Ford has long credited the Twin I-Beam front suspension as the motivator behind the company’s long success in selling light F-Series pickup trucks. In its 1965 introduction, Ford touted the many benefits of the new front suspension system: rugged construction, improved wheel alignment, reduced tire wear and front-end maintenance, smoother ride and better control.
The true benefit to the Twin I-Beam–the benefit that took pickup trucks from the farm and the job site into the driveways of middle managers and tax attorneys–is the ride and handling qualities associated with wheels that can travel fully independent of each other. Trucks prior to the 1965 F-150 rode like a Conestoga wagon, because there wasn’t a big difference between those old wagons and the straight-axle, pre-1965 pickup.
The Twin I-Beam not only offered a usable independent front suspension that would soak up the abuse of a jaunt down a chuck-holed goat path; it offered a smooth ride over the asphalt that was slowly but surely being laid down on country roads throughout America, delivering modernization just like the Rural Electrification Program did in the 1930s.
Yet, Ford is the only company to have utilized this design on its trucks. Ironically, with all the F-150s on the market, you’d think that they’d be the choice of hot-rodders, but the design of the Twin I-Beam makes it much more difficult to lower than either the earlier, more common front suspension systems from Ford, or those from other manufacturers.