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How to: $32 Spring Over Axle Conversion - SOA

Dannyboy

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OK well I am going to paste this from my Spring over conversion 101 thread since others have found it useful. Like I said 32 bucks
Parts included stock length ubolts but square and a set of axle perches.

Here is what you are going to do:
Dead Link Removed

Parts needed:
4 square u-bolts
square-u-bolt.jpg

2 axle perches
perch_500.jpg



Here is a SOA conversion walk through. Like I said before. I only bought spring perches, shocks(Rancho 2.5" lift) and square Ubolts and it worked like a charm.
.
1 I took off the shocks

2 I took off the sway bar and junked it
3 We jacked the truck up and blocked it from the frame.
4 I then Worked the leaves out of each of the four positions. The rears came easy and each front developed a task so they both had to be cut at some point and punched out ( this could be because my truck saw 8 Wisconsin winters) Then I grinded off the old ubolts. Way easier and didnt need them. Through this whole step I put a floor jack under the diffy to hold it.
5 I grinded the new perches to fit snug, and lined them up exactly over the perches to "guess" the axle angle with some intelligence.
6 Refastend the leafs above the axle.
7 Put the existing shock mounts at the bottom of this stack like stock and assembled. The only difference is that the ubolts go side to side instead of front to back. Tighten this down making sure that all is lined up (drive shaft angle, axles evenly under springs)
8 Tighten this all up and then go to the brakes
9 I chose to remove driver's side bump stop which had brake line attached on the top, this bracket was bent to accomodate.
Also the emergency brake cable was ground out of the furthest back point and also rerouted to below the second to last point.
This all took very little time and the only thing I could not have handled being a novice was to get the stinking bolts out of the front of the leafs, the bushings more or less threaded the bolts, the mechanical stuff is all elementary. The other stuff took patience and muscle. Dont be afraid to pry apart the front mounts, they will clench back together.

To clear it up here is a big pic of what it would look like
springoverview.jpg


So this is one of several ways. I have been running this way for like 6 months and like it, just check the ubolts after a few weeks, they do come loose. Some people wish to have their shocks higher so the option is to weld on a perch or use sway bar location, I dont mind them the way that they are for now.

****EDIT March 2008****
well, I can't believe I wrote this 7 years ago. I never changed the SOA and never once had a problem with it. I did put a much longer shock on the rear after I did my solid axle swap in the front but I ran a remote resi style and was trying to improve my ride. Here is a pic of the exact setup described with shocks designed for a Rancho 2.5" lift on a lift RTI.
rampreartirerear.jpg


ENJOY it, this is the cheapest way to gain 6" in the rear(results may vary) unfortunatly the front isn't as cheap.
 



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CBoug76

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Where did you get the Spring Perches, are they FORD?
I am Guessing that you did weld the new spring perches onto the axle tube's right?
Also where did you get the Square U-bolts?

Do you think It would have been possible to keep the stock length shocks if you would have severly cut and modified the Shock mount plates, and installed them in their original location(under the springs)??
 






Dannyboy

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Yes to all, when I put in the new axle I plan on welding some perches for the shocks to mount to a bit higher. Another option is to cut the shock mount plate and flip and weld to move things up a bit. I got the square U-bolts at Farm & Fleet, Perches I bought for GM axles, any type will do, I had to grind the edges to fit it on the fat 8.8, and they are tach welded(be careful, go professional if you dont know what you are doing cause you will heat up the tubes and bend them)
I think my new setup will be a bit more custom fabbed than this one, but this works well, just the shocks hang down a little more, but I like how it looks, until I smack them on a rock
 






Kirby N.

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How did you know how to mount the new perches parralell with the old ones so as not to screw up your pinion angle? Also how did you keep both sides at equal angles? I am considering this because my add-leafs ride like junk. I have the James Duff 3" in the front. I am thinking of putting in coil spacers, Pulling out the shakels, addleafs, and the over load spring. Do you think this will bee too much in the rear still?
 






CoryL

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It's not hard really.

A magnetic mounted angle finder or a level (angle finder is more accurate) will work wonders.

Basically you set the axle so the old perch is level or at 0*. Then you place the new perch on top of the axle directly over the old one. It's not hard to line up by eye. If you wanted to be precise, measure the distance from the center of the old perch where the axle tube enters the diff housing and transfer that to the top (measure each side as they are different I think). Put the angle finder on the new perch and move it until you hit 0*. Tack it a few times and make sure everything is good and throw down a final bead.

Boom. Done.
 






Dannyboy

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elementry my dear Watson, Elementry. Take the tube, now picture the old perch on the bottom. If you want the new perch level, just slap the b*tch on there, take a tape measure & measure how much higher the front is than the rear. I think mine was like a lil over 3 inches. Say if both were like 3.22 inches front and rear than it would be hard to believe it is not level if the front and rear are the exact same distance from those that were level. Understand?
 






riffman

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just a schmuck offering a solution....

good new lower shock mount location = sway bar bracket.

Observe:
1000012709_127200144621AM0.7681391.jpg


Materials needed:
2 grade 8 bolts
Appropriat fitting washers and nuts

Tools needed:
Welder
Metal Cutting saw of some kind
wrench to fit said nuts

Then all ya do is cut off the head, weld them bad boys in (do a VERY good job of this), Then POOF mount up the ol shocks!!!
 






oso_polar

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Sway bar mount bolt holes??

What about mounting the shocks on the holes where the sway bar was mounted?? right on those holes below where you welded your bolts?? this way, we woludn't have to make any unreversible project, what do you think?? maybe we can rich those hole above where you welded your bolts...

Let me now what ya think...

Edit:

How will this mod affect my ride if I make it without the Spring over axle conversion....??
 






Yomie

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Where'd you buy the spring perches from? also can i just buy the spring perches that come with the superlift 5.5" my friend has it and i like how they relocate the shock with them. Any ideas where i can get these at?
 






Kirby N.

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I wasn't going to reply in this post because everyone treated my last question like I was a moron, but I have more so here goes,
It wont change your ride at all-- same spring rate. But will change your body roll.
Can I buy spring perches so I dont have to torrch the sping mount plates somewheres?
I am sorry my questions may have seemed Elementry, but I want to put all things into consideration before I go welding on new spring pad because my truck get alotof long road trips and I need it to be dependable.
 






Dannyboy

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Sorry to offend you, my point was that the perches have to be directly on top of the old ones, if you look at it it makes sense, I wasn't trying to look like an @sshole, but was helping you out. I do believe that Superlift has a no weld design that is expensive but is like a big u shaped perch that sits into the old perches, you don't need to weld because it uses the strength of the old perches, I've seen pics somewhere but cant rememeber.
 






swak6287

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questions, what are spring perches, where are they located?
 






ajevenson

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Brake Lines...

Sorry to dredge this thread back up from the depths but how did you deal with the brake lines? When I do this to my truck it already has some rear end sag so mine probably wont lift 6" but maybe 4 or 4.5", but what about the brake lines. Correct me if I'm wrong but you shouldn't have to extend the brake lines since they arn't attached to the axle right? Its my daily driver and I'd be heartbroken if I popped the back lines and rearended someone when I've come so far with it.:D
 












Kirby N.

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Hey I am glad that he pulled this thread back up cause I got some more Questions too:) I read that some one did this conversion and tipped the pinion up a little bit, is that neccesary? Hows your drive shaft? And are the shocks for 2.5" long enough? I have duffs for 2.5 or 3" and I am worried about them too being too short. And Did you actually get better travel? Is the Body roll a huge amount since it is taller and has no sway bars. Finally I want to see ajevenson's truck. I am wondering if the lift will be too much on the rear for my application. I have the JD 3" in the front and I went to the Junk yard and bought some Spacers. I also had a bit of butt sag before the Add-leaf and Shackels.
I picked up some Warrior spring pads for 20 at 4wheelparts
sorry this is long. I cannot do the conversion until July when I go home to my garage and welder and such. And I have alot of time on my hands to think about it!
 












cheezwarrior

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My 91 sport currently has no lift. If I done this, what is an option for lifting the front without buying a whole lift kit? Sorry for my ignorance, I am new to the technical side of 4wd's, I want it to be as cheap as possible while still be safe.

Thanks for any help.

Mike
 






Makahveli

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Now for the shock length do I just measure the axle and perch thickness and then consider that difference the lift height? I mean thats the only difference for the shock position right? the distance between the shockmount and the bottom of the leaf pack? I mean that sounds alot more acurrate than 2.5"
 






fishel74

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I have everything figured out on how to lift the rear and i like the idea alot. I still need to know how exactly i can lift the front end just as much. I have a 98 sport and i want to put some lift under it so i can stuff 32's or 33's under it. I really want it to be safe and i know it will look cool when i'm done. Thanks for the help...
~Shane
 



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