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Thread: Suspension differences from 1st and 2nd gen D50s?

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    Suspension differences from 1st and 2nd gen D50s?

    Ive got a friend that has an 80' D50 that we plan to bag and body drop here soon but I haven't seen many of these trucks done to get ideas from. From what I know the 1st gen and 2nd gen truck suspensions are pretty similar but are they identical? Im not real familiar with either truck so this will be new to me but Ive bagged 3 vehicles so far and this will be my 4th. Im just looking for a heads up on what it will take in order to lay these trucks out on a set of 18's so we can be prepared when we tear into it.

  2. #2


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    the dropped spindles are the same from 1979-1992 (not sure after that). the only real difference is the caliper and mount, you can convert from the 80's crappy system to the better 87+ system just by changing the caliper mount and caliper. If you want to go to a 5 lug front hub you can get the assembly off an 86-92 Toyota P/U then a little modification to center the caliper. Back end you can go to a first gen Ranger(83-87) as it runs the same bolt pattern. if you do that then you need to have the drive shaft shortened and a ford yoke installed.You might have to trim the lower control arm a small bit so the rim doesn't hit at full lock. there is a small screw steering stop that can be replace with a longer bolt.Check out some of the first gen build threads and you should fine some what some of us have done to bag one. If he has the money look at a weld in Mustang II front X-member.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for sharing your knowledge quickly. He's planning on a budget build so he will likely stay mostly stock aside from running drop spindles up front but as far as the front suspension differences between generations is mainly the caliper setups then? What about the crossmembers, Im reading that a lot of guys are Zing the frame 1" and others are fabbing the crossmembers to avoid Zing the frame. What is the best way to get the truck lay frame evenly?

  4. #4


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    Not to sure, Mine has about 3/4" to the frame with the airbags deflated with no mods other then the bag mount on the lower control arm. you might have to modify the lower control arms for the bag to sit a little lower and raise the upper bag mounts a bit.The other thing you will probably have to do is make an new tranny X-member as the stock one hangs below the frame rails. I use Slammed Speciality's 5" SS's up front and with the air out they sit on their bump stops and my shocks are all the way up. Rear is unmodified and with the axle hitting the frame (have custom bump stops) the frame sits level front to back.A small rear notch and i could lay frame

  5. #5



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    the design of the frame requires the front to be z'd to have it lay flat - 1 to 2" is enough to level the frame. On minitruckinweb, Ernie Macais did a series of articles on his truck that has almost all the pics you need to see what it takes to lay frame. That truck was built so well, that even a drunk driver rearending it didn't destroy the frame!
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the insight guys, Tonite we started out by putting new ball joints and control arm bushings on the truck. Not exactly sure when the cutting will start but we're getting close

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    Looking forward to progress pics. If you have any more questions feel free to post them. Start a build thread in the fist gen foum too.
    Josh
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    Here's the first pic of the build. When we found the truck it was parked for about 5-6 years, was neglected and had a bad engine. There is bondo all over the truck and it doesn't help that it's painted dookie brown LOL. So far it has been lowered 5", engine completely rebuilt, escalade rims with new tires, new ball joints and control arm bushings and I think that's it. The engine is out in this pic which is why it's sitting uneven but in coming weeks the engine will be reassembled and put back in the truck and he will be getting a new door and a pair of bucket seats to get it in a little better shape. We will be doing a full FBSS bag setup as well as going over the entire body and painting it, I think he also plans to body drop it. Here's a pic of my brothers truck we are currently working on, which is why the d50 (actually a Plymouth Arrow) is on hold.

  11. #11

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    Not sure why it cut part of the pictures out?

  12. #12



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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowlyfe View Post
    Not sure why it cut part of the pictures out?
    Thats because the picture is over 800 X 800 on photo bucket. They need to be resized. You can get this for free. I use it all the time. It does batch processing. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...izing-Software
    Once you have them resized it will show the hole thing. Also if you upload them to the board it will make thumbnails you can move around your page. But they still need to be under 800 X 800. There are tips and tricks to pictures in the site news and support section on pictures and attachments. Once you get the hang of how the board moves things around you can build a killer looking thread.
    Members come and members go, But the board keeps track of them.
    Check out the Fear Monger by
    clicking HERE.

    The MightyRam50 site is sponsored in part by On Site Concrete Inc.

  13. #13



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    Well that truck ought to be able to sneak under a snake. Looks like you just about have a RCH of room with tire fit. Looks like a fun drive & project.

    Ha, just seen the LowLife plate on wall too, corner the market!

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