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Questions about using Ford leaf springs and shock towers

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Fletch79, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Fletch79

    Fletch79 Registered Member

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    In the 'anti-axle-wrap' write up, the 57" ford springs were talked about.
    Are these rear springs in both front and back, or front-to-front, and back-to-back?
    Do they provide any lift on their own, or just more flex?
    What years of Ford have the right springs?
    Any year better than the others?
    Any fabbing, or mods required, or do they bolt in?

    Pretty much the same questions for the shock towers.
    What's the big improvement?

    Thanks.
     
  2. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    The 86-96 57" F150 packs have been a popular swap for Toyotas and now the Blazer. With a few different types of shackle flip on the market, a 6" shackle and a 1" center pin relocation, you can easily adapt them onto your truck for a cadillac soft ride and a lot more flex than stock. As for the ford shock towers, you can equip a longer shock on the front end to allow for more travel on the front if so equipped.
     
  3. Fletch79

    Fletch79 Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    With a few different types of shackle flip on the market, a 6" shackle and a 1" center pin relocation, you can ...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm not entirely clear.

    Move my stock shackle 6 inches?
    Or 6" shackle flip?
    Will they bolt into the existing shackle, after it's moved?

    Does relocating the center pin 1" mean drilling through the spring pack?
    Move the pin forward, or reverse?

    I saw the rear anti-wrap, will the front need something similar to keep the wheels on the ground?

    Thanks again,
    Fletch
     
  4. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I saw the rear anti-wrap, will the front need something similar to keep the wheels on the ground?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    you planning on putting the 57"S in the front too?
    I would think that only the back would need it, since when you accelerate all the weight is shifted to the rear, but i dunno if that even plays a role....
     
  5. Fletch79

    Fletch79 Registered Member

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    Not necessarily planning to put them up front.
    Dunno what I'm planning, I'm trying to figure that out now.

    I thought the deal was to put the Ford spring packs in front and back.
    I'm still a bit foggy on sections of the mod.

    So for it sounds like:
    57" Ford F-150 spring pack from 86-96, installed in rear of Blazer.
    Shackle must be moved six inches to accomodate the springs.
    Spring pack must be drilled to move the center pin 1".

    Dunno if the same shackle is good.
    Dunno if custom bushings are involved.

    Supposed to provide soft ride, and lots of flex.
    Too soft even, mandating the anti-wrap project.

    Needs longer shocks to accomodate the new-found flex.
    Dunno if it needs new bump-stops.
    Dunno if it relocates axle enough to require driveline work.

    So there it is, I sort of have it, and I sort of don't.
     
  6. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    well, I would buy a shackle flip from ord, or echobit,

    I have the ord style... i only have 56"s but i can tell you some stuff,

    with the ord setup, you swap sides with the shackle brackets, and then move them around until you get the desired Shackle angle, then you will need a longer shackle as well... To move them around i just bolted up one side to the leaf spring, and put the center pin of the spring in the spring perch on the axle, then i put the shackle bracket up against the frame, and put vise grips on it, to hold it to the frame, found the desired angle, and drilled holes and mounted everthing up... If you do a search you will find my old post about shackle angles, and there are some good pics on there.....

    as for relocating the axle, It all depends on where you drill the hole, i belive from the front spring hanger to the center pin on a stock spring is 25-1/2, but i would measure your stock springs to make sure, if you drill the hole there, then you wont have to do any driveline work,

    its not a bad idea to get a little more wheelbase outa this mod though... just depends on your $$$ situation.
     
  7. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    For example purposes, you can use the echobit flip on your stock hanger with no modifications to its current location along with a 6" shackle (included in the Echobit 57" flip kit) and this alone would adapt the 57's to the rear of your truck and result in about 5.5" of lift and a 1 1/2" loss of wheelbase. The loss of wheelbase is a result of the flip (1/2") and the centering pin of the stock 57" springs being 1" closer to the front of the spring than your stock springs. You can redrill the spring pack 1 1/2" toward the back as I have done to my springs (keeps the original hole under the spring plate) or you can get 1 1/2" offset zero-rates which will do this for you and can be made with the pinion correction to the degree you need for correct driveline geometry all in one. If I had it all to do over again, I'd run the tapered offset zero rate since its all inclusive.
     
  8. Fletch79

    Fletch79 Registered Member

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    If I found the spring packs ala-salvage, moved my stock shackles, and relocated the center pins myself, would it result in any lift?
    I could tolerate about two inches, but I don't really want the lift yet 'cause I'm nowhere near ready to lift the front. (Pricey to do right.)

    No offense to the shops that make the mounts, but the shackle flip kits that I've seen don't look terribly complicated. My weld-beads are getting darned good, and, well ... that's the type of thing I bought a welder for.
    Pretty sure I could fab them up when I'm ready for them.
    Same for steering brace, and other little stuff.

    Back to the springs:
    I don't like the idea of lift blocks, tilt blocks, offset blocks, or any other such apparatus under the springs.
    (However, I did see a late model Ram 2500 pickup, that had factory lift blocks, and the bottom leaf had an integral peice of box tubing that slid down over the block. Looked safe.)
    I'd prefer to rotate the housing, and reset the perches.
    Welding perches onto the tubes doesn't sound difficult, but how do you get them off cleanly?

    Thanks for all the help thus far.
    Fletch
     
  9. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    I would highly suggest buying the spring packs yourself from a wrecking yard since shipping them would cost nearly as much as packs themselves. Just to clarify, you could relocate your shackle hanger back 5" and reuse the stock shackle in a suspended position to accomodate the 57's and you should get around the same lift as stock (give or take an inch). Your probably going to make tire contact with the body at full stuff because the 57's are very soft and allow much more up travel than your stock springs, so a lift is highly recommended - I'm running 7" of lift and 3.5" offset wheels and still stuff a tire to the point of rubbing hard. going this route, you shouldn't need any pinion correction at all. Keep in mind that the zero rates are not really like a block since they are an integral part of the spring pack and not just pinched between the axle and the U-bolts. As for cutting off the perches, flame torch works good but watch your tube temps so you dont waste any seals. On another note, you could relocate the axle back on the packs without any modification to the pack or offset blocks by drilling a new centering hole 1" forward on the axle perch and drilling a matching hole 1" forward on the spring plate (may require making a new spring plate in some cases to keep the spring centering bolt completely under the plate). This would place you at stock wheelbase.
     
  10. Lance

    Lance 1/2 ton status

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    Here's what I did. I installed a 4" ORD shackle flip in the rear and installed them on the reverse sides they are intended to be mounted on. I also had to locate them towards the rear of the Blazer an additional two inches. Also, used an ORD zero rate and used the 1.5" offset pin location(1" is all that is necessary) to mount the springs w/o drilling into the spring pack. I did have to drill the center hole out from 3/8" to 7/16" to accomodate the larger Ford spring centering pin. I also had to drill a new hole in my top spring plate accomodate the offset pin which was the biggest PITA of the whole deal. Overall this nets me close to 4.5" of lift.

    I realize you said you didn't want to lift the rear as of yet until you can afford to lift the front. I would recommend you hold off on installing the Ford springs in the rear until you can lift the front, because like BorregoK5 said these springs are soft and I believe with any overside tire (33" or bigger) you are going to rub all the time. Even when running to the store or to work.

    Just FYI, while you are at the j-yard locate a 2wd GM pickup in the (I believe) 81-87 vintage. The front shackle hanger for the rear springs should look like the rear shackle hanger for the rear spring of our K5 except the shackle will point down instead of up. Lots of people have replaced their rear shackle hanger on their K5's with this unit as a cheap shackle flip that nets about 4" of lift. You can also (with a bit of work) use your stock rear springs on the front of a k5 to lift it. Lift height varies, but you should be able to get around 4" with the overload spring removed. I've never done this but read lots about people doing this with mixed results. Research it and see if it suits your needs. If nothing else it will be cheap outside of your labor. Good luck.

    Lance
     

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