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Has anyone done 52's up front on a first gen?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by garlicbreath, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    I searched, and read until my eyes bleed, but couldn't find anyone doing/done with a 52 swap on a first gen. I am planning one, and was wondering what to do about the front hangers, mine don't look like they could be flipped side to side like some guys do on second gens. Also, any tips on lining up, measuring to keep the springs straight and parallel so the truck doesn't crab at all?
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I moved the front hangers forward 1 hole on the body mount bracket and put in 73-up front springs. I now have an ok shackle angle, the axle forward about .5", and a nice soft ride. I posted it here and on scbd.org
     
  3. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    Did you use lift springs? I have 8 inchers in the rear and 6's up front now.
     
  4. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  5. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

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    So the stock springs wouldn’t give the 4” of lift they’re said to?
     
  6. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    He used 2nd gen front springs which are longer than the 1st gen front springs
     
  7. Larry_in_Tx

    Larry_in_Tx 1/2 ton status

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    Oops missed that little tid-bit. I just ASSumed he swapped rear 52s in there. :o
     
  8. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Guess I did fail to state that in my post...I fixed it now :o
     
  9. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    swapping springs is all about how far you are willing to go it seems if you have stock steering you can only put the axle about 1.5"s ahead of stock. putting longer springs on may require some moving of the mounting points. If you are willing to do that go to a jy and start measureing. I don't know how long first gen front springs are or how long 2nd gen front springs are for that matter. I have some rear Dodge springs (ramcharger) that are 49" long that will probably give close to the 4" lift the 52s give
     
  10. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    So what is a limiting factor in the stock steering? I picked up a set of 52's out of an 89 gmc van yesterday, the center pin is offset to one end. 24 from the big bushing side, and 28 on the other. So it's only 2 inches longer from the front mounting point to the center pin than my current springs. So I would have to move the hangars forward 4 inches. I am going to sand em and mock things up this weekend. It would be nice if I could find some stock front spring hangers off something else that would work better. Has anyone mounted the longer ford shock towers on a first gen?
     
  11. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I ran the stock steering for a 2 runs with the 73-up front springs. I bent the springs the 2nd time out. Once you get the tires bound up the stock push/pull steering will only push/pull the axle - bending the driver's side spring in the process - insted of turning the tires.

    I also had enough bump steer that I had to turn the wheel to stand on the brake and turn it the other way to stand on the gas.

    If you move the axle forward at all you will be in even worse shape because your drag link will be even shorter then the - already too short - stock length.

    Either use springs made for your application or do cross-over steering.
     
  12. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    It's interesting you brought up the bent springs, I just swapped out a rebuilt steering box from a 78 1ton, had the same casting numbers on it as my 71 box, but it travels too far from lock to lock. If I turn the wheel all the way to the left it pulls the drivers side down at lock, and all the way to the passenger side pushes the driverside up, I watched it an dit is bending the speings, but they are designed for a 71, so they are stock length. Is there a throw adjustment on the boxes? I am only familiar with the steering stops on the axle, which is a D60 by the way.
     
  13. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    The reason factory length springs was mentioned is that they are stiffer then anything else you would swap in. For example the rancho 4" lift springs that I swapped out were rated at 720 lb/in while the 73-up 4" lift springs (tough country EZ-rides) I swapped in are just under 300 lb/in.

    The location of the spring clamps also matters (you need a spring clamp at the front of the drivers side spring).

    This is starting to get into another topic that has been post about much in the past. You might want to do some searching on it.

    At any rate you can only get 7.5" of steering correction (2.5" drop pitman arm and 4" lift steering arm) so you will run into problems with big lift and stock steering. I ran no steering correction and that was part of my problem with the bent springs. I knew I was going to go with crossover steering so I was hoping I could just "get by" with the stock steering. It isn't something you should plan on keeping!
     
  14. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Its the fact that you can only shorten the drag link so much and the fact that if you do the swap you will in fact have alot of suspension travel. When the driver side tire is drooped you basically can't turn since the suspension has already moved the drag link. There is probably someone who can explain it better than me. So basically by moving the front axle forward you have to shorten the drag link to correct the steering and by doing this you are compounding the problem of when the tires droop they will steer on their own. I think you could make it work until you got money for xover steering but I would do the xover steering ASAP and yes it is worth all the work
     
  15. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    I plan on doing the crossover steering, I work at a machine shop and have access to everything I need to make the arms, if I could find prints or specs for them. What about the spring hangars themselves?
     
  16. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I made my own pretty simple to do so 3x3 1/4inch square cut out one side drill weld on where needed
     

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