'74 F100 vs '93 MKVIII 4.6 DOHC 4R70W IFS IRS - lots of pics & info

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  1. #1

    Default '74 F100 vs '93 MKVIII 4.6 DOHC 4R70W IFS IRS - lots of pics & info

    Hi to all members, after reading this forum for about 3 years and being busy on my build for about 2.5 years, decided it is time to spread the knowledge a bit.....

    Hope this will encourage others to do a similar swap!

    Bought a '74 F100 longbed in March 2015 in Norway (where i live). It was a stranded project and came with some parts (289 & C4). Needed a lot of work to get it running so decided to build as custom with some upgraded parts. Started reading about the I-beams and looked at getting a pair of Dream Beams to lower the truck. That was gonna be expensive including shipping & tax.... Eventually seen that many guys were installing the Crown Vic IFS.

    CV's are not common in Europe and parts are hard to come by. Then after reading this forum, seen that a lot of guys use the 4.6 DOHC from a MKVIII and also the 4R70W.

    Did some searching and found a running/driving '93 MKVIII (as common as a Unicorn....) in Holland for 1200 Euros, imagine that...... Bought it unseen and drove it through Germany and Denmark to get it home eventually after a long trip. Even with 255.000 miles on the clock, the engine and tranny drove problemless, no smoke and plenty of power, IMRC's still working as should! The car itself was a different story, already converted to normal coils front & rear and the handling was not great..... Not a problem as i was gonna cut it up anyways.

    I am now about 80% finished with the build and the plan is to post all relevant pics with brief explanation of the parts used.

    All the work that's completed so far:
    - MKVIII ifs, yep thats not a tipo....
    - MKVIII irs
    - Shortbed Conversion
    - 4.6 DOHC with self-build standalone harness, coupled to American Autowire truck harness
    - MKVIII 4R70W, installed with custom lengthened MKVIII Aluminum driveshaft
    - New fuel tank, using the MKVIII return style pump, submerged in tank, all new lines
    - MKVIII calipers, Wilwood Brake Master Cylinder, all new lines
    - Accuair airride, custom made sturts with hollow bags front, SS7 bags in the rear
    - Pioneer Reference Series soundsystem with cab fully insulated with Dynamat
    - Vintage Air Compact Series AC using the existing vents
    - Dakota Digital dash

    Too much to mention but the pics will explain a bit more. Hopefully it will help others with similar ideas. Have saved all links/relevant info in my mailbox, so please PM or email me if you need more info. Most parts were bought on Ebay, Summit & Rockauto so got part numbers as well. Am a member of a lot of FB groups so you can find me there as well.

    This is my first post on here so hopefully uploading pics etc will go OK. Will update regularly.

    Thanks Willem Holman

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  3. #2

  4. #3


    Thought i would just post some pics of where i am now with the build:

    Engine bay nearly finished, just the wiring to tidy up, cooling system to be completed and brakes to bleed. Converted to COP, i used a diagram found on here. All the MKVIII electronics (PCM & EDIS & some fuses are hidden behind the Dur-A-Lub can, so not in sight. Tailor made the wiring harness, eliminated all connectors and no crossover over the intake.
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    Cab is ongoing, got the Accuair system installed and also the main components for the Pioneer system. All panels insulated with Dynamat, makes a huge difference. The Dakota Digital was really easy to hook up, its comes with a control box for all the signal in/out, the dash unit just connects using LAN cable RJ45. It's got a "Test Mode" where all the needles go "Full Sweep" before you start the engine (if that makes sense!):
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  6. #4


    The IRS is in, that took some time to figure out..... Although i like the brackets you can buy (truckirs), i wanted to go fully custom with own mounts as i didn't want the subframe to stick out of the frame rails. The fueltank is a 74 F100 and modified to use the MKVIII fuelpump and lockring. the pickup needed some lengthening as this new tank is deeper than the MKVIII one. Fuel gauge works but needs some fine-tuning for correct level. Installed tank breather on the old fuel pickup tube, works perfect. Slam Specialities SS7 bags fit perfectly in the IRS, made the frame mounts myself (will maybe need some altering...) Frame &engine bay completely spray-painted with Raptor-liner to give it a nice texture.
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  7. #5


    The 2 battery boxes in the picture above are installed on custom brackets. The left houses the Viair airride compressor, the right one the battery. Lots of stuff done but still long way to go...... Ooh but the engine runs beautifully btw. Changed the timing chains and tensioners. Heads were removed, valves lapped and new valve stem seals. Renewed all engine sensors and injectors.

    Thanks Willem

  8. #6
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Cheyenne Wyoming


    Looks awesome. You did a great job molding the IFS to look factory. My only concern is the lack of parts availability there might cause problems later. I didn't see mention of the fan/fuel pump controller. It's a box (not available anymore) that goes bad and most replace it with relays and a different fan controller. Did you do so with this setup? That will save lots of rewiring later on down the road. The Vac operated IMRC's is good as long as you have access to new Vac actuators for them.

    The fit and finish of the IRS and the tank look factory. Love it. Keep it up!


  9. #7


    Hi Dave, you are one of the many people on this forum that i have to thank, have read your posts over & over & over....

    Yes, i am using the VRCM, and have already been thinking about getting a spare on Ebay, just in case! You can see it on one of the pics next to the right-side headlight. As i am running the stock fuel pump and fan, thought it might be easier to use the VRCM. The vacuum actuators are still good (for now), but might go electric later.

    The wiring diagram i am using was originally posted by forum member Ashford (please correct me if i'm wrong!) and have followed those instructions mostly. That together with the EVTM & shop manual is all i needed to get started on the harness. Will post detailed pics and info later when i get to that stage in this build thread.

    Thanks for your comments!

  10. #8
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Cheyenne Wyoming


    Yup, Ash did a good job on those diagrams. I used them also. Sounds like you thought it all thru. Glad I had a part in it. That's why I love to post all the little details about it. So others can learn from my experiences. If we didn't have the internet and forums, think of all the issues we all would run into. This helps us move along more than it does hurt the individuality I believe.

    Good luck!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did you do a tilt bed on that thing? Looks like bump stops on the sides of the frame rails just forward of the suspension mounts. Cool.

  11. #9


    Hi Dave, i think you mean my shock mounts, still have to fine-tune those a bit. After a long search, ended up with Bell Tech shocks, they allow me to go as low as possible.

    I tried to attach the original "mark8 powertrain modified" wiring diagram as posted by Ashford but no luck, do i need more posts to be able to do that?!

  12. #10


    As i don't have a garage to work in at home, bought a 2nd hand tent and build a floor of used cargo pallets with some wooden plates over it. Its cold in the winters but never had a drop of rain on the truck, and it rains a lot here!

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    Parked the MKVIII on a similar floor so i wouldn't have to lay in the grass while taking it apart... Took the car for one last drive, not the best donor car, maybe too nice to cut up....

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    Started taking the front end apart, labelled all electrical connectors as i went along. Blew off the A/C, sorry about that.....

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    Removed the exhaust, drive shaft and petrol tank before cutting up the front. The idea was to cut the car in half at the firewall, so i could "wheel" the whole from end incl engine and tranny to the tent without having to use any heavy machinery....

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    The dash was a pain in the ass to remove, even when not being "gentle"....

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    Then it was cutting and grinding for about 6 hours in total. Used an 8" & 12" grinder to cut. A plasma cutter would have been a lot easier but couldn't find one cheap. Used a long chain-hoist hanging from the trees to stabilize the front end while cutting..... And it worked!

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    Rolled the whole front end as planned in the tent.

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    Removed the engine and tranny using chain-hoist, did not have my engine hoist back then. It might be an Aluminum engine and tranny but still heavy!

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    Empty front end with subframe:

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  14. #12


    The truck was easy to take apart, but removing the front suspension and coil buckets and mounts, that took some time. Not kidding when i say that i have used up over a 1000 small 1 mm 8" grinding discs with all the cutting and fabrication i have done so far... I am actually on my 3th grinder, and i am using Bosch Professional Blue grinders hahaha.....

    I clearly marked the truck frame with the original front wheel center line to make sure the new front suspension was centered correctly.

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    Removed MKVIII subframe from front end, i believe it was only 4 bolts on each side, easy. Before removing the subframe it took measurements of the distance between the shock towers and other important stuff.

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    It was already converted to coils by a previous owner, which was good for me as i will use them for my own airride system. Installed "Universal Air Aerosport" hollow bags on them, more details later.

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    Rolled the subframe under the truck frame to see how it sits. Believe it or not, the truck frame had 2 small locating pins that fitted EXACTLY on the subframe, and it was dead-centered.... Talk about luck! Or proper engineering by Ford offcourse.....

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    Next to figure out how much steel to cut off the front end so that the shock towers are still aligned properly according the original setup. I just measured the height of the truck frame and took that off the front end, if that makes sense..... Another great session of cutting and grinding....

    Final result:

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    At this point i was sort of realizing of how much work it was going to take to get the whole thing together as a proper truck...... In addition to the truck being safe to drive at 100 mph, i also wanted to build something that would look Uber Cool and i (or Aron Kaufman / Dave Kindig.....) could be proud off.

  15. #13


    After aligning and "tacking" the shock towers in place, cut off the MKVIII core support and installed the original truck core support. Installed the truck front end, had to cut off the inner fenders, no use for them anymore.

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    Installed the hood and front to make it look like a truck again, oooh and to check the body panels alignment before starting welding.... Looks like a stock truck to me!

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    Happy Chappy..... certainly happy after all this work... I think i spend about 2 weeks cutting, grinding, measuring, welding etc.... I used 1 digital level gauge and 6 "analog" ones, all with magnetic base. The truck frame was perfectly horizontal to make sure all angles were correct. I am absolutely sure that i might be a couple of mm off in the front suspension, but i can counter that when setting the Camber, Caster and Toe when the truck is completed.

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  16. #14


    I work offshore on a "6 weeks on-6 weeks off" rotation so its 1 of the reasons the build has taken so long, have started in the summer of 2015..... A good thing of working offshore is that i have a lot of free time when i am home so can spend all my time in the "garage" when the wife is at work....

    Time to get the IRS out of the Mark.....

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    Kept the seats but threw away the complete doors... which wasn't clever as i should have re-used the electric window frame/motor assembly in the truck...

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    It wasn't easy to remove the IRS, the 4 subframe mounting bolts were completely seized.... so more grinding & cutting...... but eventually it gave up!

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    The Diff housing and lower control arms are Aluminum but the whole assembly is still pretty heavy...

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    Old & New:

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  17. #15


    Time to get the IRS under the truck frame and see how she sits.....

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    This setup was not getting the truck low enough so decided to C-notch the frame and take it from there. I have a good MIG welder and some past experience so welding was no problem. I let the C-noches stick out of the frame a bit on the outside so i could get a bigger weld on it, the inside will be boxed later.

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    The C-notches allowed me to drop the subframe a bit more in the truck frame, aligning the whole assembly wasn't easy.... As the truck frame was level, decided to mount the subframe completely level also (and pinion angle ZERO) . Any issues with the drive shaft pinion angle could be handled later as the diff can change angle slightly in the subframe.

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    Time to make the custom forward subframe mounts, used 100mm square tubing, 3 mmm thick.

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    More to follow....

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