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59 bird front suspention

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  • 59 bird front suspention

    Has anyone out there changed the front suspention
    by cutting out the old one and replacing it with whatever?
    Why I ask is my 59 has no motor and front end parts are
    damaged I have changed many other full frame clips
    but never a unibody type Thanks
    Last edited by johnbob; November 29th, 2009, 10:04 PM. Reason: claify

  • #2
    Hey John - Welcome to the board, hope you find all the info you need to get your bird rockin.

    What exactly are you looking for or looking to do?

    Kanter is a company based in NJ that has all the front end suspension parts you may be looking for.


    Good luck with your current project!

    Comment


    • #3
      Right now, there is discussion about changing front spindles to Granada/Mustang for disk brakes. As far as upper and lower 'A' arms, as skyd suggested, they can be re-bushed and restored. Some of the guys have replaced the sway bar with one much beefier.

      What do you want to change? - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      Comment


      • #4
        John,
        It sounds as if you're looking for an upgraded suspension like tubular A-Arms and a rack & pinion? If someone has done that I'd like to hear about it too.
        sigpic
        Jim

        protourbird

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        • #5
          Tubular?

          I think member RustyNCa has a tubular upper setup on his bird - at least I know he has disc's. Hopefully he'll see this and correct me if I'm wrong and have some ideas. If not you may want to send him a message.

          I think I see where your wanting to go though - not just suspension but frame? If your frame is bent and your not going to be able to get back close to put a standard suspension on it may possible to cut the front suspension clip off another car and weld in place (but probably not economical). Dave mentioned the Granada spindle swap - maybe a whole front frame clip would work?? Don't know the width measurements on the Granada but I imagine the Granada is much more narrow than our []birds. Probably would need a Crown Vic or similar but aren't they uni-body too?

          I have access to a '60 parts car if you want to try and replace the whole front suspension/frame clip but guess you would have to come to NC to get it - shipping the front end would probably cost a ton if it was possible. Only reason I suggest an original replacement is there would be alot of fabricating to get the other components that bolt to the frame back in their correct places (radiator, bumper, steering, motor mounts, inner fender wells, hood posts etc - like you pionted out - it's all uni-body and connected). Saw a Sunliner that had a custom frame stuck under it with a Ford GT motor and suspension (Speed Channel). Some creation but the owner admitted it took lots of time and lots more money!


          Eric
          registry 5347

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          • #6
            Yeah, I am running a set of 13" wilwood rotor's and calipers on the front of my 58, but I kept the stock a arms and spindles on it.

            The front end wasn't damaged, it was just rusted up and dried out. I just replaced all the bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints, etc.

            We made a caliper bracket that used factory locations to hold the wilwood calipers.

            We also tossed the stock sway bar and replaced it with a larger one, oh and cut a couple of coils from the springs.

            Other than that the front end is all stock

            There is a guy out there that makes a rack-n-pinion kit for our cars, I found his web site once. Replacing our funky power steering would be nice, but I'm not sure our front end geometry is bad enough to spend the time to replace it. It doesn't seem to have the negative camber and bump steer issues that my olds a body is plagued with for example.

            But then again you need to remember, I....





            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RustyNCa View Post
              There is a guy out there that makes a rack-n-pinion kit for our cars, I found his web site once. Replacing our funky power steering would be nice, but I'm not sure our front end geometry is bad enough to spend the time to replace it. It doesn't seem to have the negative camber and bump steer issues that my olds a body is plagued with for example.
              Wow! I've never seen such a huge brake! How well does it stop? How does your car ride?

              If you keep your A-arms, replacing your drag link with rack and pinion will not have any affect on your geometry (including bump-steer). My '55 and my '59 have r&p steering. I bought them from Tom Drummond, in Illinois. He is a great guy, and a pleasure to do business with. I have his address and phone number filed.

              Tom uses 1982-92 CAVALIER rack gears, and machines plates for our steering shaft and tie rods to bolt into. They work real well. What a huge difference, just to get away from ball-screw steering. Like modern cars, my steering feels tight with no drift. And with a big car, parking lots are real easy, now. I did this conversion for my wife because the '59 Galaxie is hers. - Dave
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

              Comment


              • #8
                Must say 13in sounds nice. I have 11in discs on mine. Rusty's setup looks nice and I bet it helps stop these beasts.

                Rusty - How much did you cut off the springs and how much did it lower the bird. I was going to by Jamco's lowered springs, when I rebuild my front end, but if I can keep the springs it might save a few bucs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by skyd View Post
                  Must say 13in sounds nice. I have 11in discs on mine. Rusty's setup looks nice and I bet it helps stop these beasts.

                  Rusty - How much did you cut off the springs and how much did it lower the bird. I was going to by Jamco's lowered springs, when I rebuild my front end, but if I can keep the springs it might save a few bucs.
                  I think I cut two coils if I remember right. Here is the car after I had rebuilt the front end, but before I cut the springs.

                  I used a cut off wheel and a wet rag when I cut them to keep the heat in them down. The car rides and drives fine, didn't have any problems getting the alignment set, we did take some measurements and am running a shorter shock though.

                  You need to remember the first coil doesn't make as big a difference as the next. After the first coil best to go easy depending on how much height each coil spring gives the car.

                  We first cut one coil, put the car back together, ran it up the street, checked the height and looked at the spring installed before we decided to cut some more. Honestly I wish it was another 1/4 lower.

                  Also it's not the first car I have just cut springs on ... did it also on my 65 TBird and my 68 Olds (except on those I also had to lower the back).

                  In my opinion, stance is one of the most important things to the car's look, that and the wheels make or break the car's look. And you can never be to low..... have a sign on my shop that says.... Praise the lowered

                  As you can see my car had it's nose way in the air after I went through and replaced all the balljoints and bushings.

                  Oh and you can kind of see the rotors inside my 17" wheels, I'm not sure even 16" rims would clear.



                  Here is how she sits now, I would estimate I dropped the front at least 2" when I did it.



                  My 65 Tbird before and after





                  And the olds.



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                  • #10
                    Hi Rusty,

                    I like 'em Low as well, but don't you guys have Speed-Humps?

                    Chris....From the Land of OZ.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bird 60 View Post
                      Hi Rusty,

                      I like 'em Low as well, but don't you guys have Speed-Humps?

                      Chris....From the Land of OZ.
                      Yep, we have those awful things..... The interesting thing is the Tbirds don't seem to drag on them, the olds is another story. It doesn't look as low as the birds, but I have hit hard enough just going down the road to see sparks out the back of it....

                      I finally gave up on these headers....

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