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1961 - 1963 F100 Unibody 1961, 1962 and 1963 Ford F100 Unibody trucks

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  #1  
Old 02-14-2005, 02:48 PM
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Lowering a '61 Unibody

I am buying the above truck next weekend and want to do an old school 60s custom lowered suspension. On the rear I was thinking of just making it a "spring under" axle instead of the factory "spring over" axle. I think this will net about 4-5" of drop. On the front, I was looking at a drop axle, maybe 4." Anyone done this, pics? I've looked in the gallery and have seen some stuff, but don't know what people used to get there. I want to run chrome reverse steel wheels and wide whites, but haven't decided on size yet. The fronts will be a bit narrower I know that. Any input on the wheel/tire size would be great too.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2005, 05:49 PM
Triple Threat Triple Threat is offline
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Lowering a 61

I am picking up my 61 Unibody this Friday and will also be lowering it. I plan on using a Mustang II front suspension instead of the stock setup. You can get the custom cross memebers for about $400 that weld up to your frame. This is definetly the more expensive route but will improve handling far beyond the stock ability. I plan on C-notching the rear and airbagging the whole truck.

As far as moving the leaf springs from the top to the bottom of your axle I would be concerned about suspension travel. You may still need to notch your frame.

Do you have pictures of your 61? Would love to see it. I LOVE these Unibody pickups!
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2005, 05:53 PM
Triple Threat Triple Threat is offline
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Oh.. The $400 crossmember does not include the actual suspension parts. That would be above and beyond the $400. You can find mustang II in the pick and pull places and salvage there control arms, springs, rack and pinion, etc for fairly cheap 125 - 175. Then unless you were going to airbag it I would suggest investing in some drop spindles... seen them in mags for 125 a set... it can go on and on and on. Thank god I love spending money
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Threat
I am picking up my 61 Unibody this Friday and will also be lowering it. I plan on using a Mustang II front suspension instead of the stock setup. You can get the custom cross memebers for about $400 that weld up to your frame. This is definetly the more expensive route but will improve handling far beyond the stock ability. I plan on C-notching the rear and airbagging the whole truck.

As far as moving the leaf springs from the top to the bottom of your axle I would be concerned about suspension travel. You may still need to notch your frame.

Do you have pictures of your 61? Would love to see it. I LOVE these Unibody pickups!


If your gonna lay the truck full out (frame/rockers on the floor) your gonna need a step notch (at least 8" in the rear) if you just wanna go for the "dropped look" you can just go "axle over" and get a bolt in c-notch for the rear that will be able to retain the integrity of the frame but your going to need to put a hole in your bed to keep the dif from taking a beating evey time you compress the rear.


im also doing a laid out 62 uni shortbed but im going to retain the straight axle up front. I sent the axle to Dave Mann last tues and expect it back this week sometime so i will make sure to report back next week as to how that goes.If someone can tell me how to post pics ill toss some up of the step notch and four link in the rear.


other than that best of luck to both of you.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2005, 09:03 PM
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Yeah, I definetly want to go traditional/low-tech/cheap. I was looking at the drop axle, but was told that drop spindles are not made for the stock axle. I don't really want it ground scrapping low since it will be driven at that height all the time and I live in hilly Seattle. I was thinking 4" of drop in the front at most. If I have to c-notch the rear frame, then I will-no biggie there. But I think I'll move the axle first and see what I'm up against.
I don't have any pics as I haven't picked it up yet. It's not real pretty (yet), but fairly straight. The bed floor is hammered, both dents and rust so I will be putting a new floor in at some point. I was thinking if I have to create travel room for the diff, I may just raise the whole bed a couple inches to appear more stock looking in the bed.

Vegas, let me know what you think of Mann's work. How much drop did you get and how much does ask for the work? Thanks guys, I'm real excited about this, but I promised my wife I'd get my '71 Highboy closer to finished first (because parts trucks are filling up the back yard! )
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2005, 09:08 PM
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Customcab has a very good reputation on FTE.Customcab has a very good reputation on FTE.Customcab has a very good reputation on FTE.Customcab has a very good reputation on FTE.
There's an article in Classic Trucks April 05 addition on lowering the rear end using the above mention notch out system with Bell Tech; It will show you pretty good pic's and any other mention details. Unfortunatly its done on a chevy; but the techinque will apply to all...

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62 F100 LWB 292/3spd (Uni-body Big Window Gasser project)
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  #7  
Old 02-14-2005, 09:55 PM
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Yeah, I saw that. Nice Unibody on pg 54 too!
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2005, 09:42 PM
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Hey Vegas, you get that axle yet? Curious your impression. Also, how much of a drop did you go for?
One other question for anyone else. I am curious about the front axle in the truck I just bought. It seems low, but it must be stock. How much drop does the factory axle have from just a straight axle?
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2005, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comet
Hey Vegas, you get that axle yet? Curious your impression. Also, how much of a drop did you go for?
One other question for anyone else. I am curious about the front axle in the truck I just bought. It seems low, but it must be stock. How much drop does the factory axle have from just a straight axle?

havent got the axle yet but i got a email saying its on its way, shouldnt be too long seeing how they are only a 4hr drive away... but it is ups we're talking about.I went with the 4" drop. My axle from what i remember was about a 3" bend upward.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegas
My axle from what i remember was about a 3" bend upward.
Ok, that's about what mine is. So the 4" will be like a total of 7" overall I guess. What size tires you gonna run (both front and back)?
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2005, 11:24 PM
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im gonna run some little guys to keep from having to hack away too much of my innerfenders, i tried on some 205/60/15 on unique smoothies and they looked about what i want with the right clearance so that'll prob be what i run... unless i can pick up a wheel sponsor.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2005, 11:33 PM
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Cool, I'd like to see pics of it when you get done. I know the stance I want and wheels (chrome reverse), but I get worried about the right back space and tire size. I don't want to have to cut anything and I'm not sure I want to go a full 4", so I still have lots to learn before I make the leap and buy tires and wheels.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2005, 11:37 PM
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Vegas, did your axle from Mann show up yet? I think I'm going to use him too now for sure after reading a few testimonials on another website.
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2005, 11:23 AM
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ok just got the axle in yesterday (3/3)


and as mann claimed it was the first uni axle he did so it took longer than it should have. so before i sent the axle out i sat it on a table kingpin holes down and traced the outside of the holes... I got it back three weeks later 4inches taller and 2inches narrower? I called mann to see what the deal was and he said that it shouldnt make too big of a difference, and i hope that it dosent, but for now that means each wheel is going to be a inch closer to the innerfenders which concerns me because i dont want to have to do front tubs...oh well whatever. In general the workmanship looked good but i did notice some cracks in the metal where it was stretched, I dont think this is going to be too big of a issue but you never know. when i put it all back together this weekend ill report back and let you all know how it went and sits.
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:38 PM
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Wow, interesting. I'll be waiting to hear back from you. Good luck, I really hope it works out.
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Old 03-04-2005, 01:38 PM
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