I beams...retro or not?

Rufrider

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OK all you old ford owners. I need to decide whether or not to keep my 71 ford f-100 retro with coils and shocks or go coil overs. I like the whole idea of keeping it coils, I look at Masons class 8 f-100 that keeps on keepin on with trophy trucks.
But...colovers would be niiiiice.

Another problem I am faced with is finding quality fab on a budget( like most of us), its like pulling teeth to get someone to call U back...or even want to talk to you.

I have seen AUTOFABS stuff and I heard it works......any other suggestions?
 

RRose

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I say go coilovers! You can't beat the adjustability!
 

sirhk100

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Call and talk to John at Autofab, he's the F100 experts. If he doesn't have glass he'll know if it exists adn where to get it.
 

billymanfroy

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I used their bent stock beams for years and never had one problem. My buddy's got John's extended 4wd TTB set up with Bilsteins on his prerunner and it is really a nice looking kit that works great. John's your man for that stuff, but don't ask him about coilovers!

Billy
 

Chris_Wilson

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Autofab glass - yes. It's a high quality layup with good fit. For racing, there are cheaper
and lighter glass providers. For street use where looks matter Autofab is good.
 

sirhk100

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Yeah, and don't ask him about any other companies then his. He's VERY proud and think's he's the god off ford prerunner setups and that everyone copied him in the beginning, true or not, Maybe, I don't know. And yeah, he's old school, loves buckets and coils and strays away from c/o. He could setup your truck to hang with most c/o trucks though, that's for sure!!!
 

sirhk100

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Let's just say, he's emotional... I've litterally been thrown out of his shop for asking how his kit does in comparison to brand X... He feels VERY strongly that his stuff is above all his competitors and that he has the only right way of building dezert truck suspensions.
 

Rufrider

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Well that sucks!!! Makes me not want to support him. Anyone know anyother shops that specialize in old fords....
 

sirhk100

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Yeah, it's just the type of guy John is... He's old school, I mean what he's been there doing it for like 20 years. Most of the fab shops in SoCal, the owners and stuff were in like elementary School when he was building trucks. His stuff no doubt works and kicks ass. It just John is kinda moody. You definately won't be disappointed in the function of his setups!!!!
 

Brice

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did someone delete my post that said ''just dont ask him about coilovers, he will go crazy''? wtf is up w/ that. its true
 

jeff

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It's good that someone takes their product as serious as John does, if you can forget the fact he's crazy you won't be disappointed with AutoFab's products. If you want a level headed dude to sit down and explain the good/bad of both setups he's the wrong guy. If you want a coil spring setup I agree, it's worth a trip down (if local) to see his work. It is very expensive - if you haven't checked his pricing online be sitting down when you do. For as "simple" as his products appeart to look they are NOT cheap!. For the price of the AutoFab parts you could do a similar setup with coilovers and have a little left over.

As far as retaining the coil spring and staying old school.... I preran a bunch of the Baja 2000 in an older Ford F100 bodied truck that was built in the mid to late 80's. When I first saw it I thought oh hell, here we go. The thing had three Rancho style shocks in the rear (old re-built National leaf springs) and four up front (with some even older looking coil springs). It had a full cage front to rear and for it's time (the 80's!) I'm sure it was as good as it got. The beams weren't that fancy and it ran a simple GM 350/TH400 setup with a big 50+ gallon cell. Long story short - that truck did amazing things with 11-ish inches of front wheel travel and was so strong you could just point it at almost anything and just attack it. We hit a huge rock in a sand wash at speed that I thought was going to tear the front beam clean off... all it did was uproot the rock and scratch some of the decade old powdercoat off. That was when I knew building a prerunner wasn't all about having the most travel or spending the most money. I think if properly built you could have a really fun and reliable prerunner that could hang with a lot of the current high-zoot trucks you see being built today.

On the other hand... do you still own a black and white television? If you want to be "retro" just for the sake of being "retro" that's cool. If you want something that in theory should work better and be easier to tune a coilover system is the way to go.

One last thing before I end this long ass post - there was fullsize Ford running at Rialto on Saturday - it wasn't the latest or greatest but it did well and it looked like the owner was having a blast. Hopefully someone got some footage of that thing. It had very little travel and I don't think it broke, even after repeated launchings.

Aloha
 

BRBoudreaux

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Let me add a little something about John at Autofab.............

My 4x4 club had it's annual run last month. For kicks, I sent out several letters asking for donations from several desert only shops. I expected the bigger shops (won't mention names) to donate something, stickers, shirts, whatever. By the way, my club is 99% old school Chevy's, which were mentioned in every letter......You see where this is going, don't ya?

The only shop that I sent a letter to that donated was Autofab. I already had read all of these comments about John over the years and he was the last one that I expected to donate. He did and for that, I will be making sure he gets some of my future business.
 

Rufrider

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I didnt mean for this to turn into an AUTOFAB post but I guess it did. Again, is there anyone else know of who does old ford beam suspension?

I will get on my high horse for a minute about John. Out of calling /emailing a half dozen of BIG NAME reputable fab shops DAYS AGO John was not only the one that returned my e-mail TODAY, but wrote me 4 pages of info on how everthing work,cost, etc, which I really appreaciated. It was just like Jeff said , he took the time!!!
 

sirhk100

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He's a good guy and does bitchin work. Just is moody and VERY opinionated about the industry and his competitors. There's no doubt that if he builds you something it's gonna kick ass cause he has the Ford setup nailed!!!!
 

Chris_Wilson

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In San Diego, both Spirit and Race Design have built many I-beam setups.
Spirit was building championship winning I-beam trucks way back and
still builds them, 2wd or 4wd.
 

Rufrider

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Are these companies still in business? I tried calling information...no listing...anyone GOT NUMBERS OR CONTACTS?
 
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