to adapt a frame that doesn't fit from the get go...

K
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:17 PM
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Couldn't you just make a custom dropped straight front axle that is shaped like a bicycle handlebar? That with a spring-under should be ok? I did a quick search and found this: Calculating straight axle drop

not exaclty what you need but some info in there
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