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Help me with 52" spring swap

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nomadman, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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    Let me start by saying that I've been burning up the SEARCH feature here for the last 3 days. What I've got: 4" TCI lift springs w/ early 4" stock shackles, dual gas shocks of unknown brand, push/pull steering w/ raised steering arm to a Corp. 10 bolt in the front, stock 4 leaf + overload springs in the rear w/ 4" blocks. What I want: #1 a better ride while maintaining the 4" lift, #2 good flex capabilities. What I'm gathering from other's experiences as a solution: using 52" springs w/ appropriate length shackle ~ 7" or so to prevent frame contact and provide good shackle angle up front, the way I see it, there's no need to move the front mounts forward, and this would be the same as a 48" spring and moving the rear shackle mount forward. Essentially, I want to move my existing rear springs up front w/o the overload leaf, however, some say cornering is terrible w/ the added flex - why can't I retain the stock sway bar w/ a disconnect kit from ORD to prevent the rollover? Some also say Xover steering is a must, well that's out w/ a corp 10 bolt. Will that only be an issue under Xtreme flex conditions? Can I limit droop with shock length or will they get destroyed?
    I also have a set of 3 leaf 52's out of a 1/2 ton P/U, would they be able to support the rear of my K5 and provide a softer ride and more flex? A lot said in one mouth full, but everytime I think I have a plan, I read another post and get spun around again, Please help :confused: . Jim.
     
  2. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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  3. Poohbair

    Poohbair 1/2 ton status

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    If you move the front mount forward 4" it moves the frontend forward 2", so if you move the front mount forward 2" it would leave the axle in the stock location, and if you don't move it at all, it will move the axle BACK 2"... So yes, w/ 52's you have to move the front mount. W/ the front mount moved and a 7.25" hole to hole shackle in the stock location your shackle will basically stand straight up and down. Not bad, but not ideal.
     
  4. rubbinz raczn

    rubbinz raczn 1/2 ton status

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    so you move the front mount forward 4" leave the rear alone other than the shackle. this moves the axle forward 2" it's that easy? does moving the axle forward cause any big steering issues or does the long draglink of a crossover setup help with those problems?
     
  5. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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    That makes sense, springs 4" longer, pin in the middle of the spring, front eye in the same position, axle moves back 2".

    Now, what if a 2" offset zero rate was used? That would put the axle back to the stock location and with the shackle mount in the same place, give you a shackle angle of about 30 degrees forward. check out this thread: http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98308 This is where I got the idea. Be sure to scroll down and check out the site he's referencing: http://www.akfabshop.com/alaskaoffroad/suspension.htm.

    By the way, anybody know the spring rates for stock rear springs? I'm wondering if those 4 leafs will support the front and if those 1/2 ton P/U ones will support the rear.
     
  6. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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  7. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I don't believe you will find anybody willing to make you a 2" offset zero rate. 2" would put the center pin off of the spring perch.

    To use 52's up front you pretty much have to move the forward mount forward. the rear mount is kinda up to you but to get the best shackle angle it should be moved a little bit. Crossover steering is required due to the added flex. If you want to limit the flex and not do crossover the whole conversion is kind of a waste but again up to you. You can put crossover on a 10 bolt. You need the knuckles off of a Dana 44 that have the flat top on them.

    Spring rates I'm not sure on.

    You could probably fashion some type of sway bar for the front. Even use the stock one but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't fit quite right depending on how much the axle moves front to back and of course your going up 4" or so.

    Don't forget your longer brake lines up front.

    One other thing to consider is when making shackles as long as 7.25" or so you should probably put a cross brace between the shackles sides. Yeah depending on what material you use but If I were to build them for you I would highly recommend it.
     
  8. k5floyd

    k5floyd 1/2 ton status

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    when making a longer shackle and moving the mount forward, how do you make sure you dont mess with the pinion angle?
     
  9. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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    ORD's zero rates come 1 & 1.5 offset. I doubt the loss of 1/2 inch in wheelbase would be too big of a deal. I'm not trying to argue your point of moving the front mounts, just trying to avoid it. How much lift will a stock RR 52" K5 give me if used in the front?

    Crossover steering is back in the picture now knowing the D44 flattops will fit my corp 10b.

    Brake lines and shocks will be changed accordingly if this all goes together as planned.
     
  10. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    Your putting on a longer shackle that also sits at a better angle. It does have the potential to change pinion angles so you may have to put in a tapered shim to correct things. I used 6" but here good things about 7.25". I never actually seen them in person.

    As far as how much lift I hear everything from 4" to 5.5". All depends on how hammered the springs are.:grin: And of course shackle length.
     
  11. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks cybrfire. I will keep an eye on the pinion angle while setting things in place. It goes hand in hand w/ the caster angle that I want to be careful about too. I am planning to do the RR shackle flip 1st using 2WD RR spring FT hangers. I got them off today and was able to get all the bolts to come out! Looks as though the lift from that will be 5 - 6 " using stock RR shackles. I am going to try the 3 leaf pack that came from the same 2WD P/U and see if they're strong enough. If that works out, I will have the stock RR 4 leaf pack to use up front. I'm going to leave the rubber bushings alone for now until I know thing will work OK, then I'll replace them all w/ ORD greasable ones. I'll post some progress pics if I figure out how to upload them.
     
  12. DougK20

    DougK20 1/2 ton status

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    I used a zero-rate to push my axle 1.5" back to original location. Before and after wheelbase measurements were exactly the same.

    My shackles are 5.5" eye-to-eye, and they are too long. Should have done 4.75".

    Yeah, I had to buy longer shocks, diff vent hose, and longer brake lines.

    I have 4deg shims installed now. Still deciding if I need 6deg.

    I'm still running factory draglink until I go full-hydro. To use it, you must adjust draglink for even pull left-to-right and steering wheel in center. Also, run limiting strap on drivers side so when drooping you don't snap draglink ends. Also make sure you adjust out your axle turn-stop screws so you don't bust draglink ends or steering box sector shaft when you bump an obstacle when turning.

    You will also have front driveshaft issues. Clearance, length, angle, and slip issues.

    I have 4" shackle filp and zero-rate in back. In the attachment you can see how much height I gained with the 52's. It took an additional 3" to level out the rear.

    truck4.jpg
     
  13. nomadman

    nomadman 1/2 ton status

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    I assume you didn't move either spring mount at all when you installed the 52's ........ ?

    What do you base saying your shackles are too long - shackle angle? I have read the shackle should be long enough so it is at an angle of approx. 30 degrees with the top forward sloping forward, but not so long as to allow the eye to contact the frame.

    How is the ride w/ them? Do they seem oversprung like most aftermarket lift springs?

    I am going to do a homegrown shackle flip first using the front mounts from the rear springs of a 2WD. I'm also going to try the 3 leaf pack that was in that truck too. Hopefully they will support the back of the K5 and allow me to use the 4 leaf packs up front, otherwise I'll have to find another set of 4 leaf springs. Looks as though I am going to net @ 6" from the flip but will probably loose some w/ the softer springs.

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2005
  14. snoman87

    snoman87 Registered Member

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    Nomadman ... How is your project coming along? Did you use the stock push pull or go crossover and how did the springs hold up?
     
  15. chevyguybc

    chevyguybc 1/2 ton status

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    wondering how your project came along,

    i did the 52 swap with lifted springs and im going to use stock steering with a raised arm and possibly dropped drag link as well if needed just to get by until i can afford crossover on a dana 60, which i also need...

    wondering how you guys did your allingment after the lift
     

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