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Old 10-04-2017, 12:04 AM   #1
Matt_50
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Rear bushings, bad springs

1950 Chevy 3100, cab all welded back up! Front suspension done! Ready for the rear before I drop in engine!! Woohoo!

Rain finally stopped so I'm back at it. Unfortunately I discovered my rear leafsprings are no good! I bought bushings and was all set to swap my axle out today but found that the leaf springs are worn away.

So I need a new rear suspension. I might...might.. know where a couple of springs are that..again..might.. be in good shape off what's left of a 47. My expectations are low though so I need some ideas if I'm gonna get springs, what should I do. I want a good idea on all my options, cheap and even pricey.

First..any good recommended kits?

Second, anyone got any factory springs?

Third, what sort of junkyard find ideas do we have? I was curious about using a spring set up where the springs are mounted on the side of the rail instead of under it? Arnt the TFs this way? I was eyeballing my c10s rear suspension but the 1950 is so wide in the rear in the frame. I'm worried my springs would be out to far for good clearance. Anyone use a c10 rear suspension before or know of anyone? What other rear suspensions can I use that a 10 bolt axle will bolt too?
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
dsraven
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

I have heard of guys using springs from a ford ranger or chevy S10. you can usually find them at a wrecker and take the frame mounting brackets along for the ride. otherwise the ranger frame brackets are available from dorman, at autozone I think, and will be on the outside of the frame. the S10 ones will have to be salvaged and will place the spring under the frame.
the small trucks will have a better spring ratio for a light truck like these. the original are a little heavy but some guys take a spring leaf or 2 out.some guys also put the overload spring in that looks like a really thick leaf on the bottom of the pack and take a few others out. that way the spring pack has a back up if things get a little too much for the pack to handle.
if you mount the springs next to the frame just be sure you will have clearance for the tires and wheels with the hangers in there.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:34 AM   #3
Matt_50
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
I have heard of guys using springs from a ford ranger or chevy S10. you can usually find them at a wrecker and take the frame mounting brackets along for the ride. otherwise the ranger frame brackets are available from dorman, at autozone I think, and will be on the outside of the frame. the S10 ones will have to be salvaged and will place the spring under the frame.
the small trucks will have a better spring ratio for a light truck like these. the original are a little heavy but some guys take a spring leaf or 2 out.some guys also put the overload spring in that looks like a really thick leaf on the bottom of the pack and take a few others out. that way the spring pack has a back up if things get a little too much for the pack to handle.
if you mount the springs next to the frame just be sure you will have clearance for the tires and wheels with the hangers in there.
So i could find an s10 and the springs and hangers will mount under the frame similar to the ADs setup? What years?

Yea, outside of frame just seems real wide. But my searches keep pulling up rear end swaps and spring kits.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:31 AM   #4
mr48chev
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

Stick your head under the back of a Dodge Caravan mini van at the local pick a part. Leaf springs that have hangers that unbolt from the van. Short wheelbase vans have shorter springs than the long wheelbase ones do.

Otherwise it is find a good pair of springs that someone has pulled off who isn't far away. It shouldn't be real hard to find a pair in West Texas but you may pull a couple of sets out before getting a good pair. If there is a spring shop in Odessa you might see about having a pair of main leaves made and having your other leaves reworked .

Check with Odessa Spring Brake & Axle and see what they say about making new main leaves and go from there in deciding to fix the springs or swap to something different. Most likely they will either shoot you a decent price or price themselves out of the job as there isn't much in between. Some spring shops will say nothing deal we an whip that right out and some don't want to fool with it unless they make serous money on it.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
Matt_50
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

Should I go for the shorter or longer springs? I called them, they said they don't have a furnace anymore...
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

I'd try to stay reasonably close to the same length.

S-10 / Ranger/ Dodge Dakota or maybe one of the Asian mini trucks should work.

I suggested the Mini van ones because the spring hangers unbolt and you can figure out how to bolt them to your frame pretty easily. The springs are below the frame rails. I've got a 92 Dakota donor but the spring hangers are outside the frame rails like a 3/4 ton or 55/59 Chevy. They unbolt but won't work well on an AD.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:52 PM   #7
Matt_50
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

I've read one build where caravan springs were used, it looked pretty straightforward. I suppose a look in the local yards wouldn't hurt. I found a shop in Lubbock who said they could me some but he told me it would be cheaper to go aftermarket.

If I went the caravan route...are they any better or worse than using stock springs?
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:41 PM   #8
Matt_50
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

I talked to a guy today who has a friend who has a friend.. you know how it goes. And this guy has a 53 3100. He's doing the popular s10 swap and had a frame in the weeds. So I go out there and the leaf springs were good! Axle was gone, and the springs were only held in by the rear shackles.

Quick and easy to pull off. The eyes of the springs were not elogolated and I've already got new bushings installed!! I also got the right rear mount too, which is awesome since you apparently can't but it anywhere. The springs were only the main leafs. But I can just use mine.

I know these are used and old but I'm not gonna haul anything and I got these parts..

For the low low price of free!!!
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:03 PM   #9
dsraven
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

thats awesome. don't you love it when things just fall into place.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:40 AM   #10
Matt_50
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Re: Rear bushings, bad springs

Is it recommended to add a sway bar if I'm using stock rear springs? This will not be a hotrod. And I doubt I'll even get on the highway much. This'll be a daily for getting to work.
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