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

1956 F100 / C4 Vette suspension

 
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:29 AM
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1956 F100 / C4 Vette suspension

Any one ever use C4 corvette suspension under a F100? I was looking at the kit from Flat Out Engineering and thought it would be pretty neat under one of these trucks. Anyone ever use this kit? What did you think? I already have the parts from a donor car (1989) and just need the cross members and coil overs. Oh and don't worry the engine and trans will be all Ford, I have a 4.6 DOHC from a Mark VIII that I plan on using.
 
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:34 AM
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Yes, I have installed a few of them in fact I believe that there are still a couple of photos in my gallery of a 56 that has the F/O C4 crossmember installed. That truck also has a F/O rear kit installed with mods for Shockwaves.
Don McNeal makes a nice kit, much nicer than trying to incorporate the OEM crossmember into an F100 frame. I have but one word of caution....be sure about your clearances BEFORE you begin. The C4 rack and pinion sits high, well above the level of the crossmember. In the stock Corvette configuration this is not a problem because the Vette engine sits way back in the chassis. So far back in fact that the harmonic balancer is completely behind the rack and pinion. The lines from the power steering pump point UP on the rack and pinion so if you decide to mount your engine above the R&P be sure to account for these lines. You can rotate the R&P housing to move the lines 90 degrees but that is another issue. The upper A-arms on my 56 gave me some clearance issues as well, of course I was running a BBF 460 engine but your 4.6 won't be much better due to how wide that engine is across the heads. I feel that the C4 IFS/IRS is a hot setup in these trucks, makes them handle like a slot car...just be aware of the engine mounting issues before you begin.
 
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:17 PM
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Craftsman, this old post maybe of some value to you as well

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/8...in-a-53-a.html
 
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:31 PM
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I've done a few of those too.
Classic Trucks and Truck Builder both ran articles of the installs I did with Donny's kits.
He has a rack with the ports pointed forward now so you don't have the rack line/oil pan clearence problems anymore.
One of the installs I did, the guy has put over 80,000 miles on the truck and still loves the Corvette suspension.
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:47 AM
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Gary, There is a 53 F100 featured in this months Custom Classic Trucks magazine with the C4 suspension front and rear with a Ford 302 engine. It said he won his class at a street rod meet with his time in the road course competion ( You know the one with the cones). I too have been wondering about the cost and road handling advantage of the C4 setup as opposed to the more popular Mustang II and Jaguar suspension. Any body have any idea of what a fair price for the C4 suspension would be from a salvage yard?
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:16 PM
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I just sold an early C4 IFS at the Long Beach Swap Meet for $350. There is a difference between the early and late C4 IFS...the width of the mounting bolts for the upper A-arm is different and that is the easiest way to spot and early or late IFS. If you are serious about the C4 IFS then I would suggest that you start scanning the CL ads and buy the components to build one. A-arms and spindles are easy to find. R&P units can be bought remanufactured without a core. Hubs and rotors are usually shot and need to be replaced anyway so why not buy new ones right off. Most people junk the carbon fiber leaf spring in favor of coilovers so why buy it with a complete IFS. I rebuild my IFSs with polyurethane bushings, the kits are relatively inexpensive and since all used IFS need new bushings/tie rod ends why not start fresh. I got a little crazy with the last one I built but here is what the IFS/IRS can look like with a little elbow grease...
 
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlieLed View Post
Yes, I have installed a few of them in fact I believe that there are still a couple of photos in my gallery of a 56 that has the F/O C4 crossmember installed. That truck also has a F/O rear kit installed with mods for Shockwaves.
Don McNeal makes a nice kit, much nicer than trying to incorporate the OEM crossmember into an F100 frame. I have but one word of caution....be sure about your clearances BEFORE you begin. The C4 rack and pinion sits high, well above the level of the crossmember. In the stock Corvette configuration this is not a problem because the Vette engine sits way back in the chassis. So far back in fact that the harmonic balancer is completely behind the rack and pinion. The lines from the power steering pump point UP on the rack and pinion so if you decide to mount your engine above the R&P be sure to account for these lines. You can rotate the R&P housing to move the lines 90 degrees but that is another issue. The upper A-arms on my 56 gave me some clearance issues as well, of course I was running a BBF 460 engine but your 4.6 won't be much better due to how wide that engine is across the heads. I feel that the C4 IFS/IRS is a hot setup in these trucks, makes them handle like a slot car...just be aware of the engine mounting issues before you begin.

Chuck,

This is the 84 C4 that a friend installed in his 53. It used all the stock components including the cross member and factory shocks. He won a GOODGUYS autocross with it.



I think he rotated his rack for clearance of the 302 Oil pan. I bought a 88' C4 IFS which is an inch wider than the 84-87 and requires at least 16" inch tires. On the hunt for someone to install it and torn between running coilovers or running stock shocks like my friend did here. I rode in his one time and love it. The ride height is good to.
Nashville Top Ten .JPG Photo 1

I will keep you posted on progess.

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:51 PM
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That looks to be a sweet installation. The right-most R&P hydraulic fitting is in the stock location, the one under the pan is probably stock with perhaps an elbow fitting. If the center section of the R&P was rotated (common practice to point the fittings forward vice up) then both fittings would be oriented forward. Using the OEM crossmember will facilitate the use of the stock carbon fiber leaf spring...as for performance however most Vette guys are swapping those springs out for coilovers. The cost is definitely less when using the OEM crossmember and if you opt for the stock carbon fiber leaf setup now, you can always switch over to the coilovers later. There are a couple of variations in the CF leafs...one for the stock Vette and another for the ZR1. If you can find the stiffer leaf it would probably work much better on a truck with a higher center of gravity. The anti-sway bar on the ZR1 is also much beefier.

That guy did a nice job fitting the 302 with the rear sump pan in over the IFS, lots more clearance than the 460 I was running!
 
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlieLed View Post
That looks to be a sweet installation. The right-most R&P hydraulic fitting is in the stock location, the one under the pan is probably stock with perhaps an elbow fitting. If the center section of the R&P was rotated (common practice to point the fittings forward vice up) then both fittings would be oriented forward. Using the OEM crossmember will facilitate the use of the stock carbon fiber leaf spring...as for performance however most Vette guys are swapping those springs out for coilovers. The cost is definitely less when using the OEM crossmember and if you opt for the stock carbon fiber leaf setup now, you can always switch over to the coilovers later. There are a couple of variations in the CF leafs...one for the stock Vette and another for the ZR1. If you can find the stiffer leaf it would probably work much better on a truck with a higher center of gravity. The anti-sway bar on the ZR1 is also much beefier.

That guy did a nice job fitting the 302 with the rear sump pan in over the IFS, lots more clearance than the 460 I was running!

Chuck,
I always thought a Vette IFS would have a firm, tight ride. I rode in this one out on I-40 as my friend lives in Mt Juliet not far from Lebanon. Truck rode good. Like most guys here Im building to/on a budget and I want ease of locating replacement parts. The stock crossmember in this one with stock style shocks and the stock transverse spring impressed me. I dont want to take a curve at 90. I tend to want to "float" nice and easy down I-40 toward Pigeon Forge. To your point if I wanted performance I would say coilovers would be a no brainer. I dont want anything more than the handling built into the OE system. If anything I would want to enhance the ride quality. I will keep you posted. I picked up a 88' model IFS for a real good price at a scrap yard in Lebanon.

Another local 56' running the stock suspension including crossmember. The IFS is from a 96' the last year of the C4 platform and just like the 88' dimensionally.

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Here you see Mark's 53 sits pretty good
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Here the two side by side sorta separated by a 56' with a No Limit Frame.

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:16 PM
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More investigative work today on Corvette Suspension possibilities

Here is the car I got a complete IFS from, 88 Convertible:

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Here are photos of a project a friend is finishing up installing 85 Corvette C4 IFS.

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Here is another friends finished F100 project using 84 C4 Front and 82 C3 Rear:

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Custom made shock mount.

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A question for the suspension gurus here. Will a coilover shock ride noticeably better than a mid grade to high quality gas shock like a Blistein in this application. The finished project ran stock gas shocks and the project being completed is possibly going coilovers. Im just curious. My desire is more focus on ride quality versus handling quality. Thanks
 
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:27 PM
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The correct shock valved to match the spring stiffness will not harm the ride. Only missmatched, too stiff or too soft, shocks no matter if gas or not (most high quality shocks are gas) will affect it. Most any high quality shock, Koni, Bilstein, Penski, Afco etc can be converted to coilovers, coilovers are just shocks with concentric spring mounts added. Best would be double adjustable shocks with custom valving, next best would be rebound adjustable. I'd highly suggest Koni single or double adjustables as the best bang for the buck. Call Lee Grimes at Koni North America customer service and take his advice, he knows his sh** and won't steer you wrong!
 
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:07 PM
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Question '64 F100 with C4 Corvette Suspension

New guy to this site. I have just completed installing the IFS out of a 1988 Corvette using the Flatout Kit. Install went great with lots of advice and help from Don McNeil. I will be installing the IRS rear as soon as I get my motor and transmission mocked up. My question is what motor mounts and headers can I use for my application. I am putting in a 460 with a C6 tranny. I'd like to mount the motor as far back and as low as possible without cutting too much of the firewall out. I have already determined I will need to change to a rear sump oil pan on the motor. I think the frame width is identical to the 53-56 F100. Anyone have any advice?
 
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:13 PM
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Donald,
How are you mating the transmission yoke from your Ford motor/tranny to the front of the aluminum corvette driveline? Did you have to have a new complete driveline built? I'm in the process of installing the '88 C4 suspensions in my '64 F100. Thanks,
Doug
 
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:42 PM
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You'll just have to buy some weld in engine mounts and ha g the engine in the bay and get it where it needs to be to tax the new mounts in place. Really should not have to cut the firewall at all.

For the drive line. If you don't have a driveshaft already you'll have to have one made. Use the Google and look for Denny driveshaft. Everything you need to have one made is right there.
 
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:34 PM
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I have the same set up in my '53. Make sure the cab is in place before mocking up the motor. Ended up moving my motor forward about 3", not impressed. I used whatever I had around the house to hold the motor up while making some motor mounts up. You will also need to look at drive line/ pinion angles as well.
 

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