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Discussion Starter #1
Any time you must move the suspension forward or backwards to accomadate lift and longer springs you must cycle the suspension, heres a small howto.

take your springs your wanting to put on your truck and take them apart, all you want is the main leaf, now take the rest of them and measure the thickness of just those leafs, now make a spacer of some sort, it can be a block of wood, just as long as its PRETTY dam close to the same thickness as the rest of the leaf pack, make two of these, now you can use these to cycle your suspension.

JUst an FYI anyone going spring under doesnt have to make the block, the reason for the block is the leaf spring location changes the axle height on spring over.

Dont cut the stock front mounts off until AFTER you have the new ones welded up. reason is you can always use those as a reference point as to where the hangers are square to one another, if you cut those off then your point of reference is lost and it becomes really hard to tell whats centered and what isnt. Remember if its 7" forward on one side, its the same on the other, another thing is make a center line from bolt hole in the front hanger at a 90 degree angle straight up, you want to measure off this line, as your new hanger wont be at the same height and this is more accurate.

Always tack everything together, NEVER fully weld it up until after you are 100% sure its all going to work, (i learned this the hard way!)

Now after you get yoru front hangers tacked up bolt the springs up to them, then bolt them to the axle, now take a jack and jack the axle up to full bump, determine where it sits, the axle should be 100% straight up and down with the bump stops, also watch the drive shaft, remember the futher up to the frame the axle gets the more it will extend, now droop it out as far as you can with the jack, mine sat on the ground at 21" realisticly your never going to get over 19" on our trucks using leaf springs so using this thought make sure at this setting that the drive shaft is not bottoming out, what i found to help was unbolt the driveshaft from the axle at this point and see if i can push it any further together, you want probably about 1/4" or so of plunge left over when its fully drooped, this will ensure your drive shaft does not bottom out or come apart while using your truck...

Dont set the truck up so that at ride height the tires are square in the fenders, thats not how leaf springs work, they move back and up, not straight up and down.

Now for rear shackles, I found that setting the truck up so the shackle is at a 95-100 degree angle towards the front of the truck is best at full droop, then after you tacked everything together take and cycle it, at full bump your shackle should be laying almost on the frame, this can be adjusted this is why we TACK everything. But you want that thing to lay back as far as possible and the leaf springs with bump stops should be done. The goal is to not let the leafs go too far negative to where they start to prematurely fatigue.

After this is all done weld it up, plating everyhthing helps with stress loads and keeps the frame in 1 peice.

This is also a good time while the leaf pack is tore down to setup the shocks, reason is you can cycle it and get maximum up and down travel out of your setup.
 

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DesertTRD said:
Dont set the truck up so that at ride height the tires are square in the fenders, thats not how leaf springs work, they move back and up, not straight up and down.
This is the reason why most people move their axle forward, it helps the tires clear the firewall.

If I am not mistaken if you have the shackle in the front (i.e. jeeps) the tire will move up and forward.

Nice little write up my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pink Taco said:
This is the reason why most people move their axle forward, it helps the tires clear the firewall.

If I am not mistaken if you have the shackle in the front (i.e. jeeps) the tire will move up and forward.

Nice little write up my friend.
My post was not directed at the front of a truck, but rather the rear.. however it will work with teh front also.
 

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Although taking springs out of the pack is the easiest way to cycle the suspension, it will actually act different than with the full pack in there, ideally you would use a winch or come-along to draw the suspension together with a full leaf-pack but that's not really an option for most of us.

Good tips!

For more info and pics on this exact subject read THIS
 

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DesertTRD said:
My post was not directed at the front of a truck, but rather the rear.. however it will work with teh front also.
For people swapping in 63" Chevy springs, new hanger goes 7.5" forward on '98 and up trucks. I took a piece of flat bar, drilled two 14mm (9/16") holes 7.5" on center, and bolted it to both the old and the new spring hanger to get the spacing. Tack weld, test fit, and then finish everything up!

Later,
....Mike
 
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