My Suspension Plans...


Freshmeat

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Just want a "second set of eyes" if you don't mind. I didn't put this specifically under tech because it's still up for debate how it will end up.

I'm about to completely redo my suspension. 2" lift on 34s looks awesome, but I hate having to go WOT just to clear all the breakovers. Here's the parts list:

4" drop axle pivot brackets
5.5" coil springs
Drop pitman arm
Extended radius arms (12" - 15")
Extended brake lines
Either custom or F150 radius arm brackets
F250 shock brackets
No clue what bumpstops to run

The plan is to go 5.5" up front and SOA in the rear.

Front: Superlift uses the 4" brackets for both the 4" and 5.5" kits so I figure it'd just set the geometry like a 2" lift without brackets. I'm going with used parts wherever possible. I'm slowly gathering parts for a SAS so I don't want to spend too much on this stage of the process. Going used I should be able to recuperate most of the investment by reselling. I intend to extend a spare set of stock radius arms by 12-15" as needed and will allow for camber correction the best I can when they're built. Also, I have F250 shock brackets to add for a little extra flex while I'm already tearing into things. I was given a part number for some 26" brake lines, which I'd imagine would suffice. I genuinely don't have a clue how I'll set up my bumpstops- any suggestions on that?

Rear: I'll grab a second gen 8.8 and SOA it. I'm going to have the shop who built my bumper add shock studs toward the bottom of the axle, as well as build an upper shock crossmember that will double as a mounting point for my OBA tank to keep it out of the cargo area. I don't know what to do for a rear brake line, but the bump stops should be simple to build.

Another idea while I have the rear axle out is to eliminate the center console for a hand brake lever, so I can control the parking brake easily in the event of a tight maneuver on an incline.

I think that covers it- is there anything I'm forgetting? Any suggestions on what I can do differently? Will my stock driveshafts be okay at this amount of lift?

Thanks for any advice, guys- I'm ready to make this thing a little taller!
 


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BlackBII

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Superlifts brackets have holes for a 4" lift and a 5.5" lift. Their coils are really stiff, so if you're looking for good flex, may want to consider some different coils, EB or XJ coils. Look here for extended radius arm ideas:
http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34439&highlight=extended+radius
http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27792
http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44545&highlight=extended+radius

Your stock driveshatfs should be fine. Sounds like you have it covered, although, with that much lift you'll want the Skyjacker extreme drop FA600 pitman arm or a modified Superlift superrunner setup, to get correct steering geometry.
http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/winter2008/steering_tech.htm
 

Freshmeat

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I thought EB coils don't fit the D35... I'd love to go that route if I can make it work so I don't need new coils for the SAS.
Also, I've read that EB coils are softer, but someone here said he was getting something like 8-10" on them. How could that have happened?

Thanks for the recommendations- I want to make sure I get this right the first time so next time I go into it will be for the SAS.
 

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Your plan sounds good except you'll likely want to reinforce whatever brackets you get (or just use Skyjacker brackets). And something beyond a regular drop pitman arm like BlackBII already mentioned (this is especially important if you're going to use a better set of coils on it).

EB coils will work great, but you do have to modify the mounts a bit for them to fit.

Setting your bumpstops is simple. With the coil out and the shock installed, jack the suspension up until you're within 1" of the shock bottoming out. Set your bumpstop to touch at this point.


You going D60 with the SAS?
 

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Why do you say I should reinforce the brackets? Are they notoriously weak or something?

I'm thinking I'll go D44 with the SAS, since it's "so simple" to do. I'm honestly debating seeing how much abuse this D35 will take before I can't stand it any more. I've heard it's as strong as the D44, which is hard to believe, but I'm new to this axle, so I can't really argue.

Is there an explanation on how to modify the mounts to fit the EB coils? I did some digging but haven't had any luck on it. I have no problem cutting/grinding/etc to make things work, but I at least would like to have an idea what I'm up against before I start all this. As it is, I'm getting a spare set of radius arms to extend and coil brackets to cut so I can have minimal down time when this plays out.

Thanks for the advice so far, guys. It definitely helps to have someone else looking over my shoulder letting me know where I'm possibly slipping up.
 

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Well, you certainly heard right, with a better set of locking hubs on it it's right about 95% of a D44's strength, primarily due to having a shared weakest link, and that's the same-size axleshaft u-joints (Check through the Upgrades sticky post in the Axles section for the Warn Jeep #37780 hubs).

It's my opinion that a SAS isn't worth messing with unless you go with something big like a D60, the strength margin just isn't that great otherwise. I'm sure some may disagree, but the D35 takes me down all the same trails the Jeeps, and those with D44s go (and seems to perform just as well, if not even better on occasion), so I've found little need for it until things actually start breaking. The key is proper setup of the suspension though, which the bolt-on industry leaves something to be desired here (the biggest thing probably being proper correction of the steering afterward).
Many brackets are weak, yes (Superlift is probably the best example, but a majority of the others are pretty similar in design). This is why I mentioned Skyjacker. Their brackets are just massive next to pretty much all others. James Duff would be a very close 2nd behind Skyjacker.

Here's a typical failure (click for big):



For the EB springs, I would cut the top part of the coil that 'cuts across' so that it can be fitted like a Jeep coil in the upper mount like here:

Some guys have been able to make them work without cutting them though, although I don't like the way it fits in the mount.

For the bottom, use a typical '73-'79 Ford lower mount, but drill a hole through the middle to go over your axle stud.
 

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What's the deal on the steering- why is it such a hassle? Would the "extreme" drop pitman fix it? I don't want to spend a ton of money just to be making excuses as to why things suck. I also don't want to spend $450 for a Superrunner kit- Between that and this other work I'm doing I could just about go SAS instead.

I hope that doesn't sound ignorant- I'm really only doing this suspension work to keep myself happy until the summer when I'll have bought a house with a big enough garage to do an axle swap.
 

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Did you read the article I posted?

The pitman arms that are normally supplied with a lift are not long enough, which create too high of an angle on the steering, which causes a toe change when the suspension cycles, attributing to tire wear and funky steering dynamics.
 

4x4junkie

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What's the deal on the steering- why is it such a hassle? Would the "extreme" drop pitman fix it? I don't want to spend a ton of money just to be making excuses as to why things suck. I also don't want to spend $450 for a Superrunner kit- Between that and this other work I'm doing I could just about go SAS instead.

I hope that doesn't sound ignorant- I'm really only doing this suspension work to keep myself happy until the summer when I'll have bought a house with a big enough garage to do an axle swap.
Yeah the "hassle" isn't anywhere with the TTB axle itself, it's the piss-poor engineering that was rampant in the suspension industry (and the packaging of incorrect lift components), and due to the lack of any updates over the years, remains to this day.
That "extreme" pitman arm (SJ PT# FA600) is what should've been included in ALL suspension lifts higher than 4 inches, and if good flexy coils are to be used, that arm must be used at 4" lift as well (in which case it's not absolutely needed to use the Superlift steering kit, which has it's own set of issues anyway).

All that's needed is a little understanding of how everything works together, and you can do wonders with the TTB suspension. The link posted above explains it all in detail.

Another one I wrote is here
http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29
 
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Thanks, both of you. BlackBII- I entirely missed the bottom section of that post with the link; I must have written it off as part of your signature or something. I'll check out those threads soon. Thanks, guys!
 

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The more I think about all this, the more I think I'd rather just take the plunge and grab a high pinion D44/9" combo and start building them up. Low ground clearance will help me learn to wheel better, right?
A D44/9" with 5.5" lift and 38.50s sounds a lot more fun than figuring out all the details to get the TTB working the way I want it to work... only to do the SAS in the end anyway.

Thanks for all the help, guys. Please don't feel like the effort has gone in vain- by fully understanding what I'm up against, I'm able to make a more informed decision of how to spend my money to get where I really want to be.
 

UrbanRedneckKid

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A D44/9" with 5.5" lift and 38.50s sounds a lot more...
...like broken parts.

An upgraded D44 running 37"s is pushing the limits.
Not to mention all that rotating weight on 1/2 ton brakes...

You need to be finding a D60, with eyeballs like you have.

Besides that, how do you plan on putting a 38.5" tire under an Exploder with 5.5" of lift? 33"s would just fit that.
Unless you are thinking of 5.5" EB coils...
 

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...like broken parts.

An upgraded D44 running 37"s is pushing the limits.
Not to mention all that rotating weight on 1/2 ton brakes...

You need to be finding a D60, with eyeballs like you have.

Besides that, how do you plan on putting a 38.5" tire under an Exploder with 5.5" of lift? 33"s would just fit that.
Unless you are thinking of 5.5" EB coils...
Perhaps a low pinion EB D44. I know at least half a dozen guys around here who run 37+ on full width D44s with no problems, one running 40s and the way he drives, if he didn't break it, I don't think it could happen. :icon_cheers:
I'm honestly looking for a D60, but won't hesitate if I get a good enough deal on a D44/9" combo. Brakes can be upgraded and I've seen too many people beat way too hard on the high pinion D44s to believe they're as weak as people seem to claim.
 

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Well, I don't know what kind of wheeling you're thinking of doing (or what your buddies are (not) doing that they aren't breaking theirs, but 37" is the maximum I would ever run on a D44 myself (same for the D35 too). Any bigger than that and I would spend too much time babying it rather than having fun (I've broken a few u-joints on my Ranger just running 33s).

I very much agree, tires that size belong on a D60 (and a 10.25" or D70 rear too).
 

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When did they start making racing brake kits for 70's 4x4s?

Listen, I'm only tellin you what I've seen.
I've seen people beat on em too, and have them hold up. But not even half of them, just a few.
I have a buddy running 39"s on a Corp 10bolt(aka D44), He never uses 4low, cause every time he does he snaps forged axles. I dunno but you but I love my low range... Also about every 5th time or so he takes his truck out he ruins something in his front end, axle, u-joint, spiders, and that's on the high side. The money he's spent in parts could have got him a D60.

As for me, my truck isn't done yet but I'm not feeling very trusting in my D44(way more than my 35 though), even with Cro-mo shafts, big U-joints, and a beefy carrier. I am very "demanding" of my truck, I run it hard (as you seem to do too), but I have come to terms with the fact that parts do break, it sucks. But the less parts breaking is a much better way.

What every you may do, I highly advise you spend the money first. Not wait till it breaks, fix it , fix it again, and again, then spend money. Buy the good stuff. And listen to what other people have learned.

I'll be $1400 into my 44 when finished. You can buy D60s all day long under $1200.

A Dana 44 for free still costs more than a Dana 60 in the end.

Next time you see a D60, just poke you had under there and look at the size of the axles and U-joints. Then go back and look under your truck.
 


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