So I started thinking about building leaf springs | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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So I started thinking about building leaf springs

tweakedlogic

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 4, 2003
Messages
950
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City, State
memphis, tn
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 XLT
I have some 64? chevy leaf springs I got cheap. The plan was to move the front mount forward 6" and install them on the Ex, gaining flex and payload (possibly lift). Well I procrastinated over and over, letting small things get in the way like new wear pads and u bolts.

I started searching today for wear pads to fit the Chevy springs and wanted to make sure I was getting the right number and size, so I referenced this handy cart. After looking at things I started questioning why people build leaf packs with the Explorer main leaf and F150 daughter springs. The measurements are only 11/16" shorter on the front side. Why can't you just install the F150 pack as a whole?

Would 11/16 inches put the wheels too far forward and rub? If not then I'll get some f150 springs and leave my front mount alone.
 



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Do it and see if it works dude.
 






That's almost an inch forward... Anyway, I'm pretty sure the general consensus is that you can't put it forward like that. Besides, it would completely throw off your suspension geometry even if it didn't locate your axle far enough forward to rub... but I think you would have interference issues with at least a few things.

Oh well, here is the most detailed post on any subject EVER for your reading pleasure.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101035
 






I have heard a few people on here say that they used the full pack from the f-150. I would turn it the other way though, pushing the rear end back rather than forward. On my explorer with 33's there is a fair bit more room behind the tire than in front. Its also easier to trim that way.

Edit: just read your signature, and with 32's pushing the axle 11/16 forward will most likely create a rub. IIRC my 32's nearly rubbed at full stuff with stock springs and shackles. I know that my 33's would rub if they didnt bottom out on the inner fender 1st.
 
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So I'm running a full pack from a '79 F150 with tow package, and I did move the mounting position back an inch, and down an inch as well (for different reasons entirely). You would need to, as i would get serious rub if i didnt. I love the 3" wide springs, they're firmer, more stable, and yet somehow ride smoother than the stock X springs.

I'm still running a 'test' front bracket setup, and I do intend to move the springs a bit farther back at some point, but I will need to whip up a rear bumper first. Otherwise I would end up rubbing on the back side.... no good.
 






So I'm running a full pack from a '79 F150 with tow package, and I did move the mounting position back an inch, and down an inch as well (for different reasons entirely).
You mean forward right? that spring is nearly 2" shorter on the front end, and 1/2" longer on the rear. Did you turn them around?


I have heard a few people on here say that they used the full pack from the f-150. I would turn it the other way though, pushing the rear end back rather than forward.

That's an interesting thought. That's over 5" of difference though, from stock. I worry the drive shaft may be too short. That may also make the shackle swing the opposite way, maybe.

Hummm, I think I might stick with my plan to use the Chevy 54" spring. I'll measure and see if I can benefit from moving the front mount forward less than 6".
 






Okay, let me explain.

I started my 'stage I' lift because my rear axle, though well attached to my saggy stock springs, virtually fell right off of my frame rails. So, while I was fabricating up a nice new set of pivot brackets and shackles, I decided to use these springs, move the pivot points back (to compensate for the different center pin location) and widened it to accommodate 3" wide springs. Now, the '79 springs have the same overall length as X springs, but the center pin is moved forward.

I'm crazy, I know.

Also, the total lift from the springs was only about 2-3" initially, but since these springs are over 30 years old that they are now sagging... lots. :( I'm now looking at rocking the Skyjacker 6" lift springs for a '79 F-150, and ditch my scary long shackles, and probably build a new set of front pivot brackets.

Does that explain things better?
 






Yes. I should have figured something like that when I read you installed the 3" springs. Those are quite a step up in payload. How do they flex?
 






Very nicely, better than the stock X ones ever did. I should really grab a fork lift so I can test em out.
 






Bump, has anyone done this or seen it done?
 






I have Chevy 63s.

Hard to tell their exact effect since I got them while doing the SAS/SOA.
 






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