Rob first approached Autofab for a front suspension kit. He said that he wanted to build a pre-runner like John Ehmke’s 1975 F100 pre-runner. So our first step was to create a front-wheel travel kit that he could bolt onto his truck himself as he wanted to do as much of the work himself that he could handle. We explained the whole package needing to include for the equal length tie rod steering system to be included along with the large one-ton Ford equal length beams. These beams are special being about 30 percent stronger than normal one-ton beams. We set his front end up with one-ton king pin spindles, Autofab hubs, and Willwood brakes. One Fox 3 inch diameter 16-inch stroke shock per wheel yielding 18 inches of front wheel travel maintaining the original rear steer design. Rob bolted everything on and drove it over to Autofab for an alignment and check-up. We fitted a removable cross tube over the motor between the 2 shock hoops to complete the structure.
The second phase to fabricate the Rear wheel travel kit which includes custom leaf springs, Autofab 2 link anti-wrap up kit, and custom shock structure for a Fox 3 inch diameter 16-inch stroke racing shock. The rear kit is mounted to the frame in 6 places using Autofab BA200 bushing assemblies which provide an easy bolt-on design. The rear bed structure has 2 spare tire mounts built-in. Rob wanted a step-side bed so we installed the Autofab fiberglass step sides and the extra-wide rear fenders to the rear shock cage assembly. A custom 45-gallon fuel cell was mounted at the rear with an additional skid plate for protection.
The third phase is to fabricate the interior roll cage constructed with 2-inch diameter DOM tubing in the required areas based on SCORE off-road racing rules and the weight of the truck being over 4000 lbs. Bolt-on firewall mounts and rear mounts at the top rear of the cab will provide mounting points to connect the front and rear suspension to the interior roll cage. Roll Cage mounted to frame using Autofab BA200 bushing assemblies and special body mount to cage mount brackets under the firewall and back of the cab. Mounting for Mastercraft racing seats are built into the cab cage for the extra cab and floor pan reinforcing. Now the completed cab and interior cage work are sent to the body shop for painting. The stock frame gets the full Autofab prep job consisting of front frame horn trimming, tube cross member, and down tubes with skid plate mounts. Factory welds are ground out and welded on the main cross member. All factory rivets are removed from all brackets and cross members to be replaced by grade 8 bolts and nuts. The steering box mounts on the frame are drilled out, sleeved, and welded on both sides with bushing stock. After cage work is complete the frame is sandblasted and powder coated.
Fourth and last phase the painted cab and powder coated frame are bolted together. Then the front and rear suspension are bolted onto the new frame. Now the cab to suspension cage tubes is fabricated to tie everything together to the interior roll cage completing the chassis from front to rear. After the tube work is completed the front and rear suspensions are removed for powder coating. Note all work is designed to bolt onto the frame in a modular fashion and this makes the truck by far easier to work on for future prep and repairs.