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Technical 1946 Super Deluxe Front Suspension Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by billy_badass1979, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. So here's the short of it fellows. I'm building with my son a 46 Ford coupe and I have the metal,body, and electrical work down but need some advice on the front suspension. It currently has the original suspension which is missing drivers side backing plate,hub, and all brake internals for both sides. The shackles are shot and the steering arm is rusted through and broken in 2. My wife wants to make sure the car will be a safe ride because of all he has gone through and I get it. Budget wise I have set aside 2,000 for either a complete rebuild for the front suspension,brakes, and rear end. My question is would it be in my best interest to rebuild original or just upgrade to newer suspension and put in another rear end. This will be his first classic and will be his 8 year remission gift so understand where I'm more worried about driving safety and reliability. I have the original running flathead and 3speed also. Thanks for the help

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  2. BTW its his cancer remission gift so that's why safety and reliability #1

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  3. About 25 years ago I was riding with my buddy, Tim in his 48 ford coupe. We were doing about 65 and went across a pair of train tracks....the coupe went thump-thump with no drama at all. I asked Tim which company he bought the Mustang front end from and he laughed...said everything under his car was stock except for a dropped axle. It braked as well as it steered....
    I'd go with the original stuff except for 1948 tube shocks and mount brackets..
     
    deucemac and billy_badass1979 like this.
  4. From most of the reading I have done online I find the stock suspension to be really good just wanted to hear it from real car guys. Ones who build what they ride so I can hear it straight. Do you know who sells quality repo parts, I have heard some negative reviews about the brake cylinders from speedway and want to know if that's true or where does everyone buy from

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  5. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 926

    Torchie
    Member

    Agree with Rocky. Stock front suspension works just fine. It seems to be hit and miss in regards to new brake Cylinders.
    I got all of my brake parts from Van Pelt and had no issue with any of them.
    You might also look at using F-1 Backing plates.Drums and internals. As well as F-100.
    I believe they are a bolt up to the stock spindles but are a Bendix style system.Plus parts seem to be cheaper.
    Do a search on here in regards to the F-1 Brakes.
    Torchie
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  6. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 926

    Torchie
    Member

  7. This seems like the best plans, how do you feel about the rest of the suspension and steering. It currently has friction shocks that still seem really good and my steering box is good (no play) but steering linkage etc. shot from laying on gravel over time.

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  8. And would a stock dual master cylinder for f100 work best and mount on stock location or am I looking to Fab up a mount. I have the plasma and welder ready to go anytime so that's no biggie

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  9. brake1000
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 7

    brake1000
    Member
    from ID

    mtcarproducts sell's complete brake kits for your 46. Check out Ford Barn web site lot's of info on your Ford
     
  10. Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  11. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 926

    Torchie
    Member

    I would go with the tube shock conversion. I personally think that they help with front end stability. Stock steering box is fine as long as it is tight with out play. There are a number of different sources for the steering linkage.
    When I did mine I replaced all the components such as Shackles. Shackle bushings and studs. Tie rod ends, etc.
    I also checked my spring pack carefully for any cracked springs.
    Better safe then sorry.
    Torchie
     
  12. Thanks for all the great info so far guys. I really appreciate it and so far am leaning to rebuilding front suspension and upgrading brakes to f1. I'm going to purchase all new lines as these look iffy at best. Will also check out Ford barn.

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  13. Really like your brake setup, simply but functional.


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  14. RICK R 44
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 414

    RICK R 44
    Member

    Since you have to buy a bunch of brake parts, no would be a good time to convert to Discs on the front. Lots of kits available for Ford axles.
     
  15. I installed an axle I had dropped in my 46. New shackles, new Posi spring, new king pins, I reused the wheel bearings as the were fine. New bakes and rubber hoses, and I have yet to upgrade to tube shocks. If you go this route, a dropped axle will run 2-300, spring I think was 150.00, Posi shackles were around 50.00, brake shoes are about 100.00 per axle (although I buy liners and reline my own), wheel cylinders are about 50.00 a pop, hoses about 20.00 per side, and the springs are cheap and easy. Hopefully you have the shoe retainer hardware. And if your drums are good have them turned. If not, you can get new drums at about 100.00 per pop.

    This is what I did. You will have to modify your steering arms for the dropped axle, and I revers tapered the drag link hole on the steering arm so the drag link now goes into the spindle from the bottom instead of the top, for clearance. I had a friend make a custom made drag link for the new height and that takes regular tie rod ends. I also had to shorten the pan arm bar about 1/2". My car now sits pretty low and still rides, turns and drives great. The brakes are fine, especially for a flathead powered car.

    13ABF273-24E2-4592-8E48-7EF531794DC2.jpeg 26705902-00CE-4830-AC19-215F8F8CE8F3.jpeg D0E6AA26-26A4-48DC-B8F6-B2B15CA3A1B1.jpeg
     
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  16. I'm digging the rake and ride height. Man o man, it gave me goosebumps

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  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,753

    Gman0046
    Member

    My 46 Ford convertible with a 4 "dropped axle, 11" disc brakes and GM 605 power steering drove better then any car I've owned with a Mustang ll suspension. Believe it was a detriment when I tried to sell it but the first guy who drove it bought it.
     
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  18. 48ford
    Joined: Dec 15, 2001
    Posts: 389

    48ford
    Member

    If he needs power steering, I used a bracket from speedway and a GM power steering box
    Put it together in 2001, it's still good and tight
    Rides good to.
    Converted to disc brakes with a kit from speedway
     
  19. Where you able to use the factory column with the 605 power steering box. I'm not familiar at all how to convert to power steering and keep the traditional column if possible


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  20. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,753

    Gman0046
    Member

    Billy, I did not use the original steering column. Used an IDIDIT column.
     
  21. Ok guys here's a update. Let me know if this setup sounds about right or what should I change. I'm going to send me axle to Sid's for a 4 in drop with matching steering arms. Also ordering super slide spring and extended shackles. While I'm at it I'm going to order the disc conversion kit with dual master cylinder for front disks, rear drums. Ordering new brake lines complete front to back. What else would I need for the front end to run smooth and to complete front. Would I need to split the wishbone for the factory flathead or will the new ride height still give the suspension travel needed. Thanks guys for all the help so far

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  22. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,753

    Gman0046
    Member

    I split the wishbones on my 46 Ford convertible a 350/350 combo and Chassis Engineering parallel leafs and a Chevy 10 bolt rear end.
     
    billy_badass1979 likes this.
  23. Keeping the stock motor right now since it's running and that's what I got. Eventually will drop another motor but hoping for a 312 y block

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  24. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 1,013

    Fordors
    Member

    Billy, I apologize in advance if I missed it, where are you located?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  25. Zip code 78593 deep deep deep South Texas. About a hour west of South Padre Island,Tx

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  26. If any winter Texans drop me a line, I would love to pick your brains about the good ol days

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  27. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 4,268

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    I would vote against ordering brake hard lines, make your own to fit nice and neat. Premade hard lines never fit and by the time they do you will have cut, re-bent, shortened, lengthened, cussed at till your blue in the face wishing you had listened to me!
     
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  28. Ritzy1
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 169

    Ritzy1
    Member

    Billy, shouldn't need to split the wishbones with the flathead and original tranny. For your budget, you'll need to use as much stock stuff as you can, like Chris did. If you haven't contacted Posies yet, pick up the phone and give them a call. Tell them what you're doing and they'll get you the right stuff. They also have a rear spring you could use with the stock axle to drop the rear 2-1/2". For safety sake, you'll at least need to rebuild your original rear brakes too. Doesn't take long to go through $2K!
     
  29. Shorter shocks if you are running tubes shocks. Also, have Sid install new king pins if he has not already. If you damage your perch bolts getting them out, I think I have a couple pairs of nice ones
     

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