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52" front, 56" rear, what's the scoop??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by wayne, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    I'm getting ready to tear down and rebuild the K5. I was not planning to do a spring swap but after seeing the flex with 52's and 56's I am considering going that route. I don't want more lift then I already have. I have 3" front springs and 4" rear springs. I also don't want to mess with the wheelbase. If I do this I will do a flip in the rear. What I need to know is what all is needed besides the springs, rear hangers, and new u bolts and will this move the front axle forward? Also will the rear axle stay in the same place? I read the write up on here for the front swap but looking for any info I can get. Also on the front springs should I keep the overload stock, cut it or remove it? TIA.
     
  2. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Lessee, in no particular order:

    56"s can leave the rear axle stock, which may be best on a K5. I found that my axle pumpkin wanted to become one with the gas tank when I had the springs flipped the other way around. Mind you, that's a 14BFF with a Jethro-Bilt cover, which is freakin' huge. You will need a shackle flip of some kind, which will add height (2-4" depending on type.) If you use stock 56"s and a 4" lift it should match the front (see below.)

    52"s will want to move the front axle forward, which is why you gotta do crossover at the same time. (I have about half the stuff you'll need for crossover on a D44/10B if you're interested :) )

    Stock rear 52"s are about the same height as 4" lift springs, so depending on hangers (I went mad) you get about 4" of lift.

    Overloads are a try it and see proposition, IMHO. I ended up using six leaves out of my old nine leaf 56"s, and up front I used an extra leaf from a spare set I had to make a six leaf 52". I am not at the moment using overloads, and the height worked out balanced front-to-rear.

    I will likely switch my shackle flips arond (again! aargh!) at which point the butt may sag a bit. In that case I may put the overloads back in only in the rear. I am debating cutting them down, either very short as zero-rates, or shorter so they get caught on less stuff.

    What else do you need? Well, strongly consider crossover. You might be able to wiggle a longer draglink in there, but it would suck with all that flex; when stuffed you'd not be able to turn for crap.

    You will need something to remove rivets. A good torch would be ideal, or a LOT of patience :D You will also need a bucket of 7/16" grade 8 bolts and associated hardware to replace them all with. :haha:

    The 52" writeup discusses the details fairly well.

    Expect to remove the springs a few times as you adjust height and such. I've got it down to a science and can swap springs soooo fast now :doah:

    Anything else, feel free to PM me as I've just gone through this, or of course post up.

    -- A
     
  3. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Sorry, forgot to mention, to see what I already have read my sig.:D
     
  4. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Just noticed my sig is gone.:eek1: Guess I need to renew my membership. Anyhow the Specks are:

    90 K5/tbi 350/th400/241 SYE/HAD Shaft/D60 Powerlock/14ff Detroit/Crossover/Hydro Assist/3" Tuff Country Lift/37" MT/R's/ and a few other odds and ends.

    Pics at: http://imageevent.com/btsnpcs1990/carlisle2005
     
  5. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    That would 'splain why I didn't see it :D

    Well, with XO, you're good to go. Flip in the back, new springs, and a longer shaft up front. This gets your tires out of the firewall anyway, which is a good thing.

    -- A
     
  6. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    How much does it move the front axle?
     
  7. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    My notes say ~3"-3.5". I suppose it depends on how you hang the springs ... if you used the stock rear hangers, and did some crazy fab work on the forward ends, it might fit closer to stock.

    -- A
     
  8. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    the 52" swap moves your axles 2" forward if you do it like the tech article. you move the front habger 4" from stock. stock springs are 48" so with 52" springs theres 2" differance per side. so move the front forward 4 then subtract 2" for the longer springs and that give you 2"
     
  9. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    I thought stocks were 47", but either way that doesn't work out to 3". Wonder what I was thinking ... mighta been me and a measuring tape, which is always bad news. I'm like Red Green, I swear...

    -- A
     
  10. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    52's up front will move the axle forward ~2", will cause you to need much longer shocks & relocated upper shock mounts, and crossover steering. The steering is without a doubt necessary due to the axle moving forward, and the insane flex. You have more articulation than the draglink is long in stock form, so you will surely loose steering control while barely even starting to flex the suspension. Additionaly, if you don't already have the ORD steering crossmember brace, you will most definately want to invest in one after doing crossover. You will also need longer brake lines to accomodate the much-improved flex.

    The 56's can be done 2 ways. They're the same length from 1 eye to center pin as 52's... the extra 4" is in the other eye to center pin. So you can run the 56's with the shorter length forward and not affect your axle location over stock, or you can turn the springs around, put the long side forward and move your axle back 4". ORD and DIY shackle flips are offset so putting the left side bracket on the right (and vise-versa) will allow you to run 56" long springs and mount the shackle flip bracket in the stock location.
     
  11. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    I already have crossover, 9012's on ford towers. Steering box has both the weld and bolt on brace. I already have it set up fairly well which seems like a plus for doing this. I also have plenty of brake line too. As far as tools and that goes for doing the job, I have no issues there either. I can get the springs for free along with a set of hangers for the rear. I'll just use a set of front hangers from a 2wd parts Burb I have in the driveway.
     

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