The first run of the newest generation Dakota kits for the 53-56 F100s will be run by the end of this week. We already have a handful of pre-orders. Look for them to be listed in the store this weekend!
I have frames for 1953-56 Ford F100 and 1955-59 GM trucks sand blasted and ready for prototyping. Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for updates.
We have been working on a complete replacement frame for the Studebaker coupe. We had built a complete frame for a customer a few years back where we integrated one of our Studebaker clips and an early C4 Corvette rear suspension. We also learned what does and doesn’t work to make a frame that fits the stock body without modification. Well, very few and simple modifications anyway. Those tiny foot-well boxes behind the front seat have got to go. What we are delivering is a frame with significant improvements in strength. And almost all the stock body mounts are located in stock locations and stock body rubbers are used. No need to alter your front fenders, stock components fit.
Straighter frame rails and more clearance for exhaust systems. We keep the entire frame profile slim for good ground clearance as well as give you room for future modifications. We made the rear kickup quite a bit different by utilizing more space under the stock floor. This gives us better places to attach the triangulated four bars and still not have to modify the floor. This rear kick up is also slightly narrower so that if you decide to do a mini-tub on the rear you have frame clearance to run up to a 275 wide rear tire on a 9″ wheel.
Here is the final drawings of the kits for the 1965-1966 F100’s. I am in process of making a few stamping dies and cutting new parts.
Bill Wilson is the lucky guy that gets the first official installation. He brought us the donor frame we have been prototyping with. Last Saturday he dropped off his actual truck frame for installation of the new kit.
Kits are $750 and will come with boxing plates, crossmember and spring towers as well as upper control arm mounting hardware and shims. You will need a donor front end from a 1987-1996 Dodge Dakota 2wd with 4 or 6 cylinder springs. The V8 Dakota springs are best for applications where you want to keep the ride height tall or are running an engine in excess of 750 lbs.
Click the SHOP button at the top of the page, you can order one today!
Full bolt in, actually stiffens the frame and allows for a transmission change. Now includes front frame horn liners and “bolt-in” front split wishbone mounts.
Available now, hit the store!
Been a busy few weeks, lots of jobs in and out and progress made on the more long term jobs. The good news is, as we clear out these jobs, the new Dakota Kits are eminent!
Just wrapped up a Vintage Air install on Ron Shives’ 1957 Chevy Hardtop. Such a nice car, we removed the AirTique unit installed a decade or more ago that never quite worked properly and installed a new Vintage Air sure-fit unit. In went a Vintage Air Front Runner package and radiator relocation to the 6 cylinder position so that we had room for a Volvo 850 two speed cooling fan. We also upgraded to a Borgeson Delphi 600 power steering box, Flaming River steering column and did some routine maintenance for him. Overall the car turned out fantastic, very nice daily driver now.
Dr Marvelus is going to town on Tony’s 60 Bonneville, pretty rusty car in all the structural areas, so look for updates on that soon.
Larry Ivy’s 34 PU is roller status, cab goes on and the controls are going in soon.
More importantly, Bob’s 32 5W chassis will be going together next week in preparation for the Deuce Day show. We are doing the second build out of our “Bolt – In” center X-member! These will be available in the store very soon.
And the news you are waiting for, the Dakota kits are in process as soon as Bob’s 32 frame comes off. First up will be the 65-66 frames and the 53-56 and 57-60’s immediately after.
Richard D brought his frame in for us to straighten last weekend. He also asked us to install the crossmember kit (006) and hang all the components. With the parts he brought were a brand new pair of dropped spindles from Bell Tech. It looks as if they did a nice redesign of the old spindle. It wasn’t apparent at first whether they fixed the steering arm location issue or not.
Installation confirmed they have not, if anything has changed it is for the worse.
The steering arm has been raised over an inch over stock and shortened. It also appears they have moved the arm location outboard more but have also changed the angle of the tie rod end boss. The machine work is not up to correct tolerance either. All three tapers are bored too deep into the bosses, note how much thread is exposed on the Bell Tech spindle tie rod end vs the stock spindle. This also raises the tie rod up farther causing more interference with the anti-roll bar and increases bumpsteer.
These spindles are still going to need the tie rod drop I detailed on my Dakota Based IFS Tech page.
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.