diy budget drop 89 ford - - Home of Canadian Ford Truck Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
hihosilver's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: saltspring island, b.c.
Posts: 118
diy budget drop 89 ford

first thing i want to say is that this thread is to show that you can drop one of these trucks on a budget i am not saying you shouldn't spend the money and buy engineered parts for your truck, but to stay with the budget theme i have going with this truck i am not. this thread is for information purposes only and i take no responsibility if you hurt your self and damage your property.

that being said ill fill you guys in on my plan. i want to drop my 89 f150 a bit but cant justify the money for dropped beams right now so after a little digging i decided to cut my coils. i know there are lots of opinions out there that cut coils are bad and will ride like cr*p, but i disagree i have had a couple of cars with cut coils and they all rode great and actually handled a little better than stock, also when i was at school taking a course on specialty suspension fabrication the teachers actually endorsed doing so.

first things first get it up on jackstand and give it a shake to make sure shes not going to fall on you. next thing you want to do is remove the tire and support the ibeam with a floor jack to support the weight of the suspension.

next thing you want to do is remove the existing camber bushing. start by loosing the pinch bolt to the point the bolt is no longer applying pressure on the bushing then pop the bushing out. that task is easier said than done. i found a big f-ing pry bar and a pair of channel locks work for me. do not use heat no matter what suspension parts and heat do not mix.
once there out you can install the new camber adjustable bushings.
i want to get the front end as low as i can but still be able to get it close to alignment so i went with +-4* which were the biggest i could find. i set mine to the full 4* and installed them. once there in and kind of aligned tighten the pinch bolt to snug.

here you can see the new bushing installed

next we release the pressure on the spring. raise the jack under the a arm just enough to take the weight off and remove the bottom shock bolt and j hook at the top of the spring. then slowly lower the jack and the top of the spring should fall out. make sure to stand to the side when lowering the jack if you followed the steps then you will be perfectly safe but you never know and its always better to be safe than sorry.

the next step is the point of no return, cutting the spring. what ever you do do not use heat to cut the springs like i said earlier heat and suspension parts do not mix. i found that a cut off wheel on a grinder works best you could use a sawzall if that's all you had but it will take you all night and go through a lot of metal blades. i didn't remove the spring from the i beam but you can if you want i didn't just to save my self a little time.
when cutting the springs take 1/4 to one half turn at a time there is no standard formula that says 1 coil equals one inch each vehicle will be different that being said i started with one full coil, but this is a case of do as i say not as i do.

this is showing the coil after the first cut.

this is how much my first cut was. you will notice that the top wrap of the coil is different than the rest so that the j hook can hold it securely at the top and i will show you how i deal with that later.

once you have your first cut done slip the spring back in place and put the tires back on and drop the truck to the ground don't worry about tightening everything up right now your going to lift it again and do that all later.
once the trucks on the ground jump up and down on the bumper a bit to make sure the springs are seated and stand back and have a look. if you want to drop it more, then lift it up and repeat the cutting steps and keep going to you get the height where you want it.
but keep in mind this only works for up to about 2 inches if you want more than that you have to go with beams.

ill post more tomorrow after i finish the front end tonight and i will show how to do the rear as well as i get to it. sorry for the picture quality i cant seem to find my camera charger anywhere so i had to use my phone.

the only things holding you back are fear and common sense
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 04:47 PM
TRUKNUT's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississauga Ont
Posts: 1,813
Nice project ... that model looks great lowered safe !!!

Load It Like A Railcar........................... Drive It Like A Stockcar..........................
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
hihosilver's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: saltspring island, b.c.
Posts: 118
so i have the front end finished and have started on the rear end.

this photo shows how i got around the jstrap problem i used a 5/8 cable clamp (small ubolt) and through drill the spring bucket. this should be plenty strong, stronger than the factory piece, the only real purpose of the jstrap is to hold the spring from falling out under extreme suspension droop or when jacking the front end up. since im not planning on doing any dukes of hazard reenactments or doing any jumping of any kind i should be fine.

i ended up taking a full 3 coils out to get the front end down to where i want it and i am still sitting with slightly positive camber so there should be no problem with alignment.

the scrap left over

this was the ride height after my first round of cutting, about one coil

final ride height unfortunately i do not have any before pics but the drop was right around three inches. i had to cut the bump stops in half or the front end would have no travel what so ever

i just started the rear and will post pics and a how to once i get the time im still trying to decide if im going to do a flip or shackles and hangers. first i have to replace the right rear hanger because it was broken and barely hanging on.

the only things holding you back are fear and common sense
hihosilver is offline  

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