I have a 1956 ford f100 with the original front suspension. I found a 1976-1980 Plymouth Volare front end at a salvage yard for $125.00. What are some things to check for before pulling the parts. Tim.
If you have really good welding and fab skills this is one method, there is a lot more to it than pics will ever tell you. Check that cross member out scrape off the grease and grime and check it for rust out! When searching for mine I found this to be a problem. Check around the shock towers, I see you live in the salt belt! There a 2 different members 1 for 6 's and one for 8's. I used a 6 cylinder member not as beefy as the v-8, I'am running a 302 automatic, Iam gonna say a slant 6 with and auto tranny is gonna almost equal the weight of a small block Ford w/ auto. There are more folks on this site with more insight. IF you are really dead set on this set up yes its nice I have had mine on the road for 8 yrs. without a problem. Check with Mid -Fifty at one time they sold a how to video I used that video as my guide, sorry I no longer have it. Check out Bobs f-100 too he did many of these swaps. Good Luck and have fun!
something you might want to consider.. the cost of rebuilding the Volare suspension to get it road worthy again... all the parts can run you several hundred bucks and some of the bushings are scarce as horse feathers. Don't know your wrenching level or tool collection, but if you have to pay to have it done for you...add that to the total cost.
You might want to consider another ifs like a Mustang II if you're going to put several hundred in getting a 40 year old suspension right again. You don't have to buy the full blown, polished and chromed, bagged Heidt's SuperrideII system. You can buy the crossmember... for less than Volare parts..,. then next month buy the tricked out tubular a-arms...... and so on... you can also use the stock mustang parts to assemble the ifs... although I'd tell you not to use the original crossmember...it's the weakest link.
Lots of folks use the volares because of the infinitely adjustable torsion bars... thinking it's an easy lowering solution... but the lower you go, the worse it rides and you have to deal with bump steer and bottoming out..which isn't a good way to treat your truck or yourself. the problems I had with it were clearance for headers and linkage... it has a big ole honkin steering box that takes up a lot of your space on the drivers side of the engine compartment. SBF users don't have the same issues that the BBF owners have... not that it is impossible, but it requires some 'adjustments" to say the least. Engine mounts will have to be fabricated pretty much from scratch...but still doable. I've ridden and driven a couple of Volare trucks and the ride is sweet... like riding on your living room sofa... but will you be able to find parts 5-6 years down the road... ???
Just some food for thought... there is lots of archived info if you search on VOLARE or IFS or FRONT SUSPENSION . The article mentioned above is an excellent source for comparison on whats available and what some of our members have done
here's a couple of articles that might be helpful....depending on your choice of engine and level of darkness hoped for..... you might find something a little prettier than the Volare... while it does have a sweet ride, it is an ugly step sister..
Bob ,thanks for the information. I am a machine builder and have the welding and fabricating skills to finish the job. The V-8 front end seems to be the way to go if given the choice before buying the front end. The costs should be about the same. John ,the sites you added to you note were real helpful. Living in Michigan the rust factor may be a real issue, I hope to find one still in one piece. Thanks for the reply. Tim
Let me add my 2 cents worth. I have a volare ifs under my 56. I am running a 472 Cadillac engine.The engine weighs more than a smallblock Chevy but less than a bigblock Chevy.I installed the suspension using the "storebought" pattern that a lot of people use.My truck is lower in the front than I would like.Currently I have no front bumper on the truck and have cut 2" off the frame rails to move the bumper back closer to the pan when reinstalled. My rails are 7 inches from the pavement at the front end of the rail.I love the ride and handling , but if I use a volare ifs again I would mount it differently to raise the the truck a couple of inches.I agree that the talk about volare ifs being adjustable is misleading because if you try raising or lowering it the ride and handling suffers badly.Hope you find a setup you will be happy with.