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Thread: Suspension Setup
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    herby on V.I. is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Suspension Setup

     



    Good day. I have a 1947 Ford into which I am considering putting the front and rear suspensions from a 1973 Camaro. I am very new to hot-rodding and am seeking advice as to whether this is a good choice for suspension in the Ford and how complicated and expensive would it be. I've read that rather than trying to adapt a suspension such as the 73 Camaro, it would be much cheaper and easier to purchase kits pre-prepared from a reputable company. I would appreciate any tips and advice from those that have some experience and expertise in this area.
    Thanks
    herby on V.I.

  2. #2
    techinspector1's Avatar
    techinspector1 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by herby on V.I. View Post
    Good day. I have a 1947 Ford into which I am considering putting the front and rear suspensions from a 1973 Camaro. I am very new to hot-rodding and am seeking advice as to whether this is a good choice for suspension in the Ford and how complicated and expensive would it be. I've read that rather than trying to adapt a suspension such as the 73 Camaro, it would be much cheaper and easier to purchase kits pre-prepared from a reputable company. I would appreciate any tips and advice from those that have some experience and expertise in this area.
    Thanks
    herby on V.I.
    OK, my opinion is that I would rather undertake putting a front and rear clip into place that I know was designed by professional automotive engineers rather than trusting some nutball (credentials????) to engineer the bolt on stuff for me. I also know that I can go to the local NAPA auto parts house down the block and get parts for the OEM clips that will bolt on and work every time.

    Here is all the information I have on Camaros as far as wheelbase, front track and rear track. Your Ford front and rear track is 56 1/2" , so depending on the year of the donor, the Camaro track will be a little wide unless you like that look. Most people don't.
    108.1, 58.7, 60.5 -- 67-69 Chevy Camaro (other source shows 108.1/59.0/58.9)
    108.1, 60.4, 61.0 -- 70 Chevy Camaro
    NA,,,, 61.3, 60.5 -- 76-80 Chevy Camaro Z-28, Pontiac Trans Am TA
    101.0, 60.7, 60.6 -- 86 Chevy Camaro IROC Z
    101.1, 60.7, 60.7 -- 98 Chevy Camaro
    112.3, 63.7, 64.1 -- 99 Chevy Camaro LS, LT
    112.3, 63.7, 63.7 -- 99 Chevy Camaro SS

    There is another close alternative that may be cheaper to find in your area than a high-bones Camaro. It's the 78-86 G body....
    108.0, 58.5, 58.8 -- 78-86 Chevy Monte Carlo, Malibu, El Camino, Olds Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Prix
    It's still one inch too wide on each side, but some wheels with a 1-inch deeper backset would put the tires exactly where old Henry put them originally.

    The other thing about setting your own clips is that you can put the body exactly where you want it with the stock ride height of the suspension, so all the factory geometry works right. No rough ride, no bump steer, life is good.

    Find a G body sitting in a lot. Crawl under and put an inclinometer on the bottom control arms at the front and rear. Write down the angle they are at with the car sitting at rest. This will allow you to duplicate the angle when you are welding in the clips in order to enjoy the aforementioned factory geometry. I've done this in the past at a grocery store parking lot when I see a car I'm interested in using the clips off of. The car needs to be sitting level though and have air in the tires.

    When you get the donor front clip, remove the springs and use a piece of allthread, flat plate, washers and nuts to replace the shock and hold the whole thing together. Put the tires back on and sit the clip on the ground on its tires. Put your inclinometer on the lower control arm and adjust the nuts and washers on the allthread until you get the same reading you got in the parking lot. You are now ready to set the body at any attitude you want to and weld the clip on. You will not have to do stupid stuff like dink with dropped spindles, cut coils or any such insanity, because the body will be where you want it to begin with and the front end geometry will be bone-stock. Good as it gets, huh? Do the same with the rear clip. Done!!!! Perfect ride height and everything works like stock because it is stock. You want the body level? Chock it up level for the clip installs. You want a 2" rake? Chock the body up with a 2" rake to weld in the clips.

    One more thing, pay very close attention to the forward/rearward tilt of your clips when you weld them in. Make absolutely certain that the tilt is the same as original or you will change the caster of the front end and may have difficulty aligning it later.
    Last edited by techinspector1; 04-01-2009 at 05:12 PM.

  3. #3
    herby on V.I. is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    To Techinspector1
    Thanks so much for your reply to my request for information about installing 1973 Camaro suspension into my 1947 Ford. You gave a thorough reply which I appreciate very much. I think I will probably follow your preference and purchase a prepared kit from a reputable business. Working on these old vehicles is fun but complicated and expensive. Thanks again for your time and effort

    Herby on V.I.

  4. #4
    techinspector1's Avatar
    techinspector1 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by herby on V.I. View Post
    To Techinspector1
    Thanks so much for your reply to my request for information about installing 1973 Camaro suspension into my 1947 Ford. You gave a thorough reply which I appreciate very much. I think I will probably follow your preference and purchase a prepared kit from a reputable business. Working on these old vehicles is fun but complicated and expensive. Thanks again for your time and effort

    Herby on V.I.
    You misunderstood my answer. My preference is to cobble up OEM stuff and make it work.

  5. #5
    herby on V.I. is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    rear suspension

     



    Techinspector1,
    Quite awhile ago you responded to my inquiries regarding the front suspension for my 47 Ford 2-door sedan. I think I am going to go with a Mustang 11 kit through a company like Chasis Engineering. With this I plan to install a 350 Chevy motor and appropriate transmission but am presently thinking about rear suspension. I would appreciate your input regarding a Chevy Blazer S-10 rear end and suspension as part of this drive train. I have heard that the S-10 rearend and suspension would work well. If the data I have is correct, the rear track width for the S-10 is 55.5 inches, about an inch narrower than the original rear-end in the Ford which should be alright.

    Needless to say, I don't have much experience with hot-rodding and am learning as I go. Any advice and expertise you can provide would be extremely helpful.

    Thank you,

    herby on V.I.

  6. #6
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    Itoldyouso is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    While I understand why someone would want to go to modern ifs stuff, another route is to use modern cross spring components and update what Henry put under there in the first place. Something like a 4 inch dropped axle, Posies spring, and good modern brakes would make for a nice riding rod, and still retain that old time flavor. At a show I love looking under an old fat fendered rod and seeing a beam axle looking back at me...........just seems more hot roddy or something.

    There are also some companies (Chassis Engineering maybe?) who make a parallel rear spring setup for these Fords. But to each his own, and it is your car..........just offering an alternative.

    Don

  7. #7
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    If you're building the car for cruising, good handling, and a good ride the IFS is the way to go, be it MII style or grafting a front clip on. The old straight axle may have "the look", but the change by the factories from solid front axles to IFS was because it was a better system. For the rear, I prefer a coil spring with shocks or a coilover setup.....
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