How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup

Posted by: Kevin I

How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/24/11 10:27 PM

I decided to write up a how-to for lowering the front of a 1972-1993 Dodge half ton pickup. I found tons of misinformation on the internet concerning this topic and decided to put all the correct information in one place. It wasn't until last year that I found out about the van lower control arms. The intention of this is to provide information that I found hard to find. If I made a mistake, please let me know, so I can get it corrected.

Nobody makes much in the way of aftermarket parts for 1972-1993 Dodge trucks. Parts for lowering your Dodge pickup are not offered by the major aftermarket companies like Belltech or Eibach. There is one small manufacturer that makes some very expensive lower control arms, but I've had no luck getting in contact with them. What can you do if you want to lower your pickup? You can go the cheap route by cutting your coil springs. This may cause your spring rates to change or cause camber problems. You could go the expensive route by modifying a pair of lowering spindles made for a 1st generation Dakota. I've heard this works, but there are a few issues with this and it takes a lot of trouble to get them to work.

There is another option that is very simple, engineered by the factory, and is cost effective. Go to the junkyard and find a 1972-1993 Dodge B-series van and unbolt the lower control arms. Just swapping the van's lower control arms onto your 1972-1993 Dodge half ton truck lowers it roughly 3" due to the fact that the van lower control arms have a spring pocket that allows the coil springs to sit lower than they do in the truck's stock lower control arms. No shock or spring change is needed. It doesn't matter if it is a 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, or 1 ton van. The van lower control arms are the same. I purchased a pair from a mid 80's B350 for $40 plus tax at my local Pull-A-Part.

I had trouble separating the steering knuckle from the lower control arm at the ball joint. In fact, I gave up and left the junkyard. I asked around and found out that the steering knuckle is a two-piece design. There are two 15/16 bolts/nuts that you will have to unbolt in order to separate the top piece from the bottom piece. You will have to take the brake caliper and rotor off to gain access to the bolts. Remove those steering knuckle bolts, take out the shock absorber, unbolt the control arm pivot bolt, remove the strut rod from the lower control arms, and separate the steering tie rod from the lower steering knuckle piece and you're done. The only parts you will need are the lower control arms and the control arm pivot bolts/nuts. Once you get the lower control arms home, take a large hammer and remove the lower steering knuckle piece from the ball joint and then knock the ball joint out. You cannot reuse the ball joints from the one ton van because they are larger in diameter than the ones on your truck. I do not know if the 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton ball joints are the same or not. New ball joints are $30 at NAPA, so you might as well replace them anyway.

There are a couple modifications you will need to make to the lower control arms and your truck. First, completely remove the steering stops. They are not needed and the arms will look cleaner without them. Next, you will need to drill two 1/2" holes in each arm for the strut rods. I pulled a stringline from the center of the ball joint to the center of the pivot bushing and found the holes in the truck arms are equal distance from the centerline of the arm. Measure the distance from the ball joint to the strut rod holes on the truck arms. Now, you can transfer this information onto the van arms, mark your holes, and drill. There is one modification you will need to make to the lower control arm pivot holes on your truck's frame. The truck's factory lower control arm bolts are 5/8" in diameter. The van's are 3/4" in diameter. You will need to drill these holes larger for the van's bolts to fit the truck. I was thinking that maybe I would be able to slide the sleeve from the truck arms into the sleeve on the van arms so I wouldn't have to drill the pivot holes. The truck sleeve is too large in diameter to fit inside the van's sleeve,so that will not work. From this point, you may be able to just bolt the van arms on your truck. I had a little problem with mine. I tried to install my driver's side arm and the holes wouldn't begin to line up. I found that the metal around the pivot bushing on the arm was up against the pivot bracket on the truck. Before you paint your lower control arms, you may want to grind a little off the arms around the pivot bushing.

When I put the wheels back on and dropped the truck onto the ground, I measured 1/2" between the bottom of the fender and top of the tire. Before the drop, I measured 3.5". I'm very pleased with that. To my surprise, the camber wasn't off too bad, however, the wheels were pointed in different directions. I also had to cut the bump stop brackets off because they were hitting the lower control arms. Another thing, any time you perform work like this to your vehicle, a front end alignment is necessary.


The steering knuckle is a two piece design on the truck and van. You will need a 15/16" socket for these.

Van arms with van lower steering knuckle

Van arms with steering bump stops and ball joint removed

Side by side comparison of the truck arm and van arm. Blue arrows point to the strut rod bolt holes that you need to drill.

Truck pivot bolt (5/8") on top and van pivot bolt (3/4") on bottom

Drilling the truck's pivot bolt bracket from 5/8" to 3/4"

Grind in the unpainted area shown by the arrows. The holes in the lower control arms would not line up with the ones on the truck's pivot bracket due to this area touching the pivot bracket.

Finished product

Before

After
Posted by: tmef

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/24/11 11:28 PM

Nice job! Great info.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 12:10 AM

They are diff otherwise they wouldnt list 2 diff part #s.
You must have got the 3600lb axle setup. They have a 3800-4000lb balljoint that Im sure is a bigger diameter.
But great info otherwise.
76 B300
RAYBESTOS Part # 5051013B Service Grade
Front ; Lower; 3600 Lb Front Axle; Vehicles With 4" Inner Tie Rod Ends; Press In Type With Wear Indicator

$12.87
Add to Cart
RAYBESTOS Part # 5051008B Service Grade
Front ; Lower; Vehicles With 14" Inner Tie Rod Ends; 3800 Lb Front Axle

$13.44

94 B350

RAYBESTOS Part # 5051013B Service Grade
Front ; Lower; 3600 Lb Front Axle; Press In Type With Wear Indicator

$12.87
Add to Cart
RAYBESTOS Part # 5051008B Service Grade
Front ; Lower; 4000 Lb Axle

$13.44

Also on the dakota Spindles its Dropped spindels that you use and its not that big of a deal to use them.
http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/show...part=1&vc=1
Posted by: 1moparman

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 05:37 AM

spot on keven I !!!
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 07:16 AM

Quote:

They are diff otherwise they wouldnt list 2 diff part #s.
You must have got the 3600lb axle setup. They have a 3800-4000lb balljoint that Im sure is a bigger diameter.
But great info otherwise.




I guess I am misunderstanding you. I know that the 1 ton van ball joints are bigger than the ones on my D150. Are you saying the 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton van ball joints are the same as the truck ball joints?
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 07:22 AM

Quote:

Also on the dakota Spindles its Dropped spindels that you use and its not that big of a deal to use them.
http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/show...part=1&vc=1





If someone wrote a how-to similar to mine, it might clear a few things up on the Dakota drop spindles. I've read conflicting information on other forums about the swap. Even in that thread, you have to sift through several posts to find the answer. I thought at one time that I was going to do the Dakota dropped spindles, but confusion kept me from dropping the cash on them.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 11:23 AM

Quote:

Quote:

They are diff otherwise they wouldnt list 2 diff part #s.
You must have got the 3600lb axle setup. They have a 3800-4000lb balljoint that Im sure is a bigger diameter.
But great info otherwise.




I guess I am misunderstanding you. I know that the 1 ton van ball joints are bigger than the ones on my D150. Are you saying the 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton van ball joints are the same as the truck ball joints?



I stated that 1tons balljoints are Diff and you said no. Now you went back on it and yes 1/2-3/4 ton 3600lb balljoints are the same for truck and van and also several cars back to the 50s.
The only issue with the Dakota Drop spindles is figuring out what tire rods and sleeve is needed. Whats so hard about that? I believe Rumblebee states exactly what he needed to do. Also he was working on his truck as he was posting the info.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 01:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

They are diff otherwise they wouldnt list 2 diff part #s.
You must have got the 3600lb axle setup. They have a 3800-4000lb balljoint that Im sure is a bigger diameter.
But great info otherwise.




I guess I am misunderstanding you. I know that the 1 ton van ball joints are bigger than the ones on my D150. Are you saying the 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton van ball joints are the same as the truck ball joints?



I stated that 1tons balljoints are Diff and you said no. Now you went back on it and yes 1/2-3/4 ton 3600lb balljoints are the same for truck and van and also several cars back to the 50s.
The only issue with the Dakota Drop spindles is figuring out what tire rods and sleeve is needed. Whats so hard about that? I believe Rumblebee states exactly what he needed to do. Also he was working on his truck as he was posting the info.




When did I go back on anything? I stated in the write-up that the van ball joint (mine came from a B350-1 ton) was bigger than the ones on my D150. I know that to be a fact. You came in with your comment and I asked you if the 1 ton van ball joints are different than the 1/2 ton and 3/4 van ball joints. I never said "yes" (or no for that matter) about the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton ball joints being the same as or different than the 1 ton ball joints because I don't know if they are or not. I assumed they were all the same since I have been told so before. If they aren't, then I will make a note of that in the write-up. I did't "go back" on anything. There's really no reason to get hot under the collar about it and start accusing me of stuff.

As for the Dakota drop spindles, I have read conflicting information on various message forums. I haven't read through the guy's thread because I haven't had the time, but usually, several pages in a thread means a lot of sifting through the posts to get the information. Nothing is hard about changing a tie rod sleeve or reaming out a hole in the spindle. The hard part is determining which information is correct. Either way, it seems like a lot of trouble to go through when the van lower control arms are so easy.

As I stated in the opening paragraph of my write-up, the intention of it was to put all the correct information in one place. I did not intend to stir up trouble, step on anybody's toes, or get into a pissing match. If I have written something that is incorrect, please let me know. Here is what I said in the first paragraph of the write-up: "If I made a mistake, please let me know, so I can get it corrected." Just don't be rude about it if you are going to make a correction.
Posted by: coronet1966d

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 01:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

They are diff otherwise they wouldnt list 2 diff part #s.
You must have got the 3600lb axle setup. They have a 3800-4000lb balljoint that Im sure is a bigger diameter.
But great info otherwise.




I guess I am misunderstanding you. I know that the 1 ton van ball joints are bigger than the ones on my D150. Are you saying the 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton van ball joints are the same as the truck ball joints?



I stated that 1tons balljoints are Diff and you said no. Now you went back on it and yes 1/2-3/4 ton 3600lb balljoints are the same for truck and van and also several cars back to the 50s.
The only issue with the Dakota Drop spindles is figuring out what tire rods and sleeve is needed. Whats so hard about that? I believe Rumblebee states exactly what he needed to do. Also he was working on his truck as he was posting the info.




thats moparts for ya, post a usefull well written guide that answers a popular question around here andyou get flamed for it
Posted by: koak

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 02:25 PM

Hey Kevin (I'm Kevin too) Thanks for the post and info. I'm going to keep this in mind if I decide to drop my front.
Posted by: superbyrd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 02:34 PM

yes,as with other sections of moparts, you can't post anything ,unless you clear it with the moparts truck guru/experts/all knowing masters.
great write up ,will be useful,cost effective info for others down the line. look on the bright side,after you have put together a handful of these old dodge pickups,you might be an "expert" too......
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/25/11 02:47 PM

I made a few corrections to the write-up.

Quote:

look on the bright side,after you have put together a handful of these old dodge pickups,you might be an "expert" too......




What are you talking about? I'm already an expert. I'm used to the "experts". I've spent the last 16 years fooling with 2.2 turbo cars and that community is full of them. I like the guys who have never owned a running turbo Mopar that tell me I've done it all wrong. Never mind I have a car that runs low 12's on a very mild boost level. If I had the time to really tune the car and crank up the boost, I'm sure I'd really be doing it wrong.
Posted by: Twostick

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 10:21 AM

Any bump steer issues with this? That would be the only downside I could see for what appears to be a low $$ idea that actually works.

Kevin
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 10:56 AM

Im just saying they are diff. Im guessing it was a diff post but I said the 1 tons were diff and Kevin said No. I was just clarifying they are. Its a great how to and I never said I was an expert. Trying to help save headaches if a 1ton was purchased. I have a pr of the aftermarket control arms and plan to try some Dakota Drop spindels with them and Ill be getting Van ones when the funds are available.
Posted by: 1moparman

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 12:47 PM

Quote:

Any bump steer issues with this? That would be the only downside I could see for what appears to be a low $$ idea that actually works.

Kevin



I used the van lca and cut about 1/2 coil off I have a little bump steer nothing too bad but the angles on the tie rods are definetly not ideal..... my that being said I drive my truck everyday and have had no problems ball joint and tie rod wise... but I'm not completly done yet I want to cut the bump stop bracket down and re-weld it back up. I want to mount my strut rods on the bottom of the control arms by making a hole through the lower control arms(others have made a block and mounted it below). I also still want to notch the drivers side upper c.arm for the steering shaft. if I hit a big dip going to fast theres contact(not ideal). again this is only things I have noticed and my
Posted by: superbyrd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 02:16 PM

i am going with just the van LCA in the front and flip in the rear. on my 84 step-side,a 79,XXX mile truck,no lean to either side,my truck sits 3 3/4 inches higher in the rear than the front. it's currently stock 318/auto,and near future will only be packing an aluminum headed 340/NV3500 5-speed. should sit level when done.
Posted by: Mopargnome

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 08:54 PM

I did the Dakota spindle swap on my Ramcharger and its not that big of a deal. I got cut coils on the truck control arms but want to swap for the van ones. Thanks for the info!
Posted by: Golden-Arm

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/26/11 11:43 PM

looks like decent info. good pics and pointers help as well. i'll keep it in mind, for lowering my next one. last time, i did it the other way, and lifted it 6 inches.
Posted by: 11secdart

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/27/11 10:59 AM

I really did mine the cheap way although its only the rear. My 92 D150 always sat high in the rear, I had add a leafs and air shocks because I used to tow with it. I no longer use it for towing so I took out the add a leafs and the air shocks, put in the B body Ranchos I had in my Dart with the S/S springs and just bought a set of long shackles and it lowered it about 2-3 inches, I also clamped all the leafs in the front section and installed a set of $20 swap meet traction bars which helped with traction as I race it occasionaly.
Posted by: RodStRace

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/27/11 11:18 AM

Quote:

I did the Dakota spindle swap on my Ramcharger and its not that big of a deal. I got cut coils on the truck control arms but want to swap for the van ones. Thanks for the info!



Dave, if you lower that thing another 3 inches with the van LCAs, you are going to have to put rubbing blocks on the bottom!!!
Posted by: Mopargnome

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/27/11 05:47 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I did the Dakota spindle swap on my Ramcharger and its not that big of a deal. I got cut coils on the truck control arms but want to swap for the van ones. Thanks for the info!



Dave, if you lower that thing another 3 inches with the van LCAs, you are going to have to put rubbing blocks on the bottom!!!




To do the van control arms I would have to put stock height springs back in it, therefore it would sit about the same height. Its either that, or airbag it.......
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/28/11 11:35 PM

NICE JOB KEVIN!

You did an AWESOME job writing all of this and explaining it with pics.

A lot of us appreciate it very much, you have made it real simple.

PS. I would like to see more pics of your truck, its darn near a twin to mine.

Mark
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 08:46 AM

Quote:

NICE JOB KEVIN!

You did an AWESOME job writing all of this and explaining it with pics.

A lot of us appreciate it very much, you have made it real simple.

PS. I would like to see more pics of your truck, its darn near a twin to mine.

Mark




Thanks. How 'bout some pictures of your's? I will dig up a few pictures of the truck when I get home. Here is one to tide you over until then.
Posted by: 73TruckGuy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 11:41 AM

Nice info and good looking ride Kevin. My 73 was a learn as I go process with the help of Rumblebee, and a couple of other guys. I know now what I've done wrong, and as soon as I get back from MATS, I'm going to go through the front end... again! I've got mine sitting on 20x8s all the way around, and for all intent and purpose it LOOKS good. Even in the rust finish, unfinished state that it's in. But, I know the Van LCA's offer a somewhat smoother ride than my cut springs! But, as I said, learn as I go, and my dad, God Bless him, for setting himself on fire with the cutting wheels, cussing the rivets in the back, and then helping me replace the rearend after a minor mishap... We've found out though, that either we need taller jacks... or slimmer waistlines!

Seeing yours makes me wanna get out there and shake the winter blahs, thanks Kevin!
Posted by: stumpy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 11:52 AM

I'm another one that used the dropped Dakota spindles on my 74 D100. I did it in one day in my driveway. Simple swap with no problems afterward. Even used stock D100 springs and still got 2.5" drop.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 07:34 PM

Quote:

PS. I would like to see more pics of your truck, its darn near a twin to mine.




Here is where I posted some pics of my trucks.
http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=0&Number=6195031&page=0&vc=1
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 07:36 PM

Quote:

I'm another one that used the dropped Dakota spindles on my 74 D100. I did it in one day in my driveway. Simple swap with no problems afterward. Even used stock D100 springs and still got 2.5" drop.




I guess it isn't as hard as I thought. I remember a thread on another forum a few years ago before it was all sorted out and there were a few issues the guy was trying to figure out.
Posted by: MoPar Jamie

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 09:14 PM

One thing I have found though is that a lot of the 70s Vans had standard non-pocketed control arms. 80s though the majority I have seen are pocketed however. The standard ones do have both sets of strut rod holes drilled.
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 10:35 PM

Quote:

How 'bout some pictures of your's?




When I said "twin", I meant that mine is the ugly one! I will get a couple pics tomorrow. I'm in the process of getting all my parts together to do a quick lowering job. I already bought the drop spindles and was going to use the van LCA's with, but that might get me too low.

Is there such a thing as too low?
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/29/11 10:40 PM

Quote:

One thing I have found though is that a lot of the 70s Vans had standard non-pocketed control arms. 80s though the majority I have seen are pocketed however. The standard ones do have both sets of strut rod holes drilled.


What I have learned over the years was that 5 lugs or 8. As long as the lug stud diameter was 1/2" the ball joint is the same on the van. Big stud 3300# & larger requires drilling the spindle to bolt it correctly to the steering arm. As soon as I sit my RC on the ground again I'll post a pic of it & my lowered CrewCab. Kevin,I think your post is cool especially being this subject comes up very often.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/01/11 08:05 AM

Quote:

Kevin,I think your post is cool especially being this subject comes up very often.




Thanks.

I am going to try to lower the rear tomorrow. Would it be a waste of time to do a similar write up for a rear axle flip?
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/01/11 08:28 AM

There's 2 ways to do the axle flip! Bob
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/01/11 03:35 PM

Quote:

There's 2 ways to do the axle flip! Bob



How do you figure?
Posted by: scratchnfotraction

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/01/11 06:59 PM

right off there is the flip flop with shackle flip with front hanger then flop the axle on top of the springs

then the long chebby shackles to keep the axle under the spring but not a true axle flip

then the front hangers upside down with a shackle flip on the rear with an axle flop

then just floping an axle on top of the spring with shackle and hangers in stock location

get it were you want it then weld in ladder bars in line with the frame for the same ride hieght

then remove springs and hangers from the outside of frame rails

or what goose did with his hangers and axle flip adding blocks

yea I say there are a couple ways to get-r-done
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/01/11 08:38 PM

An Axle flip consists of putting the axle on top of the leafs Nothing more. Flipping shackles and hangers is totally diff because you can do that with the axle under the leafs. That's why an axle flip kit is perches and new u bolts
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 01:23 AM

Flipping the axle with springs in stock location + flipping the axle & hangers the way Scratch does= 2 ways. Then, you can move the hangers up on the frame or use a chebbie shackle & turn the front hanger upside down. I've lowered the rear all these ways except Scratch's way & have combined the regular flip with moving the hangers up & made C notches for the frame. I spent a bunch of time building pocketed LCA's only to figure out that I should have started with van LCA;s & made them deeper cause the pocket on the truck LCA is small & the spring binds the van LCA has a bigger pocket & looks like a better piece to use. I will be building a set of van LCA's with a 1" deeper pocket on my shortbed. I will correct the ball joint angle if needed. It's not hard when you know how.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 11:00 AM

As I said thats NOT part of an axle flip when it can be done without putting the axle ontop of the springs. An axle Flip is ONLY putting the axle ontop of the springs Nothing else. Anything else you do is is just a mod to lower or raise it so ONE way only its that simple.
Good info though for people that want it lower than just the axle flip and not wanting to use blocks
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 01:57 PM

Quote:

As I said thats NOT part of an axle flip when it can be done without putting the axle ontop of the springs. An axle Flip is ONLY putting the axle ontop of the springs Nothing else. Anything else you do is is just a mod to lower or raise it so ONE way only its that simple.
Good info though for people that want it lower than just the axle flip and not wanting to use blocks




Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 03:20 PM

Quote:

Would it be a waste of time to do a similar write up for a rear axle flip?







It's never a waste of time! There is always someone who has never done it, and needs a little guidence.

Go for it Kevin!
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 03:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Would it be a waste of time to do a similar write up for a rear axle flip?







It's never a waste of time! There is always someone who has never done it, and needs a little guidence.

Go for it Kevin!


it would be good info for someone wanting to know how to lower them and how to adj pinion angle after its done
Posted by: superbyrd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/02/11 08:37 PM

ummm, pinion angle should be adjusted before the new perches are welded on.......
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/03/11 01:53 AM

I know but others might not. Thats why it would be a good how to write up.
Also how to find the correct angle when doing it
Posted by: scratchnfotraction

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/03/11 07:36 AM

pinion angle

yea,now thats a write up I need

with mine sitting on the ground with the mono leafs with the ssm bars pre-loaded it looks like my pinion is pointing up to much IMO

but I guess it will need to be sorted out then adjusted

it sure lifts the back up when you launch it though

where do you get the shims for pinion adjustments?
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/03/11 07:56 AM

What is the best way to set pinion angle?

I only started taking things apart yesterday. They didn't have my U-bolts in stock at NAPA, so I had to order some.
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/03/11 11:24 AM

I level the truck with stands using shims to get it perfect & measure pinion angle with an angle finder before I flip or move spring hangers. I use the same measurement when I reset my angle. On drag vehicles I set the pinion 2-3 degrees lower to deter spring wrap up. Shims can be bought from various places who sell custom suspension parts Comp Engineering etc
Posted by: 3XCHARM

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/07/11 12:02 AM

Quote:

I level the truck with stands using shims to get it perfect & measure pinion angle with an angle finder before I flip or move spring hangers. I use the same measurement when I reset my angle. On drag vehicles I set the pinion 2-3 degrees lower to deter spring wrap up. Shims can be bought from various places who sell custom suspension parts Comp Engineering etc






And make sure the shims actually bolt to the spring pack instead of the "slip in" kind that are crap.
Also from someone who has van lca's and has had the "custom" lca's, THEY ARE THE SAME, meaning the aftermarket custom lca's are designed after the van lac's with the exception that the custom lca's use the standard pickup pivot bushings.

By the way, nice write up by the original poster!




Also, if the "search" function is used the write up and picture progress of the Dakota spindle swap shows that it is not that difficult but you do need to change more parts. IIRC he also used the van lca's along with the dakota spindles, but i might be wrong, the memory aint what it used to be.
Posted by: superbyrd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/07/11 05:38 AM

the way i do the rear is, with the trucks frame (about 2-3 inches in front of front spring hanger) sitting on jack stands, i put the axle on the new spring perches,mount the new u-bolts,measure everything,2-3-4 times, place a floor jack under the center of the axle,lightly tighten the nuts on the u-bolts, and jack up the rear of the truck to place the weight of the truck on the axle/springs. now i place a magnetic angle finder on the yolk. set my pinion angle (tapping the nose of the diff with a hammer-up or down as needed). when i have it where i want it,i tighten down the u-bolt nuts, then reach in with mig gun and weld the new spring perches on each side. take her off the stands and shes done.
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/08/11 01:04 AM

I have also used a flip bracket for a chebbie & got a good angle that way.
Posted by: Eck

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/08/11 08:35 AM

Quote:

I have also used a flip bracket for a chebbie & got a good angle that way.



This may sound like a stupid question....... where do you use a flip bracket and where do you get them
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/11/11 12:06 AM

What I call a flip bracket is the U-shaped bracket that comes in a flip kit for a Chebbie. It goes under the perches & locates the rearend to the springs by fitting up inside the recess on the bottom of the original perch. It takes a little grinding here & there but will work if you don't have a welder. On all my flips I use a lower shock bracket from either a C or B body, whichever I can find
Posted by: Eck

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/11/11 07:25 AM

Got a pic of one?
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/11/11 10:50 AM

I think he is talking about the spring hanger for the front/rear(where ever it goes)
http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/cd/full.aspx?Page=121

Way cheaper to get stock front spring hangers and use them in the rear and just flip the ones in the front
Posted by: '84 D150 Shorty

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/12/11 10:28 PM

Just did the van LCA swap today. This thread was spot on for me! Helped me git it done!

BEFORE:

AFTER:
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/12/11 10:38 PM

Quote:

Just did the van LCA swap today. This thread was spot on for me! Helped me git it done!




Nicely done. I am happy it helped someone.
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/12/11 11:46 PM

Quote:

Got a pic of one?


I sure don't but the chebbie flip kit Ive used fit a 73-87 1/2 ton. It's a U-shape that fits under the axle & sits on top of the spring like the perch does. It fits into the stock perch from the bottom side.
Posted by: Eck

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/13/11 07:04 AM

Quote:

I sure don't but the chebbie flip kit Ive used fit a 73-87 1/2 ton. It's a U-shape that fits under the axle & sits on top of the spring like the perch does. It fits into the stock perch from the bottom side.



Oh I see......wont need that I have a disc rear end from a 74 imperial...perch is all ready under the axle as oppose to the top like the truck.
Thanks
Posted by: scratchnfotraction

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/13/11 07:25 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I sure don't but the chebbie flip kit Ive used fit a 73-87 1/2 ton. It's a U-shape that fits under the axle & sits on top of the spring like the perch does. It fits into the stock perch from the bottom side.



Oh I see......wont need that I have a disc rear end from a 74 imperial...perch is all ready under the axle as oppose to the top like the truck.
Thanks




your gonna put the Imperial rear axle in a truck?

thats 1 way to get disc brakes

IIRC the c-body axles are same width as a stock truck axle

the perches have to be moved so a new set is needed

the A-body and truck share the same 43" spring centers for a narrowed axle,my 68 A-body 8 3/4 bolted right in for 12s and fattys


.... a narrowed to A-body specs disc brake imperieal 8 3/4,i could gain disc brakes and keep the fattys...very interesting

Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 11:37 AM

Here is what I did on the rear:

I found a pair of leaf spring perches on an old rearend I had. I unbolted the axle and dropped it to the floor. I removed the shocks and dropped the driveshaft to make it easier to move the axle around. You may not have to do either. Then, I clamped the leaf springs together with a C-clamp before I removed the leaf centering pin to flip it over. You will have to remove each leaf spring from their hangers and put them under the axle. Sit the spring perches on top of each leaf spring and sit the axle on top of the spring perches. The new spring perches should be on the exact opposite side of the axle from the original spring perches to keep pinion angle. Clamp everything down using your original lower shock mount plates. Weld the rear axle to the spring perches.



Posted by: '84 D150 Shorty

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 11:44 AM

Awesome job! Questions: how many inches drop to the axle flip yield? Are those shock mount plates the original ones from the truck or did you have to use different ones? Are using drop shackels in addition to this or doing just the axle flop?
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 12:57 PM

Flipping the axle gives about 5-6"(the thickness of the springs, the axle tube and the perch
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 01:58 PM

Quote:

Awesome job! Questions: how many inches drop to the axle flip yield? Are those shock mount plates the original ones from the truck or did you have to use different ones? Are using drop shackels in addition to this or doing just the axle flop?




The axle flip dropped my truck right at 6" in the rear. The shock plates are the original ones to the truck. They were clamped to the bottom of the axle. They clamped to the leaf springs just fine despite the fact they are made to clamp to an axle. I just moved the axle on top of the leafs. I didn't use any other method of lowering.
Posted by: 7t8warlock

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 02:14 PM

Just looking at your springs . Do you have 5 leafs & a helper spring on the bottom , or is there 2 helper springs there . I also would like to lower mine after it comes back from the body shop . My front is down , just need to do the back .
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/16/11 03:24 PM

Quote:

Just looking at your springs . Do you have 5 leafs & a helper spring on the bottom , or is there 2 helper springs there . I also would like to lower mine after it comes back from the body shop . My front is down , just need to do the back .




There are 5 leafs on each side.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 04:45 AM

Are you planning to weld the perches to the axle? Im glad to here the shock plates can still be used instead of hitting the jy fo car ones but I still might
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 07:26 AM

Quote:

Are you planning to weld the perches to the axle?




Yes. I welded one side yesterday before I ran out of time. I'll try to do the other today.
Posted by: '84 D150 Shorty

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 09:38 AM

Hmm.. if I flopped the axle, I would need to undo the drop shackles I've got...otherwise ill end up bulldogged....eeeewww....why the heck do they do that anyway? It looks sooooo dumb!
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 10:05 AM

Quote:

Are you planning to weld the perches to the axle? Im glad to here the shock plates can still be used instead of hitting the jy fo car ones but I still might


You can use the stock plates, but will begin to squeak over time because the plate isn't located to te center pin on te spring. I did this same thing on the first one that I lowered over 20 or more years ago. I drag raced mine & made the axle slide forward on the springs because it was only located on one side of the pin.
Posted by: superbyrd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 10:49 AM

i just make up a 3/16" steel plate,with a 1/2" hole drilled in the center (to locate the pin) and weld it to the shock plate. works like a champ.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 01:06 PM

Quote:

You can use the stock plates, but will begin to squeak over time because the plate isn't located to te center pin on te spring. I did this same thing on the first one that I lowered over 20 or more years ago. I drag raced mine & made the axle slide forward on the springs because it was only located on one side of the pin.




I wouldn't think the axle would move at all with it all being clamped together with the U-bolts and the spring perches being located by the center pins. I guess I'll weld a centering plate to the spring side of the shock plates.
Posted by: 1moparman

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 08:33 PM

I used ubolts and brackets from speedway they were cheap. to flip my rear

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/AFCO-Lower-Leaf-Spring-Plates,24488.html
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/17/11 10:15 PM

I can drive there
Posted by: hp383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/18/11 08:00 PM

My brother works there, he can bring me parts!
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/18/11 08:05 PM

e Does What kinda discount does he get?
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/20/11 09:44 PM

You can weld a plate with a hole in it into the stocker to locate with. This can be done by loosening the bolts & sliding the plate through. Then tighten the bolts & weld in place. The axle is supposed to locate on the top & bottom of the spring bolt.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/24/11 04:13 PM

Quote:

You can use the stock plates, but will begin to squeak over time because the plate isn't located to te center pin on te spring. I did this same thing on the first one that I lowered over 20 or more years ago. I drag raced mine & made the axle slide forward on the springs because it was only located on one side of the pin.




The squeaking already started and I haven't put any miles to speak of on the truck yet. I welded this one up today. I used that factory centering piece that was on top of the leaf springs. I cut the tab off and ground down the edges so it would fit flush.

Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/28/11 10:41 PM

I edited the first post. I had to cut the bump stop brackets off because they were hitting the lower control arms when I hit bumps in the road.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 05:57 PM

This truck has been on the back burner for a few months. I fiddled with the upper control arms some today to get the camber close to spec. so I can take the truck for an alignment. I loosened the nuts and turned the bolts to move the upper control arm away from the truck frame. The adjustment cam on each bolt limits the movement and the camber is still off some. Does this cam need to be removed to be able to get the camber in spec? I assume you just have to remove the bolt and the cam will slide off.

The arrow in the picture shows what I am talking about.
Posted by: stumpy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 06:11 PM

You shouldn't remove the cam because then you won't be able to adjust for camber at all.
Posted by: 340SHORTY

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 06:30 PM

How much does it need to come out? couldnt the rivits be drilled out and a 1/8" or 3 1/16" plate be bolted inbetween the A arm bracket and the frame?
Posted by: Flite_727

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 08:51 PM

Quote:

This truck has been on the back burner for a few months. I fiddled with the upper control arms some today to get the camber close to spec. so I can take the truck for an alignment. I loosened the nuts and turned the bolts to move the upper control arm away from the truck frame. The adjustment cam on each bolt limits the movement and the camber is still off some. Does this cam need to be removed to be able to get the camber in spec? I assume you just have to remove the bolt and the cam will slide off.

The arrow in the picture shows what I am talking about.



moog makes the "problem solver" uca bushings with the hole offset to get more camber and/or caster depending on how you install them. p/n K7189 for your truck.
BTW i am a machinist, & several yrs. ago i did expirment around & made up some uca cams with the bolt hole even more offset than oem, i didn't end up using them though, because IIRC there wasn't enough room to get a socket on the bolt head when the cam was to the extreme in or out position. (maybe use allen head bolts)
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 09:45 PM

That should all be done when at the shop getting aligned. That's what you pay them to do.
Posted by: Kevin I

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/17/11 09:52 PM

Quote:

That should all be done when at the shop getting aligned. That's what you pay them to do.




Well, I guess I'll do what I can here so I won't eat my tires up driving the truck to the alignment shop. Thanks guys.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/18/11 12:50 AM

If your less than 10 miles just drive it. Won't hurt anything. If your further throw some rollers on it drive ther than put the slots back on
Posted by: bigdad

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/15/11 03:53 PM

I finally found one like I wanted, don't yell at me I'll be asking alot of questions again
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/22/12 05:04 PM

Thanks Kevin ,i am doing this conversion and want to add the following:I ordered the lower van control arms from Rock auto for a 1982 b150 with 3300 lb axles,they list for $98 each but were on sale for $79 each, The part #s are Dorman 520-333R and 520-334L These come with the correct ball joints.Just have to grind the stop,enlarge the mounting holes to 3/4 and drill the strut rod mounting holes. Off the truck the spring sits just shy of 3 inches lower,
Posted by: 340SHORTY

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/22/12 07:29 PM


Oh I see......wont need that I have a disc rear end from a 74 imperial...



why did you pick a rearend that has a brake system that has obsolete parts???
Posted by: camdog440

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 11:01 AM

Great thread!

I don't get to the truck forum too much but this reminded me of another lowered truck. I searched for it and found that he had a thread on lowering his truck. I read thru 9 pages to find that he lost interest. It really didn't surprise me after he mentioned the number of cars/trucks that had passed thru his hands within a short period of time. I was hoping to see the final product, though. I was impressed with his abilities.

This thread is more realistic for the hobby guy.

Do they use the van lca's with the dak drop spindles?
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 11:56 AM

Quote:

Do they use the van lca's with the dak drop spindles?






That's what I did on mine. I dropped 5" in front and between 5-6" in the rear with the axel over springs. My lower control arms ended up being 3" from the ground, a little low but has been good so far.
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 12:49 PM

I am using the stock 75 truck spindle and knuckles,my rear axle flip dropped 6 inches ,the front should drop about 3. i am running 29" tall tires in the rear and probably 25 front.Not looking for a low rider look more of a drag look.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 01:13 PM

Quote:

I am using the stock 75 truck spindle and knuckles,my rear axle flip dropped 6 inches ,the front should drop about 3. i am running 29" tall tires in the rear and probably 25 front.Not looking for a low rider look more of a drag look.



PICS
Posted by: moparmandjh

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 04:28 PM

Posted by: Webster

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/23/12 08:49 PM

Quote:

Great thread!

I don't get to the truck forum too much but this reminded me of another lowered truck. I searched for it and found that he had a thread on lowering his truck. I read thru 9 pages to find that he lost interest. It really didn't surprise me after he mentioned the number of cars/trucks that had passed thru his hands within a short period of time. I was hoping to see the final product, though. I was impressed with his abilities.

This thread is more realistic for the hobby guy.

Do they use the van lca's with the dak drop spindles?



I just used the Van LCA's on my truck..
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/29/12 10:27 AM

This is the way it looks with the flipped rear and van lower control arms. I plan on bigger rear rims and tires, sorry about the looks ,had to get it ready to race. Went to Infinion yesterday,ran a couple of 13.50s with tire spin , On the third pass i tore the ring gear out of it,so i will be doing some rear work this week.
Posted by: 727builder

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/29/12 02:38 PM

Quote:

This is the way it looks with the flipped rear and van lower control arms. I plan on bigger rear rims and tires, sorry about the looks ,had to get it ready to race. Went to Infinion yesterday,ran a couple of 13.50s with tire spin , On the third pass i tore the ring gear out of it,so i will be doing some rear work this week.




I like it!!!!!
When you say flipped rear? You mean putting the rear end on top of the leafs? Or flipping the front hangers upside down to lower it? I already have some van control arms to go on my stepside. Another Question??? What coil springs are you guys running up with a 440 in the truck????
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/29/12 02:42 PM

Flipped means axle ontop of leafs like a car. I ran the coils my truck came with when I swapped to a 400 in my 83. As far as I know they didnt really have diff spring rates other than heavier duty for 1tons but I havent looked into it either.
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/30/12 09:44 AM

I used a b body rear,it has the same spring pad width as the truck and quite a bit narrower.Took a set of front spring hangers and installed them in the back.I reused the stock springs in the front but i have a 360,steering feels good .Here is a picture when i was mocking the rear.
Posted by: 1964Polara

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/01/12 11:32 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Any bump steer issues with this? That would be the only downside I could see for what appears to be a low $$ idea that actually works.

Kevin



I used the van lca and cut about 1/2 coil off I have a little bump steer nothing too bad but the angles on the tie rods are definetly not ideal..... my that being said I drive my truck everyday and have had no problems ball joint and tie rod wise... but I'm not completly done yet I want to cut the bump stop bracket down and re-weld it back up. I want to mount my strut rods on the bottom of the control arms by making a hole through the lower control arms(others have made a block and mounted it below). I also still want to notch the drivers side upper c.arm for the steering shaft. if I hit a big dip going to fast theres contact(not ideal). again this is only things I have noticed and my




I did exactly the same....Van LCA with the mods above, a set of new springs, half coil cutted and ended up with this problems....when the truck is on the ground the Tie Rod adjusting sleeve is hitting the Ball Joint from the Drag Link (Driver Side). Beside that I was missing a steering stop and the wheel was tilting and leaning toward the Strut bushing.....when I tried to drive outside the garage and was steering...

All problems could be cured with Rack & Pinion Steering by Dakota....but my plan for tomorrow is using the old springs with OEM length to gain at least one inch space
between Ball Joint and adjusting sleeve and adding a steering stop....late maybe mounting the Strud Rod on bottom of the LCA...

Any other Thoughts????
Posted by: 1964Polara

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/01/12 11:49 AM

PS: I did change also the Drag Link.....maybe i did a mistake......

has anybody pictures to see how it should be mounted? The Nuts of the Inner Tie Rods are now pointing to the K-Member. Is this right or should they point in direction to the front?

In another thread (Dakota spindles) they pointed to the front see here:


And which way the outer tie rods are mounted? Like on the photo on bottom of the spindle or on Top?
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/01/12 07:58 PM

The tie rod end at the spindle (nuckle) appears wrong .I have 3 74/75 trucks and the nut is at the bottom.That should be a tapered hole so be should be easy to figure out how it goes.
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/01/12 09:54 PM

Quote:

PS: I did change also the Drag Link.....maybe i did a mistake......

has anybody pictures to see how it should be mounted? The Nuts of the Inner Tie Rods are now pointing to the K-Member. Is this right or should they point in direction to the front?

In another thread (Dakota spindles) they pointed to the front see here:


And which way the outer tie rods are mounted? Like on the photo on bottom of the spindle or on Top?





This picture is exactly how mine looks, because I also used Dak spindles with van lca's. On the Dak spindle, the outer tie rod does point up, that's how their tapered. And the inner tie rod points forward not backwards. I do get a little bump steer also...but nothing hits....I have yet to take it on the freeway.
Posted by: speedy383

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/02/12 09:35 AM

My bad , didnt know you already had Dakota spindles,.cant help with that .
Posted by: abody69

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 06/10/12 10:34 PM

So....no need to notch the frame when doing a simple axle flip? I'm thinking of doing a mild drop on my '83 stepside. I already have a set of LCA from a 3/4 ton van. Great info here.
Posted by: moparmandjh

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 06/10/12 11:24 PM

Quote:

This is the way it looks with the flipped rear and van lower control arms. I plan on bigger rear rims and tires, sorry about the looks ,had to get it ready to race. Went to Infinion yesterday,ran a couple of 13.50s with tire spin , On the third pass i tore the ring gear out of it,so i will be doing some rear work this week.




Wow, strangely familiar......

Posted by: 68hemiss

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 05:12 PM

Guys,
I am in the middle of lowering an 87 Dodge shortbed of a friend of mines and I am running into tie rod troubles. I used the Rockauto B100 3300lb LCA and got the steering arms from a 95 van in the junkyard. We also cut 1/2 a coil from the springs. The problem is that the tie rod is VERY close to the strut rod. Does anyone have a better pic of what the correct steering arms look like? The pictures don't really show them very well - I wonder if I have the wrong ones.
Moving the tie rod to the top of the steering arms would solve the clearance problem but I don't want to make a bump steer issue. We also do not have the engine in the truck at this time - getting a 440 ready to swap in place of the old 6 cyl. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Mark J
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 06:00 PM

You don't use the van steering arms
The only time you change the steering arms is when you use a pocketed LCA's from a truck

I never disconnected the tie rods when I changed these

Here's pic of mine
Posted by: 68hemiss

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 06:39 PM

Bob,
Maybe I wasn't clear - we did use the Van pocketed LCA like Kevin did. Our tie rods are way closer than yours - The sleeve is maybe maybe 1/2"-1" away from the strut rods. I thought I saw a pic where the Steering arms curved up from the ball joint to where the tie rod attaches - ours curve up and then dip back down before the tie rod - that is why I thought that I might have the wrong steering arms. I will try to get some pics.
Thanks,
Mark J
Posted by: 68hemiss

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 06:41 PM

Bob,
It looks like your outer tie rod attaches from the top of the steering arm - ours attaches from the bottom - difference in steering arm?
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 08:27 PM

He never said you didn't use the van lca's. You Don't use the van steering arm AT ALL. His stock one is what's to be used
Posted by: BulletBob

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/10/13 11:34 PM

I used the Rockauto B100 3300lb LCA and got the steering arms from a 95 van in the junkyard. We also cut 1/2 a coil from the springs. The problem is that the tie rod is VERY close to the strut rod. Does anyone have a better pic of what the correct steering arms look like? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Mark J




You do not use steering arms from any van when you use van LCA's

Reread Kevin's thread, He didn't use van steering arms
Reread my reply I never disconnected the tie rods & didn't until months after the pic when I put all new tie rods, center link & pitman arm on it.
Posted by: Cheeto

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/14/13 12:49 AM

Quote:

... Does anyone have a better pic of what the correct steering arms look like? ...



Surely somewhere in the 6 pages of this thread there's a pic of my dropped spindles next to dropped Dak spindles and stock spindles. I'm pretty sure they all had arms on them in the pic.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/14/13 06:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

... Does anyone have a better pic of what the correct steering arms look like? ...



Surely somewhere in the 6 pages of this thread there's a pic of my dropped spindles next to dropped Dak spindles and stock spindles. I'm pretty sure they all had arms on them in the pic.



Pretty sure that's in Rumblebees write up object them being installed on his 73
Posted by: Cheeto

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/17/13 11:24 PM

Hmmm, am I getting old enough that I'm confusing threads? Naw, that can't be.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/18/13 08:20 AM

I wasn't a member when you built your truck. But its your pic that's posted in his thread
Posted by: Hugh Jorgan

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/04/15 09:55 PM

Posted by: Backfire

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/08/15 01:36 PM

correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't cutting coils have the same effect as installing van LCA's ?
except that you have a slight increase in spring rate with cut coils .
I cut the coils on my '89 D100 and have no issues with bump steer or parts interfering.
One benefit of both types of lowering that hasn't been mentioned is an improvement in roll center which improves handling. One thing I do want to change on my truck is to put a stiffer shock on the front.
Posted by: wyldebill

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/11/15 09:29 AM

he guys im looking for help, im trying to lower my 3/4 ton crew cab. it has the heavy duty front end on it with pocket lower control arms. any advice other than chopping springs?
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/11/15 10:29 AM

Its cut the springs or install 1/2-3/4 ton springs or have custom made ones or Bags. Or if your feeling real froggy Z the frame or Body drop it
Posted by: MattW

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/13/15 08:38 PM

Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 03/15/15 03:03 AM

This thread needs to be a "sticky"!
Posted by: 70Duster440

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/21/15 10:03 PM

I'll add to this thread that we found we couldn't use a factory sway bar, frame brackets, and end links (that clamp to the strut rod) with the van lower control arms we installed to lower the truck. The end links interfere with the leading edge of the van control arms since they are so much wider.

Below is a pic of the arm comparison by the OP..

Posted by: Polarapete

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 04/22/15 12:32 AM

iagree

and that can be an issue if you are using the vehicle to go around corners, but my Ramcharger will only be going in a straight line and I will be happy to leave the front sway bar and all the brackets off (weight savings of course). I may even use heavy wire cable to limit the suspension travel on launch. I will compare the '86 Ramcharger sway bar to the one on the '87 D100 and go for the thickest one on the '87. Different horses for different courses.
twocents
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/03/15 11:37 PM

Bump
Posted by: justin412

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/04/15 12:13 PM

Hey everyone, i could really use some help! I did the van LCA swap and am running into some problems. The main issue is the tie rod angle and position is all out of whack. here are some pictures so you can all see whats going on. I need to get this thing on the road, so any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!

About the truck: its a 72 d100, but its somewhat special. it is a pre-production vehicle with alot of special factory options. Concerning the problems im having, it had factory power disc brakes said to be the same as whats used on a 70 superbird. im thinking that the outer tie rod mounts are maybe not the same as whats on a regular truck? i dont know, but please help out with some comparison pictures and suggestions, thanks! (ill add a pic of the truck itself at the bottom)

















as you can see, the tie rods are angled wayyyyy too much and are in danger of hitting and binding up on all sorts of things

and here is the truck


Posted by: justin412

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/07/15 10:06 AM

does anyone have any information on flipping the tie rod to the bottom? seems like the only viable solution. I know they make bump steer kits to do this, but i cant find a specific application. has anyone actually done it before??
Posted by: Polarapete

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/07/15 07:45 PM

I was looking at my '86 Ramcharger after I saw your pictures and my tie-rods are mounted above the steering arm like yours are. If you were to mount the tie rod from below you would have to use a tapered reamer to ream the steering arm to accept the tie rod. And that would probably make it too loose a fit to work. Perhaps you could adapt a tie rod with a larger diameter stud to do that. Did you cut the coil spring along with the LCA swap to create your problem? You may find that you will have to buy new springs to get it closer to stock and forgo the extreme drop. Thinking further outside the box, you could adapt a rack & pinion steering to the truck, solve one problem and create more headaches to deal with. Sorry I can't help more.
Posted by: Backfire

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/08/15 10:55 AM

Are those the Dakota drop spindles ?
Have you checked your bump steer ?
Posted by: justin412

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/09/15 11:18 AM

yeah, i trimmed about a half of a coil off, but it shouldnt make that huge of a difference i wouldnt think..rack and pinion would be a good option, but sounds like a good amount of work and $$. thanks for the suggestions though!

and no, those are the stock spindles that came on this truck, and no, i havent checked my bump steer. not sure how to even do that..
Posted by: Cooter

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/10/15 07:31 AM

So you are running van LCAs with cut coils.

Probably should have mentioned that in your first post about this issue. Put some stock coils back in.
Posted by: theraif

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/10/15 06:41 PM

i like to rebuild the front on my rc so that will be about 3 in , like to do the rear only a couple inches but not get involved with a axle flip
Posted by: Backfire

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/10/15 10:15 PM

I just looked at my "89 D100 that I cut 1 1/2 coils on. My tie rod sleeves are sitting behind the idler and Pittman arms, not under. my steering linkage looks different from yours. I'll try to post some pics later.
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 05/19/15 06:47 PM

bmp
Posted by: 76dodgeboy

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 06/24/15 01:57 PM

.
Posted by: 71SCAMP

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/09/15 10:15 PM

Thanks for the lowering info. Just completed lowering my 79 step side with 3/4 ton van control arms from Rock Auto, shocks and sway bar bushings from my local NAPA, and spring perches from
J C Whitney. You blog sure helped a bunch. Pictures to follow after I get the 360 in. Thanks again!
Posted by: kingcrunch

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 12:05 PM

Hi there,

sorry for stirring this up again, but i have a question that is right at home in this thread:

I wonder whether steering arms of trucks or vans bolt up to a B-body or FMJ-body "tall" spindle.

According to Rockauto, a 74-76 Monaco (for example) shares the upper and lower ball joints with a D150 (K7025 lower, K778 upper).
They also share the wheel bearings.

Magnum Force makes nice drop spindles for the B,F,M,J cars and it would be nice to be able to use that stuff with stock truck steering arms.

Thanks,
Alex
Posted by: 72d100

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 12:20 PM

Originally Posted By kingcrunch
Hi there,

sorry for stirring this up again, but i have a question that is right at home in this thread:

I wonder whether steering arms of trucks or vans bolt up to a B-body or FMJ-body "tall" spindle.

According to Rockauto, a 74-76 Monaco (for example) shares the upper and lower ball joints with a D150 (K7025 lower, K778 upper).
They also share the wheel bearings.

Magnum Force makes nice drop spindles for the B,F,M,J cars and it would be nice to be able to use that stuff with stock truck steering arms.

Thanks,
Alex
I don't think the Monaco is a b body I think it's a c body
Posted by: Satilite73

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 03:33 PM

I don't think the Monaco is a b body I think it's a c body

'75-'78 ROYAL Monaco and GRAN Fury were C-bodies.

Without the 'Royal' or 'Gran', they were indeed B-bodies.

ROYAL Monaco =



MONACO =




As for the original question, I have no idea......
Posted by: kingcrunch

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By 72d100
Originally Posted By kingcrunch
Hi there,

sorry for stirring this up again, but i have a question that is right at home in this thread:

I wonder whether steering arms of trucks or vans bolt up to a B-body or FMJ-body "tall" spindle.

According to Rockauto, a 74-76 Monaco (for example) shares the upper and lower ball joints with a D150 (K7025 lower, K778 upper).
They also share the wheel bearings.

Magnum Force makes nice drop spindles for the B,F,M,J cars and it would be nice to be able to use that stuff with stock truck steering arms.

Thanks,
Alex
I don't think the Monaco is a b body I think it's a c body


I almost knew i had made a mistake at some point... anybody know of c-body drop spindles?
Posted by: Satilite73

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 07:31 PM


I don't even know why I post sometimes...... rolleyes
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/26/15 09:19 PM

Another question would be are there any differences between the stock B,C and truck spindles?
Posted by: 68dodge

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 12/28/15 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By moparborn
Another question would be are there any differences between the stock B,C and truck spindles?

Yes, There is a big difference. Only certain "C" body cars use the same rotor and bearings but the ball joints are different, like a 73 Fury, "B" body cars use a completely different ball joints, spindles, wheel bearings and rotor. Plus the steering arm from the truck will not bolt to the "B" spindle. That's a few things I found out.
Posted by: Donehundred

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/26/16 08:17 PM

Will the van LCA's work on a d200?
Posted by: Budd

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/12/16 11:15 PM

I'm a newbie here and I realize this is an old thread, but part, if not all your tie rod clearance problems are because the center-link needs to be swapped end for end.

Also check the taper in the steering arms to be sure you don't need to turn the rod ends over and insert from the bottom instead of the top.

If they are installed wrong it can result in sloppy steering, possible bumpsteer and even rod end failure.

BTW, I'm a retired forklift, automotive and small engine mechanic.

Not to mention an active MOPAR nut.

Budd
Posted by: Burkenator

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/06/17 06:11 PM

Reviving this thread some. Does anyone know the length, bolt head size and nut size of the LCA pivot bolt? Was planning to order the LCA's from Rock Auto and getting some Grade 8 bolts and fasteners off the internet for the pivot bolts.

Great thread and thanks for the help!
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/08/17 01:35 PM

I havent did my swap yet, but I scored the lower control arms from a van with the bolts. I can tell you the bolts are grade 8 , 3/4 16 X 5" long
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/08/17 01:37 PM

Did anyone figure out the solution with the tie rods being mounted on the bottom so the tie rod angle is not so sharp.?
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/08/17 01:41 PM

For the guys that did the Dakota drop spindles, Did you use the parts off the Dakota , bearings, rotors, calipers, caliper brackets ect. I scored some billtech 2600 first gen dakota drop spindles and wonder if I need to go to the junkyard for those parts
Posted by: Burkenator

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/26/17 09:09 AM

John--

Thanks for the help and info!!
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/26/17 05:23 PM

I used original inner tierods custom sleeves and heim joints for the outer.
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/26/17 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By moparborn
I used original inner tierods custom sleeves and heim joints for the outer.


Did that fix the bump steer? Did you have any bump steer?
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/27/17 06:33 AM

I did it all at the same time,drop spindles and heim joints,so I did not have any bumpsteer.
Posted by: 77ProStreet

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/28/17 12:29 AM

Thanks moparborn! Do you have any pictures?
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 02/28/17 12:36 PM

I will get some when I get to the garage(its winter,work on it home).
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 06/30/17 07:23 PM

I would like to see pictures too
Posted by: BrianT

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/20/17 06:54 AM

Another great and useful thread ruined thanks to Photobucket's greed.
Posted by: ric3xrt

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 07/20/17 07:41 AM

I'm glad I never used photobucket.
it does sux for those who do searches for some great tech info only to be screwed by lack of photos.
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 08/24/17 08:15 PM

I apologizes for the long delay,a lot of irons.
Here are some pictures of my tierods.
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/10/17 10:36 AM

I did like moparborn, I made some tie rod sleeves out of stainless,
Posted by: johnscudashop

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/10/17 10:42 AM

I made some press in taper sleeves to use the speedway pinto heim studs. Im mounting the Heims on the bottom. If I get some bump steer I will mount them on the top. I need to tighten things up, Do the bump stops and get a Alignment. The crossmember might be to close to the ground, I may have to raise it a hair. But no more Camber or tie rod angle problems.
Posted by: moparborn

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 09/10/17 10:04 PM

Nice job.they look good.
Posted by: Wesd100

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/01/18 11:58 AM

Great write-up, bloody photobucket fn it up.
Posted by: Wesd100

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/01/18 12:00 PM

Is there any way to get those pictures back on here?
Posted by: Wesd100

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/02/18 03:59 PM

Has anyone tried these Drop Spindles from X2industries?
wondering about quality?

1978-1993 Dodge Ram, Charger, Trailduster 2" Drop Spindles
[DG7893DRM2]

Your Price: $373.95
www.x2industries.com
1-800-823-0320

instructions:
-NEED TO USE 84 ROTORS(PART #5315) TO MAINTAIN 5450 BOLT PATTERN
-FLIP TIE RODS
-REQUIRES LARGER INNER BEARING ON 83 AND DOWN CODE11
-REVERSE TAP OF Ball Joint FOR MORE CLEARANCE
Posted by: 68dodge

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/03/18 07:11 PM

you may know this already, if you only want a 2" drop, use the van lower control arms or just cut some off the coil spring. A little easier than having to change lot more. I went to a 4" drop. Had to get some custom made upper control arms and they still needed modified to work. Had to do some welding to mount them, plus buy more parts for them to work.
Posted by: Eggman

Re: How to Lower Your 1972-1993 Dodge Pickup - 01/04/18 09:32 AM

I just installed a set of rear lowering shackles from x2 two weeks ago. Good quality stuff.