F-150.....A-arm or I-beam ??

motoxscott

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Well after the UP Jump Contest I have decided to sell my lifted Superduty and buy and build up a race ready prerunner.

I'm partial to Ford and I want a fullsize so here are my options........both will be 4-linked in the rear and running 35's..

A)1994-1996 F-150 with Camburg extended length i-beams, running a coilover, airbump and possibly a bypass up front, getting 16"-20" of travel. Cross-cross steering possibly.

B) 1997 F-150 with H&M's extreme extended a-arm kit, running a coilover and a bypass getting 17" of travel.

So what I'm asking is should I go i-beam or a-arm ?? I'm curious to what everyone thinks about it. I'm probably going the a-arm route, it will end up costing a little more, but it seems like it will have a cleaner 17" of travel (I'm refering to camber alignment throughout its travel).

Is their anything I should look out for when building up these trucks?

Any input would be great, thanks in advance.

-Scott
 

Josh_Bethmann

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You will probably want to consider how often you plan to use the truck and what is more cost effective. A-arms, as you stated are cleaner and more expensive. However, a-arms will be stronger and may stand up to the abuse that you plan to put it through without constant maintenance. Either way, contact camburg and discuss your options with the guys up there. They can give you the pro's and con's in detail. They work hand-in-hand with the guys an H&M so they know the kit you are referring to. Good luck and have fun.
-Josh

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.JTB-Design.com>http://www.JTB-Design.com</A>
 

Marshall

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Dollar for dollar, I beams. Just as an example. look at the stock class guys. they beat the crap out of I beams in stock form with very little problems. A-arms are great in full custom form but Im not sure i would take any A arm " kit " over a I beam "kit" for a full size truck. If your planing on full four link well go for the A-arms but it will cost you more than the super duty. Just my 2 cents
 

Kritter

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I'd keep the super duty...new, clean, reliable. Once you start getting into the hardcore prerunner you are going to lose reliability.

Kris
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"Jesus loves you, everybody else thinks you're an A-hole"
 

SDranger

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If you dont care about the cost so much then the '97 up f150 w/ the H&M kit would be the way to go.I beams are without doubt cheaper, but if you have the money a arms are the way to go and will give you the cleanest, best working travel. PS. I think it would look a lot cooler w the a arm setup (all the flat billers will think it is sick) :)

97 Ranger 4x4
02 CR125
 

JrSyko

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Listen to what Kris said...unless you can afford to have two cars, one for daily use and one for play/prerunning, keep the superduty! Its not like a lifted super duty is a POS!

See ya in the dirt!
 

Jack

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If you want 4 wheel deive and that much travel, you need the beams.
 

motoxscott

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My Superduty isn't my daily driver anymore, I've got a sportbike for that. I'm not looking to build a prerunner to thrash it, thats for sure. This is going to be a project for me. Currently I'm building up my brothers Tacoma, but I want something else to play with as well to help hone my skills. Practice makes perfect.

I should have mentioned this will be a 2wd not a 4wd.

I'm planning on doing everything myself except the front end, with all the geometery I want to make sure it's set up correctly. No point dumping money into a truck that doesnt go straight.

I'm planning on going over my options with Camburg, H&M, etc etc, I was just curious what you thought.

-Scott
 

TRDshaunTRD

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how much time and money do you plan to put into this project? If you have time and money, try a-arm with the mounts closer to the center, and move the engine back toward the cab. Do it right, and don't use a "kit". If you dont have the cash, then go with the beams, those are the best bang for the buck!

"Those who risk nothing are nothing."
 

motoxscott

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If money wasnt an object, center mounted a-arms would be the direction to go in, I dont have an open check book for this project though.

I don't want to invest more than $5000.00 into the front end. H&M's a-arm kit is pretty trick, but so is Camburgs I-beams. Plus their are other options/companies out there too.

First things first though..............need to sell the Superduty to fund my new project.

If anyone's looking for a sweet lifted superduty, I'm putting up mine for sale. I will be adding it to the classified section shortly.
 

TRDshaunTRD

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If anyone is interested in his truck I can verify that it is sweet and clean!

"Those who risk nothing are nothing."
 

Greg

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Until last october my truck was my daily driver, has air, heat, power everything and it handles fine on the street (if you dont mine the tires howling while turning into a gas station cause the spool). I-beams can work great on the street, my truck turns well and tracks perfrctly straight and I know they can take the abuse of thrashing. But, if you do the 4 link, i suggest a sway bar, as I will soon be putting one in mine.

Greg
 

pciscott

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I have driven both and think you can make either work great. Big Bird my friend Dane Cardone's Yellow 96 F-150 has been prerunning my butt around the course for the past 4 years. This truck has I-beams and works better than anything I have driven except #7. Big Bird turns great and tracks perfect and is one tough truck. The Trophy Truck has A arms and mucho grande horsepower. I drive the race truck much harder than the prerunner because it is mine and it likes it rough! Nestor at Newline is doing the finishing touches on my new prerunner that has A-arms. He says I will be amazed at how this new truck will perform. Perfect 4 link to hook up the power with 34 inches of rear. Plus 25 inches in the front with zero bump steer, zero scrub. I think Geometry is very important, but think it matters little at slower speeds. I have driven a truck with 3 inches of bump steer and all kinds of scrub and she was a handful, but it still hauled ass in the rough. The Geometry comes in for the cornering and the speeds above 90 mph, but I feel shock and spring setup are where most of your performance is at for prerunning. To be honest the main reason I went with A-arms on the new prerunner was cool factor. My original goal when I met with the late Larry Plank to build this truck was "To build the Sickest Prerunner ever built." The truck was just a bunch of ideas when Larry passed on, but Nestor has done his homework and Larry would be proud of what Newline and Nestor has built. Nestor brags that it will put the Trophy Truck to shame. I am patiently waiting to be impressed and hope to have her finished up soon. Ryan Herzog is picking up the sister to my new prerunner tomorrow from Newline, they will do the plumbing and final assembly themselves. I hope to get a race going between Ryans guys and Nestor and get mine done first. These two trucks will for sure be the SICKEST trucks ever built. The problem is Nestor is a pretty sick guy and already has some new ideas for the next one! Back to the topic of I-beams versus A-arms: I-beams = tough, dependable, simple, and less expensive to maintain. A-arms = Cool, Cool, Cool, plus perfect Geometry if done right. I have driven both and for a prerunner that works great and is affordable I would go with I-beams. A-arms are cool, but unless money is no object I would spend the extra money on horsepower and go with the beams. Horsepower is what gets my heart rate up!

God Bless America

Scott Steinberger Trophy Truck #7
 

dezertchick

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Scott, Your so right...Lately it seems that I break everything on my truck except my bent and boxed I beams. Those are the only thing I havent broken off roading the hell out of my truck at times. People I know seem to break the upper A-arm mount when it comes to some kit. I havent heard of anyone breaking an I beam like that. I always preached that you can't beat I beams for cost effective travel.
 

havahockey

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If you have an A-Arm built right it shouldn't break. Unless it is a Fabtech arm or home built arm, most A-Arms are plenty strong when built by one of the reputable shops. When I got my kit I was told that I would rip the arm off the frame before I ever broke the arms.

I-Beams vs. A-Arms, I think whatever is in your budget. If you can spend the extra cash then I would go with A-Arms because of the cleaner travel and better geometry. Also, how many TT do you see with I-Beams? I was always curious as to why most run A-Arms.
 

Kritter

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I dont knwo about you but I would much rather have an arm break then to have mounts ripped off my frame. Frame work is not cheap and not only that it weakens the frame..a lot. When something is designed it need to be designed with a weak link...I would not wnat my fram to be that weak link.

As for the Trophy trucks running A-erms it had only been in the last few years that they are all running a arms, but I must admit A-arms are really cool.

Scott, isn't Cardone's truck a Plank Built? That thing is awesome. I beams are the way to go for reliable, easy, cheaper.

Kris
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"Jesus loves you, everybody else thinks you're an A-hole"
 

motoxscott

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The only thing that's kinda in the back of my head is for the i-beams to work the best, I need to go with equal length extended beams and go with a criss cross steering set up. That will probably end up putting me in the same price range as the a-arm set up.

Regardless I need to make a few calls and see what my options are.

Thanks for all the info.

-Scott
 

Kritter

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Unless you alter the steering on an A-arm truck, and by altering I mean more then extending the rod ends...you are gonna have ugly bump steer. You cannot add 4 inches per side and expect the steering characteresitics to be that of a Ford Engineered product...it just doesnt work that way although that is what is commonly done on widened front ends. You said you wanted to do it right so that is another thing to consider.

Kris
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"Jesus loves you, everybody else thinks you're an A-hole"
 

fishd00d

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Just my personal experiance with my Total Chaos A-Arm kit, its widened 3 1/4" on each side and for now just has extended tierods, there is no bump steer.

I guess if you go more than 3 1/4" the bump steer might start?

Go Big Or Go Home
 

singlehanded

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Ok sounds like you are working on a budget. It seems that the only class you would be able to race in is 1450 mdr and have any chance of finishing in the top 3 spots. You might be better off buying a used 7s and do all the prep work yourself? A-arms are definitly gonna be more unless you cheeseball the setup with stock steering and mounting points. Dont forget unless everything is changed their gonna be a weak link that will brake under racing conditions.Also after the front is done you gonna run stock spindal and brakes with 35???

local
 
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