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Old 05-17-2013, 09:11 PM
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Help choosing springs on rat rod.

I am building a bit of a rat rod from junk I have laying around and a few lost cost items. I am building this out at the folks place when I come back for 3-4 days every month. So I needs to wheel back in the grass before I leave which is why most of the pictures show me using what needs to be used to just get it in there so it could be wheeled back kind of deal. At this point I have roughly 22 hours of actual "build" time over 11 days(over 3 months) with most of that driving around to get parts.



I am using a 2000 s10 chassis to lay the body on. The engine is a high reving 350 2 bolt with dart iron heads mated to a th400 which will be roughly 25" away from the ford 8.8 rear axle. I am running 225/75/r15 tires on steel jeep rims. The cab, top, doors, hood, and grill weigh 848lbs total. I am not running fenders. I am going to channel the body on the frame once I have the suspension set. The fuel tank will hold 10 gallons (65lbs with brackets)and I will have a full size spare behind the seats which will add weight over the rear and should be considered in spring selection.


I need a bit of help and recommendations with the suspension. In the front I would like to go with a 2" spindle drop and a 3" coil to get a 5" drop. In the rear I would like to go with a 3" drop and am open to recommendations on how to do that. I am using ruffstuff's 8.8 perch kit which has larger components and raises the spring perch around 1/8" higher off the axle housing then the stock perches. I do not want to notch the frame. Because the engine is set back I believe I should use stiffer springs in the rear?

I went out and got some junk yard overload springs that had to much arch as you will see in the picture. This was just for mock up to get the new axle in place to park this thing before I left. I ended up having one of the eyes break when tapping it on during installation and that was a eye opener to just bite the bullet and buy some new springs.


Here are a few pictures that show engine placement, cab placement (the cab is sitting on 4x4's on the frame and a bit offset at this point until I cut up the floor and channel), and so on to get a idea weight wise what I am doing. Behind the spring shackles and in front of the a arms I plan on cutting the frame and cleaning it up. I will notch the cross member slightly to fit a light weight manual rack and pinion for steering. With a body weight of around 850 placed mainly on the rear, the oil pan sitting just above the frame rails, very little weight on the coils, and the body channeled on the frame to get it down around 4" off the ground I need help on what springs to choose.

Here is the overload springs with way to much arch on some junk 3" blocks I had laying around. Everything is just bolted lightly at this point.



Here is the axle temporary installed so I could move it. It should give you a idea of the arch.



The front of the block will sit in line with the cab mounts.



Here is the mock up using 3" drop blocks rear and stock front suspension. This should give you a idea of the kind of cab placement engine placement and so on I am going for. The body will sit as low as I can channel it over the rails and still give 4" of clearance so I don't grab any rail road tracks. In this picture I am mocking up a 8" channel over the frame rails. The cab is a bit offset in this. The tires will be centered in the wheel well when the cab is installed correctly. The body is sitting on 4x4" on the frame rails at this point.



Broke spring eye as a bit of warning for anyone considering using junk yard springs.



Overall this is built as a cruiser that I could pull a jet ski or a small trailer with. I would be happy with it handling like a some what stock s-10. I would like it to hook up in the rear when I mash the skinny pedal and make good use of the auburn locker in the 8.8. But, this is not being built as a straight line ride. It is being built as a light weight summer cruiser that can drive down the road and not require me to slow to 5mph at every rail road track kind of deal.

The standard cab truck was rather picked over when I got it for $200. But, after running the vin it had a 4 cylinder and automatic transmission. I know that makes a difference with some coil manufactures. I will be using the stock A arm's.


With all of this ^^^ in mind. What is the best coils and springs to use in your guys opinion to get a 5/3 drop? I would prefer to keep the cost for 2" drop spindles, 3" drop coils, and a 3" drop in the rear(using lower springs, blocks, or a combination of the two whatever will get the best result) around or under $500 if possible(not including shocks, sway bars, etc). But, if I need to spend more to get a better ride I will. I do not want to link it, use ladder or other bars, or use any traction devise because I do not want the weight or clearance issues they will cause.I do not think I need them for this and if I end up getting a little wheel hop as a result I am ok with it. I am keeping this as light weight as possible with a estimated 1700-2100lbs when finished despite the heavy engine and heads. I want to use springs and shocks only in the rear as far as suspension.

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Old 05-18-2013, 10:39 PM
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After reading reviews and tech on forums I went with a McGaughys 4/4 kit.
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