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Welcome to 63" Chevy 1/2-ton Spring Swap FAQ


I made this FAQ because there was so many questions being asked about the 63" Chevy 1/2 ton spring swap for the rear of Toyota 4x4s. And I was getting tired of answering the same million questions everyday.
This swap is becoming so popular I wanted a place where people can come and have all there questions answered. Without me saying the same answers a million times. Below are all the questions from, people asking me, gathered from around the internet and from the Pirate message board.
Any contributions to add/help this FAQ along are gladly accepted.
So here they are.[/b]

What year and vehicle do you get the springs from?
The correct years are 88-2010+ 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton Chevy or GMC truck. Don't worry about the front suspension it does not matter. You only need the rear springs.

Where do I get these springs?
From a boneyard! All you need is the rear springs off an 88-2010+ 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton Chevy or GMC truck.

Does it matter if it's from a 2WD or 4WD?
No it does not matter if they are from a 2WD or 4WD. The 2WD have 3 leaves
plus and overload leaf. The 4WD have 4 leaves plus and overload leaf. The 2WD are the
most desirable because they are softer with only 3 main leaves and are good on a pickup. You can use
the 4WD but you will have to pull out one leaf. Don't get me wrong the 4
leaves will work but most guys run 3 plus overload leaf. Some just run only three leaves.
Also some people run add-a-leafs too. Just depends on what you want to achieve.

How much should I pay for the springs?
Pay no more than $100 a pair.

How do I mount these loooog springs to my Toyota?
You must get a new front spring hanger and weld it on the flat part of the frame forward of the stock spring hanger.
For the rear shackle hanger, you can either go with a double shackle set-up (very popular) or weld on a new hanger back about 4 inches from stock.

Where do I get new front spring hangers?
You can either buy Jeep CJ spring hangers (some say they hang kinda low) or make your own out of 3.5" x 3.5" x 1/4" or 3/16" square tube.
You can't use the chevy front hangers they are shaped to oddly to work.

Can you explain the double shackle set-up?
Ok the double shackle set-up works like this. You connect one Toyota style shackle from the factory rear hanger (let it lay flat against the frame)
to another shackle going straight down to the spring. Most people run the stock Chevy shackle as the second one that mounts to the spring. Or you can make your own shackles.
Doing the double shackle set-up is just a cheaper and easier way to do the rear of the springs. No need to weld in a new hanger. It also gives you a bunch of extra suspension droop, which is a good thing!

How far forward do I mount the new front spring hanger?
If you are replacing 48" long stock springs, Mount them 11" forward of the stock spring hanger center hole to center hole. This will position the axle in stock location. Or drop a plumb line from the frame down to the center pin of your stock springs. Leave it there. Take off stock springs and line up chevys.

On 3rd gen trucks, mount the front hanger 9" To 9 1/2". 9" the axle will sit slightly rear of center and 9 1/2" should get the axle centered.

On 1998-2000 Tacomas mount the front spring hangers forward 7.5 inches. Earlier Tacomas have shorter springs, but I don't have the measurements for those. Anyone?

Some new info from Grabber(Pirate4x4 BB) for 89-95 trucks: I did a double shackle set-up leaving the rear shackle hanger in the stock location. Here are all the specs: Front spring hanger was mounted 8 1/2" forward of the stock hanger, eye to eye. ( I stated; I did it 9" before, but is actually 8 1/2", really 9" would be about perfect, but the less you go forward the better the double shackle will set up, I forgot and lost the info I had written down on my computer. Sorry.) I then used 2" x 3/8" Flat bar for the shackles. The top shackle is 5 1/2" with 3/4" washers on the inside of the shackle against the bushings (to space it slightly). Then I used an 8" shackle for the second shackle, putting it inside the top shackle, with a pipe spacer and washers between the bottom shackle (I used a 3/4" bolt at 6" for this, and size 9/16" to 3/4" will work fine). This leaves the bottom shackle slightly angled back. Looks and works good. With the mount being 8 1/2" forward of the other mount on 89'-95' trucks (which I think is really the best spot), you may need to lengthen your year drive- shaft about an 1" or 2", it works but its way down on the splines. I had another driveshaft out of a 79' that had new u-joints in it, and it work perfect, they are slightly longer. And I am using the stock d-shaft as spare, it should work fine as a spare. I have a buddy who put his mount at 9 1/2" and I will let you know how that worked out, as far as the drive-shaft and rubbing in the wheel well at full compression. But even with the d-shaft problem I feel 8 1/2" puts the wheel in the perfect spot. Another way of placing it, if you have a 2nd gen. 4runner, is to put it exactly in the center of the body mount at that location. That is where 8 1/2" ends up. Since 4runners dont have an original mount.

How wide are the Chevy springs compared to Toy springs?
The chevy springs are 2-1/2" wide and Toyota is about 2-1/4" wide. Please note on the Chevy's that the sleeve in the bushings at both ends of the spring is 3" wide. Thats why you must use 3 1/2" box tube (1/4" or 3/16" wall) for the front hanger (3" on the internal width).

Can I use Toyota stock U-bolts and spring plates?
Yes you can use the stock Toyota U-bolt but you will have to grind the springs a little bit to get them to fit.

What about a u-bolt flip kit? Can I just flip the factory u-bolts and spring plates?
No. You will need new u-bolts and a flat piece of 1/4 or 3/8 steel to mount on top of the springs.

How much lift do these springs give?
You will get about 2-3" of lift. But the springs are very soft, so most people end up using some lift blocksÊor add-a-leafs as well.

Should I run bumpstops?
Yes! They must be big enough to stop the springs from going too much past flat, they bend right near the front mount if you go to far. So bumpstops are a must!

What length should the shackle from the frame to second shackle be? What about the second shackle?
Length of shackle from frame to second shackle should be about 5 1/2"-6" eye to eye. Length of shackle from first shackle to spring eye should be about 3 1/2" eye to eye or you can just use the stock Chevy one.

What size bolts do I need to mount the springs?
9/16 x 5" grade 8 bolts with lock nuts for the spring eyes. 19mm or 3/4 x 5" for the rear factory hanger

Can I still carry heavy loads with these springs?
Yes, especially if it has the overload. Remember, these springs came off of 1/2 ton trucks, they can support a decent load.

Can I put Chevy springs on a Tacoma?
Yes. Many people have done it successfuly. For 1998-2000 mount the front spring hangers forward 7.5 inches. Earlier Tacomas have shorter springs, but I don't have the measurements for those. Anyone?

Do I have to remove the gas tank to weld on the passenger side spring hanger?
No you don't have to, but it would be easier to weld if you do. You can get away with only welding three sides of the hanger and by filling a 9/16" hole in the middle of the hanger with weld. It will work. Just make sure you keep the gas tank skid plate on and shield it also.

How is the ride with these springs?
The ride is excellent on the street and even better off road. LOTS-O-FLEX and they ride like a Cadillac! There is such a big difference between these and stock springs that it's unbelievable.

Do I need to run a track bar with these springs? What about axle wrap?
No a track bar isn't necessary. The leaves are plenty thick enough to resist kinking. Also you can try using the factory Chevy overload leaf, but cut the leaf flush at the rear of the spring pad and leave the front about 8" long or so. This will help prevent any axle wrap.

Can I run these springs under the axle?
Yeah. But why would you want to? Unless you were building a prerunner. LOL

Is it worth it to mount these springs on an IFS Toyota?
DEFINITELY! It will make a HUGE difference.

Can I just buy aftermarket lift springs for an 88-98 Chevy truck?
Yes you could but the whole purpose of this swap is you get the most bang for the buck out of stock Chevy springs. If you buy aftermarket springs you will pay through the nose!

Can I still run a stock rear driveline with this swap?
Yes!

Will I need longer shocks?
Yes! You will definitely want longer shocks to take advantage of all that new travel you gained. Get Rancho 5012 or 9012's or Procomps. Bilstein 5100 series are also great shocks.

If i attach them to an IFS truck without a front end lift, will it stick the rear end WAY up in the air?
No, as long as you only run three leaves with no lift blocks you should be fine. I am running that same set-up now. I have no front IFS lift and the rear is not that high.
 

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Great write up!! Now I'm gonna do it. You're going to hate this, but I have a Q, with the double shackle setup, can I still run a stock rear driveline? Once again thank you for the wright up. Monte
 

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yeah nice write up.....I just got one question what are chevy springs?
 

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Heepkiller said:
yeah nice write up.....I just got one question what are chevy springs?
it is a small place out side of Palm Springs :D
they are the rear springs off a full size Chevrolet
or GMC p/u,hope this helps
 

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Good job!! Now that I spent 3 hours going through all the old posts 2 days back to get all my info, you combine it all to one quick easy to follow post after the fact....darn a day late and a dollar short!
:skull:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys.
You're going to hate this, but I have a Q, with the double shackle setup, can I still run a stock rear driveline? Monte
Yes and I have add that question to the FAQ.
yeah nice write up.....I just got one question what are chevy springs?
Very funny Very funny!:)
Great job Wrench! You are now clear of answering any more Chevy spring swap?'s
I doubt it.:) LOL.
Good job!! Now that I spent 3 hours going through all the old posts 2 days back to get all my info, you combine it all to one quick easy to follow post after the fact....darn a day late and a dollar short!
Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
toy 4 rox said:
good job but i bet in the next week a newbee will ask befor searching:barf:
Yes newbies will be newbies. Very dumb! I am one and is stupid but I'm learning fast. Hopefully we can keep this to the top. Or I could direct people to this thread.
 

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u forgot to mention that the chevy shackles use a 9/16" bolt and the toy uses 19mm so you can't just bolt them together unless you put a spacer in the toy shackle or you make your own like these :)




oh yea, writeup HERE
 

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Nice write up, I'd suggest asking Grabber for his measurements for the 3rd gen trucks. That would have been a great write up to have when I did mine, especially that shackle length.

Mike.

Now we need one for 44044's
 

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Wrench said:
Do I have to remove the gas tank to weld on the passenger side spring hanger?

No you don't have to, but it would be easier to weld if you do. You can get away with only welding three sides of the hanger and in the middle. It will work. Just make sure you keep the gas tank skid plate on and shield it also.
Just FYI for the FAQ :flipoff2:, when I got my hangers, one had a hole in it, about 3/4" diameter, dead center. I guess they were from some old tube lying around (because they couldn't find any 3.5x3.5x1/4 in stock... Fawkin' Whitehorse :D)

Anyways, I used the hanger with the hole on the tank side, and the guy zapped the front, back, outside, and also filled in the hole.

I think this is a li'l safer than just the 3. And it all happened by fluke. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Brandon said:
u forgot to mention that the chevy shackles use a 9/16" bolt and the toy uses 19mm so you can't just bolt them together unless you put a spacer in the toy shackle or you make your own like these :)

Are you talking about the rear shackle frame mount? That won't fit 9/16" it is to loose. What size will fit? I'm a little confused on that area. Help me clear it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Re: 63" Chevy 1/2-ton spring swap FAQ!!

ColdNorth said:


Just FYI for the FAQ :flipoff2:, when I got my hangers, one had a hole in it, about 3/4" diameter, dead center. I guess they were from some old tube lying around (because they couldn't find any 3.5x3.5x1/4 in stock... Fawkin' Whitehorse :D)

Anyways, I used the hanger with the hole on the tank side, and the guy zapped the front, back, outside, and also filled in the hole.

I think this is a li'l safer than just the 3. And it all happened by fluke. :D
Well if you read closely I did say weld it in the middle meaning fill a hole up with weld. I will change it to be more clear.
 

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CHEVY SPRINGS ON A TOYOTA???


You've got to be kidding!! When did people start doing this?:p






















:flipoff2:
 

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MEK said:
Nice write up, I'd suggest asking Grabber for his measurements for the 3rd gen trucks. That would have been a great write up to have when I did mine, especially that shackle length.

Mike.

Now we need one for 44044's
9" To 9 1/2", I did mine 9", and sit slightly rear of center, 9 1/2" should get you centered, but compressed mine center perfect without rubbing w/35's.;) And to run a double shackle on 3rd Gen. trucks you have to move the shackle hanger.

Oh, and, nice write up newbie:flipoff2: :flipoff2:
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Ok thanks Grabber! I will add that info.:)
Oh can you tell me how far back you move the shackle hanger? So I can add that also. Thanks
 
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