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Thread: 1970 F100 SWB CVPI IFS/TBird IRS build

  1. #11
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    I had a massive heart attack back in January (not my first) which has slowed me down a bit. I will be documenting the install process with plenty of pics (way better than the IFS). Info on the swap can be found at Team321 LLC Ford Truck Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 dheld@cfl.rr.com. Dave at truckirs is working on the mount pieces for the CV IFS install on the truck chassis as well. Very easy guy to work with, no negative issues whatsoever. Have my hood badges coming. Should be here next week. I am still hoping to have the IRS in by the end of September. I figure if all goes well I will have the IRS, engine & trans in just in time to put it up for the winter.

    Put down the deposit on my 460 today!

    Managed to get the rack swapped out. Tell you what, sure beats having to swap out a steering box! Then I found another problem up front. My left lower control arm is bent. The shaft on the rear mount is bent. To be honest with you it may have been when I put the front end in and I just missed it. Suspension came out of a wrecked car. Anybody that has a CV IFS in their F100 have any problems with lower control arms? Anyway tomorrow morning I go shopping for a lower control arm. Sooner or later I will get the rear suspension in.

    Pulled the front bumper to do some mods. Removing the plate recess & setting it up for blind mounting. I will also be building in some rectangular driving lights. I don't have the lights right now so I can't cut the holes yet. I also managed to get a pic of the suspension with the bumper off. I have a set of original hood badges I am thinking about using. I am going to put them in the same place as the '70 badges and remove the F O R D across the front of the hood. If they don't work there my next thought is using just the FORD F 100 in the cowl area just above the seam where the fender and cowl come together. If that is the way I go I will leave the F O R D out front but will shave the original badges. These are pitted but I wanted to get a look before I spent the $175 on new ones.






    I am hoping to have the bumper back on and a decision on the badges sometime next week. Perhaps Wednesday.

  2. #12
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    Here is the bumper with the plate recess delete and blind mounting.


    Left side badge replacement.


    Left side of the truck now.


    Right side of the truck now.


    Head On view.


    The ends of the bumper need pushed back about 3". I will let the chrome shop straighten it out prior to chroming. I still have to order the lights and get all that set up. The appearance of waves in the bumper are an illusion caused by the ground area and chrome side by side.

  3. #13
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    I had an appointment to drop the truck off Wednesday for the IRS. As luck would have it we got rain all day. I got all the parts hauled in to the shop though. Had high hopes for Thursday but rain again. I finally got it dropped off this morning. Greg told me he would call early next week. He knows I want to document the install so he will call when he is ready to start on it. If all goes well I will have pics with commentary on the IRS install next week sometime.

    On another note my truck was featured in the Readers Rides section of Powerblock Magazine. I went back through this years issues and it is the only vehicle featured this year in primer. For those checking it out you will find it 13 clicks back.

    PowerBlock Magazine | PowerBlockTV

  4. #14
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    The IRS install started today. First a couple pics of the ousted rear end!




    The start of the install is to remove the bed from the truck. Once the bed is removed anything preventing removal of the old rear end or install of the IRS needs to come out. In this case the mufflers were far enough forward so they could stay but the tailpipes had to go. This truck is getting a 460/C6 soon so the exhaust will stay as you see it in the pics until the engine swap. As luck would have it there are really only two U Joints used by Ford unless into a heavier truck. The truck's driveshaft had a small size and the Thunderbird had a large. My local auto parts store was able to find a u joint that would allow putting the TBird end on the truck driveshaft. This is a temporary as when the engine and trans swap takes place a new driveshaft will be built. I am intentionally not posting the u joint number as your driveshafts may have different u joints that need merged. Any good parts store should be able to locate the u joint you need.

    I purchased new brake hoses and adapters to convert the 3/6" line over to metric so it could be screwed into the TBird hoses. The adapters are Edelmann 271300. The shocks are not being mounted as in the TBird so shorter shocks are needed. There are plenty of options available. I bought mine at Advance Auto. They are front shocks from a 1970-1982 Chevrolet Blazer. The Advance Part number is 59041. The Monroe part number is 33033. Napa also has Monroe shocks with the part number 94005. If you would prefer something different you are looking for a shock with a compressed length of 10 1/8" & an extended length of 14 5/8". You want eye type mounting on both ends.

    I purchased a mount kit from Team321 LLC Ford Truck Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 dheld@cfl.rr.com. At the time of this entry the kit cost was $395. plus shipping. Ok here we go. Once the rear end and all other required items are removed we measure in 22 5/16" (SWB) 26 5/16" (LWB) from the end of the frame rail on each side and mark the frame. A note on the LWB dimension. This is not a verified number as this install was done one a SWB truck. I do not currently have access to a LWB to check. My recommendation would be to mark the axle centerline on the frame. Align the IRS to this line and utilizing the rear mount mark the frame for the cut. We will be making a cut vertically from this point 1 3/4". Then with the frame level we mark the frame for a horizontal cut forward the length of the rear mounts. So far so good. Now comes the fun part, time to weld the rear mounts in place. After considerable checking for squareness the rear mounts are tacked into place. You will notive the holes for the rear mount are slotted so you have a fair amount of room to shift the carriage around after the mounts are welded in place. In this install the spring perches and upper shock mounts are still on the frame. Just in case we got scared and wanted to put the 9" back in. They will be coming out here shortly. The mount kit comes with 6 gussets, 3 for each side. It also comes with the upper shock mount ears. Here is what the rear mount should look like at this stage.



    At this point and visible in the picture the 2x2 piece of .125 wall tubing is weled into place. The length of this piece is 33 11/16" long. It is positioned centered with the mounting bolts & level. Weld to the top of the rear mounts as well as the frame rail. Here are a few pics of the install so far.

    Cutting out the upper shock mount on the passenger side.


    The upper shock mount (original) on the passenger side prior to removal.


    A shot of the left side from the back of the cab.


    A view from above before the 2x2 crossmember was welded in. The line with vice grips on it is the original brake hose.


    Passenger side view.


    A view from the rear of the driver's side.


    One advantage to using the Thunderbird IRS: everything is mounted to the carriage. You have 4 main mounting bolts, 2 brake lines, 2 shocks and the driveshaft. Once they are disconnected the entire unit is out of the truck. HD axle shafts are available for this rear end rated for up to 650hp. Larger diameter sway bars are available aftermarket. Aftermarket drop springs are also available. Being an 8.8 you can get gears in practically any ratio you desire including a locker. I will be cutting coils out of my springs to get the correct ride height. If I have a problem with the springs after cutting I will look into other options. That is it for now.

  5. #15
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    The front mounts are in along with the 2x2 crossmember & coil springs. At this time 1/2 coil has been removed. Not much more to report at this time. The bed should be going on tomorrow morning.

    Passenger side front mount in place.


    Another view of the passenger side front mount.


    A view from the rear of the left side front mount.


    Another view of the left side front mount.


    A closeup of the left front mount.


    A closeup of the passenger side front mount.


    View from above of the 2x2 in place.


    View from above front.


    Cutting off the left front spring perch.


    Passenger side with both spring perches removed.


    Putting the coil springs in. Left side view.


    Here is a shot from behind.

  6. #16
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    The wheels are on this morning for a look. Still need to do the shocks, brakes, driveshaft & a few odds and ends. In these shots the hoist is completely on the ground. The truck is sitting on it's suspension.

    Left side from the front.


    Right side from the rear.


    Right side from the front.


    From behind.

  7. #17
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    I want to say something concerning the time it is taking to do the install. My truck is in a shop and my install is not a priority job. Under normal conditions it would have been finished way before now. I had to put my truck in a shop because of a heart attack I had requiring a defibulator implant. One of my new rules for life is I am no longer allowed to be around welding. I planned on doing this install until the heart attack happened. The work is being performed by Greg Wilson at Moonlight Automotive in Greenwood, IN. There are two people I trust welding on my frame and he is one of them. To keep costs down my truck gets worked on as time permits.

    At the end of the IRS install portion of my build thread I will be posting some information concerning locating the location of the cut into the frame. The dimension I used above is the same dimension on the Team321 LLC Ford Truck Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 dheld@cfl.rr.com website. It is perfect for Ford SWB pickups. If you have something else that dimension will not work. I have found a better way to locate the cut. I have also been communicating with Dave at Team321 LLC Ford Truck Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 dheld@cfl.rr.com via email and together we are attempting to alter the install instructions so that they will work for anyone wanting to do this type of install.

    Ok enough of that off to more pics! First we have the driveshaft installed. It uses that blend u joint spoke of above. I was somewhat concerned about length differences but it looks as though the 9" and the 8.8 are the same or at least very close to the same length from the center of the axle to the front of the third member. I have seen pics of putting the 9" yoke on the front of the 8.8. I do not like this as the 8.8 has a plate on the front the driveshaft bolts to. Since I will be having a driveshaft built in the future I wanted the TBird rear left as a TBird. When finished it will take a u joint for a 1995 TBird. Nothing special or difficult to find. So this install can be done without altering your current driveshaft if that be your desire. Just have a real parts guy find you the correct u joint.



    Now we have some pics of getting the brake lines ran. The original hose was replaced although it did not need to be. A T could have been put in line at the point of the old hose and solid lines ran to the new hoses for each wheel. I bought new hoses for each wheel and it was determined the best mounting point was on the front mount. The plan is finishing her up Monday if time permits. Oh just for the die hard Ford people out there while I was at Moonlight yesterday taking pics a guy walked in and asked me if I was the owner. Cutting the story short he absolutely loves the swap. Then he went on to tell me he had a lowered truck. I asked and he said an 86 Chevrolet. I asked how he lowered it and he said springs and shackle kit. "Rides like **** and bottoms out on the bump stops out back". I thought it kinda cool a Chevrolet person was doing a thumbs up to a Ford truck!



    The new upper hose is mounted to an existing hole in the carriage that we tapped to accept a 5/16" bolt.


    Now just some pics of the lines installed.



    All that is left is bleeding the brakes out! I am hoping to get some pics of the shock mounts before the bed is on. They had not been welded on at the time of these pics and Greg was hoping to have the bed set on the frame tonight. If so no pics of the shock mounts. I will post pics from the Team321 LLC Ford Truck Independent Rear Suspension (321)960-5945 dheld@cfl.rr.com website showing location of the upper shock mounts.

  8. #18
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    I did not get pics of the mounts prior to install but wanted to note something nice about them. The mounting holes are slotted. All effort should be put into installing the mounts squarely and evenly but if the rear mounts are a bit forward or rearward the mounting holes are slotted so the carriage can be moved accordingly to align on original centerline of the axle.

    The front mounts are slotted side to side. This allows for moving the front of the carriage to the left or right. If you are close but dog tracking a bit this adjustment will solve that problem.

  9. #19
    Senior Member elgemcdlf's Avatar
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    The truck is on the ground and for the most part finished. The left bearing is bad and caused the tire to rub. Had to leave it and have the bearing replaced. Couldn't drive it very far at all the way it is. I did get to take it for a short run and it rides excellent!

    The passenger shock getting lined up for the upper mounts to be put in. From the front view.


    Same side from the rear view.


    From the rear.


    I did not make it back to get picks of the shocks installed before the bed went on but do have a couple pics of the upper mounts.

    Passenger side.


    Drivers side.


    Bed on, from the rear, still on the hoist.



    Under the truck, left side, from the front.


    Under the truck, right side, from the front.


    Outside. Not the best pics but I will take more tomorrow.


  10. #20
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    Looking good, nice stance too.
    1994 white ext cab chevy silverado 5.7 rolling 230k miles
    stock with air filter lid flipped,
    open flowing exhaust to a 40 series flowmaster dumped.
    God Bless America, Support our Troops!

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