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Old February 16th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #1
jdinvt
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Default ford style beam front end

I have been pokeing around trying to find out more info on how to install an old ford style beam front end and if its worth it but cant seem to find any info, if there is anybody that knows could you please point me in the right direction and to some pics as well, thanks.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

PDF's available for download here:

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/SoCaLo...Kits,4040.html
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Mine is a NEWER speedway kit, it went well the only problem I have is the shocks. They are for streetrod with a engine in the front so, when the shocks are on it is stiff. I am working on changing them. Other that that it is very cool and handles well..

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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Originally Posted by Thunder938 View Post
Mine is a NEWER speedway kit, it went well the only problem I have is the shocks. They are for streetrod with a engine in the front so, when the shocks are on it is stiff. I am working on changing them. Other that that it is very cool and handles well..


Lay them over, on more of an angle.
They will react softer.

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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

you really cant move the pick up points, the easy way would be soft shock. I have been looking at a pit bike shock that you can adjust by adding air and running them with no coilover.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Those shock will probably be a lot softer,
if you mount them upside down.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 06:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Are the shocks gas charged? Regular old hydraulic tube shocks would be better than gas charged.

If you can adapt some Armstrong lever shocks like used on back of MG or other English sports cars, you can make them less effective by using thinner shock oil or longer shock arm. They look good on older style cars. Aluminum body can be left alum or painted.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 07:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Back to the orig poster's question. The use of an old Ford or repro beam axle will look really nice and IMHO is the best volksrod look. See Thunder's pic. A beam axle is a lot more work than just using an extender. Also more cost. Just depends on what you want for end result. If you are not familiar with setting up the beam axle fornt end, you should stick with a kit where the design work is mostly done and your main job is fabrication and installation.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Thunder I put some old hydraulic S&W bike shocks on ours and it rides as good as you can expect from a cross spring front end. They came off a bike that weighed around 250 lbs or so. Most old bike shocks are rebuildable so you can change the oil if you want. If you are cheap (like me) and like the looks of your chrome ones you could drill a small hole about an inch down from the top of the shock body and drain the original oil out and refill it with lighter oil. You'll have to experiment with the amount of oil needed. Put a small screw in it to plug the hole and you're off. Put it on the back side so no one can see what a cheap hack you are.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

thz for the in put..Dave
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Here is another option for you from a VW streetrod kit. This set-up uses part of the original beam to weld the shockplates to. I have all of these parts but have yet to install them. The whole set-up seems pretty simple and slick to me....and still uses the VW steering box!

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Old February 18th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Originally Posted by sandman View Post
Here is another option for you from a VW streetrod kit. This set-up uses part of the original beam to weld the shockplates to. I have all of these parts but have yet to install them. The whole set-up seems pretty simple and slick to me....and still uses the VW steering box!

Do you have any info on that kit and who makes it?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Originally Posted by jdinvt View Post
Do you have any info on that kit and who makes it?
That would be Cliff at www.vwstreetrod.com
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Old February 18th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Originally Posted by hotrodheb View Post
That would be Cliff at www.vwstreetrod.com
No price for just the front end???
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Old February 18th, 2012, 04:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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No price for just the front end???
If you go to the Kit page, this is down at the bottom...

Complete Bolt-on Front Suspension
$3295.00

Includes new custom made front beam assembly, 4 tube dropped axle, king pins, spindles, disc brakes, bat wings, Aldan coil over shocks, radius rods, pan stiffeners, heim joints, steering dampener, panhard bar, steering arms, tie rod & drag link. This front suspension assembly is complete hub-to-hub. The only thing you will need is front brake lines and your wheels and tires.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

nice kit, but its about a grand over others out there..Like my father would say..It not cheap being cool. how cool do you want to be?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Coil overs cost more than a leaf spring.

You also pay more, if you want
everything to actually fit together.
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Old February 18th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Coil overs cost more than a leaf spring.

You also pay more, if you want
everything to actually fit together.
Not to mention it's a tubular axle and not a cheap cast one!
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

I like the old school with the spring, and I think my pocket might like it too. Where can I get one of those, cheap? Lol, yeah right.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 08:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

friction shocks give you the soft ride and are adjustable , not too mention cheap.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:36 PM   #21
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

I got mine from a guy who bailed on his project. Had to buy a ton of stuff all together, than I sold everything except the front end. Ended up with only a few hundred in the whole front end.

I have a .pdf of the instructions if that will help anybody. Shoot me a PM if you want the .pdf
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 01:37 AM   #22
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

I'm pretty sure our's was just a generic front axle off a t-bucket type car. Go to a car show/swap meeet and start measuring. The resty is just standard fabrication. Mine is basically made like Cliff's but with a perch in the centre for the spring. His steering arms are longer which makes for a little nicer drag link setup. If I was starting with nothing I would probably use a couple of bike shocks and build it like his with a rack and pinion mounted directly to the axle and a slip joint on the steering shaft. Simple and tidy.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 04:09 AM   #23
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

Cheep and front end do not go hand and hand. Make shure you read up on this even a quality set up of this nature will kill you if something breaks. That being said check out the KDF Mangler build he has a realy trick setup that I would use if building a rear engine car. Also Ray Dean's truck build has a quarter eliptical set up for a diferent effect. Plus it should preform better on the road due to more flexibility.

By design most solid axle setups are designed to pivot in the middle of the car and give a softer suspension travel "take bumps better". On trucks with leafs you still get somewhat descent travel. But when you get to radius arm set up it realy henders suspensoun flex and the less weight you have the worse it is. Take for instance when I was building my ranger I when attached the front end and radius arms (lengthened 12 inches), I wanted to check for flex and posible stearing binding. I left out the springs and atempted to lift one side with a jack and both sides came up at one time. Now it has 15" of front wheel travel mind you, but I also have a 302 and a zf5 with a 240lb transfer case.

My long winded point is that with the space you have you nead to use a 4 link or quarter eliptical set up. Fab what you want because no one sells it.

Oh yes I would buy a factory ford beam befor I would buy any aftermarket cast piece. There is a company (dont remember the name) that sells factory drop axles for reasonable. I bought my axle off of evil bay for 125.00 and it is a 33' ford. The other axle I have is a 37' bought it lacaly with bones for 100.00.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 04:23 AM   #24
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

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Not to mention it's a tubular axle and not a cheap cast one!
A tube axle is a bad idea with radius rods. I know people do it all of the time and the v8-60 came with a tube style axle. But ford had a wishbone set up from the factory. A stock beam is forged and can flex. A tube axle is mild steel with cast ends and will not flex. Most of the literature you read states that a tube axle is fine as long as you run a 4 link set up. I know that a lot of people are running set ups like this, But after the crash of the fire bug I did a lot of research. Just some things to think abought. Oh and as i said in my last post I would be afraid to hang a cast axle on the wall.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 02:33 AM   #25
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Default Re: ford style beam front end

The fire bug failed due to a bad BAD CAST axle. I came from the street rod community and tube / drop axles have been the norm for 70 years with very few problems. Just in the last 15 year or so the Mustang 2 front and ya the 4 bar has come around, but go to a NSRA or Goodguys show most 30s cars still have the drop axle with hairpins/radius rods. Mine is a tube axle with forged ends
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