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Projects 64 Fairlane suspension swap questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Blueroo64, Aug 1, 2014.

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  1. Blueroo64
    Joined: Aug 1, 2014
    Posts: 4

    Blueroo64

    Hey everyone, long time reader first time poster. Anyhow, I have a 64 Fairlane 500 4 door sedan I've owned since I was 12 (27 now) and the car has evolved over the years from a 170/3 speed car to a 302/T5 car.

    Now it's time for the next evolution. I'm also an autocrosser so handling is key to me. A buddy of mine has a cut up Fox body Mustang he's scrapping and we worked out a deal for me to get the front and rear suspensions for the Fairlane.

    I've done minor fabrications on it before...shoulder belt mounts, the crossmember setup for the T5, things like that.

    Never before have I attempted a fabrication project like this. I have a buddy who's a top notch welder and he does fabrication work but not for suspensions and whatnot.

    Can anyone help point me in the right direction please? I'm probably being over cautious with this but considering my life and the life of other drivers is involved, I'd like to do this once and do it right

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  2. This type of suspension is not the normal fare here although someone might read this and have some suggestions,,consider this a bttt. HRP
     
  3. Blueroo64
    Joined: Aug 1, 2014
    Posts: 4

    Blueroo64

    I understand the suspension isn't the normal fare and the car itself probably isn't either. Most in the Fairlane Club aren't into the same level of restomodding I am and nearly every Google search I've done over the years about something non-stock has led me to the H.A.M.B so I figured I'd come here for advice

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  4. I doubt you'll find anybody here who would do this. While the car is HAMB-friendly, the update isn't. Your best bet would be to check some Mustang forums as I believe I've seen this done to some early 'stangs. Won't be quite the same as your Fairlane, but should give you some guidelines.

    I'll add that there are Mustang2 conversion crossmembers for the early Fairlanes, but I've never seen a 'kit' for the late Mustang MacPherson strut bits.
     

  5. There may even be something after market for your car which would eliminate a lot of the fabricating, definitely worth a look.
     
  6. Blueroo64
    Joined: Aug 1, 2014
    Posts: 4

    Blueroo64

    I've looked into the Mustang II derived kits, the roughly $2500 price tag is a hard pill to swallow.

    The Fox body suspension update aside, can someone give me some basics on suspension swaps of this level ..making reference points, ackermann angles, etc.

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  7. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em
    Member

    I doubt you could improve anything going to the Fox setup. with minor modifications to the stock Fairlane suspension, you can run circles around most setups. The stock Mustang platform was the base for the 1965 Shelby that own lots of races (and still does) back in the 60's.
     
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  8. bolthead
    Joined: Nov 15, 2010
    Posts: 96

    bolthead
    Member

    The 62-65 Fairlane front suspension is completely different from the Mustang or Falcon suspension - its in a class by itself - probably the worst front independent suspension Ford ever did.

    The Fairlane Club of America has quite a bit of info on their website if your a club member.
     
  9. AZbent
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 269

    AZbent
    Member

    Go to elpolackos forum/social site here on the hamb. He may be your best source of info here to do what you want
    Mark.
     
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  10. DdoubleD
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 224

    DdoubleD
    Member
    from Michigan

    Check out dazecars.com or mustangsteve.com you'll get more info on sites that cater to just such mods. Both have discussion forums to help. Good luck, have fun and slash away.
     
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  11. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em
    Member

    Actually, with the exception of the upper spring perch, which the Fairlane does not have, the front suspension is basically identical to the Mustang/ Falcon front suspension. It consists of a LCA with a strut rod, an UCA with a spring mounted on top, and a spindle that will interchange with the Mustang. A Mustang/ Falcon spring perch can even be added to a slightly modified Fairlane UCA.
     
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  12. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,335

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    You want to make a road racer out of a fordor? You want to use your buddies scrap yard bound parts to do it?

    I think your heading to Nowheresville and here's why.

    1. The little Fairlane suspension was basically the same design as Mustang, Falcon, Torino, ect. ect., so it pretty much has the same design on it right now. How much of a gain will it really be?
    2. There is way more to that type of diving than front suspension. There is weight distribution, rigidity, flex, balance and how all that works together to improve handling.
    3. Driver skill cannot be overlooked. A good driver who knows his and his vehicles limitations and attributes can road race a dump truck.
    4. Builder skill should not be just in fabrication, but the true knowledge in how all this works together and what can be done to improve it. If you have to have the questions answered online and you state yourself you have little experience in this work, that tells me that the experience is just not there.

    My advice, research it. Rebuild the stock suspension to like new and use that as your baseline. Sport Coupes had anti sway both front and rear, look into what you can do to improve whats already there. It might be better than what you think.

    In early 1964 Ford and Nascar experimented with the 64 as a potential racer. Three of these cars were built I believe by Holman and Moody. Fireball Roberts was the driver and the tests proved successful although Ford kept the full size car like the Galaxie as the all the factory teams. Bobby Allison as an independent was the first to run a mid sized car in 67, it was a Chevelle.

    After the Roberts track test, the Fairlane came in second behind AJ Foyt's Monaco in a road/endurance course at Daytona.

    http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0605_1964_ford_fairlane/http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0605_1964_ford_fairlane/
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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  13. Blueroo64
    Joined: Aug 1, 2014
    Posts: 4

    Blueroo64

    The car is designed to be much more than just a road racer/autocrosser. This swap will put me into SCCA's XP Class for autocross, a class with cars such as SBF powered Miatas and LS powered RX7s, cars that with all else being equal have an advantage over the Fairlane in terms of overhang alone. More than likely the Fairlane will never win a National Solo event or even a regional. There's a guy in my chapter with a 302 powered E30, probably won't beat him either.

    I'm ok with all that. I autocross for the fun of it. My car was built to be driven. If it's on a trailer it's either broken or stolen.

    I've looked into upgrading the Fairlane's stock suspensions and while it has promise it still has inherent limitations, a key limitation being parts availability. It's far easier to get parts for a 25 year old Mustang than it is a 50 year old Fairlane.

    Then there's the greater variety of parts available for the Fox. While the Fairlane was originally offered with a 7/8" front sway bar (I've upgraded to Addco's 1" bar) to my knowledge from all the literature I've seen there never was an option for a rear bar although Quickor does/did offer a 3/4" rear bar that I believe was for a Camaro/Firebird application. Using Fox suspension front and rear I have a greater choice of sway bars and I can go with a larger than normal rear bar to reduce understeer but not flip completely to an oversteer tendency thereby keeping the car more tame on the street.

    I realize the Fox suspension isn't the "end all" solution. I realize there are better options available. And I realize my skill level most likely isn't the best suited for doing this swap alone. But isn't it things like this that built and continues to build the rodder community?

    The SBC Chevy was never intended to fit between the rails of the 32 Ford, though I've heard stories to the contrary. Drilled drum brakes weren't to become the successor to standard drums though they made quite an improvement for those who couldn't afford to go to discs. Heck even the 63-65 Fairlanes weren't designed with floor pans to accept a floor shift 4 speed so the hole was torched and a secondary hump was installed instead of going through retooling the floor pans. And when as rodders we don't know exactly what we're doing, we turn to other rodders for help.
     
  14. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,323

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Note that there is a kit i believe its a fatman kit or heidt kit that lets you use a fox body mustang components on a that year Fairlane. Jpin up on the Fairlane club of America, there are many achieves of tech articles and great info on modifying your Fairlane there. And no it is not frowned upon. There are many in the club with different suspension kits.
     
  15. 69supercj
    Joined: Apr 5, 2010
    Posts: 356

    69supercj
    Member

    I believe HM is still building '64 Fairlanes. In fact I seen a story on one a few years ago that was built for just the purpose of carving up roadcourses. I'd contact HM and see what advice they can offer you.
     
  16. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,335

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    OK
    It sounds like you are serious. In my opinion I would put that money and work into another platform, but hey that's just me. There is a neato factor about a fordor racer but keep in mind to obtain what you want, when it's all said and done, the same effort and cash could have built a tudor or coupe.

    If I sounded negative, keep in mind kids post on here with wild dreams, it's always easier to tear down than build back up. Ultimately the car and the dream wind up in the scrapyard. Do the research, gain the skills and the knowledge. To quote Davy Crockett, " Make sure you are right, then go ahead."
    Contacting HM or other race shops as suggested is really a good idea.
     
  17. rumblefish
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 77

    rumblefish
    Member
    from NE Ohio

    AJE COLT65 suspension kit.



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  18. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler
    Member

    I drove a 64 4 door for some time. The thing had enough body roll going at normal driving speeds to make you wonder who the hell designed the suspension. i can tell you this much, the rear springs are too soft. Most of them at five or six years old looked like tail draggers. I would find the largest diameter sway bars that you can stuff under it as a starting point. And remember that thing is no flyweight. A Fox body is probably lighter so the suspension would probably not be up to the task of trying to drive it like Mario Andretti. You might look for stiffer springs from a larger car that you could use too. It would take some work to get the front ones short enough to look "normal" but it might be a cheap way aroound the problem. The same applies to the rear springs. Station wagon sptings might be stiffer? Or at the verty least add some extra leaves before you start throwing money at this project.
    i do miss mine. A 260 with a 3 speed. Not the fastest thing in stock form, but today I could make it perform better than when I was a teenager.
    Good luck with your project!
     
  19. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326

    willymakeit
    Member

    Try posting on the Dog Fight Journal. Theres good info there also.
     
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,515

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    thread from August
     
  21. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,365

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    This is what you mean but with a 427FE,

    or
     
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  22. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    We ran a '62 Fairlane on the oval track back when. The suspension was crap! We ended up swapping in all the heavier parts off a '67 Mustang big-block car, made a world of difference.
     
  23. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,697

    dirt t
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    The thought I have is your skill level. Front suspension is difficult at minimum . Just swapping parts may improve your performance but to be completive go to a suspension guru. I used to have a sign in my shop "Speed costs money how fast do you want to go" At least talk to the experts.
     
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