Next up. Ford towers. I was hoping I would be able to outboard my rear shocks with Ford towers. No such luck. I was going to hit the shocks by about 2". I'm not crazy about frenching the frame for the towers for two main reasons. It is a bad idea to weld vertically across a frame (cutting makes this worse), and overtime something that is constantly torquing on a frame (aka shock tower) may rip right off no matter how good the weld is. NOW I'm not saying you shouldn't use this approach, just that this is what I've found through research. Which happened to steer me away from this approach. So I needed a plan B. Here's what I came up with:
You take your ford tower ans cut off about this much:
Weld some reinforcing plates on it and another on the front side and you end up with this:
This eliminates the need to cut the frame up. Gets you plenty of clearance for the shock. AND you can brag about it to everyone who asks.
Now for the bolts. With this technique you need a way to secure the mount to the frame. You could weld it on there with short beads to prevent the top to bottom weld bead. BUT again I was told the best thing to do is use the through bolt technique. For this you need some basic supplies. A hole in the frame big enough to slide a piece of round tubing through and a bolt to go inside of that. I got a little lax with the picture taking here but you can use your imagination.
First drill the holes in the frame where you need them. Then put the tubing through and weld both sides to the frame. This adds lateral stability that you don't have when simply welding the tower to the frame. Because it ties both sides of the frame together rather than having one side flexing around when the tower applies force. Again I don't know if these issues really apply to anything. But it all makes sense to me as something that could happen.
Here's the round tubing welded to the frame:
Grind the welds smooth on both sides.
Then simply bolt the tower assembly to the frame. You can go nuts here crank ti down because the tubing will support the stress.
The front was easier because I had the necessary clearances up there:
All I did here was use the same through bolting technique but added a 1/4" plate on the back side to more evenly distribute the pressure on the frame.
Overall I the towers came out better than I expected. Especially the rears. I was kind of experimenting and things happened to just kind of work out. Finally I caught a break.