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Old 03-07-2011, 07:41 PM
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leaf springs or 4 bar suspension? Is a 4 bar worth the expense?

I purchased an 8.8 out of a '95 Explorer today. (Disk brake and heavier axles.) In order to get it into my '51 Dodge meadowbrook, the leaf springs perches will need to be moved in order to use the stock springs. No big deal, but here's my question; my buddy says I should use the stock springs out of the Explorer which are only a diff of 2 inches. 44" in my meadowbrook vs. 42" OC in the Explorer. He says I'll have better ride etc. with the Explorer springs, newer, blah, blah. I'm thinking if I am to go through the work of making the springs from the Explorer work, wouldn't it be easier (not necessarily cheaper) to just utilize a 4 bar setup? What do you guys think? If I were to build my own 4 bar, are rubber bushed joints mandatory or can a guy just use HD Heim joints?

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:37 PM
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The Mustang 8.8" rear came with 4-Link setup & coil Springs.
With the Explorer all 4 links would have to be attached to the Axle tubes as the Center housing is Cast Iron & not easy to weld anything to.
Heim joints will transfer a lot of vibration to the Frame from the rear end, better for track car only.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for your response. Something to ponder for sure.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:46 AM
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Tell your buddy thanks but no thanks. Unless your going to go racing you don't need a 4 link for a cruiser. Your stock springs will work fine and moving the spring perches is a LOT less work than trying to modify the mounting brackets to get the Explorer springs to work. Also the wider mounts you have now will give you a better ride.

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Old 03-08-2011, 08:26 AM
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4 link is not very comfortable on the street.

Vince
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:33 PM
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"Tell your buddy thanks but no thanks. Unless your going to go racing you don't need a 4 link for a cruiser. Your stock springs will work fine and moving the spring perches is a LOT less work than trying to modify the mounting brackets to get the Explorer springs to work. Also the wider mounts you have now will give you a better ride."
This is/was in my line of thinking. I guess its one of those things that makes sense. Wider IS better! Also, makes sense if you want a better ride LONGER IS BETTER!! (Springs that is!) Seems like every luxury car I've ever came across has had mile long springs!
"4 link is not very comfortable on the street."
This is good to know! Never having rode or driven a car with one. Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:40 AM
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Those older MOPARS sort of had a corner of the market on smooth ride and handling. They started IFS in the early 30s and the rear parallel leaf springs were very nicely matched to give an advanced ride over the competition. Unless it has been done recently, I would separate all the leaves, clean, paint and lube them before assembly and install new shackle bushings all the way around. You want to ensure the axle pad is installed so the alignment/spring bolt hole centers the axle in the wheel well and you have the proper pinion angle. Of course you have to plan your shock mounting location if you change the mounting perch.

Trees
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:18 AM
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That is something I had debated as well. I will definitely "overhaul" them upon differential installation. Thanks for those great pointers!
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