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Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:58 am
by rocket71
My brain is whirling again....want a project vehicle. I have been stewing on this for a couple of years. Most threads regarding putting LS motors into various vehicles have been the base for my thought patterns. Well, I am getting closer to a decision and hope by early 2015 to begin sourcing the build vehicle.

Below is a picture of a similar end game. I want to make it handle as well as a truck possibly can without a tube chassis. Will start with something like a Fat Man Fabrication front end swap and a four link rear setup. From there regarding suspension I need to do more research because I don't know jack about panhard rods or watts links or anything else that will help get the rear to stick. Obviously moving weight to the rear will be paramount, ie..behind the rear axle fuel cell and battery replacement. It looks like I might be able to get it down to about 3400lbs with a 55/45 weight split.

LS something or another. Any of them will generate the power levels I would like to see but more displacement for more torque would be nice. Likely a manual tranny, T56?

This might all be pipe dreams but dreaming is fun.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:31 am
by Will94SC
Hammy's back!

When I'm looking to build something that can handle, I typically like to find a vehicle with a 90/10 weight distribution, too.

If you really want to build a truck that can handle (better than a normal truck, anyway), why not start with something a lot lighter, like an S10?

If you insist on a full-sized truck, the 67-72 Chevy rear suspension (called "truck arms," oddly enough) is essentially the same as what's under a modern NASCAR. I believe the later trucks use leaf springs, but they're also cheaper because everyone wants a 67-72.

I helped a friend put a Fat Man IFS in a 67 Chevy frame, and while it's a nice kit, I would never say that the truck "handles" in any meaningful sense of the word.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:51 am
by rocket71
Ha!

I got something that will handle already, you might have seen me driving it. It is a silver Vette. I really dislike S10's. The reason I chose that model truck is I grew up running all over the back roads of Arkansas in one and really like the look. Plus, you can get them cheap to start with.

Will, what have you not done? I will need to address the rear suspension in addition to the front. What did you think about the Fat Man IFS install? What else did your friend have done to it? Could I convert the rear end to older type of rear?

If I come into some money, I will go this route....

http://www.scottshotrods.com/1963-87-chevy-gmc-chassis/

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:17 am
by Choray911
$80k in a 70s pickup sounds like a great project..... Put a abig enough tire on it & it will grip.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:23 am
by Will94SC
You're the one that said you wanted a truck that handles, not me. I'm just trying to warn you that polishing a turd still leaves you with a turd. But okay, you want a 73-87 Chevy. I've never worked on one, except to strip one for parts on another build.

The Fat Man IFS kit is high quality and installs easily. Unless you're a secret stancetard I'd get the coilover kit instead of airbags, even though Ridetech makes some pretty good stuff and I actually like those guys. We used coilovers, and the truck we put it on was actually a 47 International KB-1 body on a 67 Chevy frame. We did the IFS install, and then later swapped the 350/350 drivetrain for a 5.3/700R4 combo. That truck is still using the stock truck arms in back--there's nothing wrong with them as long as you have decent springs and shocks. I'd probably take them over a parallel 4-link, but since the 73-87 has leaf springs, pretty much anything you replace them with will be an improvement.

I know Scott's Hot Rods, I've seen their work, and I've been to their old shop (they moved a little while back) quite a few times. I'd go with Fat Man over their stuff.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:06 pm
by Will94SC
Okay, I'll actually try to post some helpful suspension info for you here, Berry.

Hot rod truck rear suspension:

First, leaf springs suck. They're cheap, the locate the axle in all axes, and they're indestructible, but for handling, they're a pretty awful choice. Two words: axle wrap.
Image

Then you have the truck arms I've been mentioning. They're simple as dirt and actually work really well; you'll find them under the 67-72 Chevy, and the top three NASCAR series cars. They do need a Panhard bar or something else for lateral location. Truck arms:

Image

Then you have the torque arm, which is what you'll find on my Camaro. IMO, it's the best solid axle setup, but you still need something to locate the axle laterally. Panhard bars and Watts links are both effective. Back to those in a minute. Torque arm:

Image

Then you have 4-links. They come in the parallel variety, which is pretty popular for drag racing, as it's very adjustable. It's not perfect for handling, as things get a little wonky under body roll. It absolutely needs a Panhard bar or something else for lateral location. Parallel 4-link:
Image

4-links also come in the triangulated variety, as below. This is what you'll find under a Fox body. It's an attempt to do everything simply--locate the rear axle laterally, control axle wrap, etc. But unfortunately it does all of them really poorly and binds in basically every axis. Triangulated 4-link:
Image

05-14 Mustangs come with a 3-link, which works pretty well. Obviously the new Mustangs aren't awful at handling. 3-link:
Image

Now, lateral location. Panhard rods are cheap, light, and simple. The only downside to them is that they cause the axle to move side-to-side under suspension travel. The longer the Panhard, the less side-to-side motion.
Image

Watts links center the axle throughout suspension travel but are heavier, more complex, and more expensive. But it's still what I've got on my Camaro.
Image

Or, if you want to get fancy, go with this: http://team321.com/truckirs/truckirs.html. It lets you mount the IRS from an 89-97 Thunderbird (like my SC), and you can probably pick one of those up for about tree-fiddy. Hell, I have an 8.8 independent rear with posi diff I could give you for the low low price of "there might be some hornets living in there."

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:18 pm
by Will94SC
I'm not going to discuss IFS options much because they're all fairly similar. Most are variations on Mustang II geometry, which became the hot rod industry standard because it was better than a transverse leaf spring, it was the right width, and it came in disposable cars that no one cared about cutting up. It's also probably better than a Chevy truck suspension, but it's still a 43 year old design originally built for the Pinto--a car universally regarded for its excellent handling.

The Fat Man IFS should be as good as anything else out there that will fit a truck. Something designed for a lower ride height from the start will eliminate the problem of the stock IFS being way, way out of its optimal ball joint/control arm angles at your normal ride height.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:28 pm
by rocket71
Thanks for the info! I was actually reading about the truck arm system after we talked today.

Why would I not go with the Thunderbird rear IRS? From looking at that site it appears to be an easy solution. I have not researched the cost of the rear assembly. I am curious if there is a limit how low you can go with that setup or if there is a reduced amount of rear wheel size. Both I could work around with offset, tubbing and flares.

If I was going to take this to the extreme, I wonder if a rear corvette cradle has ever been bolted/welded onto a truck frame. What the rear mounted tranny from the Vette too.

BTW...hang onto that rear end!

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:39 pm
by rocket71
http://www.ebay.com/itm/93-94-95-96-97- ... 91&vxp=mtr

So for a grand, I can add IRS. I would want to go lighter for weight savings but taking weight out of the rear by going with the aluminum 8.8 Lincoln rearend vs the cast iron T-bird piece might not be the best thing for front/rear weight distro.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:42 pm
by rocket71
Cho, you are crazy. I think I could do this for $15k and that would be with upgraded independent front/rear suspension and be LS powered with a T56 trans.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:58 pm
by Will94SC
rocket71 wrote:http://www.ebay.com/itm/93-94-95-96-97- ... 91&vxp=mtr

So for a grand, I can add IRS. I would want to go lighter for weight savings but taking weight out of the rear by going with the aluminum 8.8 Lincoln rearend vs the cast iron T-bird piece might not be the best thing for front/rear weight distro.
I have the Lincoln aluminum bits in my Supercoupe, and if that's the route you choose, there are a couple things to know. First, all Mark 8s came with open differentials and 3.07 gears, relying on traction control instead of a limited slip diff. So an LSD would add a little cost (unless you want to fight the hornets for mine). V8/supercharged V6 T-Birds/Cougars had LSD w/3.27 gears as an option. The NA 6-cylinder cars had a 7.5-inch diff, which is pretty useless. Some Birds/Cougars also came with rear drums, so make sure you avoid those.

Also, the Marks came with an air suspension instead of coil springs, so you'd need to add coil spring perches (and springs, of course) or coilovers. Not a huge deal, just something to know.

All Mark 8s/T-Birds/Cougars came with the goofy 5x4.25 bolt pattern. You can replace the hubs w/Cobra bits to use 5x4.5 wheels, as I did, or redrill the stock hubs to whatever pattern you want.

And you might find that

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:01 pm
by Will94SC
rocket71 wrote:
If I was going to take this to the extreme, I wonder if a rear corvette cradle has ever been bolted/welded onto a truck frame. What the rear mounted tranny from the Vette too.

BTW...hang onto that rear end!
People have put C4 and C5 IRS assemblies in every kind of hot rod you can imagine. They're better than the T-Bird stuff, of course, but it costs a lot more.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:53 am
by Choray911
rocket71 wrote:Cho, you are crazy. I think I could do this for $15k and that would be with upgraded independent front/rear suspension and be LS powered with a T56 trans.
It all depends on the fit & finish of your finshed project. If you take a beater & put a motor & basic suspension in it you can get it done for $15k. You start getting into upolstrey, paint, & any kind of custom body work to actually make it look like the orange on above you can get into big money really fast. Look at Fast & loud, some of those cars get redunk even when they just clear coat the patina. It would be cheaper to just bag it & turn it to a lead sled rather than making it handle.

Couple of other things to think about. You are building a truck, you need all the weight you can get in the back. Go with the Tbird pumpkin.
If you put the C5 tranny in the back there will be a lot of cutting to the bed to make it fit right if its going to be lowered.

Are you going to do a body drop?

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:27 am
by Will94SC
According to my notes (I weigh everything and have a spreadsheet of stuff I remove from or add to all my cars), the aluminum diff carrier is 14 pounds lighter than the iron one. A pair of aluminum lower control arms (with aftermarket spring perches) saves 19 pounds compared to the iron LCAs.

The early Mark 8s also came with a one-piece aluminum driveshaft (later cars had a 2-piece DS) that might actually be long enough to use as a donor in a short bed truck. Depending on if/when you do this, I'd consider going in with you to buy a Mk8 parts car with a good engine.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:09 pm
by rocket71
Cho, you are right. I guess I need to clarify current goal. I am not interested in a lead sled, nor a garage queen. I want to start with the handling. Yep, I am going to polish this turd as much as I can to get it to turn as best as it can within what I ultimately feel is a realistic budget. Right now, I don't even know what that budget it. I would like to find as nice as possible ride for less than say, $5k. Then, will begin to accumulate suspension parts, front and rear to install. I imagine wheels and tires will be during that same time frame. I want to run like 315/30-18 front and 335/30-18 rear type of setup. (just pulled those numbers out of the air and because thats what the Vette runs). Once the suspension is all done, I will look to re-power it with a LS motor.

Will and I were talking yesterday. I am actually thinking now of just saving money up and keeping my eyes and ears open for an abandoned project. It would be awesome to find a truck with an LS already installed.

You are right about the rear weight. From Will's numbers it doesn't look like a ton of saving to be had with the Lincoln aluminum stuff. That brings me back around to the Corvette stuff. Could I transplant the full C5 rear suspension and tranny to the truck? That would greatly help with weight distribution. Again, pricing and cost will have to play into the game plan. With goal #1 being handling I would rather spend a little more to get the best suspension possible and have to wait for power and body. I can see this being a 5 to 7 year project.

(wow, this post is still on track. hmmm...strange...and thanks)

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:21 pm
by Will94SC
rocket71 wrote:Could I transplant the full C5 rear suspension and tranny to the truck?
If you have a sawzall, a welder, and a debit card, you can do anything. No diff, but here you go.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/97-04-Corvette- ... 56&vxp=mtr

I have no idea if the width is close, or if you'd need custom half shafts, etc.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:56 pm
by rocket71
You know what would be awesome about that!?!?! It would still be leaf springs. Thats kinda hilarious.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:41 pm
by Choray911
I'm not as versed as I should be on vetted suspensions. Do the upper control arms mount somewhere 7 in the unibody? I know the crown vic stuff is dirt cheap, but it won't handle as well as a better suspension.
I've been interested in doing something like project rolling thunder. Crown Vick front end, cobra irs, & a coyote motor in a step side ranger.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:52 pm
by Choray911

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:55 pm
by Will94SC
Choray911 wrote:I'm not as versed as I should be on vetted suspensions. Do the upper control arms mount somewhere 7 in the unibody? I know the crown vic stuff is dirt cheap, but it won't handle as well as a better suspension.
I've been interested in doing something like project rolling thunder. Crown Vick front end, cobra irs, & a coyote motor in a step side ranger.
The IRS in the Cobra is worse than the solid axle in the Mustang GT. Have you ever seen a 99-04 Cobra in the trophies at nationals?

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:12 pm
by rocket71
I am looking for a mid-80's. I like the 73-87 style better. I would like the rear suspension from one of those though to make this whole project easier.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:20 pm
by Choray911
Will94SC wrote:
Choray911 wrote:I'm not as versed as I should be on vetted suspensions. Do the upper control arms mount somewhere 7 in the unibody? I know the crown vic stuff is dirt cheap, but it won't handle as well as a better suspension. .
I've been interested in doing something like project rolling thunder. Crown Vick front end, cobra irs, & a coyote motor in a step side ranger.
The IRS in the Cobra is worse than the solid axle in the Mustang GT. Have you ever seen a 99-04 Cobra in the trophies at nationals?
But they make upper & lower control arms that fix that stuff.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:04 am
by Will94SC
Choray911 wrote:
Will94SC wrote:
Choray911 wrote:I'm not as versed as I should be on vetted suspensions. Do the upper control arms mount somewhere 7 in the unibody? I know the crown vic stuff is dirt cheap, but it won't handle as well as a better suspension. .
I've been interested in doing something like project rolling thunder. Crown Vick front end, cobra irs, & a coyote motor in a step side ranger.
The IRS in the Cobra is worse than the solid axle in the Mustang GT. Have you ever seen a 99-04 Cobra in the trophies at nationals?
But they make upper & lower control arms that fix that stuff.
Who does?

I'd still take a Mach 1 with an MM torque arm over a 99-01 Cobra any day.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:52 am
by CobaltSSlow
I've only ever seen this or similar for the cobra IRS as possible 'cure':

http://www.brothersperformance.com/maxi ... oCf3fw_wcB

Re: Future Project

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:29 pm
by RACERSD2
Berry,
I know what you mean.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:38 pm
by Will94SC
Didn't you have one of those things halfway home a few years back? Sold it off the trailer at a gas station or something?

Re: Future Project

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:17 am
by RACERSD2
Damn close to that, and it was rust free. it was going to be satin black to match the LBC.
i wanted to start with a 5.3 and 6 speed.
big dreams little wallet.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:38 pm
by Will94SC
Was it the weird three-door version?

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:31 am
by Choray911
It was indded a 3 door.

Now this is a project I could get behind.

8.3 liter in a 300C. I would have to put it in a Magnum tho.

Re: Future Project

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:20 pm
by CobaltSSlow
That 90* elbow and 2" k&n inlet tube look a bit restrictive

Re: Future Project

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:57 am
by Choray911
CobaltSSlow wrote:That 90* elbow and 2" k&n inlet tube look a bit restrictive
Don't hate....

Re: Future Project

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:02 pm
by RACERSD2
Agreed a magnum would kick ass.