This may seem like a silly idea but i have a F1 that i wish to convert to AWD or 4x4 without raising my ride height.
I tow a boat and need a little more traction when pulling it up the boat ramp. I have decided to invest a fair bit of money into getting the old girl right rather than buying a new car as over in Australia, a new F150 will set me back the better part of $125,000 aus. (=$125,000 us at the moment) and the available Hilux, Navara's and Triton's are small utes with big bodies and seem to struggle when towing my boat (i have tried the first 2 models personally)
I really want to still be able to get the thing low to the ground at the end of it all, hence why i would prefer to avoid the 4x4 systems of the day.
I am considering getting an AWD car (like a Ford Territory- not sure if many of you are familiar with them over in the USA but they have a sub cross member for the front that looks like it could be grafted) and doing a complete graft of transmission, cross members and running gear.
I do not need AWD full time and would be happy with being able to lock up the front wheels for boat ramp application only but would prefer if i didn't have the complete solid front diff to contend with which will in effect remove any chance of lowering the truck right down.
Has anyone heard of, undertaken or know of someone i can speak to regarding this idea. I really don't want to bin the idea but if i can't find an answer then maybe will have to.
Thanks for your time and please no crap responses (i am not interested in hearing how stupid the idea is, I am already aware of how difficult and expensive it will be. I just want to technically know whether it is fiesable and if you know of anyone who can help)
The leaf spring front suspension in these old trucks makes a 4x4 conversion with a straight axle fairly simple, but it will definitely put some air underneath the truck. It'll raise the front of the truck about 4" over stock. You're going to have to go with some flavor of 4x4 IFS to avoid any lift. It's not going to be an uncomplicated swap. I think that you're correct that your best bet would probably be to start searching the salvage yards for late model AWD vehicles with a similar track width and frame width and do a graft of the front frame section onto the F-1 frame. I think you're going to blazing a new trail here. I've not heard of anyone else attempting a mod like this.
in the uk we get the sierra 4x4 (awd xr4ti basicly) and the running gear from them is good for all sorts of stuff , also, if you do a search for xr4ti v8 twin turbo, there is a guy doing an awd twin turbo v8 5.0 and he is using some odd ball stuff to make the awd, he got the front drive from some mini van i believe, it might give you some ideas, i know he is modifying a t56 to make it 4x4 and using a syclone transfer case or something.
Helpful guys! (and apperciated)
The main thing that i needed to know was that it is concievable and it seems it is.
I have spoken to the toolmaking shop down the road and seems that we should be able to make it happen (but not easily or cheap either although i knew it never would be)
Now to search the classifieds for a doner car to play with.
I have 2 good options, Ford make the territory (as mentioned earlier) that sits as an AWD cross over vehicle ad Holden (GM) make a crewman and coupe 4 which are awd versions of your new Camero. The electronics involved are reasonably basic but i hope to start with the graft and sort that out later.
I need to stay away from a solid axle as i really want to get this thing unpractically low on airbags and i figure if the choice is this or a new car then i want this.
I will keep posting but if anyone hunts across this and has any fresh ideas i would love to hear them.