mustang/pinto suspension on a model A
I'm building a model A coupe and I just bought a '79 Pinto front suspension that I intend to install. I know it is impossible according to all those manufacturers who want 1400-2500 for a custom ifs, but I also know several people who are happily driving model a's with m-II ifs.I'd rather pound bubbles into the fenders than pay what they want. My question is the best way to accomplish this swap safely. I have a Total Performance frame with a stock front crossmember. There seems to be very little info online about this, even though it is a pretty common install.
Pull the entire front clip off the Model A, hopefully you got the front frame with the suspension from the firewall forward off your donor car. You will need this piece to copy the suspension mounts and adapt to your frame. The rest is just fabricating the custom mount to your frame. Machined out of solid mild steel is your best bet, mirror imaging the other side is easiest this way. it will be expensive unless you have the knowledge and skill to machine these yourself.
Your best bet if you don't would be to take the entire car and donor suspension to a chassis fabricator to have the pieces fitted. Needless to say you would need a well outfitted machine shop in your garage to pull this off yourself. Mounts for the rack etc. etc. will all have to be made as well as numerous other pieces to numerous to mention.
Your best choice is to pop for a commercially available Mustang II crossmember for your chassis. It may cost you a few bucks but will save you countless hours of fabrication and hard work.
You already have the most expensive components, "A" arms, spindles, brakes, strut rods etc. so the only real expense will be the crossmember. This will keep you from having to slice the frame up since it's specifically designed to work with your frame and not replace it. There are also upper "A" arm kits that will keep your suspension from hitting the fenders if your willing to spend the money, otherwise you're going to have weird bumps in them.
Think safety and don't go hacking away on a perfectly good frame unless you have to. A quality crossmember installed properly will let the car sit right and in the end will cost you less in time and probably money.
Thanks for your advice. Any suggestions as to where to get just the crossmember? Who makes the A-arm kit you mentioned? Most of the ads want to sell you about everything but the brakes for 1200 to 1400 bucks.
You can get a universal kit from Heihts or weld the original Must crossmember to your frame. I have done 3 Model A's this way & one w/a Heights crossmember. I feel that using the stock crossmember is easier once it is cleaned up. mount it at a 3 degree angle(positive castor) & mount it so that the rack has just enough clearance where it passes under the frame.
As far as the fenders a bubble will have to be added to the fenders so the upper A arms clear. I make the bubble the full length of the fender so it is not as noticable.....I have some digital pictures I can post if someone can give me directions on how to do it.......Don
[ March 29, 2002: Message edited by: Don Meyer ]</p>
good stuff. Budget cars really piss off the big kids, coz you have as much fun for less $$$.
I have done several MII fronts, even used most of the stock crossmember on a couple before I made my own "kit"
There are several rods around with fender lumps. just think smooth and don't just weld in a square-cornered box. Looks okay.
heck, some cars have humps for steering or spring mounts, etc... just try to make it flow with the lines, you're there.
Fat man and groundhawg (Sp??) have been affordable to some friends - if ya chose not to modify the stock.
I cut off the hats and build plates to mount to the frame and lower crossmember. Depending on your skills and buddies' help avail... only you know what route you can successfully finish.
that's the key.
I think I am going to try to go with the stock member and see what I can do with the fenders (steel). Do you have anything similar now? I am not all that far from you--9 miles north of Mason City. It would really help to look at one that someone had done already.
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