Category: dear welder series

Paul Horton’s replies to actual tech emails.

Dear Welder Series… 1977 F100 MII?

Dear Welder Series,

I have a 1977 F100 that I’m currently trying to fit a 7.3 Godzilla into. The oil pan of the Godzilla along with the twin I-beam suspension are creating some challenges. 

The primary issue is the drag link at the rear of the crossmember. To fix this I’m considering putting in an ifs kit, however I’m weird – I don’t want to lower the truck and I’m perfectly happy to keep the 5-5.5” lug spacing for the wheels.  I know, I know that is weird but I like the stance and wheels I have now. I’ve got some sentimental attachments to this truck as I bought when I was 14 years old – 30 years ago!  The problem is all of the ifs kits that I have run across all claim 3-5” drop. 

I’m looking at the wealth of knowledge on your website and from my thinking it would be completely doable to have the upper a-arm outside the frame rail and still have a close to stock track width of ~65.75” hub to hub. This would allow the frame to ‘rise up’ relative to the suspension geometry allowing for stock ride height. 

My frame rails are 33.5” measured outside to outside. From what I have found so far, this would require a different steering rack that is longer than originally offered (or is normally ran on a Mustang II style suspension). 

Is this in fact possible or am I missing some key detail?  Any guidance to crossmembers/ a-arm kits from you guys that I could do this myself would be great!

Thanks in advance for you help!

Hi Paul,

It was great talking to you the other day; it was super helpful to get me going. 

For my specific situation, I’ve drawn up a 4” square crossmember that the lower control arm and steering rack will mount to. The positions will push the control arms out such that the upper control arm will be outside my frame rail allowing the frame to rise above the standard position of most Mustang II IFS that provide 3”-5” drop (which I don’t want).   Using dimensions of control arms and an MII spindle it will still be within the current hub-to-hub dimensions I have today. 

Based on the outside-the-frame-rail upper control arm, first and foremost, I want to first make sure my assumptions/math is correct – the horizontal separation between the upper and lower control arm pivots (passing a vertical line through each point) should be 3.625”. ((29.5 – 22.25)/2). 

Of course, I also have some other questions…

Does the center of the crossmember coincide with the center of the spindle (i.e. wheel center)?  I realize this is based on the assumption that the crossmember in a Mustang II is 4” as I’m planning to use(?).  Reason I ask is it seems all the Mustang II IFS kits position the crossmember centered on the original wheel centerline. I know the lower control arm mounts directly to the front of the crossmember with the rear needing a tubular support and gusset – pushing it rearward so I assume the lower control arm geometry in effect makes the spindle centered with the crossmember but wanted to confirm. 

What is the angle of the spring hat viewed from the front?  Also it’s relationship fore to aft with the crossmember?

The steering rack tab mounts – what would be their relative position to each other and should it be centered on my crossmember, or biased?

Paul, I know I’ve asked a lot of questions. If you prefer a phone call to talk through this versus email I’m absolutely fine with that in fact, almost prefer it.

Best Regards,

Ken

Dear Ken…
Ken, you are basically on the right track.

Please send dimensions for the attached drawings.  

‘Z’ is spindle location, front-to-rear.

In MII C1, I need inside and outside measurements at each point.

In MII C2, the frame must be blocked at the finished ride height and rake you want. At each point, dimensions should be from the ground to the bottom and to the top of the frame rail.

Dimensions to the nearest 1/16” is great; to the nearest 1/8” will be ok.

I’ll get back to you with a drawing showing, I hope, how our 60-1/2” crossmember can be used to give you what you want. Or I’ll have notes explaining how the frame has to be modified.

Thanks for working with me.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Hi Paul,

I got some measurements however, I still have the original suspension in the truck and the steering gear so it made getting dimensions somewhat tricky. 

For MII C1:
As accurately as I can measure at this time the outside frame width for all points TF, CF, Z, CR, TR, & TC is 33.5”. 

Inside measurements:
TF – 28.875“
CF – 28.875“
Z – 28.875”
CR – 28.875“
TR – 29.625“
TC – 29.625”

For MII C2:

Frame is nearly completely flat in the range of these measurements. With the lower crossmember and twin I-beam brackets in the way made getting very precise measurements difficult. It is at the correct ride height front and rear though. 

At all points, the dimension to the lower frame rail was 16.75” while the dimension from the floor to the upper measured 22.625”

Look forward to your suggestions about how to make this work. 

Best Regards,
Ken

Dear Ken…

Hi, Ken.

Thanks for the dimensions. I’ve put them in my CAD template for a 60-1/2” track width kit.

I have based my thoughts on a stock ’77 F100 tire size of 225/75/R15 which is about 28-1/4” diameter.

Using your ground to bottom of frame ride height dimension of 16-3/4”, the bottom of the frame would be 3-1/8” higher than the spindle. We allow for about 1/2” of tire “squat.

With a 60-1/2” kit, the nominal upper arm center-to-center would be 33-1/2”. The frame will not give the arms the clearance needed. The arms would be part way down the outside of the rails, too.

When we have this condition, a solution is to add to the bottom of the frame and cut away the stock frame above it (except for support ahead and behind). A section of 2x4x1/8” wall tubing, about 18” long would work. The tube would center on ‘Z. The stock frame would be cut away 6” ahead and behind ‘Z’. With a little planning, the front and rear of the 2×4 can be angled to blend into the stock frame and not look “scabbed” on.

That done, the upper arms would have clearance.

The bottom of the 2×4 would need a small c-notch for rack bellows clearance.

Your F100’s stance would then be as you have now mocked it up. I could give you cut lines information that you could use on our crossmember and upper towers. 

The general idea is as shown in the attached pdf. In this example the bottom of the frame is not straight so the customer has to allow for that. The shaded area is stock frame that would be removed. There should probably be more weld length between the bottom of the stock frame and the top of the added section. This is just a concept drawing.

Let me know if this is the way you would like to go or if you have questions/comments.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the information. Your numbers are spot on with what I’ve measured and assumed. I was using ~3” below the bottom of my frame rail as the location of my spindle center. 

I sketched up a concept (attached) of a tubular cross member that will basically cradle my current frame rails making room for, as you said, the upper control arm pivot because it wants to go thru the frame in order to raise the chassis up. My sketch moves to a hub to hub of 64.75” (current TIB is 65.75”). I know this will require a lengthen steering rack (or at least spacers – I don’t know if all racks have threaded joints or not though. If so, it seems like a rather easy way to lengthen to get the pivot to coincide with the upper and lower control arm pivot.). 

My thought is it would be easier to make this assembly on a bench and install than to cut and modify my frame(?). Not sure if that is a correct assumption or not…

Forgive my rather crude model and hope it gets my thoughts across. 

image0.jpeg

Thank you!

Ken

Dear Ken…
Ken, it’s probably easier to do on the bench.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Would your 62.5” kit get the upper control arm out beyond my 33.5” frame rails?

Dear Ken…
The nominal cross shaft c-c would be 35-1/2”.  Clearance would depend on the control arm and the adjustment that might be required.

Dear Welder Series… 1962 Studebaker Lark Mustang II

Dear Welder Series…

Good day aye,

I would like to purchase your cross member for my 1962 Studebaker Lark station wagon. Running into issues with frame measurements. The “Z” mark is running through the shock tower preventing me from getting accurate measurements. Also, the frame goes in and out, up and down around the “Z” mark. Checking to see if you have run across this before I start cutting out the cross member and shock towers. Attaching a few pics. If you need more or have any questions, please let me know.  The “4” mark is 4 inches behind “Z”. “Z” mark starts at crossmember.

Dear Dan…
Good morning, Dan.

I only see one picture, but from your description, it sounds like you will need to make a new front frame clip using 4x2x.125 wall HSS tubing. Check the pictures at https://welderseries.ecwid.com/Mustang-II-Crossmember-Kit-for-Coil-Springs-p51209443 and https://welderseries.ecwid.com/Mustang-II-Crossmember-Kit-for-Coil-Overs-Shockwaves-p51209593 and read the info in the Product Details and inthe links in those sections.
This is not an easy swap but a Welder Series’ Mustang II was designed to be used in applications like yours. Probably the 56-1/2” track width will be right.
Thanks for looking at Welder Series’ parts.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…

Thanks for the reply Paul,

Ordered my 2×4 tubing. I have a question though. You state that the 56 ½ kit likes outside frame dimensions of 26-30 inches. My frame rails will be about 30 ½. Is this going to cause a problem?

Dear Dan…
Dan, that should be fine.

I’ve attached cut line drawings. This “assumes” 2×4 rails, parallel to each other and level. The bottom of the frame would be at the same height as a stock Mustang II spindle. The front would be 2” lower with dropped spindles but the cut lines would be the same.
Drawing 1 is not attached because it laid out the rails and that’s info you gave me.
I hope this helps you see the installation more clearly.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…
Have a quick question for you. I ordered 5/8″ shorter control arms for my project. After receiving them I realized that the 5/8″ difference was not going to allow enough clearance for the Shock Wave air bags. So, planning on switching to coil over’s for now. My question is, Can I still mount the coil over plates at TF/TR and then use spacers for the Shock Wave Coil overs? ( Just incase I ever switch control arms to use Shock Wave air bags).

Dear Dan…
Dan, you can do this.

It might help to order our ShockWave upper mounting kit, https://welderseries.ecwid.com/ShockWave-upper-mounting-kit-p466997276 .
Paul

Dear Welder Series… Mustang II cut line help (2×4 frame)

Dear Welder Series…
Paul,

Kevin here, sorry I missed your call earlier. As I said previously, I’m doing a custom front end using your mustang ii crossmember kit for coil springs. I am using 2×4 channel for the main frame rail and am looking for either the cut diagram, or just the dimensions I need to trim both the cross member and the shock tower mounts. To give you an idea, I will be doing something that looks a lot like the build linked below. I am available in the morning Monday and Tuesday next week if it would be easier to discuss on the phone.

Kevin

Dear Kevin…

I think this is what you want. If you want to talk about it, please send me another email and I’ll call you.

Thanks for using Welder Series’ parts.
Paul

MII CUT LINES CUSTOM 4X2 FRAME 56 kit

Dear Welder Series…
I do believe that is what I need. Thank you very much. Based on the drawings, does the bottom of the tower bracket line up with the notch on the inside of the crossmember?

Dear Kevin…
Yes, it does, Kevin. And, that’s also where the stock spindle will be with all the weight on the front end. (Ride height)

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Paul,

I accidentally gave you the wrong dimension for the frame. It’s 2×3, not 2×4. I should just add back an inch on the upper tower cutout to make it line up with the notch and it should be good, correct?

Kevin

Dear Kevin…
Kevin, you are correct. On the towers, use 3” instead of 4”.

Paul

1953 Studebaker Pickup with a Welder Series Mustang II Crossmember

Dear Welder Series… 1953 Studebaker PU Mustang II

Dear Welder Series…
I want to purchase a coil spring front cross member kit. It is going into a 53 International with a stock tread width of 60-1/2″. Questions …. I have Granada rotors on MII spindles … do I need the 58″ or 60″ x-member? The frame width is 28-1/4″ out to out  …. which size will work best?I have seen the Swartz build, but can find no reference to which width he used.

Dear Rich…
Rich, I’m checking with Grant Schwartz now.
To decide the track width kit to use, position the wheels and tires that you’ll use in the fender opening and measure wheel mounting surface to surface.
28-1/4” outside dimension might require a work-around, but let’s take one step at a time.
Thanks for looking at Welder Series’ parts. Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…
Here are the measurements for the frame. The outside measurement is 28-1/4″ from 6″ ahead of Z to 1″ behind Z then tapers to 28-7/8″ at 6″ behind Z.

Dear Rich…
Installation tips and cut lines drawings are attached.
Paul

Dear Welder Series…
I will take pictures as I go and will send you a file when the frame is done…. might be a month or so at the rate this old fart works….. and have to keep the house projects going to keep the boss happy. A Jag rear is the next stage of the project.
This project is replacing my daily driver as it has seen 12 years and a lot of abuse.  Engine is 5 cylinder M/B turbo and is still going strong. 

Dear Welder Series: 1929 Essex Mustang II Install

Welder Series offers a service where we can guide you where to cut the crossmember after you provide some key dimensions. Here’s how it works…

Mustang II Crossmember Trim Lines Worksheet

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul. Prior to me cutting the notches in my clip, could you have a quick look and see if it will work. I think this ok but….. Its on a 29 Essex no fender, with 2″ drop spindles. Frame width is 24″ inside and 28″ out side, Frame is 2″ wide and 2-3/4 ” high

Thanks John

Dear John… Good morning, John.

I’m working on your Mustang II cut lines and realized I didn’t ask some questions yesterday:

Are the frame rails parallel?  (28” & 24” from 5” ahead to 5” back from centerline)  If not, what are the dimensions at those points?

You said the rails are 2-3/4” high at axle centerline.  What is the frame rail height 5” ahead and 5” back from c/l?

Thanks.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
The frame rails are parallel. The frame rail height 5″ ahead is c/l is 2-3/4″ and 5″ back of c/l is 3-1/8″.
When fitting the cross member last night I had to grind a little more get it to fit . In my picture to you I had the depth of the cut at 2.5″, when it is now 2-3/4 ”

Thanks so much for your help !!!!

Cheers John

Dear John…

Hi, John.

Here are the cut lines to put the bottom of your frame 10-1/2” from the ground with dropped spindles and a 26” diameter tire.

Please send pictures when you get the kit installed.
Thanks for using Welder Series’ parts.
Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
Please see attached pictures of the 1929 Three Window Essex Coupe 🙂
Thanks for all your help !!! Soon to be chopped and channeled.
Kind regards John

Mustang II crossmember excess material

Dear Welder Series… trimming excess off crossmember

Dear Welder Series…
Hi DW I’m pleased to say I have the main section of my mustang 2 kit installed in my frame rails, the instructions were clear as a bell and it is a beautiful piece of work. I was just curious if it is recommended to remove any excess metal on the outer edges of the crossmember or not to give it a cleaner look. I’ve attached a picture to show you what I plan to remove. Thanks again and hope to hear back soon.

Anthony

Mustang II crossmember excess material

Dear Anthony…
You can trim the area indicated. But it feels like there’s another problem coming regarding the towers. It looks like the frame is too narrow to attach them. Have you got past this issue or should we talk? Please call 888-648-2150 if you want to discuss it. Leave a message and I get back to you.
Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…
Oh thanks Paul. I did end up getting everything mounted onto the frame and all the measurements checked out so here’s an attached picture with the lower crossmembers and the upper control arms mounts all tacked in place. If this doesn’t look right let me know.

Dear Anthony…
Anthony, it’s hard for me to get a perspective on the tower and crossmember but maybe this sketch will help.
The front upper-inner corner of the tower should be very close to 9-3/4” higher than the lower pivot hole center. The rear should be very close to 9-1/4”.
The vertical edge of the tower should be 1-7/8” inches out from the lower arm hole.
I hope that helps.

Paul

Dear Welder Series… Triangulated 4 bar with Buggy Spring?

Dear Welder Series…
I am currently building a model a coupe and working on the rear suspension. I have a couple of questions. I’m going to use a buggy spring and was planning on using a 40 Ford wish bone but I’m having my doubts as to weather it will hold up under the power of a nailhead. My questions are can I run a triangulated 4 bar with the buggy spring? I’m also leaning towards ladder bars. Can these be modified and scrap the clevis fittings on the rear mount in favor of urethane on all the joints or would it make it too stiff of a ride.
Thanks for any help,
Kevin

Dear Kevin…
Sounds like a neat project, Kevin. The triangulated rear 4-link can be used with the buggy spring if the spring is mounted behind the housing. If the spring is on top, it might interfere with the upper bar brackets.

If you decide to use the ladder bars, it will be much easier to stay with the clevises. The front-mounted urethane bushings isolate the whole assembly, so the ride will be pretty much equal.

Thanks for looking at Welder Series parts.

Dear Welder Series… Mustang II crossmember notching

Dear Welder Series…
Does the coilover crossmember for a Mustang II go up the outside of the frame or do you have to notch it in?

Dear Don…
Hi, Don.

The crossmember and the upper spring towers get notched to fit the frame dimensions. Usually, the crossmember welds to the inside and under the frame rail but this depends on the track width, frame inside and outside dimensions, and the frame height relative to spindle height.
I can show you where the frame and tower notches will be for your application according to the instructions at: https://assets.adobe.com/public/17afad9a-b219-4191-7cfb-7ee4bfa6277c/Coil%20Spring%20Mustang%20II.pdf .
Please send the following dimensions:
Spindle height or front tire size you will use
Frame width, inside
at CF
at CR
Frame width outside
at CF
at CR
at TF
at TR
Bottom of frame to ground
at CF
at CR
Top of frame to ground
at CF
at CR
at TF
at TR
With this info, I’ll be able to show you which kit width will fit and how the crossmember and towers will have to be notched. I can also make suggestions regarding stock or dropped spindles. Then you can position your wheels and tires and see how the truck will look.
Thanks for getting back to me. I want to help you with your project.
Paul

Dear Welder Series… Corvette sway bar questions

Dear Welder Series…

I am wanting to install a rear sway bar on my 1978 corvette. Due to modifications to corvette and rim/tire size, a factory bar will not work.
This kit seems to be the closest to what will work for me but it I am hoping to get some more information from you before I purchase.
1)  Can you confirm the length of the torsion bar is 45″? If not what is the actual total length. The corvette frame is right around 43-44″ wide  and it needs to sit directly under it. There is minimal area to go narrower but is probably possible. Obviously I can trim it too.
2)  The outer tube what is the supplied length?  — so I can figure out if an under frame mount will work or I will have to fab up some custom brackets.
3)  What does the under frame mount look like?
4)  The lower link mounts won’t work in my situation so can they be removed with the  coil over mounts for a bit more cost savings.
5)  Do you have a detailed drawing (or a scale PDF) that I could print out, cut out to see if it would work around the interferences I have.
If you had a 45″ kit without any bracketry (swaybar , tube, bushings, arms, couplers and rod ends for the links)  that would be ideal.
Thanks,
Mike

Dear Mike…
Hi, Mike.

1)  The actual sway bar is 45” long. One end has 1” of spline. This bar is designed to be used as-is or cut to length. We also have 45” bars splined both ends. The 3/8” thick arms mount outside the bar, so if the 45” bar was used as is, the distance outside the arms would be 45-3/4”.
2)  The supplied outer tube is 1-3/8” OD and 43” long.
3)  The under frame mounting bracket:
4)  The lower axle mounts for the links can be taken out of the kit:
5)  I don’t have a single drawing of the whole kit. Dimensions for the various parts should all be on the website.
Welder Series is a “builder supply” company and, as such, all parts are available individually. They are shown on our website with dimension details. Please get in touch again if we can give you some other info.
Thanks for looking at our parts for your project.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…

Paul,
Thanks for the info, it helps greatly.
I am just working out  how to best mount it, what parts will work in my case and also ways to keep the weight of the added system in check.
Mike

Dear Welder Series… Unhole Tip

Dear Welder Series…
I tried to attach these to the review but it wouldn’t let me. I found that if I used a step drill and drilled the finish dia of the plug (5/8″) 1/2 way thru it left enough shelf to support the plug and was tight enough to fuse with the TIG.
I hope this helps,
Jim

Dear Jim…
Great idea! I hope someone else sees this and is able to make use of it. I always find it a bit of a hitch in my step when the next size on the step drill isn’t quite far enough away to go through the whole thickness of the material, and it leaves a lip that needs to be removed… this idea almost redeems that :).

Dear Welder Series… MII for Datsun 521?

Dear Welder Series…
Hello, I was looking at your Mustang II crossmember kit. I’d like to get one for my Datsun 521. I was wondering if you would be able to decrease the width of the crossmember sections by 3” to accommodate the more narrow track width of my truck. I guess I could section it myself but that wouldn’t look as clean. The suspension parts aren’t readily available for my truck so I’d like to use this setup.
Thanks,
John

Dear John…
Hi, John.

We can make special width crossmembers, but…
The actual track width might not turn out to be what you hoped for. The brake kit used can move the wheel in or out from where the stock Mustang II was. You might also find that narrow control arms can be used that will reduce the track width and give more clearance in the engine room for exhaust and steering, even if you will use the stock engine.
Our website has some Mustang II dimensions at http://welderseries.com/tech/tech-sharing/ifs-make-your-own/. These dims will give a track width of 56-1/2” when stock 1974-78 Mustang II rotors and control arms are used. Narrowing the dimensions, top and bottom, will bring the wheels closer together by that amount. Shorter control arms will do the same. The brakes used might move the wheels in or out. We have info about our brake kits at:
If you use 4-bolt MII rotors, there should be no change.
My suggestion is:
Get everything you need except the crossmember kit, springs, shocks, and the steering rack. (Wheels & tires, brakes, spindles, and control arms)  A custom rack will have to be ordered after the width has been determined. Springs and shocks can come after that.
Remove the stock front suspension.
Block the truck at ride height.
Mock up the wheels & tires, rotors, spindles and lower control arms.
Position the tires in the fender. The tires should be very close the vertical.
Block the lower control arms at horizontal.
Measure the lower control arm mounting hole center-to-center.
Subtract that dimension from 22-1/4”. This is the amount to remove from the crossmember.
Buy our 56-1/2” kit and remove that amount from between the rack mounts.
The rack will have to be shortened the same amount.
Before doing much more, check the cost of this to be sure you are comfortable with it.
I hope this helps with this part of the project.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…
Paul,

Thank you for all the information and help. I figured that the control arms would have to be shortened as well. I saw a couple of your customers vehicles who did the same thing. Have a Happy New Year.
Johnathon

Dear Welder Series… T56 Mount?

Dear Welder Series…
Good morning. I am getting ready to put an order together and had a few questions,

1. Your simple transmission mount kit, will it work for a Tremec T56 bolt pattern?
2. Also your universal sway bar. I currently have your 4 link system, will the sway bar shift from side to side for the 4 link movies a 1/4-1/2 ” from side to side when the suspension is traveling.
3. Your exhaust hangers do you have them in stainless 304 or 409?
Thanks, Mike
Dear Mike…
Good questions.

1.  All of our transmission mounts work with the 2268 and 31158G insulator. These insulators both fit your T56 trans. Regarding the crossmembers, http://welderseries.com/Transmission-Mounts-Crossmembers-c13290625, your shifter handle mounting area might hit the crossmember of the 2115 style. If you want to use this mount, the crossmember could be notched for clearance. I like the 2115 because it adds a crossmember to the frame and the drop-out saddle makes it easy to remove the trans.
2.  The rod end links in the sway bar kit allow for left-to-right movement during suspension travel. For more info about sideways movement, you could read https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxUbZIT8qqYCdmF2N2RCR2MxQlU/edit .
3.  We do have stainless exhaust hangers. Stainless hangers are referenced SS, mild steel MS.  Flanges are also available in MS and SS material.
Thanks again for looking at Welder Series for your project.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…
Awesome thanks for the quick response I appreciate it

Dear Welder Series: sway bar for Camaro clip?

Dear Welder Series…

Hey DW.
Hope all is well sir
Am working on a 39 Chev that someone has grafted a Camaro (I think) clip on with stock control arms.

I can’t get the factory sway bar in around the bottom of the rad etc.

Do you have parts available in your universal sway bar kit(s) to make something work?

Regards,
John

Dear John…
Good morning, John. Paul Horton here.

The tube that encloses our sway bar is 1-3/8” diameter and installs straight across the frame. It can go below, through, or above the frame, 8 – 10” behind or in front of where the sway bar arms will link to the upper or lower control arms. In an IFS installation, often the outer tube is slightly longer than the outside width of the frame where it mounts. The arms have to be bent for tire clearance in a turn.
I’m not familiar with the stock Camaro bar and where it doesn’t clear, but maybe the above info and the pics on the web store will give you some ideas. You could email pics to info@welderseries.com and I’d see if I could make some suggestions.
Thanks for considering our sway bar.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…
Good enough sir thank you very much