I’ve been pluggin away on getting the rear end in. As I’m a firm believer in never throwing anything away, I have a few spring packs laying around from cars I’ve parted out. After going thru what I have I settled on trying Mustang II springs I had. They moved the center bolt back a couple of inches, were 2 ½” wide and I had 2 sets so I could use one set as a donor for extra leafs.
The original springs were 1 ¾” wide so the front spring brackets were too narrow for the new springs. Rather than re-invent the wheel and build new brackets from scratch, I elected to modify the originals to hold the new springs.
After I sandblasted all the leafs I assembled the spring packs and added 2 leafs to each side as a starting point. They are a little shorter than the original springs (not a big deal as rear spring hanger is easy to relocate), and a good deal softer than the originals.
There is a lot of love and parts availability for the Mustang II front suspensions…..not so much for the rear suspension. After spending ½ a day trying to find urethane bushing for the front spring eye (the best I came up with was they could be special ordered but at least a 2 weeks wait time (plus about twice the price of the on the shelf bushings). While the cost was not really a show stopper, the wait time sucks so I moved on to plan B which was to order a set of B Body MOPAR spring bushings. They are the right width and center bolt size, but 1/8th inch too big around. It took just a few minutes to build a spindle and mount them on the drill press and turn them down with some 80 Grit sandpaper.
With the front of the springs mounted I was able to roll the rear end under the frame and start figuring out where the rear spring bracket will go. They are kind of hard to see in the picture, but I ordered a set of bolt on spring perches a while back. Anyone who has set a rear end up with standard perches and get everything centered and pinion angle set then tack weld the perches and hope nothing has shifted before final welding can probably appreciate these. I can snug these down and if I don’t like it just loosen the bolts until I’m happy with it. After I get everything set I can either weld them to the axle tube of replace them with conventional perches.
I was not at all happy with how the spring were on the initial set up. The front spring angle was really ugly and not even close to lowering the truck enough.
The cure turned out to be pretty simple, I flipped the front spring hangers. It looks like that did the trick, the spring angle looks good and it drops it to where I can fine tune the height with reasonable length spring shackles.
Dorman make replacement rear spring brackets and they probably have something I can use for the back mount. I’m still researching to find a chart on the dimensions for rear spring brackets but I have wait to make the final decision on that until I get the bed set back on and see how far the springs compress. If anybody had a link to a chart that shows the dimensions (bolt hole spacing, width, eye bolt size etc) for Ford/Dodge/Chevy trucks I would appreciate it