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DNBELOWBRONCO

2005 Excursion Rear Leafs

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So I put some '05 Excursion rear leafs on the Bronco when it was down last for the 10.25 install and the bigger lift/tires/rims etc. I wanted to know if anyone knows how many leafs to pull out to make them flex more. It drives great on the road but I know it isn't going to flex worth sh** off. I tried a few sites but didn't find any answers, They have 6 leaves, 4 longer and 2 shorter. Anyone have an idea how many leaves to remove to make it flex and articulate better and which ones to remove? Thanks guys! >:) -Kevin-

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Happy Easter to you Dnbelow,

The normal line of thought would have you remove the shorter lengths. However, I haven't seen nor heard of the engineering surounding this type of spring swap.

You said you wanted to make it flex to articulate off road. A mono leaf would do that, however, you will risk breaking the spring because it will also be twisting in a movement it was not designed for.

You could consider adding coilover rear shocks to help support the weight. and a Panhard or weisach bar. Then if something does brake, you could probably limp out of the woods.

Do you know the weight handling capacidy of the original springs, compared to the stock Bronc's?

The only way to be sure if you are going off road and rockcrawling, is to do a 4 link with coilovers, designed for that purpose.

You may be a pioneer in this area...keep us informed about what you do and the result. It could be invaluable to others.

 

Good Luck

Edited by Rons beast

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Happy Easter to you Dnbelow,

The normal line of thought would have you remove the shorter lengths. However, I haven't seen nor heard of the engineering surounding this type of spring swap.

You said you wanted to make it flex to articulate off road. A mono leaf would do that, however, you will risk breaking the spring because it will also be twisting in a movement it was not designed for.

You could consider adding coilover rear shocks to help support the weight. and a Panhard or weisach bar. Then if something does brake, you could probably limp out of the woods.

Do you know the weight handling capacidy of the original springs, compared to the stock Bronc's?

The only way to be sure if you are going off road and rockcrawling, is to do a 4 link with coilovers, designed for that purpose.

You may be a pioneer in this area...keep us informed about what you do and the result. It could be invaluable to others.

 

Good Luck

Hey Ron thanks for the response and Happy Easter to you to man. The family and I barbecued some steak and eggs and now are heading out to Target so the kids can spend their Easter money, been in their pockets a whole couple hours.....lol! The rear leafs came out of a "gas motor" Excursion which is basically a Super Duty frame so they are pretty solid and heavy. I found a guy's post from 2003 on FSB that put some F350 ones on, basically the same thing. He started by using two leafs instead of six and from two vehicles but they bowed against each other to where you could almost push a tennis ball through them.. :o He made a homemade ramp to use to test them, I'll find the link you'll be shocked! I sent him a PM to see what happened because he was going to get a pair of F350 stock six leaf springs to try next, but haven't hear back from him yet. I'll post what I find. I might just have to experiment...... >:) -Kevin-

Oh, HAPPY EASTER AL..........

Edited by DNBELOWBRONCO

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Ok so today I was finishing up my wife's coolant leaf on her 4Runner and I decided to work on the Bronco too. I didn't take any pictures so I will tomorrow but I had 6 leafs on my '05 Excursion leafs. I decided to leave to top four which are the longest and remove to two shorter ones. I believe they are load levelers or sort of like add-a-leafs in a way. I was going to remove the 4th, 5th, and 6th but the 4th has the sort of squared off U-clamps that hold the leafs together and it is attached to the 4th leaf so I didn't want to screw with it. I started this to get more flex and articulation but now that it's on the road and I've been logging some freeway time I've noticed a vibration at 70 mph. I haven't done the initial gear fluid change since the sterling was re-built and that was 850 miles ago but I pulled the speed sensor and wiped it clean today. I measured the pinion angle and I believe it was at 12 and the drive shaft was at 22 so the difference was 10 so I decided to put the factory wedges back in I believe they had 5.5 printed on them but either way I figured it would get me closer to the 2 deg I should be shooting for. After it was all said and done the drive shaft looks pretty straight. I put the angle finder on the side of the pinion and it was between 16 and 17 so I put it on the slip-shaft and it was 17 so I put it up on the double carden and it was 17 too. How can this be? Did I luck out and put the factory wedges in, pulled two leafs out, and ended up a 1/2 deg off? I cut the shaft 2 1/2" originally because when I installed the Sterling the slip-shaft was completely compressed and barely fit in so I shortened it about what I heard others had done 2 inches and because it was so tight I added 1/2" more to be sure. I took it for a test drive and went up to 75 and it didn't seem to vibrate but I want to go on the freeway I commute on to be sure. The rear end seems to be better, not so rigid over speed bumps etc and it has a slightly looser sway as I lean into turns or shake the wheel back and forth so it seems to have more flex. It definitely rides softer now which is nice so I hope I just lucked out. Is there any drawbacks to the angles being this close? The pinion points up and I'll post pics tomorrow but do you think it will affect oiling the ring and pinion. I don't know much about the 10.25's but the cover is lower to the ground, more horizontal instead vertical (up&down) so I don't know if it's a rock issue since these diffs hang kinda low to begin with. I'll post a picture of the drive shaft, pinion, and cover tomorrow. Thanks >:) -kevin-

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I torqued the u-bolts to 160 ft lbs after putting the stock 6 deg wedges back and removing the bottom two leafs and now it is making noise and the wheels sort of "click" and when I move from forward to reverse and back again the pinion and drive-shaft move up and down quite a bit?? I think the tubes are possibly moving too but not sure, hard to see underneath. I'm not driving it till I figure this out because I don't want to screw anything up. I can try pulling the wheels and cranking the bolts tighter, torque wrench only goes to 150 ft lbs. It's amazing that the u-bolts, plates, and wedges welded to the diff tubes are all that keep the rear-ends from twisting with that much torque.... >:) -Kevin-

Edited by DNBELOWBRONCO

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Well a little update. I removed the u-bolts that came with the Sterling and went over to Loomis Ca. about 10 minutes from my house to RuffStuff and picked up some new one's. I bought the spring plates from them and they were 1/4" and very beefy so I checked their website and grabbed four- 5/8" by 3 5/8" by 10" u-bolts with washers and nuts cheaper than I could have got at O'Reillys and went home and put them on. They tighten up much better, my old ones were shot, the front leaf spring to bracket bolts were loose so that was my swaying problem so now the diff is back under control. I found I have a pinion seal leak and I heard the early Sterling's have a short pinion problem till '93 but I'm not screwing with the crush sleeve and backlash etc till I swap in a locker later. I drained the fluid which was black from being assembled and sprayed it out with parts wash. I even used a floor jack to lift both sides to drain the fluid out of the tubes as good as possible. I bought new fluid and a couple bottles of friction modifier and a new pinion seal and a new nut. I have a mechanic buddy of mine from the Ford dealership we worked at coming over Saturday to look at everything before I put fluid back in to be sure it looks and sounds ok. He's bringing a pinion torque wrench to measure the torque on the nut before we remove it so we can put it back as close as possible and I used a punch to mark the pinion and the nut just to be sure and counted the exposed threads. I'm a little pissed because I had this 10.25 re-built by the guy who was selling me the used axle and I mentioned reading an article about the short shafts but I heard the newer ring and pinions already had the longer ones upgraded. I mentioned this after he was finished but he seemed to not know this so now with the leak I'm wondering what else he may have skimped on without me knowing. I had him put the 4L56 gears in to match the front and replace the pinion bearing and seal because he said they needed to be done but he said the spider gears looked fine. Even though the limited slip clutches looked good I had him replace them anyways. Guess we'll see this weekend...... >:) -Kevin-

Edited by DNBELOWBRONCO

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So another update to my previous update. We took the pinion nut off and the yoke came off with only the force of the seal lightly pushing behind it. That wasn't good right off the bat since they usually need a little tap to get them on. The yoke also wobbles back and forth more than normally so it looks like the shop either used possibly a front yoke or whatever 31 splined Ford one they had laying around. The u-joint caps never did fit completely right so I'm wondering if it fit a 1310 instead of a 1330 which is what the Bronco has on the slip shaft. Either way I searched everywhere and couldn't find a 1350 yoke at any drive shaft shops or aftermarket parts houses so I finally went to Ford and ordered one at my cost which was $105 out the door listing for $170 :o I was going to get in touch with a buddy that works at Pick-N-Pull but decided I wanted one that had a new sleeve since mine was grooved and caused the pinion seal to leak on the inside and the outside. I also wanted to change up to the 1350 for strength and all I had to buy was a conversion u-joint that has two 1330 caps for the slip-shaft and two 1350 caps for the larger pinion yoke. Later all I have to do is get in touch with Eric at Ericautopart one of FSB's vendors and he makes rear shafts loaded with 1350 joints that will bolt straight up to the 1350 yoke on the Sterling making everything much stronger. I almost went with a 1410 yoke but wasn't sure if their was a conversion joint available and what the other caps were, maybe one size down 1350's. I didn't want to spend the money replacing the slip-shaft in case they were 1350's because I would have just replaced the whole drive shaft instead and I just had the whole thing shortened, balanced, and new 1330's replaced all around. I even bought two new strap kits for the yoke since it's threaded and since they fit the 1350 caps nice and tight. Weird thing is that they fit Dodge's etc and have one big strap and one littler one so you have to buy two kits to get two big ones. We looked and the ring/pinion gears are contacting real nice and deeply into the ring gear so at least it looks to be set up correctly after 850 miles of breaking it in.

Here is a list of the part numbers for anyone wanting to swap diffs and upgrade to a bigger yoke......

 

Ford 1350 yoke off a '80-'89 F350/FSD (E7TZ-4851-A)

Precision brand conversion u-joint from O'Rellys/Kragen (# 448)

Two MTM strap kits from O'Reillys/Kragen (# 81020)

 

 

 

>:) -Kevin-

Edited by DNBELOWBRONCO

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So my buddy came over Wed and we decided to use the old pinion nut so that we had the original mark still on it and in the right place. We ended up having to use two pipe wrenches and a piece of pipe and a breaker bar to tighten the nut down enough. The compressor and impact gun got close but we decided to finish it up by hand to be sure and not pass the two marks. We adjusted it just a little past the mark to be sure and to keep it under tension. The yoke is tight and no more wobble and the conversion joint fits into the 1330 slip-shaft and the 1350 yoke perfectly! So as far as I can tell everything is fine and there is no more loud clank from the back as I put in into gear. Plus I feel better knowing the u-joint fits into the yoke tighter.... >:) -Kevin-

Edited by DNBELOWBRONCO

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Hey Kevin,

Thanks for all the updates. Valuable info there. Let us know how everything works on the road and trails.

 

Good Luck

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So far so good! The drive-shaft is solid and connected to the pinion yoke with zero movement and the clunk is gone. I still have a slight vibration but there are other things I need to rule out like my tires which I recently purchased used and are slightly cupped on the outer edges. They are directional and I think the PO may have run them backwards for a bit by mistake. I had the truck aligned again today after driving it for a while and re-torquing the lift brackets, radius arms, and the new rear u-bolts I just replaced. I have to check tomorrow because I remember having a problem tightening the two long bolts that go into the radiator support body bushings after I put the motor back in and put the front end back on. The vibration seems to be coming from the front and the drive-shaft was shortened and balanced and in the rear so I wonder if the front end starts to vibrate/wobble because the bolts aren't completely tightened so it's letting the front radiator support and fenders etc. start to shake as the speed increases, especially if the road is choppy or not quite smooth. If the road is smooth and level it doesn't do it near as much...... >:) -Kevin-

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