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Old 04-13-2017, 03:28 PM   #1
75Sprout
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Default Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

Please read.. There's a reward at the end.

quick background: I started my 1975 2wd Scout II project almost 10 years ago. I rescued it from the woods after sitting for 8 years. Took it completely apart & put it back together. Problem was, once finished, it drove all kinds of horrible... Like, scary horrible. I have had a few early 70's broncos & a cj7... They drove great on the street... But not this guy. Anways, I quickly ran out of funds, so there it sat. Now, I want to "finish" this project... Hopefully you guys can help. The picture is the "before & after" of when I found it & after the "resto-mod"...

Stuff done: replaced 196 4 cyl / 3 speed with a 1996 Chevy vortec v8 / 4l60e automatic combo & in-tank fuel pump. Added a 1" body lift w/ all new body bushings. Added brake booster. Replaced all spring bushings, shocks, & added power steering box w/ a borgeson steering joint.

From what all I have read (and I have spent hours & hours reading all the suspension posts) if I'm running 30-31" tires, I need caster shims & possibly a reverse shackle kit. I'm wanting a street cruiser b/c it is a 2wd, afterall.

Springy stuff: my rear springs are flat as flat can be... My fronts don't flex at all. I think I put regular monroe shocks on it. I plan to run a terra top I found instead of the full top I have & the Chevy motor setup is approx 100 lbs lighter than the 196... So the way I figure it, I'm losing approx. 100 lbs on each end from stock.

Also, my front axle is "bowed" so that it looks like a u shape. From center, it rises maybe 3/16 to 1/4 from perch to perch. I read that alignment shops used to do this to correct camber. I found & bought an almost straight one, but not sure if I need to use it... But when I roll the axle via shims, I wonder if this will throw everything off.

I looked for a long time (years ago) for stock height springs... I see that you guys offer them. Since you guys bit the bullet & had some made, I want to get all the items needed from you to get my rig running down the road properly... Last year, I moved from rural alabama to pretty much downtown atlanta, so I need my truck to be "right" to fight this diseased traffic...

So here are my questions: will your stock springs do the trick for my setup? What degree shims? Reverse shackle needed? Use the straighter axle tube I found? Are the rubber spring bushings really that much better for street use? Should I lose the 1" body lift? Any extra input?

Reward: if anyone actually read all of this & can reply, then I offer a sincere thank you & offer up an interweb handshake. That's the best I can do here... But if you were sitting next to me, I'd buy you a beer or 6.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:20 AM   #2
Hondo
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

I would take it in to an alignment shop and have them tell you where everything is at, camber, caster, toe before doing anything else. They can adjust the toe if it is off. All kinds of horrible is not very descriptive, but most likely problem is caster, especially if "death wobble" is the "all kinds of horrible". Don't know about the 2w drives, but 4s had 0 caster. I'd try sticking a couple of 2 degree shims in from the front and see how that works out. Body lift shouldn't affect anything, but longer shackles definitely would.
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1975 Scout II healthy 258, Wide T19 , 4:1 D300 3:54s,
1972 Real clean stock Scout II P/S, P/B, 345, T18, 3:73s
1969 Mach I. Balanced ported 351W, 650 double pumper, Super T10, Detroit locker with 4.11s. Lowered with racing springs, bars, Konis etc.
(Don't worry about getting arrested when I drive the Scouts).
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:38 PM   #3
75Sprout
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

Thanks for the reply, hondo...
For some reason, it didn't show up in my feed until yesterday (better late than never, eh?). When I said "all kinds of horrible"... The back end sways all around (saggy rear springs) & the front end feels like the springs arent flexing / the shocks are too stiff when I hit bumps (like riding off a curb on a unicycle). But the worst thing must be related to caster, I think... I can turn a 360 on a residential street without doing a 3-point turn. When I turn, the steering wheel does not come back to center, even with a nudge in that direction. At highway speeds... It's kind of scary to say the least. Of course, I didn't notice these things when it was manual steering w/ the heavier motor/trans combo.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:45 PM   #4
75Sprout
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

I guess I should've posted all of this elsewhere, but my #1 question was really aimed at Jeff re: the stock height springs that he had made. I looked for them years ago, but nobody offered them. You had to have them made new, or re-arch the old. Since I didn't see any customer reviews about the new ones offered by IH Parts America, I was wondering if my rig would be a good candidate for them.
Also... Good call, hondo... I think I'll do the alignment shop thing to see where I'm at first... What could it hurt?
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by 75sprout View Post
I guess I should've posted all of this elsewhere, but my #1 question was really aimed at Jeff re: the stock height springs that he had made. I looked for them years ago, but nobody offered them. You had to have them made new, or re-arch the old. Since I didn't see any customer reviews about the new ones offered by IH Parts America, I was wondering if my rig would be a good candidate for them.
Also... Good call, hondo... I think I'll do the alignment shop thing to see where I'm at first... What could it hurt?
I'm sorry I didn't read your whole first post as it was extremely long. What exactly is your question that I can answer for you in regards to if they "would be a good candidate" for you?

Fyi we are no longer carrying those particular stock leafsprings that you see on our online store. I know the description doesn't mention that, but the button to add the item to your basket is not there which means its not available for purchase. We tried them and flat out they sucked and the company would not back their product so we stopped selling them. If you want to be a guinea pig of sorts, we can try to get them from another supplier and see how they do. If that's something you are interested in then please call our sales office to get more information and pricing on.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:45 PM   #6
75Sprout
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

Thanks Jeff! My apologies for the "novel"... Give me a few beers and I'll just blah blah blah... My question related to the stiffness of the stock springs since my rig is lighter than stock. Glad I missed the chance to buy them, if they sucked as bad as you say.
I would definitely be interested in a guinea pig experiment. I'll give your shop a call tomorrow. From what all ive seen over the years, folks recommend triangle, national, deaver, alcan, & eaton... Would any of those guys be a source? Out of sheer curiousity, could you pm me the company that made the garbage ones?
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:11 PM   #7
Hondo
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

I'd go with 2 1/2 inch sky jackers, and loose the body lift if it's too high afterwards. Would also add 2 degree caster shims up front, and 5100 bilstiens. I went from 2 1/2 inch rough countrys to 4 inch sky jackers. Put the bilstiens on before the sky jackers, but didn't appreciate them till after the sky jackers were on.
__________________
1975 Scout II healthy 258, Wide T19 , 4:1 D300 3:54s,
1972 Real clean stock Scout II P/S, P/B, 345, T18, 3:73s
1969 Mach I. Balanced ported 351W, 650 double pumper, Super T10, Detroit locker with 4.11s. Lowered with racing springs, bars, Konis etc.
(Don't worry about getting arrested when I drive the Scouts).
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:20 PM   #8
75Sprout
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

Thanks hondo! The more I look at all the options, it May be that what you say might be the best option. I'll cruise around all the forums to see what folks say about the sj 2" kit. If memory serves me, they say it's stiff at first, but gets better over time. And my gut feeling says that IH Parts America doesn't sell "junk", so the kit they offer from sj May work just fine. I contacted a bunch of spring companies looking at having some made, some extremely cheap, some extremely not... But I still wouldn't know what I was in for with their products. At this point, I'd rather just buy a "tried and true" kit & be done with it... And let it be what it will be.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:26 PM   #9
75Sprout
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Default Re: Stock height leaf springs / Street ride quality

I'm thinking I'll go with the 4-degree shims though. Currently, I can grab the wheel & spin it like on wheel o' fortune pretty easily... Does that sound like a horrible idea? (forgive me, I am a suspension/steering idiot when it comes to tweaking it just right)
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