When it comes to upgrading the non-independent straight -axle front suspension on a vintage truck there are a lot of great independent front suspensions on the market. For installation some require welding, and some do not.
When it came time for the folks at Bob's F-100 parts to develop a front suspension system to supplement the tried-and-true Volare frontend conversion Bob's is famous for, they knew it was a great opportunity to incorporate some design improvements. Bearing in mind that while most enthusiasts don't mind digging in and getting their hands greasy, welding is something that not everyone is comfortable with. The Big Bob frontend in comparison to the Volare, which is an extremely invasive frontend, and requires a lot of welding, is a direct bolt-in that requires no welding at all.
Another one of the inherent drawbacks of the Volare frontend with its bulky stamped-steel construction is it's not exactly a component that is aesthetically pleasing. To address the "ugly factor" Bob's tossed the pressed tin look, and replaced it with the custom fabricated appearance of box and round tubing. Beyond getting away from Volare technology, Bob told us that when he designed his new frontend he wanted to avoid using Mustang II components so that the guys searching for something different would have a new option. In place of the components that adhere to Mustang II dimensions, Bob selected his rack-and-pinion power-steering from a late-model T-bird, and the suspension uprights from a late-model Chevy Nova. In addition to the availability of numerous high-performance brake caliper and rotor options utilizing the Nova spindles means that a guy can easily obtain repair parts if he breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The parts that are exclusive to the Big Bob frontend are the tubular upper and lower control-arms, and the crossmember, which are all of Bob's own design.
To give CCT readers a good idea of what's involved in the installation of a Big Bob frontend on a stock '48-52 F-1, or '53-60 F-100 Ford truck, we asked Bob and his crew to capture the transformation from straight-axle to Bob's bolt-on IFS on film, ah digital.
does this kit on a 1953 ford f350? and how much does it cost?