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Lift Shackles vs Add-A-Leaf       #: 2096
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 07:22 pm
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Stringer
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I’m hoping for a little insight from both sides here to help me weigh the options. 

My bed has approximately 400lbs of equipment in it at all times. Because of this, the rear has dropped a bit in height. I just tightened up my torsion bars to level the truck off - the front only needed about 3/4” of height to be level. Because of this, I have roughly 3/8” of threads still sticking out on the t-bar nuts and I feel the front could probably still go up about another inch or so on the factory keys.

I’d like to get the rear back up so it’s not sagging as much due to the weight so I’m debating between either 1” - 2” adjustable rear lift shackles or taking it to a shop and having another leaf added. I just measured my blocks and I’m getting about 2 1/2” tall - I’m assuming they are factory but I could be wrong. 

On my first Ranger I did the aftermarket lift keys & shackles so I am a little familiar with how the truck rides with swapping out to those type of shackles - yes I know that’s the wrong way to lift these but I was young and broke lol. 

I think the additional leaf may be my best bet this time around for the additional payload but I also don’t want it to raise the rear end up too much lol. I’m hoping for another 1” - 1.5” in height to keep me leveled or with minimal rake.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 09:24 pm
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My thoughts are a helper spring or air shocks. Both will give a rougher ride.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 09:49 pm
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Stringer
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It will probably be helper springs then. I just put new shocks all the way around the truck last week lol.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 10:27 pm
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The shackles will lift the rear of the truck, and should work but you will be limited to the OEM Springs and the sag that is already y in them.
Also, you will need longer shocks but if the springs are not up to task, new shocks may wear out, then you will really be bouncing around.

If I'm reading this right... you want to half bake the truck and get it to do what you think you want it to.

So where is this going, you need to do it right the first time and not have a rework on your hands.
Buy the correct springs for the lift and weight load you want or need, get the correct shocks that work with the lift/springs you get, but keep in mind, the support structure of the Ranger Frame need to be able to support your dream.

Good Luck, my vote is save your money but the right springs and shock !



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 10:39 pm
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VelociRanger
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If you want the cheap way - then add a leafs. If you want to go the expensive way, you can go online and look up your spring code and see how stiff of springs you have. If you have the weaker springs, then you can either a) go online and buy a pair or complete leaf springs or b) go to a junkyard and get heavier duty leafs. But, if you had to choose between either the add a lead or the shackles I would do the add a leaf. You’ll stiffen the rear just a touch and you won’t gain but maybe 2 inches max of lift. With 400lbs of stuff in the rear your original shocks may be fine depending on how much it sags after the new add a leafs are in, or do one better and get longer shocks. Either way, I think an add a leaf will work fine, but heavier duty leaf packs will work best.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 11:16 pm
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VelociRanger wrote:
If you want the cheap way - then add a leafs. If you want to go the expensive way, you can go online and look up your spring code and see how stiff of springs you have. If you have the weaker springs, then you can either a) go online and buy a pair or complete leaf springs or b) go to a junkyard and get heavier duty leafs. But, if you had to choose between either the add a lead or the shackles I would do the add a leaf. You’ll stiffen the rear just a touch and you won’t gain but maybe 2 inches max of lift. With 400lbs of stuff in the rear your original shocks may be fine depending on how much it sags after the new add a leafs are in, or do one better and get longer shocks. Either way, I think an add a leaf will work fine, but heavier duty leaf packs will work best.
I have #1 torsion bars & K code leafs on the back. I just went through and put 4 upgraded KYB Gas-A-Just shocks on last week. 

Based on what I’m seeing, my leafs are 1 down from the heaviest ones that were available from the factory.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 11:30 pm
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VelociRanger
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Upgraded meaning longer, heavier duty or...? I know the pains of wanting to do something but replacing something else...I just had to get 3 alignments and put $500 worth of new parts on the front end (upper/lower control arms, rack and pinion, outer tie rods, wheel bearings...) before I got my lift just to make sure it was done right. If you’re going to put an add a leaf, or a shackle, the shock will most likely be at its max up travel length and will significantly shorten the lifespan of your new shiny shocks I believe.  I could be wrong, but why chance it? You could always try to sell the shocks on eBay or Craigslist or Facebook and try to recoup some of the money back while getting longer shocks for the rear.


Edit: or, and this may be frowned upon by some, try returning your kyb shocks and use that money on different ones?

Last edited on Mon Apr 20th, 2020 11:31 pm by VelociRanger



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 Posted: Mon Apr 20th, 2020 11:58 pm
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VelociRanger wrote:
Upgraded meaning longer, heavier duty or...? I know the pains of wanting to do something but replacing something else...I just had to get 3 alignments and put $500 worth of new parts on the front end (upper/lower control arms, rack and pinion, outer tie rods, wheel bearings...) before I got my lift just to make sure it was done right. If you’re going to put an add a leaf, or a shackle, the shock will most likely be at its max up travel length and will significantly shorten the lifespan of your new shiny shocks I believe.  I could be wrong, but why chance it? You could always try to sell the shocks on eBay or Craigslist or Facebook and try to recoup some of the money back while getting longer shocks for the rear.


Edit: or, and this may be frowned upon by some, try returning your kyb shocks and use that money on different ones?

I think there may be some confusion with what I’m trying to achieve. I’m not exactly looking to lift the rear end up higher than stock, but get it back to a stock height due to the sag from the weight that is going to be in the bed pretty much permanently. I wouldn’t think that I would max out the shocks since the truck wouldn’t be lifted past the normal stock height. If I were to give a guess, I’d say the rear dropped 1” - 1 1/2” due to the weight.



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OXFORD WHITE 2002 FORD RANGER SUPERCAB 4 DOOR XLT FX4 OFF ROAD 4.0L SOHC 4.10 GEARS V2.0

OXFORD WHITE 2002 FORD RANGER SUPERCAB 4 DOOR XLT FX4 OFF ROAD 4.0L SOHC 4.10 GEARS V1.0 - SOLD
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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 12:00 am
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VelociRanger
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Ohhhhhh okay, my apologies. I totally took that and spun it way around in my head. Sorry!!



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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 12:06 am
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VelociRanger wrote:
Ohhhhhh okay, my apologies. I totally took that and spun it way around in my head. Sorry!!
No it’s all good. I’m hoping I’m just thinking of if the right way in my head lol. I have a Weather Guard Pack Rat that is going to be loaded down permanently in the bed of my truck.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 12:25 am
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I would go with the add a lead then, it’ll raise it back to stock and Help with the load you have



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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 01:00 am
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VelociRanger wrote:
I would go with the add a lead then, it’ll raise it back to stock and Help with the load you have
I think that’s what I’m leaning towards doing at this point.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 02:12 am
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https://www.amazon.com/Hellwig-550-Level-Helper-Spring/dp/B001UFRUWU/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Ford%7C54&Model=Ranger%7C696&Year=2004%7C2004&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&s=automotive&vehicleId=3&vehicleType=automotive

There are better and from different sources.  This will level up to 500 pounds.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 21st, 2020 02:46 pm
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The v8 ranger I just sold had Hellwig style rear helper springs, they work awesome on a Ranger.
That truck sat 2" higher in the rear and leveled out with a bed full of parts. It also rode really nice on the street and trail.

2.5-2.75" is the stock ranger lift block

There is nothing wrong with using a shackle to lift or level the back of your Ranger. The only issue with a shackle is it only mounts on one side of the spring, so 2" of additional shackle get you 1" of lift. 
Sometimes a combo of parts work great. Like a helper spring and if you still need another 1" then add a shackle.
I have seen guys build their own ranger leafs using the main from a 4 door explorer, this can remove the weak de arched spring from your ranger and replace just the one leaf and increase your load carrying abilities.



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 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2020 04:36 am
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Your issue, although slight is one of weight really. There's a section in my write up pg that goes over adding a HD spring, going from a 3 leaf to a 5 leaf pack and although it allowed me to net a 1 3/4" lift from that.. it increased my payload from 1100lbs to 1750lb springs. I generally carried about 350-400lbs of extra gear all the time as well ready to bounce out of town on a drop of a hat notice. Grab the cooler with food, 2 72 hr bags, cameras & batteries, the laptop bag, and out the drive in 18 mins heading to the mountains or the desert.

Helper springs can help but if you're gonna do it right, a band-aid version of whats necessary isnt the way to do it.  I think, [think] I spent less than $88 each HD spring plus shipping which wasn't as bad as it sounds like it would be from RockAuto..., Universal Group HD Leaf Pack (1750lb – 1.7” of lift) Thats the company RockAuto sourced from, I think they were in MA or maybe CT.

Springs offer Payload capacity, shocks offer control, Brackets and suspension lift offer articulation and room for larger tires.

Last edited on Mon May 4th, 2020 04:39 am by Undrstm8ed



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