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Old 01-04-2014
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General suspension thoughts and questions

Ok so... Basic info is 2003 xlt extra cab 4.0 bars are cranked on 285's with 216,xxx miles. Suspension is in bad shape all around. Needs ball joints and tie rod ends. First question is this, seems to me that the front is sagging. I have a Ramsey 8000 winch on it and with the driver side bar maxed and the passenger side screw showing about 1/4 of the threads I still have about 3-4 inches of down travel. Is this normal? I mean I know that with the weight if the winch and mount it's gonna make the front sag a bit but that seems pretty close to stock from what I have been reading.

I know my rear leafs are sacked out too, the only thing keeping them from going into negative arch is the overload leaf and even it looks like it's loosing that fight. My question there is in relation to explorer leafs. What is the real deal on them? Some people say they ride smoother, some people say they have a stiffer rate. What is it? I understand why they give lift, they are designed for a spring under configuration. I plan on doing some overlanding and would like something a little stiffer but how can they ride stiffer and smoother at the same time. I'll save the rest of my questions for later instead of dragging this one post out.
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Old 01-05-2014
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sounds like you have a pretty similar set up to my truck 2 years ago, with that kind of milage, I would look into new Tbars for the front (or a coilover swap) also make sure to get number 1 bars that come on the FX4 trucks they are stiffer and will handle the weight of the winch better.

as for the Expo springs I have run them witha 2in shackle for some time and the ride is good, they are stiffer then my ranger springs but ride well with a full tool box in the bed and my full size spare and gas cans. they did a good job zeroing out my rig basically I only gained about a 1/4 of lift from them but my shackles give me the 2in I needed to really stuff my tires in the wheel wells.
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Old 01-05-2014
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Yeah I was thinking #1bars, explorer leafs, 2" shackles and new shocks. That's another sticking point. I'm torn between rancho 5000's and pro comp 9000's. The 9000's are stiffer but the 5000's come in a 2" extended length.
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Old 01-05-2014
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Instead of sticking with crappy torsion bar why don't you upgrade to coilovers?
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Old 01-05-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CIB-11B View Post
Yeah I was thinking #1bars, explorer leafs, 2" shackles and new shocks. That's another sticking point. I'm torn between rancho 5000's and pro comp 9000's. The 9000's are stiffer but the 5000's come in a 2" extended length.
Sounds like a good plan. I would consider better shocks, some Bilstein 5100s or fox 2.0s will make a night and day difference in your truck
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Old 01-05-2014
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Originally Posted by 01RangerEdge View Post
Instead of sticking with crappy torsion bar why don't you upgrade to coilovers?
For the same reason my Bronco never got 1 ton axles and my F-150 never got cut & turned beams.... $$$$$$$$

I thought about bilsteins but I'm not sure I can budget it. I don't have a set budget but there are a lot of other placed on the truck that the money needs to go. I pretty much have to replace the whole suspension. Uca's, lower ball joints, tre's, leafs, bars, probably should do all of the bushings at the same time. Not to mention the discovery of my rear wheel bearings today. Nothing like hearing a clunking sound half way though a day of wheeling. Turns out my rear wheels and all of that have 1/4" of vertical play and about the same amount of thrust.
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