Chevy Springs??? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 02-19-2007
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Chevy Springs???

Okay I am in need of new springs mine are flat. I also wanted to get some lift out of my rear end. I would like the higher payload for when I am going to load it with firewood. It is not enjoyable having my rear 4 inches lower than my front while driving down the road. I am almost certain that I am going to get the 2wd ones. But I have several questions first. I have searched for answers and frankly didn't find everything I wanted.

First is there a HOW TO somewhere. I have looked for step by step instructions on here and haven't been able to find any. I find lots of info but I feel like it is scattered through many different threads.

1. Do I need to move both spring hangers or just move the front one forward?

2. Will this just bolt on with my current bolts (the ones that go through the spring hanger)?

I realize I will need new U bolts.

3. How do I incorporate a bump stop or do I even need one?

4. From what I have read I will need new rear shocks but that is okay since I already need some of those. I think I need some that will allow for more travel where do I get these from?

I hope to get all this stuff done before april and as long as I do and no one else has beat me to it I will take lots of pictures and make an official HOW TO for RF. So please give me lots of info now because I will use this thread as a reference when I go ahead and make that thread. Of course if someone wants to make a HOW TO now please go ahead that will save me the time.
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Old 02-19-2007
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You will need a longer bump stop. Bob (rwenzing) has shown F-250 bump stops that are a bolt up and are longer that will work, although with larger tires I'm not sure they're adequate. I'll be doing this mod myself when the truck goes down this spring for the SAS.

Don't remember where it's posted, but there are a bunch of people who have talked about it.

The front hanger is what gets moved. However, your wheel ends up about a 3/4" back from where it should be. This could be an issue with the fenders in the rear as I recall you already having an issue with them, yes?
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Old 02-19-2007
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1. move the front hangers only. you move them roughly 6" so you can reuse the two front holes and just drill 2 new ones.

2. you need new grade 5 or better bolts for when you move the brackets.

3. it might be a good idea to have the bump stops since you haul wood, in that case you would need to keep the stock block and then get the 2006 F250 bump stops from the dealer like Bob did. This might make your rear ride height about 2-3 inches higher than it is right now. if you don't mid that then that is what i would do. If you do this you may not need new Ubolts as the stock ones will work.

4. Your new rear shocks will need to have 2-3 inches of more travel. something like 28 extended and 15-16 compressed should work, like the superlift shocks (from the Superlift kit) will work and are good inexpensive shocks.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
1. Do I need to move both spring hangers or just move the front one forward?
You can get away with moving the fronts only. It puts the rear shackle at a strange angle but that's the nature of the mod (using aftermarket Chevy drop shackles improves the angle somewhat).



Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
2. Will this just bolt on with my current bolts (the ones that go through the spring hanger)?
The stock hangers are riveted to the frame. You must drill out the rivets and replace with decent bolts. I used ISO Class 10.9 which is the rough metric equivalent of SAE Grade 8. This is the most time consuming part of the mod and is way easier with the bed removed. Definitely worth the trouble to pull it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
I realize I will need new U bolts.
If you retain the stock blocks, you can use the stock U-bolts. If you eliminate the blocks, you will need shorter U-bolts. Keep in mind that eliminating the blocks will just about cancel any lift due to the stronger 2WD Chevy springs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
3. How do I incorporate a bump stop or do I even need one?
If you retain the stock blocks and stock length shocks, you can use the original bumpstops.

If you remove the blocks and/or install shocks with a longer compressed length, then the bumpstops should be lengthened to protect the shocks and mounts from damage.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
4. From what I have read I will need new rear shocks but that is okay since I already need some of those. I think I need some that will allow for more travel where do I get these from?
You can run factory length and travel shocks with the Chevy swap. Shocks with a longer compressed length should be used with taller bumpstops.


In addition to the above, it is important to know that your parking brakes will no longer work without modification to the cable mount.


How-to: Here is a thread with a brief How-to. The conversion shown is on an earlier Ranger so the hangers are a little different from yours. For the most part, the procedure is the same.


Bumpstops: If you decide you need taller ones, a bolt-on option is 2006 F350. They are about twice as tall as the Ranger stops and made from polyurethane instead of rubber. "Bumper" P/N 6C3Z-4730-A. About $20 each.


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Old 02-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
The stock hangers are riveted to the frame. You must drill out the rivets and replace with decent bolts. I used ISO Class 10.9 which is the rough metric equivalent of SAE Grade 8. This is the most time consuming part of the mod and is way easier with the bed removed. Definitely worth the trouble to pull it.

Wont you loose shear strength with those heavy bolts?

I used grade 5 and it bent the frame and the bracket no bolts broke.

I mean i guess it prolly doesn't matter that much all on preference
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Old 02-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
Wont you loose shear strength with those heavy bolts?

I used grade 5 and it bent the frame and the bracket no bolts broke.

I mean i guess it prolly doesn't matter that much all on preference
Grade 8 or Class 10.9 are commonly used in critical locations like brake mounts and suspension pivots. I see no problem using them to hold the hangers to the frame.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
Wont you loose shear strength with those heavy bolts?

I used grade 5 and it bent the frame and the bracket no bolts broke.

I mean i guess it prolly doesn't matter that much all on preference

This is a common thought, but a grade 8 is not weaker in shear then a grade 5. A grade 8 is more brittle, so it doenst bend much before it shears. I dont have exact numbers in front of me but, The yield strength of a Grade 8 is higher then the Ultimate Strength of a grade 5. This means that a grade 5 will break in tension and in shear before a grade 8 ever reaches its yield strength. A grade 8 is actually alot better in this application because a grade 8 bolt can exert a larger clamping force then a grade 5 can.
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Old 02-19-2007
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makes sense. either way im not using my grade 5s anymore because my new hangers came with bolts.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard
makes sense. either way im not using my grade 5s anymore because my new hangers came with bolts.
The factory hangars come with metric Class 10.9's (Grade 8 equivalent).
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Old 02-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
The front hanger is what gets moved. However, your wheel ends up about a 3/4" back from where it should be. This could be an issue with the fenders in the rear as I recall you already having an issue with them, yes?
My problem was with the tires hitting the front of the fender so doing this mod should eliminate any problem with that I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
If you retain the stock blocks, you can use the stock U-bolts. If you eliminate the blocks, you will need shorter U-bolts. Keep in mind that eliminating the blocks will just about cancel any lift due to the stronger 2WD Chevy springs.
Okay if I use the stock blocks my truck will sit 2-3 inches higher in the back. Which considering right now it is sitting 2 inches low (because my springs are flat) it will really sit 4-5 inches higher. I don't know if I really want it that much higher. If I did use the stock blocks and did a Tbar crank it wouldn't be too much of a rake I guess. Does anyone have a pic of there truck after a Chevy spring swap with the blocks with a tbar crank and without a tbar crank. A tbar crank is something I would do since I need an alignment anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
If you retain the stock blocks and stock length shocks, you can use the original bumpstops.

If you remove the blocks and/or install shocks with a longer compressed length, then the bumpstops should be lengthened to protect the shocks and mounts from damage.


You can run factory length and travel shocks with the Chevy swap. Shocks with a longer compressed length should be used with taller bumpstops.
Okay let me see if I have this right. If I do the swap and use the stock blocks and bumpstops I do not need longer shocks. If I don't use the blocks I need different shocks. I don't know what a longer compressed length is. What is it? I will search for the answer but a given answer would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
In addition to the above, it is important to know that your parking brakes will no longer work without modification to the cable mount.
This I am aware of and will fix it when I do it. I don't really ever use the Pbrake but will make sure it works when I am all done.
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Old 02-21-2007
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I planned on using grade 8 bolts. That is what is on my old Bronco 2 to hold on the spring hangers.


One other question. Without moving the rear hanger you get a funky angle with the spring. But using a chevy drop shackle helps this. Does the shackle give any lift or drop or is it just replacing the rear shackle?
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Old 02-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
Okay let me see if I have this right. If I do the swap and use the stock blocks and bumpstops I do not need longer shocks. If I don't use the blocks I need different shocks. I don't know what a longer compressed length is. What is it? I will search for the answer but a given answer would be great.
The shock length is at a minimum when the shock is fully compressed. That's what I'm calling the compressed length. When the shock length is greatest, that is the extended length. The difference beteen the compressed length and extended length is the shock travel.

It is important to have the suspension bottom out against the stops before the shock is fully compressed. If not, then the shock becomes the stop and that will damage the shock and/or the shock mounts.

Removing the blocks moves the lower shock mounts up in relation the stops. That's why 2WD XL/XLT's use shorter shocks - they don't have the blocks. Without the blocks, you need the shorter compressed length to keep the shock from becoming the stop.

The problem is that, generally speaking, reducing the compressed length by 2" shortens the extended length by about 4" - exactly what you don't want with the Chevy springs. That's why I left my blocks in when I did the swap.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
One other question. Without moving the rear hanger you get a funky angle with the spring. But using a chevy drop shackle helps this. Does the shackle give any lift or drop or is it just replacing the rear shackle?
Without moving the rear shackle hanger, you get a strange angle to the Ranger shackle, not the spring. Using Chevy shackles will push the shackles to a better angle but still not like stock. The Chevy shackles add another 1" or so of lift on top of what the Chevy springs give you.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanjints
Okay if I use the stock blocks my truck will sit 2-3 inches higher in the back. Which considering right now it is sitting 2 inches low (because my springs are flat) it will really sit 4-5 inches higher. I don't know if I really want it that much higher. If I did use the stock blocks and did a Tbar crank it wouldn't be too much of a rake I guess. Does anyone have a pic of there truck after a Chevy spring swap with the blocks with a tbar crank and without a tbar crank. A tbar crank is something I would do since I need an alignment anyway.
The combo here is 2WD Chevy C1500 springs with factory Ranger lift blocks, factory Ranger shackles and a 1.5" torsion crank up front:



Same setup with 2400 pounds in the bed:

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Old 02-23-2007
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Thanks Bob that look you have on your truck will do me just fine. I will have to get looking for some springs now. I don't think i will need to much of a torsion crank since I think I have more weight on my rear than you do bob. I have a spare 33'' tsl on a steel rim a tool box full of stuff and soon to have a fiberglass top.
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