Front Suspension Alternatives for 1948 – 1960 Ford Trucks, Part Ten
AMC Pacer IFS alternative
The AMC Pacer alternative has been used to a small degree for a long time. Never really mainstream it is even less popular now. In many respects it is identical in basic principals and appearance to the Volare IFS set up. That is, the entire IFS unit is bolted into the Pacer and is removed in very much the same way as the Volare, including having to remove an upper A-arm to get it off the donor. This is not a big deal. Good coverage is found here, although it is found on a brand x truck. http://www.50chevy.freeservers.com/Pacer_IFS.html#Pacer (thanks, Joe).
- Inexpensive donors (1975 through 1980 AMC Pacers) can be found in wrecking yards.
- Comes with manual or power rack and pinion steering and 11inch disk brakes.
- Has the "small Ford" bolt pattern – 5 X 4ï¿½"
- Chassis Engineering offers a kit with mounting brackets to assist in installation
- Near perfect dimensions for ’48 to ’52 Ford F-1s. Too narrow for 1953 and up.
- If you are of average capability, it can be done cheaply (comparable to the Volare)
- Less than 400,000 Pacers were built and only from 1975 to 1980. Donors are getting pretty old.
- Less than 5,000 were built with V-8s. You may need to play with custom springs to get a good ride.
- Choose a unit with a good power rack and pinion unit. They are prone to leakage and you must provide your own unit as a core for rebuilding. No one rebuilds the manual rack and pinion units commercially.
- Although instructions in Chassis Engineering’s kit are sparse, this is not a complex undertaking.
- Very little assistance is available on the web. Only 2 user write ups appear to be available at present and one magazine write up "Classic Trucks" Spring 1992 issue. Not many, if anybody is using it these days.
- How much longer will repair parts be available for the Pacer?
- Frame needs to be notched to "slam" the front end. Need to get custom front coils to lower even more.
Expertise level – 3
Installation time – Comparable to the Volare
If you were to pursue this alternative, it would probably be worthwhile to buy No Limit Engineering’s Volare installation video. This set up and its installation are so similar to the Volare that it would greatly help you understand what you need to do and how to do it. The Pacer IFS even requires the 4 degrees of positive caster that the Volare does.