spring swap gives a nice ride on and off-road, lots of travel,
and probably gives the most "bang for the buck" of any
of the spring swaps out there. Another nice thing about
this swap is that its not usually necessary to run a traction
bar with these springs to keep from kinking them, unlike the Mazda
and S-10 spring swaps.
stock rear Toyota 4x4 springs until '88 were about 48" long
with an offset center pin. The '88-98 Chevy 1/2-ton springs
(2wd or 4wd) are over 63" long with a centered pin. The Chevy
leaves are quite a bit thicker than the Toyota leaves, but their
extra length makes up for it and the springs are actually VERY
soft. They come in 3 and 4-leaf packs (plus overload), but most
people use the 3-leaf packs, as we did on Edge's truck.
made the spring hanger out of 3.5x3.5x.25" square tubing
and designed it so that it would put the spring as close to the
frame as possible and tapered the front so that it would be less
likely to hang up on rocks. The stock springs seemed to
put the tire closer to the front of the wheel well. Positioning
the hanger so that the old and new bolt holes are about 11"
apart leaves the tire centered in the wheel well. I spread the
old spring hangers out with a hammer and cut off the front spring
clamps so that they would not hit when the spring was compressed.
You could just cut the old hangers off, but simply bending them
out of the way was a lot easier, especially with the gas tank
in the way on the passenger's side.
used a double shackle setup in the rear using the original shackle
hanger. The shackle attached to the spring is the stock Chevy
shackle and the one attached to the frame is a home-made one about
3" longer than the stock Toyota shackle. The bar on the end
of the shackle is to keep it from inverting when it drops down.
You can also do it the other way around with the Chevy shackle
in the frame mount. If you use a longer shackle, this method
could give you more lift, but a little less droop.
usually gives about 3-4" of lift but the springs are very
soft, so most people end up using some lift blocks or add-a-leafs
as well. Edge used 3" lift blocks since he already
had some, left the 7/8" thick overload leaf out, and ended
up with about 5" total after the springs settled. With
the shocks disconnected, we measured about 24" of tire travel
from full stuff to full droop. Edge's shocks are limiting
droop by a few inches in the pictures below.
also read about my own Chevy spring swap here.