Alternative IFS

This is for the non-original group. Those who want something that rides nice and steers good. The outside can look original or altered, but you want the suspension updated.

Mustang II

This is your standard 54-60 frame. There might be small differences in crossmembers, but nothing major that I'm aware of. The trouble with this frame is that nice curve inwards and then back out at the front of the frame. This has been problem for anyone wanting to update their front suspension. Up to just a few years ago, everyone I talked to said you'd have to cut off the frame rails next to the firewall and weld new straight ones on. That way you could just about have your choice of

any aftermarket IFS. That isn't really what a lot of you want. I found an ad for Fatman Fabrications that stated they had MII units that worked for 54 Dodge trucks. Bingo! What fits a 54 should fit any of them up to 60.

The Fatman unit fits like a glove. Just drop out the old spring and straight axle setup and weld in the MII unit according to instructions. The setup dropped the pickup down several inches in the front. If you can cut and weld, then this unit will cost around $1200-$1500 depending on

what you order. One other thing you'll need is a Borgeson or Flame River u joint and shaft to hook up to your steering column.

Mustang II Original

Here is a new and different approach then relying on the aftermaket suppliers. We just don't get much help from outsiders, and this is an outstanding alternative to the aftermaket vendors. Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 19:34:32 EDT Subject: 59 Dodge IFS To: "I can't thank you enough for your website. I have gotten so many great ideas plus you have directed me to several places to get parts. I am building a 1959 Dodge truck and have read with interest the sections on Independent front ends. I was in Charlotte and went by Fatmans to get a custom built crossmember and was told they are indeed custom-built. I was told must order one and have it built and wait a few weeks. Anyway, I saw an actual mustang II crossmember on e-bay a few days later and wrote the guy to get the dimesnions. It was very close to the truck dimensions. I knew a friend who had one in a wrecking yard and he cut it for me for $20. I ground away a few spot welds and sandblasted it. It was very close. I notched the frame, ran a few grade 8 bolts through and tightened them and the frame snapped to it perfectly. I am sending you a photo. I am now welding the crossmember in place and boxing the frame to make it stronger for both the crossmember conversion and the hopped Dodge 318 I'm putting in it, I thought maybe you would find this interesting and I will continue to update. I'm just hoping this very inexpensive conversion will work and hopefully pay you guys back for all you have helped me. I'll stay in touch. Thanks. Mike Bolton" .


There are 2 good reasons to use this setup. This is a great unit if you want to do this on a budget. And it has adjustability. You can raise or lower your truck to the height you

want. I bought a Volaire clip from a wrecking yard for $125. This was cut off the car and ready to load into my pickup. You can't beat that price. It has disc brakes too. I never used my clip in favor of the MII and sold it. These pictures are from David O'Neill. It looks to me like the clip was a perfect fit and without cutting and replacing the frame rails. I did come across a 60 that had this setup in it but he had it too low when he installed it and he couldn't raise it any higher so you should check out the up and down travel in it's adjustability before you weld it in.


I don't know anything about this unit. I bought the truck for parts and this is what it came with. I think the clip is either a Camero or Firebird, and probably mid 70s. It is close to an inch wider on

both sides of the frame rails and it looks to me that it was close to the front cab mounts. On the drivers side you can see that the battery box and the runningboard bracket made it a tight fit. On this particular setup they swapped out the rearend for a Chevy to have all Chevy wheels. It had a nice ride height. Having owned a 72 Camero once, I can tell you that they do handle and steer nice. Although probably cheap and plentiful the trouble with this one is cutting off the frame rails and grafting it on.


Jaime Burnitzki and his dad are putting together a modified Sweptside. They put this '75 Pacer front clip in and say it matches well with the exsisting frame rails. Hope to get more detailed info on this installation later on.


I've been picking up little tidbits here and there about the Dakota IFS. I don't know if this is from a aftermarket company like Fatman or if this is from a donor truck. I'll update this when I learn more. If you know anything about it let me know.

Bill Davis sent me this piece of info on the Dakota IFS. He said it is made for the mid 50's Ford and Chevies, but I bet they can build one for us Dodge owners if they get some feedback from us.......

More Dakota

I'm getting a little more info on the Dakota IFS. I asked Ryan McCary from Kilgore, Texas about his Dakota IFS setup in his '54 Dodge and this is his response: It wasn't too much trouble. Like many people use to do we cut the frame off not far from the old suspension. We then welded the old frame rails to the outside of the Dakota because it is a bit more barrow. Then reinforced the frame where it meshed in with the new front end with 1/4" steel plate. To solve the radiator support issue we built a square section off of the Dakota suspension out of more 1/4" steel plate and welded it all together. It wasn't as bad as it seems. It took us about half a day having all of the stuff there and most of that time was making sure our measurments added up and were correct.

The picture shows most of what we did.