It may be hard to believe, but 1980 was 43 years ago. Why is this significant, you might ask? Well, it marks the beginning of the Bullnose F-150 era. What’s even more important than its age is the fact that these trucks have matured and now evoke a sense of sentimental attachment among its owners. The truck is finally stepping into the limelight that the classic F-100 has enjoyed for years. The younger generation is now renovating their fathers’ or grandfathers’ ‘80s trucks and, in the process, seeking to update the outdated powertrain and front suspension. This is where Fat Man Fabrications steps in.
The Bullnose F-150
If you’re unfamiliar with the front suspension of the 1980-86 Bullnose F-150, it features the all-too-common twin I-beam setup. Ford introduced this suspension in 1965, and it persisted well into the 2000s with the F-250 and F-350 trucks. While the suspension performs adequately for its intended purpose, it brings along its fair share of challenges, particularly when attempting to remove the crossmember for an engine swap or have the truck perform in the corners. However, now there’s a solution that eliminates the hassle. Fat Man Fabrications introduced the bolt-in front frame section, which utilizes the existing hole locations and can be further secured through welding, ensuring safety and peace of mind.
The kit incorporates Fat Man Fabrications modular engine mounts, as well. These mounts bolt onto the welded tab at the rear of the new crossmember. They are compatible with Windsor, big-block, Coyote, or God forbid a GM LS-based engine. If you ever decide to switch engines, simply purchase the corresponding engine mounts from Fat Man’s, and you’re good to go. Furthermore, these engine mounts maintain the factory driveline offset, keeping the transmission centered in the tunnel, minimizing the need for extensive sheet metal modifications, and ensuring proper alignment with the rear end.
With the kit installed, you can replace the twin I-beam suspension with Fat Man’s independent front suspension (IFS). The new IFS serves as a foundation for lowering the front of the truck or configuring it for an exciting corner-carving experience. Regardless of how you set your independent front suspension up, one thing is certain: there will be a substantial weight reduction compared to the previous I-beam system.
Fat Man Fabrications’ bolt-in frame stub for the 1980-86 Ford F-150 is more than just a frame adapter. It saves you considerable time and money that would otherwise be spent on fabricating a new front end. This solution ensures alignment and strength while alleviating the headaches associated with the process. So, if the Bullnose F-150 is your idea of a classic truck, take a closer look at what Fat Man Fabrications has to offer.