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HD leaf springs options

RoamingCanuck

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I posted this same question over on Ranger forums but I had only one person really respond to me so I was looking for alternate opinions. I figure you guys tend to be more modified so possibly more knowledgeable on options for me.


I have a 1997 Ford Ranger ext cab that I'm looking to take over duties as my Overlanding rig from my Current 2006 Tacoma DCLB. Basically the Tacoma is too long, too wide and I have an odd love for this Ranger that I'm sure only other Ranger owners will understand.

Anyway my predicament is between spare tires, fridge, spare parts, recovery gear, tools, water and fuel I carry roughly 600lbs in the bed of my Tacoma on trips. This seems like it'll be too much for the leafs in the Ranger since I've put a mere 400lbs back there and it was riding dirty.

So, I don't really want more than 2" of lift and it needs to be an OEM spring. As an overlander if that spring breaks and I can't go to a dealer or part store and simply buy that spring I'm royally ****ed. My short trips are about 1000km and my longer trips are 5000+km and I'm often 400+km from the nearest town.

The gentleman that helped me over there suggested ford explorer leafs for the extra weight capacity but when I googled I found HERE that the ford explorer leafs have a 1250lbs capacity and the Ranger ones HERE can have up to 1750lbs rating.

So its a matter of figuring out what springs are on my ranger currently because if its the 1100lbs ones then the 1750lbs ones may work.

The other thing I was considering and you guys may know more about this was possibly going to an F150 spring and then simply moving the hangers as required to fit them. It looks like they come in 1700, 1900 and 2200lbs so if I already have the 1250lbs spring for example on my ranger then the 1900lbs from the F150 would make sense would it not?

What say you oh lords of fabrication? :icon_welder:
 
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RoamingCanuck

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I've seen that but its modifying stock leafs with chevy leafs which means I'd need to build atleast one extra pack to carry with me as spares since I couldn't just walk into a part store and buy a set if they broke.

I'm trying to keep with something that comes stock on another vehicle.

Or are you suggesting I move my spring hangers to simply use the 64" chevy springs?



Edit: I derped out, I had seen so many people in a local ranger group dismantle the chevy leafs to rebuild their packs for lift that when I came across this article I thought thats what this was doing without reading it thoroughly. Thank you very much for posting it. This may be the solution for me.


So if I'm reading this correctly, by moving my front perch forward, and flipping my rear hanger with the chevy 64s I should get better ride and by not using the belltech 6400 hanger it should give me 2" lift. My logic there is that the chevy 64" according to this with a flipped hanger and belltech 6400 gives ZERO lift and since the belltech 6400 is a 2" drop according to summit racing's site, I should net out 2" taller and a stronger spring for added weight capacity correct?
 
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alwaysFlOoReD

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Another option to look at is air bags, that is if you don't need great articulation.
 

Mickey Bitsko

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I posted this same question over on Ranger forums but I had only one person really respond to me so I was looking for alternate opinions. I figure you guys tend to be more modified so possibly more knowledgeable on options for me.


I have a 1997 Ford Ranger ext cab that I'm looking to take over duties as my Overlanding rig from my Current 2006 Tacoma DCLB. Basically the Tacoma is too long, too wide and I have an odd love for this Ranger that I'm sure only other Ranger owners will understand.

Anyway my predicament is between spare tires, fridge, spare parts, recovery gear, tools, water and fuel I carry roughly 600lbs in the bed of my Tacoma on trips. This seems like it'll be too much for the leafs in the Ranger since I've put a mere 400lbs back there and it was riding dirty.

So, I don't really want more than 2" of lift and it needs to be an OEM spring. As an overlander if that spring breaks and I can't go to a dealer or part store and simply buy that spring I'm royally ****ed. My short trips are about 1000km and my longer trips are 5000+km and I'm often 400+km from the nearest town.

The gentleman that helped me over there suggested ford explorer leafs for the extra weight capacity but when I googled I found HERE that the ford explorer leafs have a 1250lbs capacity and the Ranger ones HERE can have up to 1750lbs rating.

So its a matter of figuring out what springs are on my ranger currently because if its the 1100lbs ones then the 1750lbs ones may work.

The other thing I was considering and you guys may know more about this was possibly going to an F150 spring and then simply moving the hangers as required to fit them. It looks like they come in 1700, 1900 and 2200lbs so if I already have the 1250lbs spring for example on my ranger then the 1900lbs from the F150 would make sense would it not?

What say you oh lords of fabrication? :icon_welder:

All this sounds like a lot of work, I recently bought a 4WC Eagle model 850lbs
dry, air lift or firestone air bags [ride rite model] good for 3000lbs. I'm leaving the camper on full time. Several other Ford Ranger members on the wander the west web site suggested air bags to other overlanders and they work perfect. my$.02
Cost is about $260
 

RoamingCanuck

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I had thought about air bags to be honest, but a local guy I wheel with has had two bags fail on him because of rocks pelting the airbags and/or a piece of deadfall somehow made it up in there and pierced it. He ended up driving home on his bump stops.

I guess I'll need to post on expo portal and see how others have faired with airbags. My big thing is I want to have as few non-OEM parts on this vehicle as possible. Even the SAS on it is all OEM parts with exception of the actual long arms which are 2" .25 DOM tubing. The ends are just straight rubber bushings for comfort and reliability. But the bushings are easily had at part stores and the DOM tubing isn't going to bend unless I'm really doing something I shouldn't be lol.

As for bags though, I'll need to research to learn more about them but I'm assuming you're talking about a helper similar to this right? http://www.tdotperformance.ca/air-lift-59516-ridecontrol-air-spring-kit-rear-kit.html
 
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Thought about 4 door explorer springs with ranger leafs mixed in for height/capacity?

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Meanman480

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I did try and use the stock chevy center may move ur axel if you use one difrent lenght most of the spare parts for that are small might be an OK way to go
 
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RoamingCanuck

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Thought about 4 door explorer springs with ranger leafs mixed in for height/capacity?

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Again the issue here is that if that breaks, I'm screwed because no part store is going to have a Ranger/explorer mixed spring right.

So whatever it is I choose to do, I need to be able to replace it at a part store because if I can't it means I need to carry a spare.

As it is I'm carrying 2x johnny joints, 1x front drive shaft, 1x rear drive shaft, front axle shafts and 2 different sizes of heim joints.

The more weight I carry, the less range I have on the tank.
 

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I would say go with springs from a 4-door Explorer having a tow package. These would have the highest load rating of anything you could bolt into your stock leaf hangers...

But if moving frame hangers around is an option, then the door is pretty much wide open for anything.

I have the 64" Chevy leafs under my BII (Procomp 3.5" leafs)... I've never broke a leaf that it left me stranded, however somehow I kept bending Explorer leafs as well as aftermarket leafs just behind the forward eye (probably because I too am loaded with several hundred lbs of gear in mine as well, together with the leverage 35" tires puts on them). So far so good on the Chevys.
You might want to ditch the crazy-thick Chevy overload leaf for the ones off your stock Ranger springs though, it really restricts the spring's travel... I don't think I've ever once heard of a broken Ranger OL leaf, and even if it did break, it shouldn't leave you stranded anyway, so hopefully this slight mixing of parts won't be of concern in your case (I built my rig with the same concept of keeping things as simple & replaceable as possible, and I've never once worried about the RBV OL leaves being in there on long trips).
 
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Meanman480

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Junk yard stacks and u bolts and studs from nappa if u use common pickup Springs like ford or chevy 80s or 90s ought to be pretty easy to just rebuild a stack on the go instead of looking for a complet set with is not bad either, got a 89f150 with stock center leaf wrapped in 85 Chevy 1 tone leeafe and overload spring and brackets might wanna check it out works good I can tow more than my frame will take

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