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F-150 front springs give more lift than I thought.

tweakedlogic

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2.75" on the right and 2.5" on the left.

I'm going to swap them tomorrow to see if I can level it.
I tried really hard to install the lower spring mounts too. but it was too much trouble trying to squeeze them in.

I have to wait for my shocks until Thursday. :thumbdwn:
I still have to get Shackles. I didn't want to buy them until I knew what size exactly. I think I'm going to use the right side leaf from my donor truck on the left of this one to even it out in the rear. 3/4" sag in the left. Or... should I use the left one from the donor on the right of the keeper? that way I can habve more flex, right?

Anyway, I was surprised at how much lift I got. I hope I can align it.

Edit:
I complied info from posts below.

Parts:
1981 f150 4x2 front coil springs. This gave me 2.75" on the right and 2.5" on the left.
Front Shocks: Pro Comp ES3000 (PN# 321510) are perfect.
Shackles are 12" long with 10" hole to hole.
Napa has 3 degree cams for $16, 4 degree cams are $45. I got the 3 degree.
Also installed F250 top stud shock tower.

Clipped from posts below:
So I finally go to align it. As mentioned earlier I went with the $16 Napa 3 degree bushings instead of the $47 +/- 4 degree. I should have gone with a little more adjust-ability in the bushings. I was able to get the right side to 0.3 degrees camber, which is in spec. the left side would only go to 0.6 degrees. max for spec is 0.5. I set toe to 0.04 for both sides, which is spec.
 


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tweakedlogic

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Huh...
I guess I'm the only one excited about 2.5" for $10.
 




Maniak

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I don't think its going to align. IF it does, then its great news assuming its not too much compression (too stiff) for the front of an X.

But, historically, 2" is pushing the amount of lift that is still alignable depends on how you measure lift (lift over what your current height is or lift over what it was when it was new).

~Mark
 




tweakedlogic

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I don't think it will be that hard to align.The wheels are barely leaning out. you have to look really closely to notice.

My trouble is the shackles. I bought 3" shackles thinking a half an inch extra in the back won't hurt. NOPE! 3" shackles give 2" lift. And I've already painted them so no returns. Oh well. I'll keep 'em and throw one in the back when i go wheel'in just in case.
But it drives well. I actually don't notice much difference at all in the way it handles.

I don't think the springs are too stiff. If anything they are a little softer. the speed bumps at work don't intrude as much when the front rolls over them.

My truck was stock/ no lift before. I've been running 31s for a couple years. But now, with only 2.5", I want bigger to fill the wheel well. I have decided to use 33/10.5-15 either Toyo (if I can find them) or BFG. But tires have to wait a little while. the wife is unhappy about the cost of gears and lockers.
 








tweakedlogic

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any pics??

Not yet. Are you wanting pics before alignment or after? I still have to get the longer shackles.
The shocks came today, but i think they are too short. And they are not gas charged. they just sit there. I always thought gas charged were better. The ES3000 only have oil and a piston.
I don't really like the salesman I had @ 4 Wheel Parts. first the shackles are too short and the shocks are too short. He couldn't (or wouldn't) look up the shocks by extended length. So I guess I'll have to scour the web to find the right size and order them.
I don't think I'm going to use these guys to get my gears and lockers though.
 




Maniak

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Goto GoRancho.com and grab the catalog from them (.pdf file). .You can then find the shock with the right type of mounts at the length you want.. Then just ask for the model # of the one you want.

~Mark
 




Slowlyvverot

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i got 4.88s for my rear axle from East Coast Gear in durham nc for a good deal and the dudes working there are real cool. I'd recommend them.
 




KPSquared

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If you're looking for 4.88's check out www.justdifferentials.com or www.eastcoastgearsupply.com

They both carry stock on 4.88's for the Reverse Rotaion Dana 35 and the 8.8. Best Deal I found on gears pretty much anywhere. As long as you're ok with Nitro Gears. I haven't heard anything bad about them and mine run smooth and quiet.
 




tweakedlogic

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any pics??

IMG_2514.jpg


IMG_2515.jpg



Well, I aligned it today. I still need 1.5 degrees camber. So I'm on the search for adjustment cams. A buddy with a 250 got some for $20 each. but he can't remember where. So if anyone knows where I can find them, please let me know.

I made new shackles today. If anyone is interested, they are 11" long with 9.5" hole to hole. My rear shocks are nearly topped out sitting there. I'm going to move my shock mounts to the top with square U bolts. I think I'm going to change the overload springs to the longer, softer ones at Advanced auto if they still carry them.

If you're looking for 4.88's...
I'm actually going with 4.56 I ahve checked out www.justdifferentials.com. 2 lunch box lockers, gears, and master kits were $1600. the wife is unhappy and says I have to wait 'cause we can't afford it now. We ahve to save to a trip to Jamaica because my sister wants to get married there. Why can't she have it local like every body else?
 




Maniak

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IMG_2514.jpg


Well, I aligned it today. I still need 1.5 degrees camber. So I'm on the search for adjustment cams.

What degree camber shims are in there now? Its pretty rare to find a vehicle that still has a 0 degree one in there.

~Mark
 




tweakedlogic

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They are the originals. The guy that normally does the alignments helped me and was pretty sure of it.
 




tweakedlogic

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thought this might be usefull to someone.

theMagnumHeart said:
Hey I just had a few questions...

I believe you went the cheaper route and used F-150 springs up front and the leafs in the rear with shackles you made specifically to even out the front to rear.

Now if you don't mind... would you please take a few minutes to explain exactly what you did to lift your truck. I'm no metal head but do regular maintenance to my truck. Lifting my X will be my first major job on mine. So what all do I need to get (springs, leaf springs, maybe "U bolts" for springs, shackles, shocks, alignment brackets, etc...) from an F-150 to get it lifted on the cheaper side. I have considered the 4" suspension lift from Tuff Country, but I have read they are crap... and for $500 I think I could do better with visiting a junk yard. I have a buddy who is a fab. tech for the company my dad works for who is a prime welder... Would you happen to have the specs and possibly a good picture of the shackles you made for your X?


Yes. I found an 81 4x4, but I think the 2x4 have the same springs. This gave me 2.75" onthe right and 2.5" on the left. I may swap them to see if I can even it out. You will need a big wrench. I think it was 1 1/8, this also fits the radius arm nuts. loosen those before installing the spring. You will want a penetrating lube and lots of it. be patient. it's a long stud. A pry bar, pipe, or 2x4 might be helpful in pushing the lower spring mount low enough to pull out the spring. First remove the tire, and shock, maybe the brake line to make it easier. But i didn't have to. while you are under yours, loosen the pinch bolt that hold the upper ball joint/ alignment cam. use a 1 1/2" wrench or large socket with extension to turn the cam around so it is as far away from the wheel as possible. (you'll understand when you see it form the top.) This will not get you aligned, but close.

Napa has 3 degree cams for $16, 4 degree cams are $45. I got the 3 degree. if you aren't comfortable replacing them, an alignment shop can do it. Alignments are like everything else. don't go cheap, or the tech will do a lousy job. I suggest a 4x4 shop to do it. I do my own because I ahve access to a 4 wheel rack.

the shackles are easy. 1.5", thick as you can find it, flat bar. I bought a 48" long bar and cut four 12" pieces with a cut off wheel. Take a 1/2" drill bit and make two holes in each .75" from end. that makes the hole spacing 10". A drill press makes this much easier. Primer and paint them so they don't rust. use a jack to support the axle while you remove the shackle bolts. I recommend and impact wrench. but it's not necessary. I bought new grade 8 bolts and flat washers. a 1/2" or inch loger won't hurt.


theMagnumHeart said:
Also on a side note... I ran across a Bronco II that is lifted at a junk yard for $1500. The guy told me only thing wrong with it was the tranny is leaking. I crawled underneath to look at the problem and the cross member brackets were completely drenched with transmission oil. Seams like a shot transmission or some bad seals. I know a lot of the lift accessories will fit the X but I may still run into alignment bracket issues. The plus with this Bronco II is it already has the black steel wheels and interco thornbird super swampers (33" tires). I think I may be able to get the entire vehicle as is for $800-$1000 if I deal with the guy. So would this be a better route, or would it be better getting F-150 parts?

Sorry for so many questions at once, but I'm excited to finally get a jump on my project! :D

I think most every think on the BII is swappable. but don't quote me. Most of it will at least. I personalty would buy it if I had the money and time. Maybe fix it, maybe part it. I'm nearly positive the lift will swap the X. That will be 4" instead of 2.5".
 




Maniak

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Were you able to get the truck aligned yet with that much lift (whats the measured camber after the new cams?)

The reason I ask is that it has been shown that the f-150 spacers (just < 2" lift) is alignable but that 2" springs is not always alignable. The f-150 springs you put on gave you well over 2" of lift which should not be alignable.

The only thing I can think of is that your 2+" of lift is over what your X was at before lifting. If your old springs had sagged then its possible that the 2+" of lift from the f-150 springs actually lifted it 2" over stock height.

Also, IIRC the camber cams give different amounts of camber adjustment on the 4x4 and the 4x2. Its been years since I had to look at the cams but there are a few threads on here that talk about the camber cams and how much they give compared to the 4x4 versus the 4x2.

I'm just trying to figure out why your getting different results than what so many other people have.. The more info and more options people have for lift the better.

~Mark
 




tweakedlogic

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I haven't been able to get back on the rack yet. I was busy this week and so was the rack. When i first installed the springs, it was obvious that the cams were at the minimum camber. So, before I got on the rack the first time, I just cranked them around to the max of camber. a couple of days later i was able to get on the rack and noticed I needed <2 degrees more camber. so I bought the +3 degree cams, mostly because the +4 degree were $45.
Unless I get tied up with the other mods I'm doing I will get back to the rack early this week. I still have to add the F250 shock mounts, and figure out what I'm going to do for the rear shocks. I will update as soon as I have aligned the truck. I must get longer shocks. I had to lower the truck on the ground and roll it some to get these shocks in. there is 1" of downward movement when you raise the truck before the shock is fully extended. Luckily I have other modes of transportation so I don't have to drive this one much.
 




tweakedlogic

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Finally an update.

As pointed out I never finished up dating this. Sorry about that, I've had way too many things going on lately.
I had done a driveway alignment to get it close. I didn't drive it much during that time. It pulled to the right, and kinda slopped over the road.

Today, I went in to replace the left front axle shaft seal and upgrade brakes and rotors. When i did that, I nicked the threads on the tie rod and had to replace it.
So I finally go to align it. First I set toe to 0.04 for both sides, which is spec.

As mentioned earlier I went with the $16 Napa 3 degree bushings instead of the $47 4 degree. All Moog bushings are around $45 too.

I should have gone with a little more adjust-ability in the bushings. I was able to get the right side to 0.3 degrees camber, which is in spec.
The left side would only go to .6 degrees. max for spec is .5. I'm not too worried about it. it drives nice, doesn't pull to either side and steering feels the same as before the lift. I whould think that 3.25 or 3.5 degree bushings will get you where you need to be. But I am leaving mine alone for now. I find it interesting that I couldn't get to spec on the side that got 1/4" less lift.

Perhaps, one day i will try the 4 degree and add the F150 seats i have.


The springs feel nice. rides great, a tad softer than the stock Ex springs. with the 250 shock mounts, I have 12" wheel travel. I expect that to increase a little when i extend the radius arms. I did not have to extend the brake lines. The Procomp shocks (PN# 321510) are perfect. It is outside my comfort level to drive the roads with the front sway bar disconnected. But I'm about to run a drill through my bushing sleeved to run a 1/2" trailer hitch pin.
 








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