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

Front Clip Madness!

 
  #1  
Old 05-14-2005, 06:47 PM
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Smile Front Clip Madness!

Greetings, smart ones, from a lost soul in the G.W. North.

I'm giving myself a stress headache trying to upgrade the front suspension on my '60 Merc M-100. After scrounging and bugging every place from the Super hi perf shops to the lowest of dirt junkyards, I think I've finally found a couple of donors for a Mustang 11 clip.
After reading and re-reading the front end articles, I've changed my mind about 16 times as to which would be the best fit for me. The Volare or the Aerostar also seem like good swaps, but I hope to be able to bug you guys & gals for tech assistance, and the Mustang is very popular.

Anyways, to my current questions: Does anyone know if there is a difference in suspension between the cars stocked with a 4 cylinder engine compared to a 6 or 8? Is a Mercury Bobcat (Pinto) a suitable donor? Does anyone know if there is a bigger Ford stock brake disc to fit on the clip that has a bolt pattern to take my stock rims?

Thanks for any input whatsoever, I really need all the help I can get! I will post some pics soon of this beauty.


Mike
 
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:16 AM
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Mike,

As far as I remember there is no difference in the 4 and 6 cylinder suspensions under 74-80 Pintos and 74-78 Mustang IIs. The Mustang II V8 might have had heavier coil springs, but I cannot verify that. The Mercury Bobcat from 74-80 is the same suspension. Stay away from the early Pintos (71-73) since that was a lighter duty suspension. I know of no 5 on 5.5 rotors that will bolt to a Mustang II/Pinto spindle. You may have to go with a kit on that and use the 5 on 4.5 Grenada rotors.

Vern
 
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:27 PM
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Thanks, Vern for the info. I'm on my way right now to buy a Bobcat station wagon! I hope it's all as easy as it seems (yeah right!).
 
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo Child
Thanks, Vern for the info. I'm on my way right now to buy a Bobcat station wagon! I hope it's all as easy as it seems (yeah right!).
Just remember that all you want are the front suspension components, not the crossmember itself since it is too narrow for a truck. You will have to purchase an aftermarket MII type crossmember made especially for your truck so that your frame rails will fit between the the A-frame towers. If the Bobcat is a V6 it will probably also have an eight inch rear. The housing will be too narrow for your truck but you can re-sell the differential. If it does have an 8 inch rear even with the 4 lug pattern the 5 lug axles will fit. I used a 76 Pinto 8 inch and bolted it into a 73 Maverick housing under a 29 Ford.

Vern
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:30 PM
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Like some kind of abnormal part of Frankenstein, the Bobcat slips and reappears in and out of my grasp.... it's for sale...its sold...its for sale again, but its raining so.....
Meanwhile the boys at Macgyvers are dangling beautiful new component$ in front of my eyes...
Hotrods are about the 'mother of invention' being an obsession are they not? The Bobcat awaits...
Mike
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:51 AM
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Mike,

I haven't priced MII suspension components lately, but unless you can get the Bobcat really cheap you might be better off locating the suspension components elsewhere. Ebay is a good place to look. All you would be using from the car is the upper and lower control arms and spindles. You would probably want a new or rebuilt rack and pinion (although you could use the old one for a core if the parts house requires one), heavier coil springs, new tie rod ends, and bigger rotors with new or rebuilt calipers.

Vern
 

Last edited by GreatNorthWoods; 05-19-2005 at 06:54 AM.
  #7  
Old 05-19-2005, 08:37 AM
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I used the Volare in my 53. If I were starting now I would do the MII. Joe
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:07 AM
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IMHO M II components are too light for the weight of a truck with a V-8. They were designed for a car with a weight of <2400#. Yes, they are popular because of availability of inexpensive donor parts, but I'd go with something heavier: Cordoba, Volare, Aerostar or full aftermarket would be my choices in order of preference.
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:21 AM
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Question

I have to agree with Chuck, the MII just seems 'way too light for these b/a trucks, I know a lot of guys are using them but from a pure numbers standpoint they just don't add up, just look at the engine placement and weight on a Pinto/Bobcat versus an Effie. This is MHO of course.
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:46 AM
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Voodoo -

For what it is worth, My 56 came with a Fat Man Stage 1 MII IFS. This is the kit with stock (stamped sheet metal) upper A-arms, Lower "levers" and rod struts back to the frame rail. The PO installed it 11 years (75k miles) ago. My first impression of it was what Chuck and Tim said: looks a little light for a truck. Mind you, I like the simplicity of it a lot and the only stock parts are the A-arms, spindles and rack. The cross member is plenty beefy.

That said, mine is shot. The bushings are worn loose, the tie rods ends rattle and there is some bump steer in it. Now, I don't really know what the PO did with the truck, but i suspect he wasn't very gentle with it. The rear springs and shocks were all broken in it when I bought it. So that might explain why all the wear in the front.

I plan on going to power steering soon (new rack) and replacing all the rubber bushings with urethane. The current wear just pushes that job to the top of my list.

However, If I were to build another truck, I might use the MII IFS, but i would use the aftermarket heavy duty tubular upper and lower A-arm style and urethane bushings. The Aerostar or Volare would be the other suspensions that would get my vote here, since they are pretty stout and designed for something closer to the F100 in weight.

My .02
 
  #11  
Old 05-19-2005, 10:11 AM
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The M11 is popular with the earlier, skinnier frame crowd, because it used to be cheap. As you have found out, It ain't cheap no more. I went the exact same route as you, Mcgyvers, the whole bit. They are the cheapest for us, BTW, they manufacture in Saskatoon.

But I saw a M11 under a '46 Chebby 1/2 ton and it looked WAyyyy too light for a truck application to me. Plus , I had a Pinto, and , yes there is a BIG difference in V8 springs to stock Pinto springs, I put M11 v8 springs in my Pinto as a precurser to installing a V8 that I never got around to doing. I cut a full coil off them and the car was still lifted in the front by a good 3-4" with the stock 4 cyl. in the engine bay.

Remember, because you have the wider frame , you need extended steering arms as well as the wider cross member for your truck if you go that route.

I have a '64 and a '63, which are essentially the same frame as your '60
One has a Volare clip and the other has an Aerostar. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, the Volare 'wallows' a bit and bump steers a bit, and the Aerostar I have never had running yet, but they are hard to drop into the weeds, if that's your desire.

What wheelbase truck have you got ?, because if it's a shorty with the 114" WB one of the best setups I have experienced is the use of a Mercury marquis/ Ford crown vic frame swap, where you move the truck body to a car frame. The dang thing handled like it was on rails!!! My short Uni will get this treatment eventually, once I finish the other one with the Aerostar front end
I am in Alberta too, Lethbridge. If you need anything, I can shoot you some pics.

RF
 

Last edited by Ringo Fonebone; 05-19-2005 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:47 AM
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I am certainly not as experienced as you two and am certainly not qualified in any way to judge this. I have used a MII in my 46 Ford cpe. for 7 years, that is my experience. I do know that the motor in my 53 sets a lot farther to the rear of the centerline of the front wheels that it does in a MII. That has to improve strength to weight ratio. I do have a friend who also has a 53F100 with a MII. Been in 4 years and is driven often and hard. He considers it a successful modification. I do not like the Volare crossmember after installation and would not use it again. Just my opinion. Joe
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:33 AM
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RJ:
I'd give a strong recommendation to replacing the bushings with stock rubber rather than the Urathane. The Urathane is much less compliant than rubber, is much more costly and will harshen up the ride considerably and consequently be much harder on the metal parts for little to no real benefit unless you plan on road racing (NOT street racing ). Converting to the tubular true A arms would be much more cost vs improvement effective.
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:42 PM
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Wow!!
This is great guys! It's just the sort of feedback I was looking for. it really seems as though there are many pros and cons to each set-up. I've been talking to the guys at MacGyvers here and i will likely go with their crossmember kit for the M11 and overhaul the Bobcat clip and get Granada(?) rotors for it. My choice is simply based on the upgrades that exist for the M11. If the stock set-up isn't strong enough, I'll be able to beef it up.
The Merc is a pretty truck but far from a show vehicle. My boy and me just want a cool driver for the weekends and such. The low look is nasty, but not very practical in the land of frost heaves, train tracks and car swallowing potholes. It is my goal to learn as much about building a street rod as I can, with more and better in the future.

Of course that won't happen until I sell the truck for a huge profit! (Haaaahaaaahooo heeee! ow my ribs hurt.)

Thanks again!

Mike
 
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:29 AM
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Mike, if I remember right, the MII gets you a 2-3" drop on the front end right off the shelf, so you are gonna have a heck of a rake on the back end unless you get or make some lowering shackles, anyway.

the car frame option does drop the truck quite a bit, but it rides like a Crown Vic! If you use a cop car frame it rides like an RCMP cruiser.. they make it over potholes no problem! heheh

There's some local guy I've seen once or twice with a short, white, 59 or 60 Merc, but he's always going the other way when I cruise by him, never got to speak to him. The guy who did my welding for me has a '57 shortbox dropped with a Volare clip, C'd frame and a 428.. it's one cool truck too. Those old Fridges can be really nice...it's blue and looks something like this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...ube/F-1003.jpg

Best o' luck, I wanna see it when it's done!
RF
 
 
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