• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Leaf springs AND coilovers in the rear?


JediJesus

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Illinois
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
I just posted about upgrading the engine in my 2wd 1992 Ranger, 2.3l to make it faster. (here's the thread) But along with making it faster, I want to make the truck a little stiffer to handle corners better, and with less body roll. I've looked into a 4 link rear coilover conversion kit, and it's about $800 - $900, which I don't have, nor am I willing to spend that right now.

So my question is would it be ok to keep the leaf spring and replace the rear shocks with coilovers, along with coilovers in the front? Or is that not possible? Replacing the rear shocks with coilovers would mean the rear would have leaf springs AND coilovers, so would that work? Any advice helps, and if you have any further questions, please ask and I'll try my best to answer!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

MikeG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
1,353
Reaction score
745
Points
113
Location
central Texas
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
B4000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
2"
Tire Size
235/75r15
Explorer springs will be the cheapest way to make the rear suspension quite a bit stiffer... but be careful what you ask for. Mine rides like a dump truck, empty (needed the capacity at that time so no big deal).

Rear shock mounts aren't all that substantial on a Ranger, I wouldn't get carried away loading them down.

Stiffer sway bars probably worth looking into if you want flatter cornering, but not the dump-truck ride. Lower profile tires too, if you don't go off road.

A few thoughts.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
27,824
Reaction score
8,335
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
Sway bars are good, optional both front and rear so you may not even have any now.

Mine had a front one from the factory, adding the smallest OEM (5/8" third gen) rear sway bar made A TON of difference and that was with a lifted 4wd. The stock sway bar for a first or second gen is 3/4", the mythical 2wd BII had a 1" sway bar. And there are aftermarkets out there since the same sway bar that fits a 83 will fit an '11 (aside from the 31 spline 8.8)

If you swap in an Explorer rear axle you can adapt F-150 axle clamps to fit or the best (IMO) is to make the Explorer sway bar fit, basically just drill two holes in the frame for the links.

I am not totally sure how the 2wd's are set up. The stock first gen sway bar mounts inside the radius arms, later trucks have them mounted ahead of the axle. If you REALLY wanted to get serious you could run both, they wouldn't interfere with each other. I am not a suspension expert, have not tried it and I do not know if any weird idiosyncrasies would arise from doing so.

 

Dirtman

Former Middleweight Moss Fighting Champion
Supporting Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
19,344
Reaction score
13,273
Points
113
Location
41N 75W
Vehicle Year
2009
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
My credo
I poop in the furnace.
Adding coil overs to the rear will just make it ride like a brick...

Get a rear sway bar and good shocks.

On the front, Bilstein shocks and poly bushings on the sway bar will help.
 

Dirtman

Former Middleweight Moss Fighting Champion
Supporting Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
19,344
Reaction score
13,273
Points
113
Location
41N 75W
Vehicle Year
2009
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
My credo
I poop in the furnace.
ive got coils & leafs both on the back. no sway bar. Did it mostly for load capacity since my stock rear suspension was a single fiberglass leaf. The coil helpers I put on are a 2,500# rated spring. Yes it rides a little stiffer but not bad with a load.
View attachment 57887View attachment 57888
I'm so confused by that...
 

franklin2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,399
Reaction score
493
Points
83
Location
Virginia
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Bronco II
Transmission
Manual
What amazed me is when I replaced the stock rubber body bushings with the plastic poly bushings. Just doing that really tightened it up in the corners. The body has a lot of stiffness to it, the frame does not. Tie them together better and it really helps.
 

JediJesus

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Illinois
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
What amazed me is when I replaced the stock rubber body bushings with the plastic poly bushings. Just doing that really tightened it up in the corners. The body has a lot of stiffness to it, the frame does not. Tie them together better and it really helps.
Actually that's a good point, especially considering the fact that the body mount under my radiator on the passenger side is half missing 😂😂
Screenshot_20210331-203545.png
 

JediJesus

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Illinois
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
Adding coil overs to the rear will just make it ride like a brick...

Get a rear sway bar and good shocks.

On the front, Bilstein shocks and poly bushings on the sway bar will help.
Oh ok, that makes sense, and I'll look into a rear sway bar, Bilstein shocks and poly bushings. Thank you!
 

JediJesus

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Illinois
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
Sway bars are good, optional both front and rear so you may not even have any now.

Mine had a front one from the factory, adding the smallest OEM (5/8" third gen) rear sway bar made A TON of difference and that was with a lifted 4wd. The stock sway bar for a first or second gen is 3/4", the mythical 2wd BII had a 1" sway bar. And there are aftermarkets out there since the same sway bar that fits a 83 will fit an '11 (aside from the 31 spline 8.8)

If you swap in an Explorer rear axle you can adapt F-150 axle clamps to fit or the best (IMO) is to make the Explorer sway bar fit, basically just drill two holes in the frame for the links.

I am not totally sure how the 2wd's are set up. The stock first gen sway bar mounts inside the radius arms, later trucks have them mounted ahead of the axle. If you REALLY wanted to get serious you could run both, they wouldn't interfere with each other. I am not a suspension expert, have not tried it and I do not know if any weird idiosyncrasies would arise from doing so.

Others have also mentioned a rear sway bar, I'll have to look into it! Thank you!
 

JediJesus

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Illinois
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
Explorer springs will be the cheapest way to make the rear suspension quite a bit stiffer... but be careful what you ask for. Mine rides like a dump truck, empty (needed the capacity at that time so no big deal).

Rear shock mounts aren't all that substantial on a Ranger, I wouldn't get carried away loading them down.

Stiffer sway bars probably worth looking into if you want flatter cornering, but not the dump-truck ride. Lower profile tires too, if you don't go off road.

A few thoughts.
I don't go off road a whole lot, but the roads around here are REALLY bad. We have a lot of dirt/sand/gravel roads, and some of the potholes hurt even with stock wheels and tires. So I'll probably keep the stock tire profile. Also would getting a bit wider tires be an alternative to lower profile? Or would that be worse than stock?
 


Top