Front Suspension Alternatives for 1948 – 1960 Ford Trucks, Part Eight
Ford Aerostar "clip" alternative
This alternative involves adapting the front suspension from a 1986 through 1997 Ford Aerostar mini-van to the Ford trucks. Not a true clip job in the normal sense as it involves adapting the donor front suspension to the earlier Ford truck frame. It requires some fabrication and welding.
- It uses a Ford donor, so your truck remains all Ford.
- Donors are plentiful and cheap in most areas. Ford Aerostars are not presently valued as collectible.
- Age of donor is newer than many other IFS alternatives that may mean wear parts are in better condition.
- Potentially improved handling with rack and pinion steering, and power disc brakes.
- People that have done the install say it is relatively easy compared to other IFS options.
- Gives you the Ford 5 on 4ï¿½" bolt pattern found on many later Ford rear differentials.
- Airbags can be incorporated into the install to enable slamming her at shows.
- This is one of the lowest cost IFS alternatives. Possibly less expensive than a stock axle rebuild. Figure the cost of the donor pieces, some steel and welding, and probably some new wheels.
- There are no dropped spindles or other aftermarket products available for this application so you need to factor your desired ride height into the installation. If you desire extreme drop, it can only be achieved by building a frame box considered unattractive by some people.
- Some folks worry about the weight rating of the donor, but this seems to be a non-issue.
- Expect some difficulty lining up the steering shaft.
- This set up is just gaining popularity now (c.2002-3). With no commercial kit to aid installation, you need to interface with others that have done it before to fully understand how to do it unless you’re particularly skilled. There are several folks on this forum who have done it though and are willing to provide some level of support.
- Track is apparently wider than the stock F-100; offset will have to be used in the front wheels to compensate for it. This clip is probably too wide for practical use in the narrower F-1 chassis.
- To our knowledge, there are not many Aerostar equipped trucks on the road. This is not yet a time tested alternative. To our knowledge reliability issues have not surfaced yet.
Average installation time – 20 hours.
Ride Height – Expect 2" to 3" drop from stock. 5" is likely achievable.
Skill level– 2+