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Old 07-05-2005, 02:58 AM
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lowering my truck... help please

hellooo... I rescently purchased a 1995 Ford Ranger... and i of course wnant to lower it... i think... but i dont know if im sure i want to lower it or raise it... either one would be good for where i live... but i dont know what would be better for the truck... if anyone can help me with this that would be great... anyway... I'm leaning more toward lowering it but i have no clue where to start and a limited budget...I've looked online and found too many options and i need someone who knows wich would be best... cutting the springs, new springs, taking out a couple leafs from the back... blocks... airbags... shooting the tires sounds like a cheap and easy way to do it... but i dont think i wanna do that... someone help me please

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Old 07-05-2005, 05:15 AM
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There is no "cheap" way to do it properly........you could cut the front springs, but wouldn't handle right. The best, proper way is to use dropped spindles in front and lowering blocks in rear. If you want a larger drop, you have much more to do.......frame mods, air bags etc.
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:14 AM
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There are a ton of different ways to lower a truck, depending on suspension, budget, tools, etc. Basically, the more money you spend, the better the truck will ride and handle.

To lower leaf springs:
First off, make sure the springs run under the axle. Some trucks don't, and doing that alone will drop it a few inches with no extra money spent. If the axle is already on top of the springs, then you can put a lowering block between the axle and springs, which will drop the body even lower. To get it any lower than that, you can sometimes move the spring shackles to drop it, but this isn't a good idea. If the lowering blocks don't drop it enough, you're going to have to use airbags and a new rear suspension.

To lower coils:
If the suspension has coil springs, then the cheapest way to lower the truck is to cut the front coils. This will drop the truck, but will also make it handle horribly and ride pretty bad, too. If you just want the look and don't drive it very much or very far, then this might work for you, but if it's a daily driver, you're going to end up hating the handling and ride before long. You can also buy "drop springs" which are new springs that are already cut shorter for you. Supposedly, they're designed to give a better ride than just cutting your old springs, but any time there's less spring in front, the ride and handling will suffer.

So, if you're not cutting the springs, then the next choice is to buy some drop spindles. These change the geometry of the front suspension by making the wheels attach higher on the spindles, which lowers the front of the truck. These work pretty well, but they're not cheap. The ride and handling will also remain the same or better than stock.

Finally, if you really want to spend the dough, put in an air ride system. Most air rides use airbags to replace the springs in a suspension and can be tuned to give the desired ride height. The changes won't be as radical as hydraulics, for example (it's not going to bounce) but you'll still be able to adjust the height of the vehicle at will. Air rides will require a lot of time and money to put in right, and you'll also need a place to mount the compressor and air tank to fill the airbags, but they offer a much better than stock ride and superior handling.

Don't forget that after any suspension modifications, you're going to need to get the alignment checked. A good alignment shop should be able to do everything you need to make sure it drives straight.
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:26 PM
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I think that Ford went to double wishbone (upper & lower a-arms) in 98.
I believe I am correct in thinking that your 95 has I-beam front suspension. The only right way to drop it is with aftermarket dropped I-beams. They are a bit pricey but it's the only way to go.
If you cut the coils with the twin I-beam you will get serious negative camber that will only get worse as the suspension compresses. It will be a nightmare to drive and tire wear will be severe.
The rear leaf spring suspension is pretty straight forward to lower.
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:05 PM
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I think the double wishbone IFS started in 98 (not to sure on that) but at any rate your truck should have twin I-beam. The twin I-beam isn't the best suspension to lower (heck I don't think it is the best suspension for anything but that is another matter all together). Even with expensive drop I-beams it still won't handle too well.

For the rear your springs are on top of the axle so using blocks would lift your truck. If you swap the axle to be above the springs it will drop the back end A LOT (something like 6"). For a more normal drop some lowering leaves would be your best bet.

There is a reason you see more lifted Rangers and more lowered S10's!!!
Your truck will cost about 4X more to lower then an S10 would and still won't turn out as good...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triaged
Even with expensive drop I-beams it still won't handle too well.

If you swap the axle to be above the springs it will drop the back end A LOT (something like 6").

Your truck will cost about 4X more to lower then an S10 would and still won't turn out as good...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news
Okay...what is your reasoning for saying that it won't handle too well? When you go with a dropped I-Beam you keep the correct steering/suspension geometry as factory, it just moves everything UP 2-3" higher. So you are saying that if an S10 owner lowers his truck via Spindles that it won't handle too well? Same concept, different part.
On an rear axle swap kit, you are looking at about 4" max.
And on your last statement about cost/effect, I would like to see you explain why it WOULDN'T turn out as good as an S10. Is this just a biased opinion because you like S10's better than Rangers? Or are do you actually have experience in this area, and are truly helping out someone who is asking a legit question?

Later,
WEIMER
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weimer
Okay...what is your reasoning for saying that it won't handle too well? When you go with a dropped I-Beam you keep the correct steering/suspension geometry as factory, it just moves everything UP 2-3" higher. So you are saying that if an S10 owner lowers his truck via Spindles that it won't handle too well? Same concept, different part.
On an rear axle swap kit, you are looking at about 4" max.
And on your last statement about cost/effect, I would like to see you explain why it WOULDN'T turn out as good as an S10. Is this just a biased opinion because you like S10's better than Rangers? Or are do you actually have experience in this area, and are truly helping out someone who is asking a legit question?

Later,
WEIMER
I never said I wasn't opinionated and that is all what that is.

I'm not a big fan of the twin I-beam suspension. It has a very high roll center and a lot of camber change. Lowering it actually helps it by lowering the roll center.

6" might have been a bit on the high side.
The actual amount of drop will be the axle tube diameter + spring pack thickness + both spring perch height thicknesses (existing one and the new flipped one).

I like rangers and S10's. I don't like the twin I-beam front suspension that rangers used for a long time. I happen to own an S10. I am also cheep...s10's are cheaper to lower and rangers are cheaper to lift (I looked into lifting my S10 right after I bought it).

...but then again the stock S10 suspension has a roll center that is too low (below ground) and it just gets worse when you lower it ...maybe the only mini-truck I like is mine
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