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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Why coils and shocks instead coilovers?
Price, longevity, lower maintenance, and ease of obtaining replacement parts if anything ever gets damaged.

I'm not completely opposed to coilovers, and I am still considering them for the sole fact that they are more tunable to get the exact ride that I want. But I am also fine with the way a stock F-150 or Ram 1500 truck rides, and the front weight of a Suburban with the V8 should be very similar.

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I'm running 300ppi deaver superflex coils up front on my 01 tahoe that's linked. I had 500ppi coils at first and we're way too stiff, forced the rear end to do all the articulating... about equal now with the 300's. They can get a bit bouncy with single 5125 bil's (stiffest valving available, can't remeber #'s offhand) off-road, but feel good onroad.... heavy tires and axle doesn't help. Coils are definitely a good way to go if on a tight budget, I have no regrets.
 
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Price, longevity, lower maintenance, and ease of obtaining replacement parts if anything ever gets damaged.

I'm not completely opposed to coilovers, and I am still considering them for the sole fact that they are more tunable to get the exact ride that I want. But I am also fine with the way a stock F-150 or Ram 1500 truck rides, and the front weight of a Suburban with the V8 should be very similar.

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Makes sense. I’ve been noticing more dudes going the coil and shock route with their sas’d GM builds. Agreed, coilovers will provide more tunable options. Also take up less room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
I haven't worked much on this in a while, because of the Moab trip and the other Grand Cherokee that I bought/repaired/modified for that trip. I'm starting to get back to this a little bit now. I assembled the axle just enough to check the width and compare it to the rear width, and see how everything lines up. The differential needs to move about 3in to the passenger side to get the drive shaft to line up right, and there is not a lot of wiggle room around that drive shaft.

I did buy an off-the-shelf F-350 shaft that is 2.445" shorter, but taking that much out of the passenger side would only move the entire axle assembly half that much once it is re-centered, so 1.2", not enough.



My front axle is 7.5" wider than my rear axle right now, and 4.88" wider than a standard 05-15 F350 front D60. I don't want to be narrower than the standard full width, if anything I wanted to be a little wider. So I might just shorten it 4.88" to get standard F350 with, with the differential in the correct position to line up with the drive shaft (close anyways, within .5").


Dutchman will sell custom inner axle shafts for $220, Moser was a lot more, anybody have a better source?



 

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Dutchman will shorten axleshafts for 55 bucks a piece. Just pay for shipping. I used them to shorten my shafts in my front dana 60 when I narrowed it in my scout, they do a good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
I finally started cutting up my axle to move the diff and shorten it. I'm going to need to build or buy a bigger hydraulic press, I can't get the inner tube to budge.




I'm having a machine shop turn down a piece of 3" OD tube to 2.891" OD to use as an inner sleeve. The inside diameter of the inner knuckle is 2.890". It will overlap 3-4" of the tube on each side, that should be enough to ensure everything is lined up perfectly straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
I finished up the passenger-side inner knuckle install. I had to buy a bigger hammer to get the caster turned. Note my super effective version of cooling it down slowly. I did preheat it though. The kids helped hold it in place while I got the knuckle spun into position.

I lengthened the driver's side by 1.75" and shortened the passenger side 5.75". The diff is lined up with the driveshaft now, and with the pinion pointed directly at the transfer case output I'm at 6° of steering caster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I decided to try something new, electrolysis. I used it to clean the rust off of the steering knuckles. I used old computer router power supplies for the current. I left them in for a couple days. They could have used another day or two, but I got tired of waiting.


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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
I'm leaning heavily toward Jeff's Bronco Graveyard (Deaver) 5" lift coil springs CSH57 spec'd for a '79 Bronco. They're 23" uncompressed length with a 300 lbs/in rate. Item number 23209. Thanks Wes761 for the rate recommendation above. I'll probably order those once Jeff's opens up Monday morning. I got the stock Super Duty tie-rod cut down 4" to match the new axle width. I sleeved it with part of the OEM solid track bar that just happened to be the right diameter. It will mount below the knuckle like the stock Super Duty. Not ideal for ground clearance, but ideal for getting this done quicker and back on the road.
I upgraded my welder recently too so I'm building a new welding cart as a side project.




 

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Looks really good!! Definitely giving me ideas for my 8.1L Burb!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #54 · (Edited)
Got the new ball joints in. I had to buy a deeper throat ball joint press for the lowers, they are massive. I also got it mocked up to see how it will look and so I can start getting the radius arms setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
I've been doing a lot of staring at things underneath, planning where to put the radius arms, and determining if I'm happy with the current axle location. Once I had it where I thought I wanted it, I tack welded some supports directly from the frame to the axle tubes so I could cycle the steering at ride height and see how the clearances looked. I ended up with more clearance than necessary at the footwell (without trimming), and not enough clearance at the front. I'm going to cut the temporary supports, move the axle back 1"-1.5", then move forward with the radius arms. If it hits the rear of the fender in the future I will trim accordingly. I could gain 1"+ by trimming and body working there, and it would probably be less work than the extra grill and front trimming necessary if I leave it where it is now. Any further back would get into AC lines and pinch seams more though. I really want 5" of up-travel with enough fender clearance to articulate it as well.









 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
I built the frame-side radius arm mounts, but still need to reinforce them. I tucked them to the inside of the frame rails, right where the torsion bars used to pass through the crossmember.

I shortened the transmission crossmember about 1/8" on each side and it bolts back up in the stock location now.

The axle-side radius arm mounts are on too, but I still need to weld the one bracket that lands on the nodular iron center section.

The radius arms are almost done, I just need to finalize where the uppers will connect to the lowers to maximize frame clearance during articulation.

Steering is coming soon. Which OEM (aka junkyard) steering gearbox is the strongest? My stock Chevy one is worn out and a bit loose, and I'm relocating it anyways, so now is the time if Ford or Ram makes a better product.



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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Radius arms are done, I still need to reinforce the frame mounts.

I bought a Super Duty box, it is definitely beefier, but I would have to move it ~4.5" rearward on the frame. I'll have to make sure there is room.



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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I finally got a few moments to try and mock up the steering box, there is no way that Super Duty box is going to work for me. It can't go back far enough because the engine accessories are in the way. I'm going to need a rear-facing pitman arm box like the Suburban box was to begin with, but I don't want to install the stock Suburban box after seeing how massive the Super Duty box is in comparison. Anybody familiar with Ram 2500/3500 steering boxes? Do they face the pitman arm to the rear? Time to start searching again.
 
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