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Mustang II chronicles, failure abounds

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ELpolacko, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. I would not use a Mustang II on a 65 F100.

    One of the things you need to pay attention to, something I have been harping on for many posts is braking loads. The MII is not up to the task to stop your 4000 pound plus truck. Not to mention how much you need to alter the suspension geometry to make it fit.

    Like your old man used to tell you, "there is an ass for every seat". He wasn't kidding around. I use Dodge Dakota based suspsenions for those applications. LUX and many others would use Camaro, Some would use Volare' or Jag suspensions. All would be much better suited to holding the 2500-3000 pounds of weight just on the front wheels and stopping that much mass. Plus the track width would match much better.
  2. Larry Will still has it. Just about ready to spray color on it from what I hear.
  3. Halfdozen
    Joined: Mar 8, 2008
    Posts: 570


    Elpolacko, nice work on the Stude. Most people probably don't realize how difficult it is to do that nice a job when welding overhead on a complete car on a hoist. Your engineering is sound and execution very good.

    Do you use HSLA for shock towers, gussets, etc.?
  4. 65f100
    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 22

    from Houston

    Polacko or any of y'all recommend a good chassis shop in Houston?
  5. Ahhh, the memories: seeing the damage; posting on the HAMB w/o names; getting the OK from his head shop guy, then Gary Heidt denying it. Posting on the HAMB with names; fighting with Gary Heidt, then the power of the HAMB coming through.

    Now, I'm famous :-/

    FWIW, the OEM M-II suspension is a copy of an earlier Cadillac suspension (late 60's) and is a good-un. Modifying it almost always proves wrong.
    The factory strut rods, and their bushings, absorb shock loads to avoid having them go to the frame. Anything else will not absorb the shock loads.
    It has been told to death about spreading the braking loads, but it is that important.
    Heidts' crossmembers can have poor penetration on the uprights, mine did. This adds to the catastrophic failure that I noted back in 2002. The cracking at the fold is a definite design flaw that should have been caught at the paper stage by any first year metallurgical student. And most HAMBers. Why do you polish connecting rods?? To eliminate stress risers. What is a folded sharp corner?? A stress riser. Duh.
    I believe that boxing would eliminate the stress of the folded corner. But Gary H. would only supply me with the plates, he would not weld them in. Probably because it would be a tacit admission of improper design.
    Sorry, Kermit (it's your car, now), I never welded those plates in, it WAS my ex's car at the time.
    BTW, When Gary ok'd the repair on my car, he did NOT authorise a new crossmember, he had plate butt-welded in to repair the cracked portions. I would love to see those now, if Kermit has driven the car any distance.

  6. No, but maybe LUX or some of the other Texas guys could.
  7. Very basic manufacturing:
    The inside radius on any bend should be no less than material thickness.
    Inside corners should have a radius.
    Anything else risks cracks developing,sooner or later.

    Anyone that doesn't understand that shouldn't be in the industry.
    I worked at a place the bent 1/2" plate with a 1/4" inside rad.
    Couldn't understand why they cracked.
    They spent a lot of time and money welding and grinding,to "repair".
    instead of using the correct tooling in the first place.
  8. I do on crossmembers that I fab here in the shop.
  9. So spot on!
  10. Great sharing of the information Steve. The better people understand the principles of what is going on, and the fixes you put in place to address them, the better off we all are.
  11. MilesM
    Joined: May 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,200


    Still sitting at Larry's in primer waiting for paint.

  12. UPDATE:

    I just received an Email from someone asking questions about strut rods and he included a scanned image of a strut rod eliminator product. This happened to be the same strut rod arrangement that was on this Studebaker Hawk and after reviewing their website I have to officially retract my previous statement about the manufacturer of the crossmember, it is not a Heidt's crossmember as I previously assumed. Although it is almost a dead on copy.

    Read the PDF, I love how they "lifted" the artwork from TCI's catalogs of the past.
  13. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Contact CMX industries (on here) or track down Hotrodpro? (also on here.) I am seeing great stuff come out of both shops.

    I agree with Polacko- MII on an f1 makes for a pain in the ass. Tooo many options to list, but I would use every last one of them before an MII.
  14. R.Brown
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 119

    from houston

    So all this means don't use a mII on a 55 - 59 chevy apache.
    I already bought a fatman for one. Haven't put it on. So What can I do beef it up or just go with a Camaro clip
  15. You can use it, if you really want to. Just box the frame, fabricate a gusset to support the frame rail against the crossmember. Mount your lower control arm in double shear, I recomend upgrading to aftermarket arms that use the Chrysler screw in ball joint. Create a double wall the spring pocket and use the Ford factory style upper pivot shaft bolts with the round heads and not the T-bolt style.

    Here is a post I did a while back concerning the problem.

    You will also want to add at least a 1" diameter anti-roll bar with 12-14" long arms to control body roll. Invest in a good set of shocks like Bilsteins.

    Also, keep your truck as light as possible. Keep a fairly small tire on the front. 195-215 size would be acceptable.

    Things you are going to have to live with. Marginal handling at best. There are about as many claims to handling prowes as there are manufacturers. I have repaired and driven many, in my best estimation all of them are just adequate, not exceptional.

    Best off, what ever you decide, be vigilante about maintenence. If you hear ANY odd noises, feel ANY wierd vibrations or anything that seems out of place for GODs sake and ours, check it out.
  16. An inside 90* corner will start cracking long before a circular corner/transition will.

    Don't some of the larger FoMoCo products have a similar and heavier duty front end?
  17. Nothing as neat and clean as the Mustang.

    The newer Explorer is interesting but not really suited to what we do. It looks more like a four wheel drive front end without the axles. Not sure about track width or parts availability.


    That's why I started using the Dakota.
  18. Buy ElPolacko's kit. No more worries. End of discussion.
  19. 65f100
    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 22

    from Houston

    I appreciate it Lux
  20. Tacson
    Joined: Jul 14, 2006
    Posts: 823



    Hey how goes it?

    I went to your website and looked around.

    1. Is there anywhere I can see pictures of the Dakota IFS installed on a 53-56 F100?

    2. If you were to say how would you rate/rank the ride quality? When I say ride quality I mean straight line down the road would your IFS ride like a Vette, Volare, MII, or Fullsize GM or Ford IFS clip?

    Thanks for the help.
  21. mattcrp1
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 401


    i ran into a guy this weekend with a 50 ford woodie that had the same failure with a mII. this seems more common than one would think on the bigger heavier cars.
  22. Here you go.

    Not a 53-56 but 61-64. The installation is really the same.



    And a picture of Scooters '55 F100. Dropped spindle, stock 4 Cylinder spring and Olds 455/TH400. F100 Scott Vaselin/


    Ride quality wise, like a Dakota. Handling is suprisingly good for a pickup. Scott's truck was amazingly nimble and smooth for a loose old truck with no anti-roll bar. My truck with it's performance low profile tires and fabricated anti-roll bar is very crisp. Corvette level, no, but no slouch either.

    Ride quality is very controled compared to a Volare' and the steering is much more connected feeling than either Mustang II or Volare' systems. I would have to slot it in with the more modern GM type suspensions but with a more direct and linear feeling steering.

    Every suspension is a comprimise somewhere. Unless of course you are willing to spend a ton of time in geometry research, shock valving, spring rates and angles, steering geometry and such. Best we can hope for is to match the donor to the intended application.
  23. Tacson
    Joined: Jul 14, 2006
    Posts: 823


    Thanks it gives me something to ponder. A guy in East Tennessee bought a crossmember kit from you and has it installed in his 56 F100 but has no road miles. He invited me to come and see the install in person. He says he believe it will be a good one. I am after Lincoln/Cadillac ride. I dont have a concern or care to be be able to corner like a Vette or sportscar. Appreciate the info again.
  24. Would you say the MII is the best match for the Falcon?

  25. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,026


    Since I have been thinking about this for a couple weeks, how do you suggest to incorporate a sway bar (anti-roll bar) into this setup. I know the Chassis Engineering sway bar I put on my 52 Sedan made a noticeable improvement in the way the car handled. Lots more stable in crosswinds, too.
  26. I have done it. Usually the anti-roll bar will go around the front of the control arms and you can attach it normally to the frame. You may have to create a tab to attach the end link to your arm.
  27. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,306

    from California

    Boxing the crossmember would be fine for aesthetics but will not provide any additional strength.

    they might do fine without it but boxing that crossmember would ad a bunch of strength.
  28. Welcome to the discussion,

    Adding a cap to the end of a crossmember such as the ones discussed here WILL NOT add any appreciable strength to the design. About the only advantage in strength is to capture the stress riser area to prevent a crack from forming because of a design or manufacturing flaw. Something that this entire post was exposing and giving you the solution to the problem.

    Please do not confuse capping the end as adding strength so much as putting a bandage on a mortal wound.
  29. slimneverdies
    Joined: Jun 14, 2008
    Posts: 34

    from Miami, Fl

    Hey Elpolacko I need a little help with my setup so I brought this topic back up. I just called heid@s about the crossmember that I bought from them to find out why my lca's wont fit. The gentelman that I spoke with told me that I would need to probably stretch the lca to make it fit over the welded inner tube. Ne said that the arms sometimes shrink when they weld them together. I told him that the control arm would be about 3/16'' too short including the washers and bushings.

    I then told him that the control arms are from a different company and of course he says "only our control arms will fit our crossmembers". So I see now where this is going so I decided to ask you.

    Could'nt I just shave down the welded inner tube to make it fit or will that change the design? Any help would be appreciated.


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