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  #1  
Old 04-23-2010
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How to: Explorer Leaf Swap/Install

So you thought you were cool and you toss on a lift block to get that saggy rear end up a little higher. That worked great right? Until now, when your truck starts to try to beat you up with the ride cause your springs have gone flat and have ceased to be springs. They are now personal driver beating mechanisms. Here is how you can fix that problem....

I picked up this set of springs from a local U-pull junkyard, I admit, they were on the cheap side at $11.50 a piece. I would imagine a price around $100 for the set to be fair. I don't know the official code for these springs, the door was missing off of the rig that I took them off of. I can tell you it was a 94 Mazda Navajo, two door with 4WD.

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The "new" spring pack is on top.

Now that you have your springs, how do you take them off? Don't fret, its very easy.

You will need a...

Jack
Jack stands tall enough to reach the frame
13/16 1/2 drive socket
13/16 wrench
Hammer, maaaybe a BFH.
3/4 1/2 drive DEEP socket
15mm socket/wrench
18mm socket/wrench
1/2 Torque wrench.
1/2 impact wrench if your lucky, if not... 1/2 breaker bar and a friend to take turns pulling..

Good. Now that you have all the tools you needed, here are the easy steps to getting your truck to sit right, and ride excellent.


1. BLOCK YOUR WHEELS!??!?! Don't be dumb. I don't care how level your driveway is, block em.
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2. Jack up the truck and place the jack stands under the frame rails. These were placed about mid frame just before it starts to bend up for the truck bed. Leave the jack under the axle to support its weight and remove the rear tires.
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3. Start removing the 13/16 size bolts at either end of the spring. I started with the forward one first. Don't worry about the nut, the genius's at Ford got you covered, the nut has a tab to lock it in place. The tab points UP when you replace this bolt.

Forward bolt...
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Reward bolt, you will need to use a wrench on this one most likely. Some had lock nuts, some do not.
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4. Remove U-bolts. Mine were 3/4's, but I did have them replaced. Unsure of factory size. I used a 19mm socket as it was deep enough.
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Knock em out with a hammer.
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5. At this point you might have to remove your lower shock mounting bolt if you do not have enough down travel like it did. It was a 15mm bolt with an 18mm nut.

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6. Now your axle should be able to hang freely once you lower the jack down. Mine sorta did. Maybe... So we used an assortment of pry-bars and hammers to motivate the lift block to remove itself from under the spring.
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Untill you get this! Yay! no lift block!
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Now just pull out that saggy piece of crap and jump on it! Well.. you don't have to, but I did to show how crappy mine were. I'm 250 pounds. I'd imagine that to be less than the back half of my truck...



Now just repeat that process in reverse order to put on your new and improved riding springs!

Things to know...

U-bolts need to be torqued to 100 foot lbs. Do it. And then do it again after you drove it for 300 miles or less. Then, guess what?!?! You get to do it again next time you change your oil. I didn't do the last step, and half of the nuts were loose.

To get the centering pin to line up you might have to jack up some on the axle. Makes it a ton easier.

This set up lifted the back of my truck a full 2 inches. That's after REMOVING the lift block. I also have a Belltech 6400 shackle. The shackle and the spring give the back about 4-41/2 inches of lift. The front of the truck is lifted with a 3inch lift spindle.

This thing rides AMAZING. Bumps are handled so much better now. And I will enjoy the extra load capacity that the leafs have over my stock ones.


Completed project pictures. Now surprisingly we couldn't find a very level surface. So it might not look level, or raked, but it kinda is raked a little.

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The truck used to sit much lower in the rear. I did not take any before shots. I know I know.. bad move. But imagine it sitting lower, almost 2 inches. So a fender gap that is about half of that. Yeah, it was pre-runner style.

MOAR PICTURES!!?!?

Go here.... Spring Replacement pictures by wilburisthecoolest - Photobucket

Last edited by 98liftedranger; 11-27-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2010
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what year is this for, would it work on my 06 FX4, im always hauling hay and with 25 bales on the back she sags pretty good, im waiting on my beltec shackles so this would be a good mod to do while im at it
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Old 05-02-2010
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why does the expo springs lift a ranger and make it ride better? is it cuz they are designed for the weight/ road handling abilities of an suv?
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Old 05-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfx4 View Post
what year is this for, would it work on my 06 FX4, im always hauling hay and with 25 bales on the back she sags pretty good, im waiting on my beltec shackles so this would be a good mod to do while im at it
Dont quote me but I think it will work for your truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morris
why does the expo springs lift a ranger and make it ride better? is it cuz they are designed for the weight/ road handling abilities of an suv?
For the 2wd rangers they have one more leaf in the pack, making it a little stiffer. They also have more of an arc to them, lifting the back end up more.
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Old 05-16-2010
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Just curious, lets say you pick up a set of springs that have shady bushings. Are you able to replace them?
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Old 05-16-2010
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in theory yes, they can be replaced, i've never done it on passenger vehicle springs, i have done it on semi truck springs, mostly FL, peterbuilt and kenworth dump trucks, a few highway trucks, it's a matter of pressing the bushing out with a hydrolic press (ours was a 20 ton bottle jack rigged into a frame of 8" x10" i beam steel) the question remains can you do it at home? probably, BFH and something to use as a padding between the hammer and your bushing, and weither or not you can get the new bushings... most spring companies should be able to supply you with the bushings though... keyword SHOULD
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Old 05-16-2010
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Question, are ALL Explorer leafpacks the 4-packs? Including those off the 2wd Explorers?
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Old 05-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gts007 View Post
Question, are ALL Explorer leafpacks the 4-packs? Including those off the 2wd Explorers?
the ones that came with my 94 mazda, which is stock, are the 4-pack and have a block as well.... i find my truck sits rather high, or should i say higher, then rangers of the same year and pretty much level with newer ones. and i haul allot of wood as well.....
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gts007 View Post
Question, are ALL Explorer leafpacks the 4-packs? Including those off the 2wd Explorers?
I don't know for sure. But for all the junkyards I visited I could not find a 2wd one. I think they are a little rare...
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2011
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up to what year explorer or sport trac will fit my 08?
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2011
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I have a set of expo leafs on order from ATS springs.

Leaf specs
(91-01) Ford Explorer (97-01) Mercury Mountaineer, REAR
"2-1/2(W)X25-11/16(S.E.)X30-5/16(L.E.) 3/1 Lvs 3/360 1/590 1,250 Lbs Capacity. Front and Rear Bushings INCLUDED. Uses 9/16 Eye Bolt Front and Rear."

I have an 08 and I want to do a Pre-key, #1 T-Bars, and the expo leafs at the same time.

My question is, Should I leave the factory 1.5 inch block in with the Belltech shackle? or take the shackle out and just use the block or vice verse?

I know I could sit there and pull it apart until I get it rite, But I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with it before I started swapping parts back an forth.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karanger View Post
I have a set of expo leafs on order from ATS springs.

Leaf specs
(91-01) Ford Explorer (97-01) Mercury Mountaineer, REAR
"2-1/2(W)X25-11/16(S.E.)X30-5/16(L.E.) 3/1 Lvs 3/360 1/590 1,250 Lbs Capacity. Front and Rear Bushings INCLUDED. Uses 9/16 Eye Bolt Front and Rear."

I have an 08 and I want to do a Pre-key, #1 T-Bars, and the expo leafs at the same time.

My question is, Should I leave the factory 1.5 inch block in with the Belltech shackle? or take the shackle out and just use the block or vice verse?

I know I could sit there and pull it apart until I get it rite, But I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with it before I started swapping parts back an forth.
If you want about 1.5 to 2 inches above stock height take out the stock block, put the explorer leafs in and keep the stock shackles. If you want around 3.5 to 4 inches inches take out the block, put in explorer leafs, and use the belltech shackles in place of your stock shackles. Either way id take out the stock block.

Last edited by ZWilson07; 09-28-2011 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 09-29-2011
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^^^ not true in all cases. i only got 2 inches of lift with leaving in my block. most people see 2-3 inches of lift from the swap and leaving in blocks.



what your saying is you would get 4 inches of lift out of just the springs and i have never seen that much.

i have seen 4-5 inches of lift from leaving the stock block ex springs and 6400 shackles
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Old 09-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
^^^ not true in all cases. i only got 2 inches of lift with leaving in my block. most people see 2-3 inches of lift from the swap and leaving in blocks.



what your saying is you would get 4 inches of lift out of just the springs and i have never seen that much.

i have seen 4-5 inches of lift from leaving the stock block ex springs and 6400 shackles
Yeah I was thinking about that post tonight, there is just so many variables that go into it there isnt any def answer, every truck will be different. If my truck is brand new and had high rated springs I might not hardly see that much at all. If you have weak springs that are very old and have had alot of miles on them, you will see a bigger "increase" in height. Just depends on each truck and all the variables, but I was just going by what the OP had stated in his first post about how much lift he'd see.

I have an 06 with 80,000 miles, im hoping to rmove my stock block and put the expo springs in and see just alittle bit of lift, enough that I can just sell my belltech shackles that have never been used. I was only going to use the first hole on the shackles anyways so that combo should put me up to what the shackles on the first hole wouldve done on my stock setup. Atleast thats the hope.


Also does anyone know about this info.
Rears:
F 5560 spring (F-150, Explorer/Mountaineer)
H 5560 spring (F-150, Explorer/Mountaineer)
J 5560 spring (F-150)
L 5560 spring (F-150, Explorer/Mountaineer)
Thats supposed to be the codes for the rear leafs. Does anyone know what the differences are say like which ones are the 4 pack leafs that everyone wants, and also whats the stiffness rates on the different 4 pack ones? I think the most of the 2 doors come with the 3 pack leafs and the 4 doors comes with the 4 pack but again thats just speculation. Thanks
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Old 11-14-2011
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Bump


When I get some Expo leafs, do I keep the block to get the estimated 2" lift? Or do I remove it?
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Old 11-14-2011
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So on a stock truck, how much lift would you get with expo leaves?
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Old 11-15-2011
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Originally Posted by annguyen1981 View Post
Bump


When I get some Expo leafs, do I keep the block to get the estimated 2" lift? Or do I remove it?
If you take the block out, the ride height will be the same. You will have a smoother ride in the rear end though (not a BIG difference, but you will notice it) So its up to you if you want to remove the block or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert99ranger View Post
So on a stock truck, how much lift would you get with expo leaves?
2"
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2011
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would these work on a 1988 ranger?
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Old 11-15-2011
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If you take the block out, the ride height will be the same. You will have a smoother ride in the rear end though (not a BIG difference, but you will notice it) So its up to you if you want to remove the block or not



2"
Thanks.

Now, what year expo do I need to remove these from? I might just buy 'em brand new for the Expo.
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Old 11-15-2011
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Originally Posted by annguyen1981 View Post
Thanks.

Now, what year expo do I need to remove these from? I might just buy 'em brand new for the Expo.
any 4 door xlt/limited. You should try a set from a sport trac, i've heard they ride the best. I never got around to it -_-
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  #21  
Old 03-30-2012
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does it matter that the same year expo leaf springs match the same year ranger, or am i asking a stupid question?
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2012
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Explorer leafs would fix my "RANGER LEAN" right?
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2013
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Replacement bushing part #'s:

Shackle Bushing : RB 131(Small)

Spring eye bushing : RB 237 (Large)

These are stock replacements that don't squeak like the poly counterparts..
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2014
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im looking to do this mod but i noticed that expos have the springs under the axle and rangers have it above the axle, does this present any issues when trying to center the spring on the axle
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2014
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I wanna do this. Any FRESH advice.???? 02 fx4
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