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Old 10-20-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
Python86
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Default Easy rear lift for cheap

I've seen and heard many opinions and ideas on how to lift the rear end of a ranger for cheap including combining leaf springs, swapping to explorer leafs (not much lift to be had there by the way) and of all things putting 64" chevy leafs (ugh!)

When I installed my 4" Rough Country lift kit and put those 3" blocks under my rear it still sat lower than the front and I wasn't pleased with the amount of axle wrap I was getting.

I was told by a friend of a buddy of mine that f-150 leafs would work because a buddy of his tried it once and it seemed to fit so with this ever-so-reliable information I went to my local bone yard armed with my tape measure and a mountain of doubt to find out if it was possible and to my surprise they seemed to be the right size to bolt into the stock hangers on my Ranger.

I took my leaf springs out of a '94 F-150 and kept the whole spring packs intact. I was installing them on my '89 Ranger and the only difficulty I had putting them in was *EDIT*the mounting points are a little closer together on the 150 than on the Ranger*EDIT* and so with the help of my brother we used a ratchet strap to pull the end of the leaf spring out to the shackle until they were the right length then just slipped the bolts through and did them up. The only other work required is either getting shorter U-bolts made or getting the u-bolts and plates from the f-150 you are stealing the leafs from. *NOTE* the u-bolts from an f-150 will be the proper width for an 8.8" axle. If you have the 7.5" you can use them though I don't recommend it because they will be a very loose fit around your axle housing. The F-150 U-bolts are thicker and beefier looking than the ones on the explorer so I recommend them in any case.

Did this mod help and would I recommend it?
Yes and yes. I recommend this to everyone I meet who owns a ranger. You can get away with using your stock ranger u-bolts and plates and block and you will have yourself a rear end lift for less than 60 bucks. The end result for me was about 6" of lift which was enough that I could take not only the lift blocks out but the stock ranger blocks as well and have the leafs sit right on the axle. When combined with the belltech 6400 shackles I can tuck my 33's right up into my bed so far that they touch the top of the wheel well. I have also had over 1600 lbs (weighed on a highway scale) in the back with just minor sag.

I have included before and after pictures of the swap as well as a picture of the arc of the leaf springs installed


I hope this article is helpful to someone else and if this needs any editing or clarification just let me know and i'll try to clean it up a bit.

Also I think this would be a great idea to get posted in the Tech Library section of the site as explorer leafs and chevy leafs are both there which are neither as effective or as easy a swap to do.
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4" Rough Country lift with 1" fabricated coil spacers
'94 F-150 leafs and Belltech 2" shackles
Exploder D35 front axle w/Warn locking hubs
Exploder 8.8" rear with Trak-Lock again
33" BFG muds

Last edited by Python86; 10-29-2011 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Mistake
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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Default

um... you should probelly move the mount further so uou dont have to use a rachet strap to put the spring. the shackel moves freely because when the leaf pack compresses it gets "longer". if you dont move it you might break something.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default

I've been running this setup since January and haven't had any problems with breakage or even bending. And the 150 leafs pull the shackles in on the ranger so I actually get more flex out of the shackles when I compress because there's farther for them to move. But i'll keep it in mind and keep an eye on it
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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Default

hey nice write up. do you think it would be possible to come and look at your set up one day. i just live in vancouver/ladner. and how is the ride? stiff?

thanks
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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im going to guess this will work great for yours, but not mine. something about preforcing a leaf into place before any weight spells trouble. hope you remember that if you even take them out!
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
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Default

HockeyRyan The ride is actually softer than before and I get much more flex out of my rear end. You can come look at the setup sometime, my work schedule is a little crazy so pm me your number and I'll call you

As far as forcing the leaf spring into position I realized why people were commenting and I made a mistake in the article. The mounting points are closer together on the F-150 by about an inch and a half so we just had to pull the end of the leaf spring out to meet the shackle. If I had cut my brackets and moved them in I could get another couple of lift out of them
I've removed and reinstalled the leafs several times since and getting them back in is quite easy
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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Default

Here's what the F-150 spring looked like compared to the Ranger hangars and shackle. Sort of. My art isn't that great so ignore the exaggerated gap between the leaf and the shackle but that's what I meant
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4" Rough Country lift with 1" fabricated coil spacers
'94 F-150 leafs and Belltech 2" shackles
Exploder D35 front axle w/Warn locking hubs
Exploder 8.8" rear with Trak-Lock again
33" BFG muds
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Default

So if these were bolted up, the shackle would reach the rear spring hole?
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:32 AM   #9
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The leafs come out of a 2x4 or 4x4 f-150?
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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So let's say these F150 springs were used with belltech 6400's:

1. Would they bolt in without the need for a ratchet-strap stretching apparatus?

2. How much lift would it achieve?
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