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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well -Ill try and keep this as short as possible knowing that we all have better things to do but I have come into a situation with my front end
I'm the guy who is doing a complete restore on the front end of my 78 Bronco.
I was the guy looking for replacement coils from Rancho and couldn't find them-too old and discontinued.
I was trying for the same size as the truck sat nice and even.Someone told me just to get mine powder coated -as I really wanted to get away from the long and tiring RED colour.The price was right and the springs seemed to be in good shape(No abuse)- so I went ahead and sent them in.( I had lots of other things to do in the meantime)

Coming to the final lap of finishing -I had done the Right side first as it was easier to get to without the garage wall behind me
Coils finally came from powder coating and I was very pleased with the results-Coil was then installed on RIGHT side with Rancho RS5117 shock ---no problem EZPZ!!!-boy did it ever look good to me(I got my colour change after 18 yrs).

Drivers side coil sat on the bench in the meantime until I did LEFT side (clean and paint) -AS well as the steering gear swap to the REDHEAD.Finally got LEFT side Radius arm in -and track bar /Shock tower in.Things were going great until I got to the Coil Spring ---I had trouble putting her in -(With the axle fully drooped down almost touching the floor-I still had to kick the dam spring in luckily without using the compressing clamps-I managed to jack up the axle while holding the top of that sucker in until it finally held in to the point of being able to get the top retainer on.Phew !!-always fun working alone .
Go to put the RS5117 shock onto the LEFT side beside the coil on the track bar shock tower and WTF!!!!!!!!!
Fully uncompressed and extended 5117 shock doesn't reach the radius arm mount. Approx 2 inches SHORT!!!!!!!
HERE COMES THE QUESTIONS INSIDE MY HEAD---WHAT DID I DO WRONG??? WHERE DID I SCREW UP????
and about 27 more not worth mentioning as well as the obscenities.
My apologies for not making this shorter but boy am I peeved---Had one mechanic friend come over and take a look-He said -Boy that axle sure looks level to me!!-we even measured with a tape and got seven inches from top of axle housing to the frame on both sides-even by eye it looks good --SEE PICS-
Yes the coils are in their cups and the top retainers are in with the 2 bolts

The only thing I thought of was that the LEFT spring sat out of the truck and on the bench for at least a month longer than the RIGHT so.......Did it expand or relax a couple of inches while sitting on the bench????
I find out that there is another shock for the front by Rancho -the 5115 which fully extended is 2 inches longer.Did I buy the wrong Shocks????-Why does one fit(RIGHT)???? and the LEFT doesn't????---
AGAIN ---lots of questions and now a monkey wrench in the gears of production if I can use the expression.

Has anyone ever seen or experienced this before??? Has anyone ran 2 different shocks on the front???-Is it the coil---
After all this time and money do I end up buying new coils now anyways???
If anyone has any info or advice on my situation -OR answer any of my crazy questions -I would love to hear from you-- Thanks (y)biglog78
SEE PICS>>>>>>>>>>

Truck has been on floor stands since APRIL-

BTW-the mechanic friend told me -that we might find out more when the wheels go on and drop it back down on the ground on its own weight--- so for now I will not install the shocks to prevent ruining a brand new pair

also right from the RANCHO website-the specs are;
-5117 shock--18 inches fully extended

-5115 shock-- 20 inches fully extended
183692

THE GOOD RIGHT SIDE WITH 5117 INSTALLED NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS COMING WITH THE LEFT
183693

INSTALLING OR TRYING TO INSTALL LEFT COIL STILL NOT KNOWING ANYTHING YET
183694

FINALLY AFTER A BIT OF SWEAT AND SWEARING ---LEFT COIL INSTALLED-SHOCK DOESN'T FIT
183695

AN ASSUMED LEVEL FRONT AXLE --7 INCHES ON BOTH SIDES FROM AXLE TO FRAME
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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3,429 Posts
Are the shocks on opposite sides of the axle? I used to have a factory quad shock setup on the front axle and I believe my front shocks were longer than the rears.
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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7,737 Posts
This is 100% normal on a 79/78. The factory non handling package or hd package has staggered shocks. The steering box side being longer then the pass. Side .

The quad shock setup adds 1 to the rear and one to the front.

That said I have ran every combo and any of the ways work fine. All 4, 2 front, 2 rear, staggered.

In other words you don't have an issue. Just need to get a different shock for the drivers side.
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are the shocks on opposite sides of the axle? I used to have a factory quad shock setup on the front axle and I believe my front shocks were longer than the rears.
Yes sir one in front-one behind-Truck came without the quad setup
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey guys -you have my attention-but I have had the same shocks on the front before and before that.-
No way did I ever have to buy-2 different shocks for back or front-Always in pairs! -and I have had this truck since 87.

Now for the million dollar question!!-WHAT The Hell Happened??? What has caused this freaky change-???
New Bushings and Old Coils???- Can anyone please explain why this has happened now-

I really think the powder coating oven might of possibly distorted the drivers side coil as I had to push it to the far right side of the tower in order for it to stay in.
ONE FINAL POINT->>>If you look at the new pics here I'm including-The way the coil has to veer in a slant to the right-its almost as if the axle is slightly forward from where it should be??-or am I just imagining it???

Could you also take a look at the bottom coil cup and tell me if the coil is properly seated??

STAND BY FOR NEW PICS
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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3,429 Posts
Well, I don't know how you had two of the same length shocks before unless they were both long enough to fit in the front-of-axle location and the one you put aft-of-the-axle was just compressed way more once installed.

If you look at the upper shock mounts for your two shocks, the driver side mount (which doubles as the frame side track bar mount) sits above the coil bucket by a couple of inches and the passenger side upper mount sits even with the coil bucket.

Also, the lower shock mount on the driver side sits in front of the radius arm whereas the passenger side lower mount sits on top of the radius arm. Considering both of those factors, you can see how the driver side shock needs to be at least a couple inches longer than the passenger side. That concludes my TED talk for the evening.
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is 100% normal on a 79/78. The factory non handling package or hd package has staggered shocks. The steering box side being longer then the pass. Side .

The quad shock setup adds 1 to the rear and one to the front.

That said I have ran every combo and any of the ways work fine. All 4, 2 front, 2 rear, staggered.

In other words you don't have an issue. Just need to get a different shock for the drivers side.
Since I have had the truck (1987)-I have changed the shocks on many occasion -and never did I ever buy 2 different shocks.
I wonder if I was buying the 2115 shocks (pair) all along and was putting the longer one on the RIGHT Shorter Side???

Could this of been possible???-What if a longer shock was put on the RIGHT /SHORT SIDE???-Would it work without a problem??? OR Any Damage???--(Blow the shock)??
If this is possible?? or can be done??-Then this is what happened with me
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could you guys take a look at these new pics and tell me if you see anything wrong?-
Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Blue Tread

is this seated correctly or not
183710

183711

does this look twisted to the rear----it doesn't look vertical to me-IS THIS SAFE TO YOU????
183712


183713

183714

183715

BOTTOM COIL NOT FULLY SEATED IN CUP-IS CUP OK?-IS IT BENT??
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I don't know how you had two of the same length shocks before unless they were both long enough to fit in the front-of-axle location and the one you put aft-of-the-axle was just compressed way more once installed.

If you look at the upper shock mounts for your two shocks, the driver side mount (which doubles as the frame side track bar mount) sits above the coil bucket by a couple of inches and the passenger side upper mount sits even with the coil bucket.

Also, the lower shock mount on the driver side sits in front of the radius arm whereas the passenger side lower mount sits on top of the radius arm. Considering both of those factors, you can see how the driver side shock needs to be at least a couple inches longer than the passenger side. That concludes my TED talk for the evening.
I was just mentioning that Doose'-maybe I was running the longer one on both sides-would I have destroyed the RIGHT/SHORT SIDE shock without even knowing it??
 

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78 & 92
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On a mostly street truck it of likely been fine with the long shock on the short side as long as did not bottom out. On street likely shock doesn't get worked super hard, so I could see this.

Please post pic of your bushing stack up and the rear frame end of radius arm. This could explain why it looks a little forward, though maybe just illusion too.

Due do the way these front ends work, the spring must be arc'd. So that is not abnormal, though usually less pronounced at stock spring rate springs (or higher spring rate lift coils) you should see this with a set of Super Flex Deavers. The axle moves in an arc with the radius arm bushing being the middle. 100% stock Trucks sit with the arm almost parallel with ground so it usually doesnt arc spring, but let one extend all way and it will do it too
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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3,429 Posts
I know my suspension isn't stock anymore, but my coils do the same thing where the bottom is farther forward than the top. I have pics of it drooped, but not from a proper angle to show the axle moving rearward as it hangs.


Hard to tell as it's kind of dark in the pic.

 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know my suspension isn't stock anymore, but my coils do the same thing where the bottom is farther forward than the top. I have pics of it drooped, but not from a proper angle to show the axle moving rearward as it hangs.


Hard to tell as it's kind of dark in the pic.

I see it Doose'-looks forward at the bottom. Wow-this is normal?
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On a mostly street truck it of likely been fine with the long shock on the short side as long as did not bottom out. On street likely shock doesn't get worked super hard, so I could see this.

Please post pic of your bushing stack up and the rear frame end of radius arm. This could explain why it looks a little forward, though maybe just illusion too.

Due do the way these front ends work, the spring must be arc'd. So that is not abnormal, though usually less pronounced at stock spring rate springs (or higher spring rate lift coils) you should see this with a set of Super Flex Deavers. The axle moves in an arc with the radius arm bushing being the middle. 100% stock Trucks sit with the arm almost parallel with ground so it usually doesnt arc spring, but let one extend all way and it will do it too
Hey crazyB'-you want pics of the C bushing and the frame bracket ones?-
No problem-will post tomorrow
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Boy -and I thought I was getting to know my truck after all these years of repair - I cant get over the fact that the RIGHT side is so spot on -everything straight and vertical --and the Drivers side of axle seems to be slightly ahead of the tower.
I actually thought this was the purpose of the radius arms -to hold the axle out at the right point-evenly!!!
No lift on my truck -Only body bushings replaced with the LMC rubber kit for softer ride-2 degree C Bushings-new stock 3 inch leafs and rear shocks. Why do guys keep asking me -"What size lift do you have on her????"-
 

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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to ALL who contributed to my thread regarding the shock lengths -talk about living and learning!!
I have been driving the truck for over 20 years with the same size shock on the front and rear of axle, Always assumed when I saw the odd quad setup that they were all the same length.Not a second thought. Must of bought the 5115 Ranchos (LONGER ONE)the first time I changed them -and just kept going with them. Truck never was offroading or climbing rocks-always was a street truck here in the big city.So I never did experience blowing a shock.I'm so much wiser thanks to FSB - thanks again guys. -Keep up the great work-biglog78 😎 👍-
--and if you need anything Ill be in the garage..
 

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2-78 bronco,s-I is a ranger xlt and one is a custom-It has original 4 speed and I put a 390 in it
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Well -Ill try and keep this as short as possible knowing that we all have better things to do but I have come into a situation with my front end
I'm the guy who is doing a complete restore on the front end of my 78 Bronco.
I was the guy looking for replacement coils from Rancho and couldn't find them-too old and discontinued.
I was trying for the same size as the truck sat nice and even.Someone told me just to get mine powder coated -as I really wanted to get away from the long and tiring RED colour.The price was right and the springs seemed to be in good shape(No abuse)- so I went ahead and sent them in.( I had lots of other things to do in the meantime)

Coming to the final lap of finishing -I had done the Right side first as it was easier to get to without the garage wall behind me
Coils finally came from powder coating and I was very pleased with the results-Coil was then installed on RIGHT side with Rancho RS5117 shock ---no problem EZPZ!!!-boy did it ever look good to me(I got my colour change after 18 yrs).

Drivers side coil sat on the bench in the meantime until I did LEFT side (clean and paint) -AS well as the steering gear swap to the REDHEAD.Finally got LEFT side Radius arm in -and track bar /Shock tower in.Things were going great until I got to the Coil Spring ---I had trouble putting her in -(With the axle fully drooped down almost touching the floor-I still had to kick the dam spring in luckily without using the compressing clamps-I managed to jack up the axle while holding the top of that sucker in until it finally held in to the point of being able to get the top retainer on.Phew !!-always fun working alone .
Go to put the RS5117 shock onto the LEFT side beside the coil on the track bar shock tower and WTF!!!!!!!!!
Fully uncompressed and extended 5117 shock doesn't reach the radius arm mount. Approx 2 inches SHORT!!!!!!!
HERE COMES THE QUESTIONS INSIDE MY HEAD---WHAT DID I DO WRONG??? WHERE DID I SCREW UP????
and about 27 more not worth mentioning as well as the obscenities.
My apologies for not making this shorter but boy am I peeved---Had one mechanic friend come over and take a look-He said -Boy that axle sure looks level to me!!-we even measured with a tape and got seven inches from top of axle housing to the frame on both sides-even by eye it looks good --SEE PICS-
Yes the coils are in their cups and the top retainers are in with the 2 bolts

The only thing I thought of was that the LEFT spring sat out of the truck and on the bench for at least a month longer than the RIGHT so.......Did it expand or relax a couple of inches while sitting on the bench????
I find out that there is another shock for the front by Rancho -the 5115 which fully extended is 2 inches longer.Did I buy the wrong Shocks????-Why does one fit(RIGHT)???? and the LEFT doesn't????---
AGAIN ---lots of questions and now a monkey wrench in the gears of production if I can use the expression.

Has anyone ever seen or experienced this before??? Has anyone ran 2 different shocks on the front???-Is it the coil---
After all this time and money do I end up buying new coils now anyways???
If anyone has any info or advice on my situation -OR answer any of my crazy questions -I would love to hear from you-- Thanks (y)biglog78
SEE PICS>>>>>>>>>>

Truck has been on floor stands since APRIL-

BTW-the mechanic friend told me -that we might find out more when the wheels go on and drop it back down on the ground on its own weight--- so for now I will not install the shocks to prevent ruining a brand new pair

also right from the RANCHO website-the specs are;
-5117 shock--18 inches fully extended

-5115 shock-- 20 inches fully extended
View attachment 183692

THE GOOD RIGHT SIDE WITH 5117 INSTALLED NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS COMING WITH THE LEFT
View attachment 183693
INSTALLING OR TRYING TO INSTALL LEFT COIL STILL NOT KNOWING ANYTHING YET
View attachment 183694
FINALLY AFTER A BIT OF SWEAT AND SWEARING ---LEFT COIL INSTALLED-SHOCK DOESN'T FIT
View attachment 183695
AN ASSUMED LEVEL FRONT AXLE --7 INCHES ON BOTH SIDES FROM AXLE TO FRAME
Yes the shocks on the front ARE different in lenghts. I found out like you.
 
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78 BRONCO RANGER XLT -351M-C6-NP203 TO 205 SWAP -9IN 3.50 REAR
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes the shocks on the front ARE different in lenghts. I found out like you.
To all Newbie BRONCO owners!!-Make sure you have the right shocks on your front?!-
For Rancho its RS2117 behind the spring and RS2115 for in front-Happy Suspension guys!! 😎 👍
 
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