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Solid Axle On a twin I Beam F100?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by few loose bolts, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    Has anyone out there considered/ actually done a conversion like this? I've got a 66 F100 so it has twin i beams. I have the front suspension from a 54. i know the widths are different but i was thinkingn that'd be a plus since i'm runnig wide wheels up front anyways. from what i've seen, solid axles are very easy to lower. just curious if anyone has tried this or how feasable y'all think it'd be. thanks
     
  2. ArizonaBill
    Joined: Aug 29, 2010
    Posts: 89

    ArizonaBill
    Member
    from Arizona

    theres a big ole crossmember in the way for this kind of swap to work

    but it could be done with enough fab work.... heck someone stuck a twin I in my 62 uni!
     
  3. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    hm... what about either re-locating or making a new crossmemeber? fab work is no problem, i have plenty of experience with metal work. i'm just thinking this would be a much cheaper option and somewhat easier than a subframe swap. i'm fine with my truck driving like a truck, i just want it sittin pretty, closer to the ground
     
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 17,923

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That sounds like you want to take a fairly decent driving truck an make a piss poor driving truck out of it. I can never understand some people's reasoning on these things.
     
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  5. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,390

    A Rodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You really cant get to low unless you use a dropped axle. using a stock axle with all but the two long leafs will have the suspension completely bottomed out against the frame. It will look good but no travel, at all.
     
  6. ArizonaBill
    Joined: Aug 29, 2010
    Posts: 89

    ArizonaBill
    Member
    from Arizona

    Z the frame before the front cab mounts!
     
  7. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,390

    A Rodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    [​IMG]

    This is using all stock components on my 64 I had.
    The front sat against the frame, all the time, the only travel was in the radials..... not good.
    The rear was relocated to the top of the springs and a nice notch was done so there was plenty of travel.

    It looks good, but to do it right would be to use a drop axle and put some spring back in it.


    On a different note, if you stick with what you have. You can go with dropped I beams, loose a coil and a half, have the beams bent to get them to realign. That would get you close to what I have in this pic.
     
  8. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    hm. was trying to see what i could do with what i have. the 64 had a solid axle so i figured it couldn't be too hard to convert
     
  9. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    ontop of that, a dropped solid axle is cheaper than dropped twin beams
     
  10. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,076

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Well there is your answer, anything will fit with enough fab, truthfully i dont think it'll be too hard, but "hard" is relative.
     
  11. ArizonaBill
    Joined: Aug 29, 2010
    Posts: 89

    ArizonaBill
    Member
    from Arizona

    cheaper is not always better... think about Zing the frame before you do anything. we did 2 inches right in front of the cab mounts on a friends truck
     
  12. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    could i see some pics of that?
     
  13. Insane 1
    Joined: Feb 13, 2005
    Posts: 903

    Insane 1
    Member
    from Ennis TX

    NO........

    God no.

    Talk about going backwards.......I hate hearing .."Well it's cheaper...." Cheaper does not mean better.

    I've done lots twin I beam trucks. My 62 unibody was straight axle, and I put 92 twin Ibeams under it. Drove and rode great.

    There is a reason why you don't see straight axels on new cars anymore, except for some 4x4's and they are starting to get away from it.

    Funny thing is, most of the crap talk about twin I beams is from people who have never even had one.......
     
  14. frankenfords
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 252

    frankenfords
    Member
    from SoCal

    As the owner of a 65 F-100, and a lover of the twin I-beam design, I say sell the 66 and get a 61-64 if you really want a straight axle slick.
     
  15. This is the way to go! Easier than swapping the straight axle, and all the little small parts are already there.

    Just cut the frame with a diaganal cut, and set it on top, and box it in. Then drop the frame horns the same way... done. You will probably need to play around with the engine mounts, and trans tunnel, and steering column. But this would still be easier than a straight axle swap.
     
  16. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,911

    RichG
    Member

    If you're looking to lower the truck, your best bet is an IFS suspension, do a search here for a Jag IFS in these trucks, pretty sweet fit.

    Aftermarket dropped Twin-I beams are spendy, swapping in a straight axle is silly, move forward, not backward.

    EDIT: check this link, read thoroughly!
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=571296
     
  17. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,076

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Truthfully the twin i beam design has some inherent handleing issuses and when it wears out it goes really sloppy, i grew up in a '67 ford p/u and my dads always been a old ford p/u man, so i have been there and played with them and HATE them, case in point, his 84 ranger that he has handles like shit due to sloppy i suspention. Straight axle is the ONLY way to go in my book
     
  18. harley man
    Joined: Jan 24, 2009
    Posts: 152

    harley man
    Member

    Go to some of the F-100 forums and seek out the crown vic conversions.Way better.
     
  19. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,294

    chaddilac
    Member

    hahahahaha

    Just clip it! run a MII and do it right... there's a reason ford switched from a straight axle to twin I beams, then to independent!!
     
  20. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 704

    slickhale
    Member
    from Phoenix

    there are zero, count em-zero advantages to putting a 54 solid axle under your truck. if you really hate the i-beams go ifs.
     
  21. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,390

    A Rodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have had a 64 as mentioned above, and two 65's lowered with dropped I beams, new springs, disc brakes, big sway bars, etc. And a stock 66.

    The 65's with the dropped beams, were exceptional in how they handled, I do believe the sway bars, front and rear, were part of the success. When I drove them, they left nothing to be desired other than the truck didn't sit quite as low as I had liked.

    For those that say they suck, if the components are in good working order, I think it is more of an opinion based on outside influence rather than on first hand experience.

    IF they are 45 year old shitbox components, well then it will drive like shit....
     
  22. few loose bolts
    Joined: Feb 10, 2011
    Posts: 50

    few loose bolts
    Member
    from US

    i did some research and i'm pretty sure i'm gonna save up for the jag set up. it's simple, easy to find, easy to install, and will ride really nice. thanks for the input
     
  23. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,759

    monsterflake
    Member

    are the truck i-beams the same as a van's? i'd like to lower the my e200, the back's a slam dunk, but getting the front down 3-4 inches would be nice...
     
  24. A Twin-I-beam Ford truck handles great. Those that do not have not been properly maintained or are just plain worn out. Some complain about inordinate front tire wear, but this too, is caused by a lack of proper maintenance and alignment.

    That Jag IFS might be an interesting swap.
     
  25. Absolutely true, but lowered TIBs have that reputation for a reason....
    Most aren't done right.
     
  26. Scorch67
    Joined: Jun 6, 2009
    Posts: 88

    Scorch67
    Member
    from Omaha, Ne

    before you do anything make it look like this, the stock crossmember will only be in the way

    2x2 suspension gone.jpg 76 rails marked and ready to cut.jpg

    I put a solid front axle in mine but it's a 4x4. You can see the frame rails are pretty simple once you surgically remove everything else.

    Dont know if you'd want to mess with 4x4 coil springs and trailing arms to suspend a drop tube axle.
    I'd think it's be best to run a dropped axle with radius arms, coil springs, panard rod and a saginaw box with front steer.

    Most of the undesirable ride and control traits present in a solid axle front suspension are coming from the leaf springs, not so much from the axle being solid or ifs. A coil sprung trailing arm solid axle front end is pretty dang smooth and accurate.
    My 77 f150 4x4 cruises 70 mph with your hands lightly rested on the wheel. I've never had a leaf sprung 4x4 ride and handle so good.

    That twin I beam front suspension does get squirrely if anything is worn but for sure it goes down any potholed rough old road way smoother than any of my chevy trucks

    I'm also with what the others have said..that crown vic setup is a really nice way to go...
     

    Attached Files:

  27. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,493

    Kenneth S
    Member

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  28. hotroddon
    Joined: Sep 22, 2007
    Posts: 12,130

    hotroddon
    Member

    Man, this is all over the place. The Crown Vics are too wide so they require weird wheel offsets, like a front driver. You say you want cheaper, then talk about a Jag IFS - not going to be cheaper. But then like was said, Cheaper isn't always better anyway.
    Don't try and Z the frame - it puts the crossmember into the oil pan when you try to bring the motor back down to it's original height, which you want to do so the tranny doesn't hit the floor and the driveline angle doesn't get screwed up.
    Just get a set of lowered I Beams and be done with it. Smartest way to lower one of those trucks and you aren't trying to re-engineer the wheel.
     
  29. dullchrome
    Joined: Jan 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,428

    dullchrome
    Member
    from SoCal

    If you have to have a lowered straight axle I will trade you truck for truck, just look in my profile.
     

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