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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Subframes

 
  #16  
Old 10-17-2010, 12:37 PM
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Not that it matters, but the V8 '78 MII Ghia weighed 2822# according to a couple of sources. I don't disagree that stock components shouldn't be used, but it's likely a moot point because they made very few V8's and you aren't likely to find any of them with suspension still intact.

The simplest way for Pappy to lower his truck and take care of the kingpins is to install a dropped beam axle with stock springs. Could be done in a weekend, too, with very predictable results.
 
  #17  
Old 10-17-2010, 02:33 PM
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Pappys53, I don't know what you plan on using your truck for but mine is no longer used for hauling anything that weighs close to a 1/2 ton or driven off road or on treacherous terrain. But I do like to travel (in confort) at speeds that modern traffic does, especially on the 'big roads'. I used a '76 Camaro subframe on my '56 when it was built over 10 years ago and it has served me very well. But with the choices on the market today I would probably use an aftermarket crossmember. If you don't like the MII setup there are others available like the Dakota that BBKtech mentioned, No Limit Engineering's Fat Ride, or Jim Meyers kit (Welcome to Jim Meyer Racing Products Inc.- Totally Pickup - WELD-IN FRONT-STEER IFS KITS FOR PICKUPS) to name a few.
Decisions, decisions. Good luck.
 
  #18  
Old 10-17-2010, 03:45 PM
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I drove my beam axle panel almost 2K miles across country on the interstates, most of the time at 80+ mph. It was every bit as comfortable as driving our 2008 Sierra crew cab except for the wind noise of no door weatherstripping and the slop in the ram assisted stock steering gear. My wife drove it about 1/3 the trip. You don't "need" IFS on these trucks to drive and ride well, If you want to spend the money and do the work, go for it, but it will never ride like a car.
 
  #19  
Old 10-17-2010, 08:03 PM
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With this much discussion, I'm a little surprised that the Volare hasn't been mentioned. It seems to be a popular choice in the effies. Excellent parts availablilty and it's still easy to find donors. It does require a fair bit of welding to install, but so will anything else.
 
  #20  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:18 PM
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I got a Mustang II type IFS from Streetrod Engineering in Arizona. 10,000 plus miles and very pleased with the ride and handling.
 
  #21  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AXracer View Post
but it will never ride like a car.
Very true, my 53 handles well with the 87 Town Car front clip, but it will never ride like one. Even using 88 Ranger rear springs and soft shocks, the rear is still light and rides like a truck.
 
  #22  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueOvalRage View Post
With this much discussion, I'm a little surprised that the Volare hasn't been mentioned. It seems to be a popular choice in the effies. Excellent parts availablilty and it's still easy to find donors. It does require a fair bit of welding to install, but so will anything else.
The Volare crossmember is no longer available. Gibbon's went out of business several years ago. If you can find an unused one on ebay or someplace it was a decent choice.
Personally if I HAD to have IFS the JAG would be my first choice, in fact if a complete donor came my way for a good price I'd have the front and rear IS under my truck in no time. That WOULD make it ride and handle like a sports touring sedan.
 
  #23  
Old 10-18-2010, 09:12 AM
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My '56 F-100 has an '81 Camaro Z28 front subframe. It's simple to install, takes less than a weekend if you have the know how and tools. Drops the truck pretty darn low without modifying the Camaro suspension. The Camaro sub rails are welded to the bottom of my factory F-100 frame rails for added strength. The clip has disc brakes, great suspension, and the power steering box is a front steer for plenty of clearance in the engine bay. The stock F-100 radiator core support and front sections of the stock F-100 frame rails are welded to the Camaro frame stubs so allow for proper fitment of the front fenders, radiator support, and stock front bumper bracketry.

Here's pics of my truck...


 
  #24  
Old 10-18-2010, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AXracer View Post
The Volare crossmember is no longer available. Gibbon's went out of business several years ago. If you can find an unused one on ebay or someplace it was a decent choice.
Personally if I HAD to have IFS the JAG would be my first choice, in fact if a complete donor came my way for a good price I'd have the front and rear IS under my truck in no time. That WOULD make it ride and handle like a sports touring sedan.
The crossmember you are thinking about isn't a volare. I believe you are talking about the cordoba. The volare has the transverse torsion bars. There's no buying any crossmember you use the volare's. You just notch the bottom of the F100 frame and weld the whole volare unit in place.





Originally Posted by AstroFab View Post
My '56 F-100 has an '81 Camaro Z28 front subframe. It's simple to install, takes less than a weekend if you have the know how and tools. Drops the truck pretty darn low without modifying the Camaro suspension. The Camaro sub rails are welded to the bottom of my factory F-100 frame rails for added strength. The clip has disc brakes, great suspension, and the power steering box is a front steer for plenty of clearance in the engine bay. The stock F-100 radiator core support and front sections of the stock F-100 frame rails are welded to the Camaro frame stubs so allow for proper fitment of the front fenders, radiator support, and stock front bumper bracketry.
The main problem with the camaro subframe is it's a chevy part and it requires cutting off the whole front of the F100 frame. Add to that the camaro's poor suspension geometry and the chance of the frame sagging where you connect the front subframe and it's not the best choice.

If I was going to use that style clip I'd go with an 80+ Crown vic frame clip.
 
  #25  
Old 10-18-2010, 02:33 PM
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Found this on the web a while back.

Gibbon Fiberglass Reproductions: Welcome
Gibbonfiberglass.com and some molds used by Gibbon are now owned by Gibbon Glass Cars.


They also list the Chrysler B body suspension kit. (volare is a different animal)

Frames and Suspension

I didn't call to verify whether this info is current.
 

Last edited by tuck1; 10-18-2010 at 02:43 PM. Reason: added info
  #26  
Old 10-18-2010, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueOvalRage View Post
With this much discussion, I'm a little surprised that the Volare hasn't been mentioned. It seems to be a popular choice in the effies. Excellent parts availablilty and it's still easy to find donors. It does require a fair bit of welding to install, but so will anything else.
I know I'm gonna start a bunch of krap when I say this but I'm gonna say it anyway. I'm speaking from 20 years experience in building F100's.
The Volare IFS is crap. That's why nobody is piping up about them. The ONLY reason they got popular is because they were better than the straight axle, were easy to install, gave you disc brakes and would instantly lower the truck. The steering is oversensitive, the brakes are mushy, and the ride is horrible, in comparison.
The huge steering box creates problems with exhaust, leaks out of the input shaft and if the subframe is not properly installed, will not align right, by the time you get the truck sitting right, the torsion bars are unscrewed to far and is to springy giving a lousy ride. That's why No Limit Rob came up with the caster correcting upper arms for the Volare. The best thing that ever happened to the Volare's was the introduction of dropped spindles for them. With those installed you can turn some torsion back into the bars and get it to ride alot better. The Cordoba was just as bad, the torsion bars running along the frame made it impossible to upgrade your master cylinder with a power booster because of the rear torsion bar mount. In a panel truck, the stock gas tank needed modification.
The Camaro's were my first choice for years. Tricky to install properly but if done correctly and with some thought, the truck drove awesome. Trans Am clips from the late 70's and early 80's were the best with their better steering box ratio and the big 1 1/8" sway bar.
Classic Trucks and Truck Builder both ran install articles I did in late 90's showing how to install the Camaro clips. When installed like I do it, they look like the belong there, not just hacked in with the stock Camaro mounting rails welded to the bottom of the F-100 frame rails.
Now, with the thousands of Mustang II's out there running around trouble free, it's really become the IFS to use.
If you really want a great IFS/IRS, forget Jag, use C5 Corvette. Donny McNiel's crossmember kits to install the Vette stuff in the F100's are great kits. Classic Trucks, and Truck Builder also covered me installing those into a couple of F-100 chassis in the early 2000's.
 
  #27  
Old 10-18-2010, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tuck1 View Post
Found this on the web a while back.

Gibbon Fiberglass Reproductions: Welcome
Gibbonfiberglass.com and some molds used by Gibbon are now owned by Gibbon Glass Cars.

They also list the Chrysler B body suspension kit. (volare is a different animal)

Frames and Suspension

I didn't call to verify whether this info is current.
If they are back in business, that is ~ 1 hr from me. I am up in their area a few times a year.
If anyone contacts them and want to buy something I'd be willing to ride up and check it out.
 
  #28  
Old 10-19-2010, 03:29 AM
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The Camaro's suspension geometry isn't poor. Have you ever seen a Crown Vic, Mustang II, or Volare on an autocross track? Not likely. If the Camaro conversion is done properly there will be no sagging of the frame whatsoever. As I stated in my previous post, the Camaro subframe on my truck was installed with the rear sub rails, that are over 2 feet long, are welded to the bottom of the factory F-100 frame rails from the firewall back. Alot of people hack the F-100 frame in half, and hack the Camarp sub rails off the subframe, then butt-weld the two halves together...that would allow for a weak point in the chassis. But leaving the subrails intact and not cutting or modifying the Camaro clip at all makes it much stronger than any kit you can buy or any other front clip conversion out there.

I like the Volare clips...they are easy to install, and the adjustable ride height with the Torsion Bar suspension is fun, but when you drop it down low, the suspension is very saggy and easy to bottom out when applying the brakes in a parking lot. The brakes are poor, but can be upgraded, and you can buy aftermarket drop spindles for them also. I've had to remove the factory bumpstops on a Volare Clip and fabricate new bumpstops on a customers '55 Chevy Pickup to prevent the crossmember from slamming the ground in a panic stop.

The Mustang II is the most popular IFS conversion on the planet, but requires either aftermarket control arms and a frame stub for the proper width, or if using the stock MII suspension you'll need to use the lower control arm struts to prevent the rearward control arm flex that the design is prone to. Mustang II's were LIGHT cars...so hanging a V8-powered Ford truck over a stock MII setup is likely going to put alot of stress on the Mustang II design. I like the MII, but I think it should remain under a light weigh vehicle.

The Crown Vic/Town Car conversion is also popular, but the aftermarket doesn't support the full size Ford cars like it does with the Camaro/Volare/Mustang II as far as spindles, brakes, control arms, steering boxes, etc...so you're limited to using stock replacement components instead of upgraded components...which is kind of the point of swapping the front I-beam out in the first place...to UPGRADE.
 
  #29  
Old 10-19-2010, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AstroFab View Post
Have you ever seen a Crown Vic, Mustang II, or Volare on an autocross track? Not likely.
Actually yes! Not a Volare but the Crown Vic and Mustang II. How about a Country squire wagon? It's an even heavier Crown Vic.

YouTube - Country Squire Autocross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bavQpUmJAwM

Not too shabby for a 4000 pound tank.

If you know Crown Vics there are plenty of mods you can do to make them handle and stop great.
 
  #30  
Old 10-19-2010, 07:56 AM
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wow!! i`m shocked !!! people are actually praising the crown vic front end!!!its about time!
 

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