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Wagon Lift Springs

Discussion in 'Jeep Truck and FC Tech' started by FinoCJ, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. Oct 28, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Doing a bit of future research for the wagon...It currently runs pretty flat springs - although I don't know if they are or are not oem - they are at least in the ballpark if oem replacements, but a bit flat/sagging. It currently has 225/75/15 tires (about 28" diameter) on 15x8 aftermarket rims. At one time, it seems Rancho may have made a spring kit for the wagon, but that appears to have gone away, and custom springs seems to be the only way to get a lift (besides arching oem replacements - which is not my preference). Been chatting with Alcan spring here in Colo, and they have the specs for the vehicle weight etc (and have made them for wagons previously), but trying to decide how much additional arch over oem is needed (this is how they request the information be given to them). My ultimate goal is to run a 235/85/16 tire (31.7" diameter) on a 16x7 rim (0 offset, 4 inch backspacing), trying to determine how much additional arch is needed - as I am guessing my current springs are a bit flat. I think I need about 3-4 inch of lift over what I have now, but compared to oem specs for the springs, that is probably more like 2.5 inch of lift, and I think the oem set-up could have run a 29" tire. I think the old Rancho kit was a 2-2.5 inch lift. If necessary, I could add a slightly longer shackle (say 0.5-1") if absolutely necessary, although this is not a trail rig like the cj5, and maxing out flex is unlikely. Making sure there is appropriate clearance at the rear fenderwell is the hardest part. I could be a bit more conservative, ask for 2" lift/arch over oem, and run a 215/85/16 (this would be about a 30.5" tire and a bit narrower, but given the overall size of the wagon, I think 32s is more the size - just not sure if its plausible with the spring lift and wider tire that comes with the 235s. Am I on the right track....thoughts, pics?
     
  2. Oct 28, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Mine are 235/85/16 on 5" bead to bead on (probably) truck rims. The springs are stock all around from Walck's, he said he has them put an extra leaf in the rear.
     
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  3. Oct 28, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    That may mean the oem springs have more arch/lift than I thought....and my current springs are sagging more than I thought. Do you have any issues with the width of the rear tire and fenderwell? As I think about it, running an extra leaf in the rear would be a good solution as that is where the clearance problem is most likely to exist. Although I would like to run a 16x5 or 6 truck rim, they are hard to find and if disc brakes were ever to be a consideration, not sure how well they would fit with oem style 16 steel wheels....plus I am not against some blingy chrome steel modern rims....
     
  4. Oct 28, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    When I drove it as a daily driver I never had any issues whatsoever with rubbing or turning radius. Wider would probably mean rubbing in the rear fenderwell.
     
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  5. Oct 28, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    235/85/16 seems about perfect. That's only a cm wider than what I am running now, and with a narrower rim, it should fit nicely, but wouldn't want to go any wider. Plus, with lowish axle gearing, the taller tire will help with cruising rpm.
     
  6. Oct 29, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

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    What prices are you getting from Alcan? Your plan for the wagon is similar to what I have in mind for my son's pickup.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    Its pretty easy to get a quote through their online form if you like, or you can just give Bill Ford (owner?) a call - he was very happy to chat on the phone after i got my online quote.... They gave me an initial quote of $480 for the front 2 springs and $560 for the rear 2 springs (with an added 500lbs load in the rear spring). That is pretty steep as oem replacements from KW or Walcks or the like are about half that cost - and I haven't checked into the quality of those, but I generally feel Walcks springs are pretty good, made in the USA and not just repackaged Omix stuff. But there are no lift options (although Glenn mentioned above about getting Walcks to add a leaf in). I did check into getting the Walcks springs arched a bit more - I realize there are long term issues with that - and local shop here in Denver wanted $50-100/spring to add 2" of arch depending on thickness of spring pack. Most oem Willys spring packs are 8,9,10 leaves which often has to be done in two steps and thus is twice the cost. They didn't want to work with re-arching the old springs as they would probably go flat within a couple years (and I kind of agree), so with new oem replacements and the additional cost to re-arch, the total cost isn't that much different than custom springs, and the custom ones will be a bit longer to maintain proper shackle alignment and the arch/flex should last much longer. Local shop said new spring with added arch will last 7-10 years depending on use, spring softness and weight of vehicles. I'd like to do this once and have it last 20+ years, so I am considering shelling out the money on the custom springs. I can also avoid the shipping cost ($150-200) to go pick them up as I pass through the area quite frequently.
     
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  8. Oct 29, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

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    One thing that I've found is that the front springs are the same length as a flatfender CJ. You can still buy lift springs for a flattie, I was thinking about getting a front set for the pickup and then going the custom spring route for the rears to match the height. I definitely don't want the stock springs in the rear, they are crazy stiff on the pickups.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    I am currently pricing this option out a bit...see if it brings enough savings to piece it together....
     
  10. Oct 29, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    I would at least talk with Walck's about their springs. I've had mine going on 15 years so I don't know about the quality now but he told me he had them made in the USA and he purposely had them made with the extra leaf in the rear so they would last longer without sagging.
     
  11. Oct 30, 2019
    48cj2a

    48cj2a http://bantamt3c.com

    Central Illinois
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    I ordered a set of rear springs from Walcks, although I have not installed them yet, I can say they are high quality and yes still made in the USA. Bushings are sold separately.

    I'm deployed right now or I'd go snap a pic for you.

    They run sales all the time and they are even having a one day sale 10am Oct 30 - 10am Oct 31st right now 10% off everything and free shipping over $150 which springs would automatically apply.
     
    Glenn likes this.
  12. Nov 1, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    I have several Wagons, and none of them have the same springs. One is a later 2WD, so thats an anomoly. One I parted out (kept the chassis & suspension) has Ranchos lift springs up front, and ? on the rear. The front might be 6 leaves?
    My '62 has really heavy stock suspension, I believe 13 leaves on the rear, maybe 10 up front. You can stand on either bumper and jounce it, and it hardly moves, mostly sidewall flex.
    My '57 has maybe 8 leaves on the rear, and 7 up front, and this one acually flexes a bit when you jounce it. Except the Rancho springs, all the stock springs have very little arch.
    -Donny
     
  13. Nov 1, 2019
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

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    That sounds like my son's pickup. The rears are crazy stiff...12 or 13 leaves
     
  14. Nov 1, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    If I ever get the darn thing running again, I think I will try to go with Alcan springs that are a bit softer in flex, but with a 2" arch lift to ensure there is tire clearance....I tried to contact Walcks about their springs, but haven't heard back. Probably should give them a call directly, but I went the email route as its hard to chat with them at work and the 2hr time difference is difficult to call them during business hours before I get off work
     
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