Front Suspension Alternatives for 1948 – 1960 Ford Trucks, Part Seven
Only Industrial Chassis offer a cross-member kit (at this time) to adapt the1986 – 1996 Dodge Dakota truck IFS to 1948 through 1966 Ford trucks. The basic cross-member kit is available for $675. It requires you to provide the donor components- A-arms, steering box, spindles, rotors and calipers, etc. Alternately, it can be purchased as a hub to hub assembly for approximately $2750.
- Donor vehicle is actually a truck of similar weight capacity.
- Dropped spindles available for approximately $170.
- Improved handling with an increase in ride stability and ease of steering
- Braking is significantly better, stopping distance versus stock reduced by 50-60%.
- Bolt pattern differs from stock pattern but 1986 – 90 matches the 5 on 4.5 Ford/Mopar pattern.
- ’91-’96 rotors are 6 lug, 4 1/2" bolt circle, but the older rotors are a direct replacement.
- Installing a fairly common Ford 302 requires new mini-starter and block hugger headers to fit.
- Requires significant welding to attach cross-member to frame. This requires good welding skills and precision measurements.
- Donors may be difficult and expensive to find.
- Total cost to install including rebuilding the donor components can run from $1200 to a high of $2000 based upon difficulty of finding a donor and whether it’s components are shot. If you spend 2K then you must have replaced every single moving component from the donor with brand new pieces.
- This is not a Ford suspension. (In case you’re a purist who prefers everything be FORD)
- Requires a dual sump oil pan and appropriate oil pump.
- Not to make this an ad for I.C., but the fit & finish, & welding quality of the kit, was excellent. The directions were about a 8.5- 9 out of 10.
12 to 20 hours of actual work time depending upon your mechanical and welding skills. This includes installing the donor components. Installation is very similar to a MII set up.
Level of Difficulty – 3
Ride Height – Expect 2" drop from stock without the use of dropped spindles (good for another 2")
’95-’96 racks are reportedly more sensitive. ’95-’96 lower A-arms need to have a hole tapped and a bump stop installed- very easy. Earlier A-arms already have the stop.
Per I.C., both Ford & Chevy P.S. pumps will work without mods. V6 & V8 Dakota hoses should work on Chevy pumps; Ford pumps will require custom hoses. One source for these is a farm implement dealer, if no auto repair facility is available. BB Ford engines require that an oil port on the rack & pinion be rotated for clearance. I.C. will do it or supply instructions – no big thing…..
In reference to the oil pan issue, I.C. does state that Ford engines do require a rear sump pan. There’s more options here than is commonly thought. Moroso & Milodon carry various pans, some for racing, a couple for 4×4 swaps. If you want Ford, Ford Motorsport…er, Ford Racing lists a couple. Going down the price list, there are rear sump pans for 429/460s in the salvage yards, but they are hard to find. Try 3/4 or 1 ton mid to late-’70s vans. For 302, or 351w engines, they are pretty easy to find- try a late ’70s-‘early ’80s LTD/Crown Vic., or 1/2 ton vans (302 only). There are other vehicles, for sure. There was also a FE rear sump pan. I have no idea as to 351C/351M/400 engines.