Sport Trac Leaf Springs = More Travel? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-13-2009
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Sport Trac Leaf Springs = More Possible Travel?

I've been researching installing a set of Sport Trac leaf springs because they're cheap compared to a set of long travel leafs like Deavers, especially since i'll need them (Deavers) shipped and most likely from California. I can probably get a set of sport trac leaves cheaper than the shipping of the Deavers.

I haven't seen any sport trac springs in person, but from what i've read they have a much greater arch than oem ranger springs (by 4" ?), and they're the same length. If they're the same length, when the S/T springs are compressed in use will they actually be longer due to the larger arch to begin with? I'm wondering this because i'd like to use these as a mid-travel setup with new, longer shackels and a flipped hanger. The arch would provide a much better ride and travel action than my flat, worn original springs.

I've also read that the ends of the S/T springs are larger and need to be modified some how to fit in the ranger front mounts, as wells as a larger bolt needs to be used to attach.

Last edited by rideac1; 03-13-2009 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 03-13-2009
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What about Alcan springs? They are in Colorado and made to order. I really like mine.

As for the sport trac, I always thought the flatter the spring the more flex they would provide not the more arch.
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Old 03-13-2009
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About how much did your Alcan springs run?(including shipping) Do you know if they can make a mild long/mid-travel set well?


Here's how I see it: If both sets of springs start out with the same mounting length (in picture sport tracs on top, and rangers on bottom) the sport trac ones would be longer in length when compressed/flattened and provide more usable travel than that of the ranger ones. Look at a set of long travel Deavers...they have a nice arch, which does lift the truck 2.5" but the 2.5" turns into 0" once the oem lift block is removed and a long shackle is installed. The Deavers are also longer when compressed which is why the longer shackle is needed and is how the travel is achieved.

As you mentioned...a flatter spring will provide more "flex" when rockcrawing maybe because it won't take much force to flex it up or down. I want an arched, progressive-rate spring to provide the available compression needed in a desert truck...like that of a long travel Deaver set.

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Old 03-13-2009
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http://www.alcanspring.com/

One thing you are not thinking about is the tension in the spring. if the spring is already arched then that is how much travel you have already lost in that direction? its only going to bend so much each way.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard View Post
http://www.alcanspring.com/

One thing you are not thinking about is the tension in the spring. if the spring is already arched then that is how much travel you have already lost in that direction? its only going to bend so much each way.
Yes. But you can get more droop by having the long shackle to let it droop, and there should be some arch left to let the axle droop also. I'm not talking about a set that is completely arched out when the truck is sitting normal...I want the truck to compress it some when sitting normal to have available droop.
My oem springs right now sit pretty much flat, which gives almost no spring action when hitting bumps or getting air.
No matter what we're talking about...I just want a leaf set that is comparable in function to a long travel set like that of a Deaver, and I was wondering if the sport trac springs were any advantage over oem for that.

I'm going to definitely give Alcan spring a call and see what deal I can get for what i'm looking for.
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Old 03-13-2009
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I only got the ST springs cause they were cheap and in my face. And the ride quality is much better than the stock springs. I dont know about the flexibility of the ST springs compared to the Alcan, but give them a call and see what they say and if youre willing to spend the money and get them, then let us know how you like them. Next time i go wheelin, ill try to get some flex shots with the ST springs and see how they compare. Im thinkin there wont be much of a difference, especially cause i still have my sway bar hooked up. And as for the the mounting bracket and holes in the spring, i just used my stock ranger bolts and havent had any issues.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PUNKROCKPILOT View Post
And the ride quality is much better than the stock springs. And as for the the mounting bracket and holes in the spring, i just used my stock ranger bolts and havent had any issues.
I'm definitely looking for a better ride. So that sounds great. My springs are flat and ride very rough and bump back hard when I hit a decent bump.
That's good that the original mounting bolts and brackets work too.

I'll try calling Alcan soon and post with what I hear.
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Old 03-13-2009
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If you want plentiful and cheap, what about 63" chevys? Also I think a good good set of shocks will help you out on the bottoming out factor. What are you running right now?


And with my understanding, I agree with Beard, the higher the arch, the less it will flex, just because it will need more force to push up and offset that arch.

Last edited by chainfire; 03-13-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-13-2009
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If you want plentiful and cheap, what about 63" chevys?
I suppose that's a possiblity too.
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Old 03-13-2009
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I just called Alcan springs, very friendly and helpful.
They said about $225 a leaf set and about $100 shipping for me in Pennsylvania. A bit more expensive than i'm planning on right now. If I can get some sport trac leaves for under a hundred bucks for both from a local junkyard which would eliminate the shipping that would be much better.
But I suppose the $550 for the Alcan springs isn't too bad either...I may just wait and get those.
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Old 03-13-2009
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With the chevy's you get a larger load capacity, so that means it is a higher spring rate, which translates into less bottoming out.

I think you are at the point now where you will have to spend money. If you are getting air, it is time for a bed cage and some longer travel shocks.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainfire View Post
With the chevy's you get a larger load capacity, so that means it is a higher spring rate, which translates into less bottoming out.

I think you are at the point now where you will have to spend money. If you are getting air, it is time for a bed cage and some longer travel shocks.
I don't want the higher spring rate; i'm looking for nice, quality travel. I don't plan on hauling or getting leaves for hauling, just in case I want to go to the desert some day.

Haha, it's time for me to dream that I can get air...living in Pennsylvania isn't the easiest to get air on the dunes. I do plan on putting on longer shocks, which most likely requires a bed cage, limit straps, etc. I do need to spend money to get what I want lol.
I suppose i'll just wait and get a new set of long travel springs instead of wasting a bit of money right now and "rigging it".
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Old 03-13-2009
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Well your coming to the dunes trip right? Michigan isnt that far away!
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Old 03-13-2009
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Well your coming to the dunes trip right? Michigan isnt that far away!
Yes I am planning on the trip! I'm excited!
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Old 03-13-2009
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As far as travel, with stock shocks, they are going to limit your travel anyway. I half agree with more travel from a more arched spring pack. lol.
If the spring is arched more and has a longer shackle, it seems like it would arch more and move better with the shackle. Also if they eye-to-eye length is the same, but the sport trac springs have more arch, they are longer springs. Mixed bag I guess. But the arch at ride height should give a better ride for sure. Playing around in the dunes and stuff, the sport trac rear was much smoother. My ranger springs were flat and starting to "W" a little even. . .
Here is a picture of the leafs on the sport trac.
Keep in mind it's not completely flexed out. The left is on the bump stop but I believe there was more droop on the right. Plus they are stock shocks and stock shackles. I believe I would get more droop on the right after I put on the longer warrior shackles, but I never disconnected the shocks to find out.

I don't think I have any other pictures of flexing after the shackles. But my ranger springs used to look almost like the left side at ride height.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Wouldn't you hit the bump stops in the rear before maxing out the shock?
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Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainfire View Post
Wouldn't you hit the bump stops in the rear before maxing out the shock?
I'm talking about droop, not compression.
What I'm saying is I believe there is more droop available had I removed the shock or had a longer shock. After I had the shackles installed (1.5" of lift) it still had no problem hitting the bump stop flexing, so the springs had more flex in them. I would have gained atleast 1.5" more droop if the shocks were longer from the shackles alone. Get it?
If I would have kept the sport trac and replaced the shocks, I would have had some fab new shock mounts 3" above the frame (easy due to the body lift), and bought shocks that were 3" longer when compressed, and would have roughly 3" more stroke, so I would gained around 3" of droop at the shock, assuming the springs could handle it (I think they could since they would only be extending another 1.5" due to the 1.5" lift from the shackles).
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Old 03-13-2009
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Ahh I see sorry lol. Didn't realize you were talking about the droop, I thought you were talking about compression for some reason.
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Old 03-15-2009
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I didnt realize how xpensive the alcan springs were..... (including shipping). If you really want to build a super truck with lots of travel then plan on spending alot of money. But as far as im concerned, the ST spring for less than a $100 is well worth the improved ride quality and eliminating the lift blocks. And if youre not building a super truck, how much flex do you really need?
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Old 03-15-2009
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A locker will get you a lot further than an extra inch or two of travel.
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Old 03-15-2009
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I'm still debating over the sport trac springs for around $100, or the Alcan's for around $500. I still need new shocks and limit straps so that's around another $500, plus i'd need to fab up new shock mounts for either situation and i'm thinking about buying a welder too. So, we will see what happens.
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Old 03-15-2009
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If youre looking for a reason to buy a welder and start fabbing stuff..... than look no further!!!! Put that money towards a welder and only good things can happen.

You know we'll be waiting for updates!
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Old 03-19-2009
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Originally Posted by rideac1 View Post
I'm still debating over the sport trac springs for around $100, or the Alcan's for around $500. I still need new shocks and limit straps so that's around another $500, plus i'd need to fab up new shock mounts for either situation and i'm thinking about buying a welder too. So, we will see what happens.
What's to think about? $100 for ST springs for now and the $400 you save can go towards a locker.
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Old 03-19-2009
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Wouldn't ST springs and explorer springs be the same thing?

Also I have a ****ty welder and it sucks i need to go to my buddy every time i need something welded good. Also have to agree with the locker. I want one bad.
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Old 03-19-2009
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Wouldn't ST springs and explorer springs be the same thing?
No
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