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Old 10-24-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
Ol' Ron
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Default Fatmans fron axle modification.

Back a few years ago Fatmans products had a modification where you cut the axle in half to creat an independent fron suspension. I've tried to contact them, but all I get is a recording. Anybody ever have any knowledge of this system??
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
19Fordy
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Here's a little info.
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...6962&showall=1

Here's more plus a response from Brent V.
http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/fatman-ifs-30653.html
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
DICK SPADARO
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

I have had experience with this back in the late 60's, this concept seemed to evolve in auto racing combined with a Flemke spring as a cheap IFS substitute before IFS took over. The problems centered around toe steer and excessive tire scrub as the camber changed. This set up required a center link tie rod pivot if you wanted any suspension travel for a softer ride.

The most effective version was the Ford twin I beam design used on pickup trucks. This placed the pivot of the axle at almost the opposite side of the vehicle so it held camber changes to a minimum amount. To replicate this design you would need to purchase two axles to do the job. If you are just cutting an I beam axle in half and making two pivots at the center of the vehicle it might look cool but its a lot of work to operate correctly. You may get a slightly softer ride and remove some of the washboard feel of a solid I beam but you create a few more issues.

Its like anything else yes it does work but if it worked well you would see it on a lot of vehicles, now its a conversation piece.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

I think the Allard/Ford cars in the UK had something similar.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Well this is very interesting, I guess no one has actually used this except old Alard. Looking at the geometry of a coil over and a long wish bone setup center steering. The unit would have some ride quality. Now that leaves the camber issue???
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Old 10-25-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
Russ Gaylord Fontana
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

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Not sure if this helps.....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ba..._ed,_1935).jpg
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Thanks, that's very interesting. However the tie rods would have to be the same length ad the axles to prevent bump steer. It would also require center steering, I think?? I'll work on the geometry.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Boy Ron: Now you've loosened the cobwebs inside my head as now I too remember those ads. Never saw one actually installed but I think (?) Street Rodder mag did an article on it.
Paul in CT
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

I think someone did. I don't plan on using the stock spring but a coil over shock.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

There is going to be a lot of camber change going on.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
Russ Gaylord Fontana
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Here's a bit of the Bellamy Ford V8 Special
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-1VXJ5P98U
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

I talked about it to a fat guy at a show way back when. He said it was show car only stuff and not really for street use. The stock type springs can't carry the load and the steering is very crazy.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Another article with pictures:

http://www.fordspecial.webspace.virg...m/ballamy.html

-VT/JeffH
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Well I might just give it a go. Can't never tell what you'll learn when someone different tries it. After all, they thought the earth waz flat for a long . long, long time.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:29 PM   #15
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

I'm thinking now that it was for a tube axle only. FWIW
Paul in CT
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Check out the Street Rodder tour car. I believe it was 2007, the 75th anniversary of the duce. It had a 2 piece front axel with coil overs. Must have worked o k , Jerry Dixie drove it about 20000 mi that summer. Cant remember which company manufactures the kit.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/spli...am-169020.html Some discussion on it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #18
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Tony, that looks like the Fatman, The one I have a picture of has an "L" shaped steering arm that operates the tie rods.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

Hi Ron, I race an Allard here in the UK, which is circuit racing, and drive it alot on the road too. The Allards split front axle was most successful with coil springs. The radius arms on my car run forward to a bracket that puts their pivot in line with the pivot of the axle.

I bent an axle in a crash and it cracked badly. So I bought a Ford V8 axle to make one. Its easy. You machine a piece of steel tube roughly 2" for a bush and pin, and put a 2" hole saw through the axle where you want to cut it, to get a nice radius to weld the tube to.

The split front axle works surprisingly well, but the short length does mean the camber changes alot as the wheel swings through its full movement. You can control this with stiff springs and shocks. Castor is very well controlled.

The work is in making and mounting the centre brackets for the axle pivots, and a whole new sub frame hanging out the front to mount the radius arm pivots. Lastly the boxes on the frame rails to mount the coil springs.

Allard based his cars on the V8 chassis so you can just copy what I have for your funky new front end!

Cheers, Tom.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: Fatmans fron axle modification.

You also need to split the track rod to avoid bump steer. This involves an idler mounted at the same place as the split axles.

These may not be clear but show my Allards front end pre restoration.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Allard_K3ad_00005.jpg (59.2 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Allard_K3ad_00009.jpg (50.5 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Allard_K3ad_00010.jpg (57.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Allard_K3ad_00011.jpg (60.4 KB, 27 views)
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