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Old 01-09-2008, 06:18 PM
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lowering suspension

hey i have a 97 dakota and am gettign ready to lower it i know its not really a hot rod but i was wondering if any of you guys could hel me out i was wondering if anyone knows about putting pinion shims inbeween you axle and leaf springs and if they are a godo idea are there diffrent sizes and how do you know what size to get? are the also vehicle specific?

thanks for all the help

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Old 01-09-2008, 06:50 PM
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I've got a '98 RT that's already lowered from the factory that I lowered an additional 2". That said, I'd never do it again! This thing hits the poly bump stops on any kind of bump. It has absolutely no carrying capacity either.

The darker pic is "before" and the lighter pic is 2" lower than low.

Russ
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:52 PM
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I would check out Stylin' Trucks and get some drop spindles for the front.
http://www.stylintrucks.com/belltech...elltech2#Dodge

Try to find some lowering springs if they are available. If not, cut yours. Theres a proper way to do it. I will explain it if you like.

For the rear, decide how much you want to lower it and get a block that size. Unless its a leaf over truck, then just do a leaf under swap and that will be about a 4-5" drop. If not, blocks. And the "pinion shims" technically have a different name at a parts store. Depending on the area, they go by block shims, lift block shims, angle shims, etc. If you walk in and say pinion shims you might get a weird look and get told to go to a rear end shop.

Anyways, they aren't always necessary. They just have to do with adjusting the pinion angle, and you can get them from 2-4 degrees I believe. I am not sure since I don't do much with leaf springs, or blocks. But pinion angle adjustment is a whole other topic that requires a lot of detail.
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:04 PM
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dak suspension

yea i would get lowering spindles, problem is u cant get them for a 97 dakota, i ahve a set of lower control arms coming and also a set of shacles and hangers for the rear, theres no way i want to cut the springs and use blocks that what my brothers 98 s10 ss has done to it and you about have to go to the chiropractor after you ride in it, but any way you think the pinion angle will be ok if i lower it it will be lowered aprozamitley 4 to 5 inches in the rear with the shackles and hangers
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:59 AM
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Look at the link I posted. It has drop spindles for several different Dakotas, including a 97.

BTW, blocks won't actually change the ride. The only difference is your axle is closer to the frame, which in some cases causes a terrible ride due to the fact that the axle hits the frame. In the case you would need a small C notch. Block also don't change your pinion angle. Dropped spring hangers do, however. So if that is the route you are going you may need to get shims to adjust the angle.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:09 AM
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Sorry, forgot about the actual drops. I used 2" drop front springs from AIM and 2" drop blocks made by a local spring shop in the rear. Both front and rear required trimming the bump stops and I still have less than 1" at rest. Yes, that is 1" of suspension travel! Lots of work is required to do it right, I took the easy way out and the ride suffers...

Russ
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:21 PM
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Hi All

I lowered my sons 97 Dakota 2 years ago. we used a ground force 2/4 drop kit. The installation was straight forward , after about a week he said the truck was all over the road.. We look at the front suspension and found that two of the bolts for the passenger side upper ball joint had sheared off. I replaced with grade 12 bolts and had no more problem with that. The major problem we had was the alignment issue..... if you do lower a Dakota you have to elongate the slots in the frame for the upper control arms a half inch to the outside of the truck . I used a carbide burr in a drill motor. after that the alignment was good and also had a little left for adjustment. The ride was stiff and the truck cornered like it was on a rail with 20s on it..... i had to roll the rear inner fender lips to get clearance for the tires but that wasn't too hard........ later fellas
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