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Thread: 52 Inch springs

  1. #1
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    52 Inch springs

    Ok I have looked for quite sometime about swaping the front springs out with a set of 52 inch springs for better flex, and around a 4 inch lift.

    My question is how involved of a process is this to do? I have basic shop tools no torches or things of that nature. From what I gathered you need to move the front spring perches in front of the body mount, is that all?

    I have a 79 fullsized GMC 3/4 it already has 4 inch lift on it, so from what I read I shouldn't loose any lift, if anything I could gain around a half inch.

    I had also read that some people take out the over load leaf. Is this what most people do, or is it a kinda your junk you do what ever you want kinda deal.

    Lastely how much is this going to improve front end flex? Enough to be considerablely noticeable?

    Thanks,
    Kyle
    Last edited by Terminallance; 09-25-2007 at 09:12 PM.
    Knowledge is power, but Ignorance is bliss.

    There is no mechanical problem so difficult, that it cannot be solved by brute strength and ignorance

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    In my opinion there are pro's and con's involved in this mod.

    First off to answer some of your questions.

    - Yes, you can just move the front spring hanger. However this would also move your front axle forward at least 3". If you relocated both the front hanger and rear shackle hanger you can work around this, however overall having the front axle forward a little really helps with tire clearance as hitting the firewall is usually the first tire interference point. Probably also need longer shackles.

    - The reasons that 52's flex really good is that they are more flat (less arch) for bascially 4" of lift, and they are quite a bit lighter spring rate than typical front leaf springs. So yes, they should allow quite a bit more flex.

    - I would recommend keeping the overload leaf. A lot of people are finding out that after removing the overload the springs have such a light rate that they are trashing the springs pretty quick (turning the springs into a "W"). Even with the overloads this is a problem but not as bad...I would be tempted to add more leaves into a spring pack.

    Here are some things you need to consider:
    - With 52's you really need to switch to cross-over steering as the combination of extra flex and the front axle more forward would make the stock steering setup suck worse than it already does.
    - With the above you loose the swaybar. Not sure how much highway driving you do but with soft front springs and no swaybar it would probably have poor highway handling.
    - Might need to look at front driveshaft length to make sure you can't pull the shaft apart at full droop. (plus extended brakelines).
    Brad
    '90 Blazer - 6.2 diesel, 700r4, Dana 60, 14 bolt, locked, 39.5" Super Swamper TSLs, winch, rollcage, yada, yada, yada......

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    Ok I understand that that cross over steering is a must, and this is a trail only truck and I had planned to loose the sway bar anyway for added flex.

    Now you had mentioned new spring hangers for the back, would it be wise to get or make the ones that DIY4X offers that bolt in the stock location. They come with a 4.5 inch lift. Now from what I read the 52 inch springs give you a 4 inch lift, if I get those shackles they state they give 4.5 inches of lift, now would that give me 8.5 inches of lift? If thats the case then I would rather just buy stock hangers cause 4 inches of lift is about the max I want to go.

    As for moving the front axle forward 3 inches I can see that I will be in need of a new drive shaft. Now since this truck is for the woods I have been reading alot on square tube drive shafts.I know that the square drive shafts are impossiable to balance and couldn't be driven over 20 M.P.H. or so on the road for the short jaunts to and from trails. My question, would this be a feasiable idea seeing that you would have nearly a foot of travel or so either way and, if you put some greese zerks in it and pack it full of grease then that would take out most of the left over slop in the tubing itself.

    I had also read somewhere that why you do decide to do this you could run into a problem with the pinon angle. The infamous "They" had said that when you start to really flex you're truck out that the pinon sometimes has a tendicy to point downward. Is this something that I need to worry about?

    As far as keeping the overload spring I had seen several people on CK5 that have turned there over load leaf over when they rebuild the springs. What if any benfits does this offer? Why not just use it the way it was intended? I could ask the folks on CK5, but I haven't forked out the $25.00 bucks that they want to allow you to post. Probally should quit being such a tight ass and just pony up the money.

    Just throwing around some ideas thats all looking to see what everyone else thinks


    Thanks

    Kyle
    Last edited by Terminallance; 09-26-2007 at 11:21 PM.
    Knowledge is power, but Ignorance is bliss.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminallance View Post
    Now you had mentioned new spring hangers for the back, would it be wise to get or make the ones that DIY4X offers that bolt in the stock location. They come with a 4.5 inch lift. Now from what I read the 52 inch springs give you a 4 inch lift, if I get those shackles they state they give 4.5 inches of lift, now would that give me 8.5 inches of lift? If thats the case then I would rather just buy stock hangers cause 4 inches of lift is about the max I want to go.
    I'm slightly confused about what you are talking about...going to assume you are talking about rear hangers for the rear springs (referred to as a shackle flip) as that's the only thing I see mention 4.5" on the DIY4X website. It says it comes with 4.5" long shackles, not that it comes with 4.5" of lift. You already have either 52" or 56" long rear springs stock, so the combination of lift is a moot point and this modification offers around 4" of lift with stock springs for the rear suspension. If you are referring to their kit that allows use of 52" front springs ("B-52" or something) I don't believe the hangers offer much, if any, additional lift then what you would get from swapping in 52" springs on the front.


    Quote Originally Posted by Terminallance View Post
    As for moving the front axle forward 3 inches I can see that I will be in need of a new drive shaft. Now since this truck is for the woods I have been reading alot on square tube drive shafts.I know that the square drive shafts are impossiable to balance and couldn't be driven over 20 M.P.H. or so on the road for the short jaunts to and from trails. My question, would this be a feasiable idea seeing that you would have nearly a foot of travel or so either way and, if you put some greese zerks in it and pack it full of grease then that would take out most of the left over slop in the tubing itself.
    I think it's definitely feasible for a trail-only truck...of course when I say trail-only I mean it will never see paved road speeds. I guess if done properly you should be able to get a square tube shaft pretty close to balanced, nothing inherit with square tube that makes it unbalancable. Probably just because most of these are home-brew setups and the typical guy working in his garage does not have access to the balance machine. Of course, if you have a normal part-time t-case and lock-out hubs it doesn't matter because it won't spin when in 2wd on the street.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terminallance View Post
    I had also read somewhere that why you do decide to do this you could run into a problem with the pinon angle. The infamous "They" had said that when you start to really flex you're truck out that the pinon sometimes has a tendicy to point downward. Is this something that I need to worry about?
    Not quite sure this is much of a problem or not. Again, nothing inherit with 52" springs that make the pinion point down any differently than stock springs????

    Quote Originally Posted by Terminallance View Post
    As far as keeping the overload spring I had seen several people on CK5 that have turned there over load leaf over when they rebuild the springs. What if any benfits does this offer? Why not just use it the way it was intended? I could ask the folks on CK5, but I haven't forked out the $25.00 bucks that they want to allow you to post. Probally should quit being such a tight ass and just pony up the money.
    Only seen this trick when using the springs under the rear suspension. It basically gives you more flex before the main springs contact the overload because you are pointing the arch down away from rest of the springs, versus the arch pointing upwards and therefore closer. I guess the same thoughts apply if you do this on the 52" springs when used on the front, but might have the same issues with messing up the springs as mentioned earlier.
    Brad
    '90 Blazer - 6.2 diesel, 700r4, Dana 60, 14 bolt, locked, 39.5" Super Swamper TSLs, winch, rollcage, yada, yada, yada......

  5. #5
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    Brad,

    I apperiacte the responses the you have given some of the questions that I had were just a few rumors that I had heard I.E. the pinion pointing downward under extream flex. I didn't really know either way if it would be a problem so I figured I'd ask.

    The product on DIY4x was just a 4.5 inch long shackle I was just confused when writing, I was under the impression that it gave an additional 4.5 inches of lift.

    Is there anything else I should need to know about this modification before doing it?

    I understand that you need longer shocks that allow for more travel, crossover steering, longer brake lines and, possible fender lift.

    This is the post that aroused my curosity about pinion angle below is the topic of the post and the link is below

    Ok, I think I've read all 432 threads on the board about the front 52" spring swap and have a very good idea about what it takes to install a set. I've seen alot of flex pictures showing ungodly droop from this set up. What I haven't come across anywhere is anyone reporting on how this works in the "real" world. I know the pinion angle can be pretty bad. Does this lead to an unbearable amount of vibration on the street? How do they perform off road, not on a ramp or poser rock, but on the trail? Too cushy or tippy? Any problem with breaking things like driveshaft ujoints? Just trying to decide if this is something I really want to do. Thanks! Rich

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthr...light=52%22%2A

    I had also read that people have been using ford 3 inch wide 52 inch springs, although the thought of Ford parts on my truck is less than appealing if it saves on parts then I would consider it. The reason being they say that the Ford springs are a little bit stronger and less inept to "w" like some stock springs that chevy run.

    Is that all?

    Kyle
    Last edited by Terminallance; 10-02-2007 at 09:59 PM.
    Knowledge is power, but Ignorance is bliss.

    There is no mechanical problem so difficult, that it cannot be solved by brute strength and ignorance

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