This 1977 Ford Pickup Project Has a Wild Pushrod Leaf Spring Suspension and a Lexus V8

Its creator calls it a “cantileafer” rear suspension.

byPeter Holderith|
This 1977 Ford Pickup Project Has a Wild Pushrod Leaf Spring Suspension and a Lexus V8

For the most part, every new, super-exclusive, track-friendly supercar comes with some sort of carbon fiber, pushrod rear suspension. It's lightweight, it's complex, and it's on display under the rear glass for people to gasp at and for owners to feel cool.  However, if you don't have six figures to drop on a supercar, does that mean you can't have a pushrod suspension? No.

As Facebook user Tim Heerboth shows us, all you need is a set of leaf springs, a pickup truck, and well... lots of know-how, because things get a little complicated from there.

In a nutshell, what Heerboth refers to as the F-1uz is a mashup of a Lexus LS400 and a 1977 Ford F-100 pickup truck. The front mechanical parts of the car are all Lexus. The entire front end of the LS400 has basically been grafted under the F100's body. That means the 1UZ-FE engine, front suspension, etc. The back end of the car is where things get more interesting. It's not just a straight swap of the Lexus' rear end under a pickup truck bed, it's a custom pushrod setup using the Lexus rear end, but longitudinal leaf springs from an F-150 pickup truck.

In place of the conventional coil-over-shock setup is now an adjustable link bolted into a bell crank. From there, a longer rod crosses the chassis to connect up to a longitudinal leaf spring tilted over clockwise at 90 degrees. The two F-100 springs—they've since been replaced with F-150 units—are offset slightly front to back to avoid the pushrods hitting each other during travel.

What's cool about this setup is the relative simplicity. Sure, you can see it took a lot of fabrication work to get where it is, but it's reminiscent of the C7 Corvette's, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality about using leaf springs. Sure, coil springs would've looked cooler and been more compact, but it seems like everybody does a coil spring pushrod setup these days. The leaf springs just feel right on a project like this.

Furthermore, this whole project isn't just some lockdown time-killer. In fact, it's been in progress since May of 2019. Stuff like this can't just be thrown together over a weekend. 

The owner of the vehicle refers to the rear suspension as "cantileafer" which is clever. He says he plans to mount shocks for the suspension to the pivot plates and then back down to a solid part of the frame, as dampening is not being overlooked here. The Lexus V8 was also refreshed for the occasion with new belts and gaskets.

The last update on this truck was posted Monday morning, so the project is still ongoing. The owner hasn't posted any sort of timeline as to when it will be done, so we'll just have to wait and see for updates. Certainly, it's gonna take some time to get that Lexus V8 running without the Lexus wrapped around it. And the suspension, as the owner has mentioned, still needs some fine-tuning in the joints. In any case, we'll be excited to see more videos of this truck working when it's finally completed.

I have reached out to the manager of this project, but he has yet to respond.

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