Classic trucks can have their ride greatly improved with the replacement of the original front end with a modern independent front suspension. This is something that can be done with almost any type of classic car or old truck.
The main reason for the installation of an independent front suspension on your old truck is to improve the quality of the ride but it can also be done in order to lower the suspension and give the old truck a totally different look. Depending on the type of front end you choose, your old truck will also have a wider stance.
There are several types and models of independent front suspension systems available for sale in the United States. For Chevy trucks made between 1947 and 1955 one of the easiest ways is to get the front end of the C10 series Chevy trucks made between 1973 and 1987. The assembly unbolts and comes down as a complete unit and can then be bolted to the frame of the old Chevy truck. The whole steering assembly can also be installed to the old truck. This type of suspension is very rugged, has disc brakes and will last forever on classic trucks and is the suspension we have installed in our 1954 Chevy pickup. But beware: although this is a relatively easy adaptation it can’t be done by an amateur. You will have to take careful measurements of the two frames even before you remove the suspension from the donor C10 truck, especially the steering components if you want to do a good job.
Another type of suspension which has been used in both Ford and Chevy old trucks used to be found in the old AMC Pacer automobile of the late 1970s. This type of suspension also has the advantage of being a complete unit that you can unbolt from the donor car and bolt to the frame of the old truck. A kit for this adaptation is available for sale at many old truck part companies. Among the advantages of this type of suspension is the fact that it comes with front disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering. The installation of the Pacer suspension is easier to do then the installation of the C10 suspension, but there are a few problems here too. First, it is very difficult to find a Pacer suspension nowadays. The car went out of production almost three decades ago and it wasn’t produced in large quantities to begin with. And even if you find one of these suspensions it will be difficult to get the bushings and other components you’ll need to rebuild it.
Another option to improve the ride of classic trucks is to install a modern IFS system produced specifically for your brand and model of old truck. There are several companies that do this and their systems are the best you can find, with disc brakes, rack-and-pinion power steering and coil over springs. They are the best and they are also the most expensive. Their prices start a little over US$ 1,000 and go all the up to almost US$ 3,000. But if you can afford one of these you’ll be rewarded with the best type of independent front suspension available for your old truck. This type of independent front suspension is available for classic cars too.
The Mustang II type of independent front suspension is also a great option for old trucks. You can either find a Ford Mustang II and use its suspension or buy this type of front end ready to install in your old truck. It is one of the strongest you can get and the quality of the ride will make you feel you’re driving a car.