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  • Working with Rancho lift

    Does anyone have any suggestions for softening up the ride on Rancho springs?

    My '73 Scout II is a SUA that came with Rancho 2 1/2" lift springs, 820 front and 850 rear. It still has stock shackles and rubber bushings.

    The problem is, it is very stiff. Is this just the nature of the beast or can I make some changes to soften it up and get some articulation?

    The shackles (front and rear) are nearly verticle. If I jack up the front with the jack below the axle, the truck rises immediately. Absolutely no spring compression at all. Judging from the corrosion on the shock shafts it will get about 1" of compression. I'd thought about removing one or two leaves from the bottom of the spring pack. I can handle losing a little height in the process.

    Before I take my buddy's advice and do a SOA with a set of stock springs, I 'd like to see if I can utilize the current set up.

    Suggestions?

  • #2
    I have a four inch over Skyjacker Soft Ride and it rode pretty good but when I added new shackles, bushings and grease-able shackle bolts the increase in ride comfort and articulation was incredible. Take one spring off and see how hard the shackles move? Mine are snug but move back and forth freely. If you do get those springs moving that rust on the shocks may start them to leak. Are the shocks the correct (extended) ones for the springs? stock shocks will also severely limit travel...
    I run the Skyjacker Nitros and I'm very happy with them as well.
    Hope that helps!
    [CENTER]1994 Buick RoadMaSSter Estate Wagon LT1/4L60E. White and Woodgrain Sleeper...PCM 16188051 With SS/V4P/Custom Tune! WOT 12.9 AFR!

    1990 Chevy Suburban Silverado 5.7L 2wd ECM 1227747 HiWay Lean Cruise 18.5 MPG and 12.5 to 1 AFR at WOT!

    1972 IH 1210 Isky Cammed Balenced 345 4 speed PCM 16197427 Project!

    [SIZE=3][B][URL="http://www.gearhead-efi.com/"]GearHead-EFI.com[/URL] EFI Conversions and Chip Tuners![/B][/SIZE]
    [B]May be all you need to know about EFI![/B]

    and I still help local JustIH members (for fun) free! :cool: [/CENTER]

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Mark,

      I've been concentrating on getting the engine running well and haven't gotten around to the springs yet.

      The shocks appear to be a generic brand. Can't find a brand on them. I plan to replace them soon. I wanted to get the springs working better first and then go for the right size shock..

      My fist step was going to be to loosen the shackle bolts and see what happens. It looks like they might be a tad bit too tight. The bushings appear to be smushed (technical term) between the spring eye and the shackle.

      I'm really hoping to save these springs and some $$$ in the process. We don't do any hard-core rockcrawling but I would like a better ride and better (all four when possible) tire contact when crossing a wash.

      Am I correct in assuming that aftermarket shackles with a center brace, either welded or spacer (sleeve type), wouldn't have to be cinched down as tight thus allowing the spring to move easier?

      Comment


      • #4
        You can save the springs. If they have been sitting awhile you can spray them with some WD-40 to help them get going. The bushings do come out and can be replaced. I like the Energy Suspension urethane with the graphite. There is a lot of force on the shackle so they do have to be tight, I forget what the manual says for torque. All the bushings have a center sleeve. Aftermarket shackles are stronger but remember if you get extended shackles like a two inch over you will lose three degrees castor in your front end alignment (bad). Stock shackles last a long time, even longer with good bushings and grease.

        Where you at on the east coast of California?
        I'm from Yuma AZ. West coast of AZ by Mexico...
        Haven't heard anybody use the term "wash" in awhile. Up here in Idaho the wash's are rivers year round...
        [CENTER]1994 Buick RoadMaSSter Estate Wagon LT1/4L60E. White and Woodgrain Sleeper...PCM 16188051 With SS/V4P/Custom Tune! WOT 12.9 AFR!

        1990 Chevy Suburban Silverado 5.7L 2wd ECM 1227747 HiWay Lean Cruise 18.5 MPG and 12.5 to 1 AFR at WOT!

        1972 IH 1210 Isky Cammed Balenced 345 4 speed PCM 16197427 Project!

        [SIZE=3][B][URL="http://www.gearhead-efi.com/"]GearHead-EFI.com[/URL] EFI Conversions and Chip Tuners![/B][/SIZE]
        [B]May be all you need to know about EFI![/B]

        and I still help local JustIH members (for fun) free! :cool: [/CENTER]

        Comment


        • #5
          Talk about a small world. Yuma is home but I'm currently living up river in Blythe.

          The Scout hasn't been sitting. The guy I bought it from was using it as a daily driver. Somebody made quite a few modifications somewhere along the line, including the Rancho springs. I seriously doubt it was the last owner, though. He had it about 2 years.

          As soon as I get the chance to work on it, I'll clean up the springs and see about throwing in new bushings.

          Comment


          • #6
            Now that I know where your from I know what's wrong!

            The bushings melted! :-)
            [CENTER]1994 Buick RoadMaSSter Estate Wagon LT1/4L60E. White and Woodgrain Sleeper...PCM 16188051 With SS/V4P/Custom Tune! WOT 12.9 AFR!

            1990 Chevy Suburban Silverado 5.7L 2wd ECM 1227747 HiWay Lean Cruise 18.5 MPG and 12.5 to 1 AFR at WOT!

            1972 IH 1210 Isky Cammed Balenced 345 4 speed PCM 16197427 Project!

            [SIZE=3][B][URL="http://www.gearhead-efi.com/"]GearHead-EFI.com[/URL] EFI Conversions and Chip Tuners![/B][/SIZE]
            [B]May be all you need to know about EFI![/B]

            and I still help local JustIH members (for fun) free! :cool: [/CENTER]

            Comment


            • #7
              After the wife and I finished laughing at your last post......

              it dawned on me.... you may be right!

              Comment


              • #8
                509 and 448 lb spring rates are the problem,
                So in the rear it takes almost 1000 lbs to compress the rear springs 1" :eek:

                I have some rancho 2.5s and they are REALLY stiff, I assume you are still running them SUA? The only way to make these flex is to split the spring pack, when I went spring over, I mixed and matched the rancho springs with stock springs to get a rate I liked...by my calculations I am about 280 lbs now, messes with your ride height and be sure to carry extra main leaves if you wheel it hard.

                the easy answer is buy new springs...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Troutbum,

                  Thanks for the input. I finally got some time off from work so I hope to get a chance to experiement between construction chores over the next couple days. It would be easier if I had the stock springs, but the Rancho's were already on the Scout when I bought it.

                  I was hoping to save these so I could spend the money on stuff like fuel injection and a tranny build-up. I've only had the Scout a few weeks and I've already got quite a laundry list going. I spent the first week saving the engine from 2 years of neglect. It's running better every day.

                  The wife just shakes her head and says at least she'll know where to find me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mark,

                    How are those greasable shackle bolts working out for you? A couple of my off-road buddies said they heard that they tend to break because they are weaker. While I can understand the possibility of being weaker, they are still VERY tempting. Especially, out here in the desert where, as one Arab Sheik said to the other, "damn sand gets into everything".

                    By the way. A cold front moved in. It got down to almost 40 last night. Had to wear a long sleeve shirt 'til about noon. Do you miss it yet? I know. You'll be the one making comments this summer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I remember wearing pants in January once! :-)

                      Don't know were they got those rumors from about the shackles?
                      The stock ones are grade 5 and mine were worn half way through and never broke. Can't see how the ones I made from Grade 8 would ever give out?
                      They are for sale everywhere. I remember a 1968 Chevy truck I had was grease-able from the factory. That suspension was like new at 30 years old. In theory they are weaker because they have a hole down the center. I have never seen or heard of one break have you?
                      [CENTER]1994 Buick RoadMaSSter Estate Wagon LT1/4L60E. White and Woodgrain Sleeper...PCM 16188051 With SS/V4P/Custom Tune! WOT 12.9 AFR!

                      1990 Chevy Suburban Silverado 5.7L 2wd ECM 1227747 HiWay Lean Cruise 18.5 MPG and 12.5 to 1 AFR at WOT!

                      1972 IH 1210 Isky Cammed Balenced 345 4 speed PCM 16197427 Project!

                      [SIZE=3][B][URL="http://www.gearhead-efi.com/"]GearHead-EFI.com[/URL] EFI Conversions and Chip Tuners![/B][/SIZE]
                      [B]May be all you need to know about EFI![/B]

                      and I still help local JustIH members (for fun) free! :cool: [/CENTER]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nope. Just second and third hand rumors.

                        I'm goona give 'em a shot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Finally got time to get to the springs. Well, the front ones, at least. I loosened up, re-lubed, and re-torqued the shackles and spray-lubed the spring pack. They are working better. The bushings are actually in pretty good shape. I'll tackle the rear when I get some more time off.

                          It's kinda strange but I picked up 3/8" of height on the driver's side (measured at the front bumper). This makes both sides even, now.

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