25 Years Of Independent Ford Suspension
It's been 25 years since Ford put a solid axle under the front of anything but a 1-ton truck-and man, hasit come a long way! Traditionally General Motors is credited (blamed) for converting the light-truck market to independent front suspension (IFS), but the truth is that Ford set the ball rolling with its twin traction beam (TTB) suspension in 1980. It lasted 16 years in the 11/42- and 31/44-ton truck (six years in the 1-tons) before being replaced by a new A-arm suspension in the F-150 and a solid axle in the F-250s. But over the years Ford developed a reputation for building a robust IFS that can be modified for insane suspension travel. In terms of simplicity, cost, and raw wheel travel, TTB still has an advantage over the latest stuff coming out of Dearborn. However, when it comes to street driving and ride quality, you can't beat the current production stuff. We dug deep this month into the Ford tech bin to come up with goodies on all of the Ford IFS systems-no matter which one is your favorite.
Rear Spring SourceFord trucks still rely primarily on a leaf-sprung solid-axle rear suspension. Unfortunately, most Fords come from the factory with 2- or 4-inch blocks already, which means to lift these trucks properly you need new leaf springs-and not stack blocks. Most lift-kit manufacturers offer optional rear leaf-spring kits in addition to blocks or add-a-leaves, but the most complete line of rear springs comes from Deaver Spring. Deaver specializes in multileaf spring packs that are tuned for off-road use. It has applications for all fullsize Ford pickups and Rangers and is well equipped to build custom spring packs for your unique needs.