aftermarket chevy spring swap? added lift? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-20-2006
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aftermarket chevy spring swap? added lift?

currently i have stock ranger springs, stock blocks, AAL, and chevy lowering shackle that adds another inch.

well its just not enough with my superlift installed i need another inch or two, so im thinking why not upgrade to the chevy leaf springs.

but if im going to upgrade aftermarket companies make chevy spring packs with added height built into them.

my question is how would i know how much lift to get in the spring pack? can it still be used?

does a stock chevy leaf pack add any lift when it is added to the truck?

another option is to just go to a local spring place and have them build me a new spring pack for a ranger.


another thing that boggles me about the chevy spring swap is if you have to move the front mount 6" forward how does that not effect where the axle is located? i would think it would move it forward.

Last edited by zabeard; 04-20-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 04-20-2006
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here is an example
5" of lift for only 182 bucks
http://www.jackit.com/store/supercart.cgi?s=tuf_19590

or 3" of lift for 178
http://www.jackit.com/store/supercart.cgi?s=tuf_19390
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Old 04-20-2006
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Stock chevy springs lift it enough to remove the factory 2" blocks and still sit at the same height. So if you have 2" AAL on top of your 2" blocks, you will need a 2" lift spring to sit at the same height that you are now, without the blocks.

Get a 4" lift spring, and remove the blocks. That will give you 2" of lift over your current height.
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Old 04-20-2006
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sweet. i thought it would work too, just wasnt sure.

so do you think my stock U bolts will still work?
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
another thing that boggles me about the chevy spring swap is if you have to move the front mount 6" forward how does that not effect where the axle is located? i would think it would move it forward.
The 88~98 63" Chevy springs are about 6" longer from the center pin to the front hanger so the axle almost stays where it is if you shift the front bracket forward 6". That's convenient because it lets you reuse the factory location on one of the spring hanger holes. A second needs slotting in the hanger and the other two must be drilled new in the frame.



The truth is that the axle isn't exactly in the same place after the swap. My axle moved backwards about 3/4" with the Chevy springs. It will work that way but I would have rather had it in the stock location. I may fix that or leave it.

If you keep the factory lift blocks, you should be able to reuse your original U-bolts - the 2WD Chevy leaf pack is only about 1/4" taller than the Ranger springs. Using a 4WD pack adds an extra leaf and that might be a bit tight, especially with traction bar brackets.

The 96 C1500 springs I used lifted the rear about 2 1/2" ~3" at the axle. That's compared to my stock Ranger spring pack (no AALs or anything else).

Last edited by V8 Level II; 04-20-2006 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-20-2006
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That extra 3/4" can be important if you go to 35's. With the stock style springs, my tire is closer to the rear fender opening than the front at full up flex, and I had to "adjust" (read "bash") the fender and drill some other holes for the flare to snap into to make room -- even than it's tight.

Another 3/4" would cause quite a problem with 35's when you thrash it.

Bob, I didn't know you did that. Did you redo your traction bars, or are they not so needed now?
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Bob, I didn't know you did that. Did you redo your traction bars, or are they not so needed now?
I installed the springs a few days ago. I made some extensions for the Duff bars from 3/4" barstock and welded them in. Still haven't got to painting and installing the bars though.

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Old 04-20-2006
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Cool. The holes in the original tubing are for plug welds perhaps? To keep it from twisting or pulling out?

Very nice looking work.

Doc told me that he felt he had less spring wrap with the chevy springs. I guess it could be the lack of large blocks increasing the leverage.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
Cool. The holes in the original tubing are for plug welds perhaps?
Yes, just a little extra "insurance".

I kept my lift blocks because the shocks are too long without them and would bottom internally.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Yes, the bump stop issue is also important with these.

Thanks for the info! It'll help me if I do that eventually.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
The truth is that the axle isn't exactly in the same place after the swap. My axle moved backwards about 3/4" with the Chevy springs. It will work that way but I would have rather had it in the stock location. I may fix that or leave it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
That extra 3/4" can be important if you go to 35's.
Another 3/4" would cause quite a problem with 35's when you thrash it.
so i need to move the bracket another 3/4" forward so i can fit my 35s? or could this be an issue just with a regular bed? since ihave a flareside with no flares i bet i can make up that 3/4" there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
If you keep the factory lift blocks, you should be able to reuse your original U-bolts - the 2WD Chevy leaf pack is only about 1/4" taller than the Ranger springs. Using a 4WD pack adds an extra leaf and that might be a bit tight, especially with traction bar brackets.

The 96 C1500 springs I used lifted the rear about 2 1/2" ~3" at the axle. That's compared to my stock Ranger spring pack (no AALs or anything else).
i think i can get a set of 4wd springs off a 95 chevy for free, will this yeild more lift?

also what about my pinion angle with all this lift? right now my chevy lowering shackles provide the pinion angle. I would think if i leave the shackle in i might beable to keep the pinion angle i need? or will the springs change the angle as well?
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Old 04-20-2006
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I wouldn't bet on that -- it depends on where you set the bumpstops. You may have more clearance -- but I wouldn't assume anything.

If the springs change the angle, you'll have to compensate. It's possible they do since the mounting point is further back on the length of the spring. Again, it would need to be measured to know for sure. Now, if Bob doesn't have any issues, that might say you won't either -- but I don't think Bob has those shackles either.

The shackles should have changed your pinion angle off of what it was stock. You say they are "providing" pinion angle and I don't know what you mean. There is always pinion angle -- it just has to match the corresponding tranny or t-case angle.
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Old 04-20-2006
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oh i mean that shackles adjust the pinion angle because of my added lift.

im guessing if bob didnt use shims to change his it doesnt change it from stock so i could assume it wont change on mine either.
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Old 04-20-2006
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I would think that a stock K1500 spring pack would yield more lift simply because it is stiffer and would deflect less under the weight of a Ranger. The K1500 (4WD) has 4 leafs plus an overload compared with the C1500 (2WD) which has 3 leafs and an overload. You're likely to pay in ride quality, though. Even the 2WD Chevy springs are somewhat firmer riding than the stockers.

I figured that if I needed to adjust the pinion angle, I could just mill a degree or two or whatever's needed right off of the lift blocks. I have been driving it for a few days without any angle adjustment and I don't feel any new D/S vibration. However, I haven't been above about 65 MPH yet. So, time has yet to tell on that.

You are correct, John, I am running the original factory Ranger shackles. My main focus is on increasing wheel travel and damping quality without spending a fortune. Any lift I get is just incidental to those goals and not something that I'm actively trying to achieve.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner
My turn to ask a question. Why not go with a Ranger replacement leaf pack? It seems to me the work involved in swaping the chevy springs is not worth the extra it would cost to get springs made for a Ranger. That is if you are going to buy springs, like you listed in the second post.
The Chevy swap can be done for under $100 and the work involved doesn't bother me. A set of Deavers or equivalent is probably better but costs way more than that.
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Old 04-20-2006
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This sounds cool. So, let me get this straight. If you installed the K1500 4wd leafpack, you would have to move the front hanger 6" towards the front of the truck. But, the axle will be moved 3/4" forward? or backward?

Also, if you install the stock K1500 4wd leaf pack, without any lift blocks, you will gain 2.5"-3" and with the stock blocks you will gain 4.5"-5", or more because of the K1500 vs. C1500 differences.
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Old 04-20-2006
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well hopefully i can get my hands on a 4wd spring pack. and give it a try.

thanks for the help guys.
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Old 04-20-2006
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if you need any pics.. i can gice them too you. i have chevy springs on my truck

have any q's ( like pros and cons or whatever) ypu can hit me up on im

Last edited by ranger024x4; 04-20-2006 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolla_guy72
Also, if you install the stock K1500 4wd leaf pack, without any lift blocks, you will gain 2.5"-3" and with the stock blocks you will gain 4.5"-5", or more because of the K1500 vs. C1500 differences.
I don't see where anybody said those things.

I got about 2 1/2" by using the C1500 springs with the stock Ranger lift blocks and stock Ranger shackles. I suspect that the K1500 springs would give you more but I haven't tried them. How much more? I don't know.

Most people would install used springs for this cheapo mod, so that also adds the variables of age and history. The used springs I bought might give more or less lift than the used springs from another identical model that has seen different operating conditions and years.
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Old 04-20-2006
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My left and right springs came from the same donor Chevy. When I disassembled the spring packs for cleaning and painting, I noticed that some of the individual leafs were sacked more than others. After they were painted, I sorted each pair of matching leafs to find the ones with the higher arch. I then reassembled a "tall" spring pack using those leafs and a "short" pack with the leftovers. The tall pack went on the more heavily loaded driver/gas tank/transfer case side and the shorter pack went on the passenger side.
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
My left and right springs came from the same donor Chevy. When I disassembled the spring packs for cleaning and painting, I noticed that some of the individual leafs were sacked more than others. After they were painted, I sorted each pair of matching leafs to find the ones with the higher arch. I then reassembled a "tall" spring pack using those leafs and a "short" pack with the leftovers. The tall pack went on the more heavily loaded driver/gas tank/transfer case side and the shorter pack went on the passenger side.

do you have any pics of the springs thme selfs?
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger02_4x4
do you have any pics of the springs thme selfs?
I would guess that they look just like your Chevy springs.

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Old 04-20-2006
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nope... mine are super thick...

im using the stock u bolts and no blocks in mine....

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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger02_4x4
nope... mine are super thick...

im using the stock u bolts and no blocks in mine....
Yours are 4x4 (5 leaf total). Mine are 4x2 (4 leaf total).
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Old 04-20-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
Yours are 4x4 (5 leaf total). Mine are 4x2 (4 leaf total).
o ok...
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