Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?! - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

I WANT to buy a pre '74 Ford Truck, at least a 3/4 ton. I have been hearing BAD things about the 'twin I beam suspension... such as 'you cannot align them...' This is making me look closer at the 4x4 models, but I read that that 4x4's had 'twin traction beam'('73 on).... is this a variation of the twin I beam? Howabout the 'Mono-Beam' in the earlier trucks?
Specifically I am looking at a 1974 f-350 4x2 with a 460... would this truck have the twin I beam setup? Is it the weak link? Does the F350 have a superior setup than a F250?

Will I have reliability problems? I have heard that the early I beam suspension can be aligned with a torch because they are forged pieces. HOWEVER later models have cast I beams, and all you can do is shim them (band-aid-fix) the problem is MUCH worse if you want to lift or lower the truck at all....

HOW MUCH OF THIS IS TRUE?
WHAT SETUP SHOULD I TRY TO GET (mostly for towing and hauling)


THANK YOU i need something to tow my 'race mustang' around and its just gotta be a ford, and once i get one IM KEEPIN IT!!


thanks
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

ps the scope is "1968-1974 F-250 or F-350 2wheel or 4 wheel drive"

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Old 02-03-2004, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Had a big reply but forgot the password In short, someone is blowing smoke. I've had several & own a slammed '66 with no alignment problems. These trucks rock, just keep the pins lubed well.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

ME either, and my 74 F-350 has seen 10 ft of air underneath it.

Also, the 4x4's didnt go to the twin traction beam till 1980.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Oh hey, thought Id add here, Look at a 73 or 74, as they will have disc front brakes factory, which will be much better suited for towing. Also the F-350 has the longer wheelbase, Which is great for stability.
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Thanks guys..... I was also wondering if thereís a reason why I couldn't install a locking rear end (arb perhaps) and have a decent off-road or trail vehicle... or is the '74 F350 a big fat lumbering cow? The one I am interested in is stock all around, including A/c P/s a C-6, & disc brakes (-:

About the 'Twin I beams'; I have read in various places that you cannot raise or lower the vehicle attached to it... because there is NO adjustment for camber it almost seems... disposable...?

ď....If the Twin I-Beam axles are the forged variety, which were used from 1965 through 1981, camber can be corrected by bending the axle with a hydraulic ram. To make a make a positive camber correction, a rigid work beam is slung under the axle from a pair of clevis blocks. A hydraulic ram is then placed under the middle of the axle. When pressure is applied, the ram bends the axle upward and tilts the knuckle down to increase camber. A slight amount of overbending <<not very exact is it?>> is usually needed to compensate for spring back in the axle. A negative camber correction is made by removing the outboard clevis block and inserting a spacer between the work beam and axle. The hydraulic ram is then repositioned directly under the inner axle bushing. When pressure is applied, the work beam bends the outer end of the axle up which tilts the knuckle and decreases camber.
<<now it gets worse>>
In 1982, Ford introduced lighter stamped steel axle Twin I-Beam suspensions on the F100 and F150 pickups. The same axle is also used on 1989 and up Ranger pickups. These axles should not be bent because doing so may weaken them. Camber corrections on the stamped steel Twin I-Beam axles can be made by installing an offset bushing in the upper ball joint. Before you replace this bushing, though, note its position and amount of offset (if any). This will help you determine how much additional offset is needed. Many aftermarket manufacturers offer zero degree sleeves which can be installed to zero out the ball joint stud location to a nominal centered position. After replacing the bushing, steer the wheel by hand to make sure the ball joint isnít binding.

::above taken from:: http://members.aol.com/carleyware/library/bfe1096a.htm
also see:
http://www.hotrodders.com/t11855.html

This is the reason why I consider the 4x4 models? Does this make sense?


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 67fastback on 2/4/04 7:27am ]</font>
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

I have a 89 F150 4x4 with the Independent Front Suspension. They started using the IFS on the 4x4 F150, F250, and maybe even the F350 in 1980. If they did use it early on in the F350 that didn't last long as they went back to the Dana 60 pretty quick. IFS is a pretty goofy setup. I just rebuilt mine back last summer. I really don't see the benefit of it. My truck rides rougher than a 96 F350 PS 2WD that my buddy has. Lifting a truck with IFS is a PITA. Much better off to go buy a Dana 60 and swap it out if you want to lift it. I am browsing for a new (to me) truck and this is one of the reasons I am only considering F350s. Ford Dana 60s are bringing a premium because it'll fit Chevys and Chevy guys want to get rid of their version of IFS too.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

My 74 waqs no lumbering cow, but I did have a nice 460 built for it, and I also swapped to a 4 speed. Like I said, I got video of that truck 10 ft off the ground. Took it lots of places the average folks consider to be 4x4 roads. Kinda miss her now, but shes was in pretty rough shape.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

10' thats quite a bit~~! Did you use an elevator or esclator to get in to that beast? So did your truck have leaf springs in the front? coil over? solid axle? I would like to know how it was set up..?
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Actually mines 2wd, so its twin I beam with coil springs. In fact that 10 ft is the reason I had that truck, the twin I beams are virtually indestructable.
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Old 02-05-2004, 03:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

I fixed up my old broken computer and found the file I made when first learning about ford "TWIN I BEAMS". From re-reading the below information which was taken from all around the web, mostly from ford sites, I find myself with the prospect of wholly abandoning my quest for a '74 &amp; older 2 wheel drive ford. (4x4 instead)

I have been told that twin I beams are "virtually indestructable" However nobody has said how they ride, esp. over time and when lowering or raising the vehicle. It seems that you would have your I beams bent 90 deg down in a right angle in order to raise a truck substantially:
::::::::::::::::
__________twin I beam suspension____

Another one of Ford's "BETTER IDEAS"...You couldn't get twin I beam Ford truck to track straight if your life depended on it..I have always wondered now people drove the things..After overhauling the kingpins I would check at least the camber (which is unajustable except with a torch) and it would be pretty close..Setting the toe in negative helped some and making sure the rubber bushings were good..BUT!!! I never could keep a Ford truck "Between the guard rails "...I don't think they put much thought into the caster..(kingpin inclination)..For some reason I am building one now..For resale of course...Al..

Ford made the twin I-beam front end with the idea that it would never need to be aligned once set from the factory. Ford stopped making the twin I-beam because they could never get it into alignment. If you must change the front end, try looking into a front clip out of a newer truck. You can put upto a '91 front clip in a '73-91 GM as a direct bolt in, I'm not sure about Fords though. The other, cheaper, solution is to slow down... It will save you money on gas, tires, and engines.

. The redesigned 1997 trucks abandoned the twin I-beam front suspension in favor of the much easier to lower double A-arm setup.

As mentioned previously, lowering pre-'97 F-150s takes a bit of work. Ford's twin I-beam front suspension consists of two axle beams (like a traditional street rod I-beam axle cut in half) that pivot at opposite ends of the front crossmember. A coil spring is used on each I-beam. This system provides lots of suspension travel on stock two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive Ford pickups.
Suspension geometry problems arise when you're trying to lower I-beam Fords. Since the spindles don't pivot, lowering the truck via shorter coil springs pushes the top of the tires inward. This affects alignment and tire wear. Getting a top-notch alignment job is important when you're using shorter coil springs to drop a pre-'97 F-150 1 or 2 inches.


1997 Ford F-250 change completely new front suspension with upper and lower control arms. It replaces the ancient Twin I-Beam, With the new layout, ride is far better, handling is superior, steering feel is drastically improved and directional stability, such as when traveling at highway speeds in a severe crosswind (which we had an opportunity to experience), is immensely enhanced. We would expect that even tire wear, a Twin I-Beam weak point, would also be better.

Ford credits the 1965 introduction of its twin I-beam suspension as being a major factor behind the incredible success of the long-running F-series trucks. A truck that rides like a car and still works like a truck is how Ford ads touted the twin I-beam. It's true that Ford F-series trucks have smashed all sales records. In 1995, the F-series surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the world's bestselling vehicle nameplate. Ford's F-series trucks have been the bestselling vehicle in America for 16 consecutive years
:::::
please lay my fears to rest if you can do so? (or confirm the above?!)
:::::

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 67fastback on 2/6/04 10:50am ]</font>
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Old 02-05-2004, 10:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Hey, relax. You think Ford sold however many million trucks with the Twin I-Beam and then no one could ever get an alignment done on them ever again? Hell no!
Yes its more difficult to align a Twin I-Beam than a more typical A-Frame suspension, but a good shop can do it.
Yes the Twin I-Beam is known for chewing up tires a little more quickly. Its also known as one hell of tough, durable, reliable front end.
Yes, the Twin I-Beam is harder to lower than a Chevy front end. Are you gonna lower it? No, then who gives a @&amp;*% if its harder to lower? If you're gonna lower it you've got options, either a front end swap or an aftermarket lowered I-Beam.
You're looking at a 68-74 truck, its gonna have the I-Beams you can align by bending them. No big deal. Yeah the trained Monkey at Midas isn't going to be able to do it, but a good shop, especially a shop that does heavier trucks, its a no-brainer for them. Yeah, the bending process is a little bit of an art, but its not rocket science and like I said there are millions of these trucks on the road, somebody must know how to align them? Do you see 68-74 Ford trucks wandering all over the $&amp;#(ing road like the driver is three sheets to the wind? Nah, so they must have a half decent alignment on them.
A 68-74 2wd Ford pickup would make a tough, reliable tow vehicle. In fact I'd rather have a Ford from that era than a Chevy, because of the leafs in the rear of the Ford and the more durable Ford front end.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

I don't think I'd worry about it either. I've had loads of 67-79 Ford trucks and never had a problem getting aligned. Ever. Then again I never drop them to a ground (if you want a lowrider get a car).
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

Check ya PM box...
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Old 02-12-2004, 12:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Twin I-Beam? on a 1974 F-350 460 should I BUY?!

I have a 71 F100 that has been in the family since new. I think the twin I-beams are about the toughest front end out there. I've had mine aligned professionally once. The caster and camber have stayed the same since then.
I was just involved in a wreck where a lady ran a red light and hit me on the left front fender, wheel and door. I replaced the steering box just for safety reasons then I had to replace the left I beam. If you layed it flat on the table you would have about 2" of clearance between the table. That I-beam took the blunt force of her 2003 Explorer. It did bend but I think it absorbed enough of the force to lessen the3 damage to the rest of the truck. The frame appears straight. Another cool thing is after I replaced the I-beam I placed 2 straight edges against the wheels and aligned the front end with a tape measure. Rides and drives just like it always did. The only weak link in the I-beam is the king pin. One way to solve that problem is to change out the nylon bushings for the brass bushing. It requires reaming them to fit but they'll last a long time
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