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Author Topic:   Ford Racing
Normal Sullivan
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 39
posted August 30, 2005 03:05 AM  
Does anyone have experience with the 84-86 Thunderbird? What are the limitations of this chassis, and how do I overcome them? I've built several cars for paved oval racing, and two GM metric cars for the entry-level class on dirt, but never worked with one of these. Anyone built one of these that will run with the camaro's? Any advise excluding "Don't bother" would be appreciated.

Steve Dupree
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 316
posted August 30, 2005 04:20 AM  
Hey there well you should get a few answers because i have seen a few on here. We run a Torino frame so we can be of no help except for the fact that we know there are a few fast ones around and we have never heard anything bad about them.

J3
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 188
posted August 30, 2005 05:30 AM  
Not sure what the limitations for that chassis are, but I have heard of some people taking the TBird body and putting on a LTD frame. The LTD frame is very sturdy and fairly easy to setup and parts are plentyful. Always glad to see another FORD racer.

mike9
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted August 30, 2005 01:54 PM  
If the rules will allow it use a crown vic or grand marquise or town car frame from 79 up and shorten it to get the wheelbase down to where you need it you wont be dissapointed if you do , they have front geometry much like the gen2 camaros and the rear is just like the metric gm and they are fully boxed but lightwieght

Normal Sullivan
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 39
posted August 30, 2005 03:24 PM  
Unfortunately, with three tracks in my general area, I don't think ANY of them will allow mounting the body on a non t-bird frame, or if one will it seems I'd be limited to that track. Or maybe I'm not reading the rules correctly. Anyway, my assumption is that I have to work with the unibody and strut front-end. I know there are mini-stock racers making this combo handle, but I don't know where stiffening is critical and where it's just added weight, and I have no clue how to make the front end work.

mike9
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted August 31, 2005 07:03 AM  
well it is the same basic platform as the 79-92 mustang so the mods they do for the mustang will work with the t bird , you would need to tie the strut towers together and triangulate to the center of firewall (needs reinforcing ) i would also tie the front sub frame and the rear sub frame together when you build the cage (cut through the floor into the subframe channels and install some 2x3 rectangular tubing and weld it up ) you can turn down ranger rotors to fit the front to give you 5x4.5 bolt circle and on the rear either a 9 inch or use ranger axles to get more negative camber in the rt front you can make adjustable top strut mounts as well as slot the holes in the strut that the spindle bolts to good luck

Normal Sullivan
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 39
posted August 31, 2005 10:00 PM  
Thanks Mike9! I have the original rear subframe "filled" with 2 inch square tubing, and I've tied the front/rear subframes with 2x3. How would you go about "tying" the strut towers together? Again, I'm all about making a stiff car, but this strut front end is alien to me.

mike9
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted September 01, 2005 07:49 AM  
once you set the engine (to make sure you have clearance ) build a triangulated brace to bolt between the strut towers and to the firewall area id would be good if the firewall area was rienforced or if tou could run a tube across to the front hoop . basically you want to keep the towers from flexing , my first car was a 69 couger and one day i was testing at the track with the hood off you could actually see the towers move i built a bolt in brace like i described and it totally stopped the flexing , if they allow you to run a front hoop you can also tie it in to the strut towers everything you can do to stiffen the front end will help

    

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