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Dropped Axle Safety Issue?

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Old 11-08-2017, 11:19 AM
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Dropped Axle Safety Issue?

I'm trying to figure out which direction I am going to take the build of my '57 F100.

I want to try and go the old school hot rod route, and like the lowered look. My question is if I run a 2" drop axle (like from Sids) and lowered leaf springs to achieve a 4 1/2" - 5" drop how safe of a setup is this? I see that Sids has blocks to reconnect the tie rods for the dropped axle. I'd like to keep the straight axle and have the lowered look but want to do this right and safely. My wife will drive this on occasion and I dont want any issues. I jumped the gun when I bought this truck and bought mono leaf springs from Western Chassis that gave me a 4 1/2" drop but now that they are installed I do not feel these are safe at all. I probably have 1 1/2" max clearance between the leaf springs and the frame and had to remove the rubber bumpers just to make it comfortable.

If the lowered safe route is IFS then I will go that route but want to stick with the OE stuff if I can.

Thanks in advance for all the input!

My current setup with Western Chassis mono leaf springs front and rear (4 1/2" front and 4" rear) and I am very happy with this stance.

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Old 11-09-2017, 10:26 AM
willowbilly3 willowbilly3 is offline
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You have chosen some trade-offs of function for cosmetics. The dropped axle gets stretched and becomes narrower. 2 inches isn't bad. I never liked the looks of those steering arm extenders but I guess they work ok. 4 1/2 is way too much on the springs, imo. And as you found out the bump stops are close. Now they are gone and expect a really loud whack when it bottoms. Not good. You desire for lowness has probably taken you to a whole ifs swap.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:48 AM
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4 1/2 is way too much on the springs, imo. And as you found out the bump stops are close. Now they are gone and expect a really loud whack when it bottoms. Not good.
Yes...I found out the hard way that 4 1/2" was way too much. But I figured "If someone is selling them then it must be ok!" And with California roads being in the shape that they are, I hear that loud "whack" way more than I want to.

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You desire for lowness has probably taken you to a whole ifs swap.
Yeah...this is what I am thinking will be the answer to meet all my needs. Just takes away from the idea of being able to put it back to stock someday if I wanted to.
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:23 PM
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Well, we all want something different or our driving/traffic conditions dictate upgrades. I am fortunate enough to live in a small town and my brakes ect. are all stock. Which to me retains the charm of an old truck which is the reason I like them.
You can get axles lowered to 4 " or even more but things start getting tgoo close to the ground, the part of the axle outboard of the spring has to be stretched, a lot and they just don't look as strong any more. Some guys on here have set the axle on to of the springs, not real crazy on the engineering of that and no long term road tests in that I know of. Maybe you could do a 3" axle drop and 2 inches on the springs for 5" total and have something you could live with. I think just a little rake would help a lot, 1-2 inches higher in the rear, just my taste.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:53 PM
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Yeah, I cant wrap my head around how the axle on top of the springs works. It leads to the same problem I have with any dropped axle which is either bent tie rod ends or blocks to make up the dropped difference. Neither seem like great fixs to me.
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Old 11-10-2017, 07:24 PM
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I did an axle over spring in the front and rear. If you dig through my thread below, you can see what I did.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...e-to-here.html
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:42 AM
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Martin - been following your build all along. Like what you've done. So when you put the axle on top will you leave the stock tie rod as is? Or will you need to block it? From your pictures it looks ok where it sits. Also, did you ever solve the drag link issue? What did you do there? I like this concept in theory, I need to check clearances on mine though. Still have the 223 6 cyl in mine.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by flhx06 View Post
Martin - been following your build all along. Like what you've done. So when you put the axle on top will you leave the stock tie rod as is? Or will you need to block it? From your pictures it looks ok where it sits. Also, did you ever solve the drag link issue? What did you do there? I like this concept in theory, I need to check clearances on mine though. Still have the 223 6 cyl in mine.
Martin, I'm still a little unsure on your axle drop. It's like your front was taller than usual before you started. I have seen pictures of other front axle flips and the axle ends up way too close to the frame to run a bump stop while yours looks like there is still room for one. I am anxious to see it setting on the ground with all the weight and see where it settles to. You have done awesome work on the truck. I rarely follow a build all the way through but I've read all of yours. Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:09 AM
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What is recommended from sid is to flip the front of the rear spring hanger and reverse the front eye of the leaf spring. He is really helpful if you call or email. I recommend this route. You have my number if you have any questions. I am in contact with a local guy that is a pro at lowering these trucks. He is getting older so he doesnt want to do the work, but will supply all pictures and his knowledge-I'll be happy to pass that along when I receive as well. I still have your steering column as well
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by willowbilly3 View Post
Martin, I'm still a little unsure on your axle drop. It's like your front was taller than usual before you started. I have seen pictures of other front axle flips and the axle ends up way too close to the frame to run a bump stop while yours looks like there is still room for one. I am anxious to see it setting on the ground with all the weight and see where it settles to. You have done awesome work on the truck. I rarely follow a build all the way through but I've read all of yours. Keep up the good work.
The farmer did add a boatload of leafs under the front and the back. I pulled all the non originals off and what's left is stock springs. I'm not sure if there were different spring height options or if mine are just not worn out.

Thanks for the kudos.....
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by flhx06 View Post
Martin - been following your build all along. Like what you've done. So when you put the axle on top will you leave the stock tie rod as is? Or will you need to block it? From your pictures it looks ok where it sits. Also, did you ever solve the drag link issue? What did you do there? I like this concept in theory, I need to check clearances on mine though. Still have the 223 6 cyl in mine.
I do have room to leave the tie rods as is. I have new tie rod ends so after I put them on, I'll have to make sure I still have clearance. I also may be shimming to get the right angle. I was thinking about welding another piece of 1/4" plate on the bottom of the perch.

As for the drag link/bumpsteer issue, I just need to aquire a torch to heat and bend the steering arm. I may buy or build an adjustable steering arm also.

Not sure on your motor clearance. I mounted my motor high just for this reason.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Maltman View Post
What is recommended from sid is to flip the front of the rear spring hanger and reverse the front eye of the leaf spring. He is really helpful if you call or email. I recommend this route. You have my number if you have any questions. I am in contact with a local guy that is a pro at lowering these trucks. He is getting older so he doesnt want to do the work, but will supply all pictures and his knowledge-I'll be happy to pass that along when I receive as well. I still have your steering column as well
Hey Joe - Thanks for the info. I will give you a call to talk lowering tips and see what your local source is suggesting. I am in Manteca this weekend so maybe we can get together at some point.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:18 PM
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Sounds good!
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