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1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #141 (Edited)
Well, when it warmed up today I went out and put the coil spring back and let it sit on it’s own weight. There was still about a 2” drop between the frame and the bracket, and the pinion angle looked way off.

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Then I got to looking and thinking that if I used the right on the left, and left on the right, they might have better angles. So I measured one and saw that the “centerline” of the rear bushing compared to the front that bolts to the axle beams is much lower than makes sense. I laid one out and used a square to see that, when used right-side-up, the rear busing is about 4” lower than If I were to flip it over.

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
Joined
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
Once I decided to flip the beam, I wondered if there would be a problem doing this. Then
I noticed the rear bushing is at an angle. I laid it down again and measured how off the angle of the bushing is to the centerline of the beam mounting holes

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It was around 7* off. I went ahead and put the right hand beam on the left side upside down to see how it fit. It went on fine, and the bracket was nearly the perfect height related to the frame, however, the bushing was way off, like probably 15ish degrees.

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My option to use these beams upside down looks like I’ll need to use a spherical / hiem / ball and socket, type joint to make up for the misalignment.

Or, I could try the “cut and turn” approach and move the beam mounting hole on the lower side of the arm forward to move the bushing up (using the beam right side up).

I put the dimensions into autocad and determined that to move the bushing up 4ish inches, I need to move the lower hole about 3/4” forward.

I think that’s the route I’m going to take. I’ll start cutting and welding tomorrow.
 

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
Joined
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #143
I went to Farm and Fleet and bought some 3/16” x 3/4” and some 3/16” x 1” flat stock. The material the arms are made of appears to be about 3/16”.

There are two layers of material, so I figured I’d cut thru one and move that hole forward .75-1” to get me the angle I need.

I started by cutting one layer of the lower mounting hole off, leaving enough so that when I reattach the hole, I won’t burn thru

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Then I laid down a 1” strip of 3/16 and welded it down.

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Then I reinstalled the hole.

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Then I flipped it over and used a 1/4” material to fill in the top, and the old hole.

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
Joined
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #144 (Edited)
Then I found my calipers and measured the correctly located hole and marked its location on the new material. I used several, maybe 5, different drill bits and plenty of oil to get up to the 3/4” hole that the arm-to-beam bolts thru

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Now, I needed to ‘bend’ the beams to make my holes line up. I happen to have an extra set of arms from way back when, and since it would be way easier to do all this test fitting here, rather than under the Bronco, I drug them out.

I bolted the top hole to the top of the beam and marked a line to cut thru one layer to make the bend easier

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Then I did the same thing on the bottom hole.

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Once I was able to line up both the bottom and top holes, I bolted them down and welded the cuts closed, unbolted the arm from the beam, and finished the places I couldn’t reach before

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
Joined
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #145
It was starting to get dark, so I put everything away and went in for the night.

Tomorrow I’ll clean up all the welds, maybe add some material to strengthen everything, and paint the arm. Then I have do the same with the passenger side.

It’s looking like I won’t get done with everything before it gets dark tomorrow afternoon, so I might be driving the old F150 to work for a few days.
 

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Premium Member
1996 Bronco XLT 351W/ZF5, 1996 F150 XLT 351W/E4OD D44 Leaf Sprung SAS
Joined
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1,465 Posts
Discussion Starter #146 (Edited)
I tried the modified/lengthened arm and I appeared to fit fine. Then I decided that I really didn’t feel like spending the day welding, so I put the original radius arm and drop bracket back on, so I could drive it when I needed to. I also messed with the driver side alignment bushing and have the tire more vertical than it was.

I need to modify the passenger side superduty beam, hopefully this week, so I can swap everything over next weekend and be done with this next little project.
 
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