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Old 01-29-2020, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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OBS f350 Rear suspension questions

The Rig: 1996 F350 regular cab 7.3. 4" lift (I believe) that was a take off from a buddies truck, superlift lift spring in front, block in rear. Bilstein 5100's. 37's on 17" wheel. I use it for back country desert camping, flat towing my YJ to the desert, hauling materials (lumber/metal), pulling tractor/skid loader every now and then.

Goals: More comfortable riding rear suspension, that flexes well for the mild 4 wheeling the truck sees while still being able to tow heavy loads when needed. major goal is to eliminate the rear lift blocks.

Question: Any experience on what the best rear spring and setup to accomplish this is? I figured a 4" shackle flip and an ORD style radius arm traction bar would give good articulation and I could pair it with airbags for when I need to haul something heavy. I have heard of people having issues with a shackle flip and towing but thought the air spring would eliminate that. Does this sound like a good compromise?

Main concern is, what spring would work with this setup? I see newer super duty springs are used, but even with a 4 inch drop shackle flip I don't think I would gain any lift after eliminating the block. Looks like a lot of chevy guys use a 56" spring for their trail rigs, are they generally using a lift spring or just a stock spring? I like the stance I have now, and plan on 40's in the future with some sheetmetal trimming. I love the idea of a junkyard spring because I am as cheap as anyone else, but will buy new lift springs if needed. However, if I am going to all this trouble and am going to buy new springs I wouldn't want to just throw in lift springs for a factory OBS ford. I would think a more modern application would be the ticket.

I appreciate the help, I have searched but I had a hard time finding real world experience. A lot of opinions, and most on non hardcore 4 wheelin sites are just concerned with towing, or clearing large tires, not actual Off Road performance.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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how much do you want to spend?

I'm no expert, but I would look into some coil overs..
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I bolted in a set of super duty rear 99-07(? Not sure when they got longer, iirc it's 08)

Made a pretty significant difference. Little better leaf design with slipper pads, but also mine had 300k and these were less than 100k. Still 4 leafs plus the thick over load and the bumper over load on top. You could gain a lot of ride quality by dropping the bumper over loads, and going to 2-3 main leafs depending on what your pay load is. Another option would be some decent aftermarket lift springs for a super duty.

If you're wanting to do some Fab work, it's hard to beat the 63" Chevy springs, easy to find in. 2, 3 or 4 leaf packs. You can also buy a lift spring for a ~2000 Chevy truck and use those if you want more arch.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A longer spring rides better. Period.

Stay in the 3" wide league. 94-02 Dodge leafs are 60" long. I think later superduty are even longer.

I put 2ndgen 2500 leafs in my 1stgen. With the block, and a shackle flip. Its rides really well actually. Have towed with it, and gets the firewood hauled. Nothing weird. Might need a stronger pack though, or bags.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info, very helpful. Concerning Coilovers, I think I want to stick with leafs in the rear for what the truck is. In the future I would like to link the front, but leafs in the rear should do what I need them to do.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Also, if your payload varies a lot, you could run a half ton (2 leaf) pack and then do air bags with the unmounted bottom.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/d...AaAo4MEALw_wcB

Your doing anti wrap bars so you can run a soft spring with out worry of axle wrap.
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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chevy 63's are common offroading springs

shackle flip will help the ride but when towing heavy you might feel the ass end shift from side to side

see towing shackle flip thread : https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/chev...ip-towing.html :

or like yotatooi said just go 1/2 pickup springs

:edit: reading is hard, just listen to this guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by YotaAtieToo View Post
I bolted in a set of super duty rear 99-07(? Not sure when they got longer, iirc it's 08)

Made a pretty significant difference. Little better leaf design with slipper pads, but also mine had 300k and these were less than 100k. Still 4 leafs plus the thick over load and the bumper over load on top. You could gain a lot of ride quality by dropping the bumper over loads, and going to 2-3 main leafs depending on what your pay load is. Another option would be some decent aftermarket lift springs for a super duty.

If you're wanting to do some Fab work, it's hard to beat the 63" Chevy springs, easy to find in. 2, 3 or 4 leaf packs. You can also buy a lift spring for a ~2000 Chevy truck and use those if you want more arch.

Last edited by arickvan; 01-30-2020 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you haven't pulled the trigger on something, airbags (or at least the airlifts that I have) that mount outside the framerail are going to really limit your flex. Compression isn't necessarily bad because you can get bags with an internal bumpstop. But it looks like if one side drooped too far you'd pull the 1/2" bolts out of the top or bottom of the bag.

If you're loading it down enough for sag to be an issue then I'd think the top overload leaves would be better to maintain axle flex, if you go with the ford springs. They shouldn't touch the stops at empty ride height, therefore not degrading your ride. I'm not familiar with the aftermarket options out there, but on a stock spring I think you'd have to flip shackles or keep a block under there.

For reference, I'm installing superduty "B" code rears with top overloads from an '02 in my '96 250, but haven't yet so I can't actually vouch for the ride quality.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most Fords come with rear blocks of some sort from the factory, I eliminated my 5" blocks and flipped the shackle and HATED it, it screwed up the working geometry of the spring so bad that the truck sagged like a poopy diaper every time I hauled anything with it, I switched back to the way it was before and left it .

That being said, I still do need more carrying capacity to keep things level like when my camper is on, but with the knowledge I gained from my shackle flip experience I will use airbags or overloads or both instead of the flip .

Some people hate blocks, I don't mind them in the rear, they work fine, just have to make sure you have quality U-bolts and blocks (steel with taper built in) and they stay tight, and possibly add a bar for axle wrap if you are having a problem with that, I have hauled a lot of stuff to a lot of places and still don't feel the NEED for a ladder bar or the like .

Air bags ride like shit when not needed, make them to where they are atmospheric when not needed helps that .


Just my .02 from personal experience, oh and Deavers are amazing, I have them in the front of my 2K SD and it is night and day difference for performance and comfort, I do believe they are still available for the rear .
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley Rock View Post
Most Fords come with rear blocks of some sort from the factory, I eliminated my 5" blocks and flipped the shackle and HATED it, it screwed up the working geometry of the spring so bad that the truck sagged like a poopy diaper every time I hauled anything with it, I switched back to the way it was before and left it .
There's too much variability on shackle flips to make a blanket statement. Mine hauls fine. 1-2 tons roofing or firewood, or towing a shit mix of misc trailers.

Key items:
- keep the spring level - just like stock - move all 4 hangers if you have to.
- keep the shackle close-ish to vertical; not laid back on a 45 angle.

EDIT: My shackle flip outlined here... also showing 2-ton payloads, and an 8' camper
https://ramchargercentral.com/axle-t...stcoast-style/
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Last edited by u2slow; 02-14-2020 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As was said, 99-07 Super Duty springs.

B codes give a better ride than others as there are various load capacity versions in this range of years.
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