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So close you can taste it!

Here we are folks, #2 is installed and this is #3 and the first one to ship.

Installation is much easier than before and the frame stiffness is unmatched. I have been test fitting parts and making small corrections so that you get a high quality part you won’t have to fight to install and will enjoy for years to come.

 

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Laying the Rocker on the Ground

I have been getting a flood of calls from guys with 1965-1966 F100 interested in a new IFS kit.  The conversation goes like this: “I want to put in air bags and lay the rocker on the ground with my 65-66.” Simple enough request I suppose. Not new or original by any stretch, but here is the lowdown for you guys, it’s not easy with the truck you picked to build. Building a 1964 or earlier would simplify the goal so much more.

My kit will require a dropped spindle and to Z your frame at least 3″ on those trucks to get the frame on the ground. But you will miss your mark by a few inches as the frame extends below the rockers on those trucks. You will also have to tunnel the engine and trans up into the floor to get the oil pan off the ground. Even in the 61-64 you will have to do some floor modification. My 63 uses the 4 speed trans tunnel to clear the transmission and I had to notch various and assorted crossmembers, relocate parking brakes cables and such for the drive shaft to clear everything properly.

It’s a tight squeeze everywhere!

 

Not my picture, I stole this from a Google Search. You can too!

The first image that came up on a Google search was this, and you can clearly see the frame below the rocker just behind the wheel.  I bring this up because recent callers have taken me to task about this issue stating that their frame does not protrude below the rocker. As you can clearly see, it does. If your goal is to put the rocker on the ground, this is a problem. If you can accept the rocker a few inches off the ground, then this is a non issue. From my professional standpoint, no part of the body or frame should ever touch the ground. Any highway driven vehicle should pass a minimum scrub line test. I know it’s trendy to do this, but it also frowned upon by government institutional authorities and the like.

Ford made quite a few changes in 65, most obvious was the switch from beam axle and parallel leafs to the twin I-beam and coil springs. They also changed the firewall and floor to gain much improved legroom over the earlier trucks. They also raised the steering column up into the dash slightly for a much more comfortable ergonomics. It’s that extra leg room that is going to cause you guys grief. The frame had to go down to make room for your legs…

Most likely will have to either section your frame which will weaken the frame, or channel the body over the frame to close the gap on those last two inches.This is not a minor task. Your best bet is to install a straight section of frame rail and fabricate a whole new floor to cover everything back up.

Just don’t tell anyone you got the information from me 🙂

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Making some progress

Just thought I would give you guys a little update

Rendered the frame rails, then placed all the suspension components where I needed them. Some math and a few pot of coffee later I have the basis of the new weld in kit. Enjoy the pictures.

 

Update: 2/12/2012

Been busy drawing and thinking hard to come up with solutions to manufacturing and user issues. I have tried to simplify the already simple installation to the point where it is idiot proof to install. There are slots and tabs to lock parts in place like a snap-together model car kit, no guess work and a more precise fit. Anyone with moderate welding skills and a 110V MIG welder should be able to pull this off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekend update December 17

I have been getting quite a few calls requesting not only the bolt in Dakota based IFS kit, but to bring back the weld-in kit as well.

As you know, the economy is on shaky legs right now and everyone’s finances are in shambles and I am not immune from this. We have a few internal jobs we need to work through to get to these kits. If the response stays strong as it has I will get some motivation to build the fixtures and get this project under way.

1948-1952 Ford F1 GEN II
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The re-introduction of the Dakota IFS kit

Initiation: 05/27/2011

This is more of an open thread, I am considering a run at the kits again but this time I want to make some serious changes to the kit and it’s function. It has been over a year since the split and my former partners plan of manufacturing the old kits. He still may at this point and I encourage him to do so. I want to push the fourth generation of the kit since it’s introduction.

 

Here is an outline of what I plan on doing.

First off, I want to try and unitize the whole kit and make it a bolt in. I have never been a fan of the current crop of bolt in kits, however I do realize there are many people that were turned off of the old kit because they could not weld but still wanted to upgrade their front suspension.

I also want to make the base kit standard with tubular control arms set up for coil overs. You will still be able to use a stock (modified) upper control arm, spindles and rack and pinion. But one of the major issues we had was matching spring rates. There just were not enough choices for the guys trying to jam this IFS into stuff that was considerably lighter than the Dakotas were.

Your input is welcome!

Update: 06/27/20121

I have been measuring and brainstorming with this for a  month now. I have some ideas to start with but I am actually kind of disappointed in the response from this. I have been tracking my hits on this thread and others related to the Dakota IFS kit and  I will continue with my development in the next few months and see if I get any uptick in interest.

I hear you guys want cheap, well that frankly cannot happen unless the kit is very raw and on the level of some of the low end Mustang II kits already available. That is just not something I want to hang my hat on, so sorry guys it will not be sub $500.00. Bolt in IS going to happen and I have a few ideas firing from neuron to neuron with the occasional flash of brilliance. To make it a bolt in, the stock coil springs are gone. The problem I am having is adapting coil overs to stock control arms for you junkyard scroungers. I did however talk to a company over the Fathers Day weekend about aluminum castings. What I am going to have to do is render the entire kit in Alibre’ and start doing my FEAs and initiate a conversation about pricing.  My initial introduction with them is very encouraging and they are casting and machining right here in the USA and Anaheim CA no less!

My backup would be to produce a fabricated or tubular control arm. Considering the fixturing required to do a proper run of tube might put them on par with what the cast aluminum would cost. So I have to consider the fabricated steel units for the base kit. My next hurdle will be spindle, rack and brakes. I might have to introduce them sans those parts and tool up for the rest at a later date.

 

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1950 Ford F1 Hydro-Boost Brakes

We usually prefer to mount a vacuum brake power booster on the firewall but it doesn’t work in all instances. This is one of those situations, we have a  customer who brought us his Ford F1 frame and cab. His plans with this build are to use a Ford Powerstroke 7.4L diesel engine and a reasonably heavy duty suspension. The frame supplied was pretty bent up and required some extensive frame rail straightening. Once within spec, we boxed the rails and added a 1.75″ DOM tubular crossmember with enough room for the rather large automatic transmission and a crossmember kit to accept the Dodge Dakota components. The owner has been doing some research into using Dodge Van brake rotors to give him a 12″ X 1″ rotor with a 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern to stop this very heavy power plant.

To round out the upgraded brakes we need the rest of the system to be just as serious. Given that diesels do not have manifold vacuum our choice is to use an electric pump or the Hydro-boost system that uses power steering pump pressure to give you some serious assist. The tubular structure under the cab restricts pretty much any braking system to be installed between the frame rails. So our option is to utilize the unused space outside of the frame rail. We did this same trick on the Dynacorn build in the summer of 2008 and it works extremely well.  We used the stock brake pedal arm and location to retain the original look. This put the pivot through the middle of the body mount. It was much easier to measure it up and replace it.

Body mount and booster mount

Actual part

Making the stock pedal work for us in this situation we used a 3/4″ X 36 spline steering shaft and coupler housed in a tube with bronze bushings for long life and durability. The splined shaft also gives us the ability to service the system and make it easier to remove the cab if ever need be. Or just to make putting it all together when painted less of a chore. The old clevis mount was band sawed off and the bushing hole drilled out to 1″ to accept the steering coupler and TIG welded into place. A bit of machine work on the shafting for bushing clearance was need also. With all the components mocked into the proper positions a bell crank arm was fabricated from 3/8″ Cold Rolled Steel and welded to the shaft.

The final connection was from the bell crank arm to the Hydro-Boost pushrod. I used a shoulder bolt, spring wave washer and a bronze washer along with machining a small bushing to compensate for the differing sizes. In the end we have a very durable and serviceable braking system that should be more than up to the task.

Modified arm and splined adapter

Splined shaft and bell crank

Bolt, washers and bushing

Bushing and washers assembled

Factory location, plenty of clearance

If you’re interested in having this sort of work done, drop us a line!

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The Next few months

With the economy the way it is, most businesses are lucky to be in business right now. We are very fortunate to be one of those that is doing as well as could be expected.

To get this blog rolling, I wanted to state some of the things that have happened and what is to come. In 2007, Adam Young Fabrication became a partner and added his dropped axle service to our corporation. His intent was to expand the product line and push forward our Dodge Dakota based suspension kits leaving me to do more product development and custom fabrication. We did produce prototypes of our new Gen III coil over suspension kit and got two of them on the road. First up was a complete chassis under the Dynacorn 53 Chevrolet pickup. Second was a local car, 1941 Packard Sedan and both were able to push beyond our customers expectations in drive, comfort and handling.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Adam relocated to Seattle Washington at the end of 2008, this put a huge dampener on the business and product development. We came to the solution of splitting the business this year. Adam has been slow to get his new fabrication shop running but the end goal is for him to produce the current product line and start in on the new complete coil over Gen III suspension. With a completion date of September 09 for his new shop, he will also produce the standard frames and chassis for 1948-1956 Ford and 1947-1959 GM trucks from his location as (tbd) Adam Young Fabrication by the fall of this year.

Currently we have parred down the product line to match sales. We only offer the basic crossmember kits for 1948-1964 Ford trucks and 1955-1959 GM trucks. But our focus here at Industrial Chassis has changed.

Our new focus is centered around custom fabrication and suspension tuning. There are far too many hot rods and customs that have been on the road that do not perform as the owners prefer, and it is our goal to step in and resolve these issues. Drawing on my nearly 20 years of experience building, maintaining and repairing pre1965 cars and trucks, I can pinpoint a solution and perform the necessary repair or re-engineering needed.

Of course we will continue to offer our services for custom chassis fabrication. We will add to our services, suspension design and installation, custom frames and crossmembers, custom exhaust, turbo charging, fuel and brake line installation, custom fuel tanks and engine bracketry, brake pedal and steering setups. Anything that you as a hot rod or custom owner don’t feel comfortable doing yourself or if you just happen to like our mechanical style, we are here for you, our customer.

Apperance wise we are going to do some remodeling of the shop. The re-installation of a showroom and customers lounge. A service bay where you can bring your nicely finished vehicles and keep them out of the heavy fabrication area. New equipment and software to not only diagnose an issue but to speed up the process to repair or fabricate. Also look for new apparel and other merchandise to support your local hot rod shop.

Our reputation was built on quality parts and knowledgeable service, something that will not change.

Steve