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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default radious front suspension ?'s

I have a jeep yj that a previous owner replace the leaf spring front suspension with a ford radious style suspension. My problem is I cant get the front suspension to articulate. I thought maybe the springs, shocks, or trackbar were keeping it from dropping or compressing so I removed all of them and it still won't articulate more then a couple inches. I know fords do articulate with this style suspension.
here are some pics, maybe someone can tell me if they see something wrong.



this is a picture of one side of the axle jacked up, but the whole axle coming up.

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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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it looks like the radius arm mounts to me, if they were a double sheer with a heim joint or even a standard control arm style bushing they would be able to droop more. the third picture you posted looks to me like the arm cant move any further downward in the mount.

check this link out to see what i'm talking about
http://bronco.zenseeker.net/RadiusArms.htm

secondly i see what you said about it not articulating, and it's possible the spread on the mounts is off compared to the stock f-150 or bronco that it came out of. this would preload the c-bushings and not allow the arms to correctly twist in the upper mounts as is needed in this style suspension for the two sides to move up and down separately. sorry i can visualize what i mean it's just hard to put into words.

Last edited by jon_xj90; February 26th, 2010 at 07:21 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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I kinda understand what your saying. I need to find a bronco or f150 and measure the distance of the radious fram mounts from each other.
If I get this correct, will it be alot better then a leaf spring setup, cause I've been thinking about changing it back. thanks.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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i'm actually doing a swap on my xj in just a bit here similar to the "blue thunder" build in the rig build section, d44 hp front with radius arms and 9inch rear, that's why i've been looking around at what's out there. i'd try measuring that first, i'm no expert but that's my best guess as to why the pass side would come up with the drivers when there's no sway bar or springs attached.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 07:57 PM   #5
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Try this: disconnect the rear radius arm mount on the pass. side.
Then jack up the drivers side of the axle. I bet you will see the pass side radius arm rotate downward. This is what is causing the pass side to raise up. If I understand the way the arms are attached to the axle, then they are trying to "twist" the axle when you articulate it.

That's my best guess. Pictures of how the arms attach to the axle would be helpful.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #6
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you can see the stock c brackets on the axle in the pics, they have the coil bucket mounted to the top.

that's what i was trying to explain is because the c notches are angled inward the rear mounts have to be spaced correctly to allow both arms to twist about the same plane and let the axle articulate.

i'll see if i can find a diagram of the correct geometry.

edit... after looking at other ford pics online i'm inclined to believe your arms are too far apart at the top. too close together would make it want to twist one wat or the other and flop over per say, too far apart should restrict it from twisting.

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Old February 26th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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like said above, it looks like you may have the c-bushings working against each other causing a bind and not allowing enough axle rotation as it moves through is cycle arc?????? just a guess.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #8
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I appreciate the help guys. I'm going the junkyard to find a '78 or '79 bronco or f-150 to measure the mounts on the frame and check the location on the axle also. The mounts on the axle are welded on(not factory welded) and they could be to close to each other.
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Old February 26th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #9
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at glance that looks like a hp d44 to me, are you sure that's not the factory weld? there were two styles that ford did, the one piece cast press on, and the 4 piece welded ends, yours may just be the factory welded units. check this link for comparison

Please post your axle photos.......... - The Ranger Station Forums

about half way down the page you'll see factory fugly welds on those wedges, but they are stock. yours could be aftermarket though, who knows.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 07:28 AM   #10
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Ditch those arms and build a set out of 2in 1/4 wall dom. Use some big heims or some big bushings on the frame end. Mine twisted great with long arms and heims.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullsize4life View Post
Ditch those arms and build a set out of 2in 1/4 wall dom. Use some big heims or some big bushings on the frame end. Mine twisted great with long arms and heims.
I agree. Just build some new arms and surpass what the stock Ford arms are capable of.

You could post this over on Fullsizebronco.com too. Might get some help from folks over there.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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You can lengthen the arms too and put the mounts further back on the frame.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #13
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I'm going to cut the ends off these bars and weld them onto the ends of my radious arms. And use part of the steel plate as the mount. Should be strong enough, Right?

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Old February 27th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #14
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Looks like this is going to get ugly
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Old February 27th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead_823 View Post
Looks like this is going to get ugly
we'll see! thanks for your imput, you've been helpful
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #16
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Radius arm suspension works very similar to ladder bar suspension. The axle and arms work together like a giant sway bar. The only give is what little bit the "C" bushings can move on the axle, I had best luck with worn out urethane bushings. Longer arms help by giving more leverage to be able to twist the bushings. Wristed radius arms (google it for explaination) will allow good articulation but they are only using one arm to control the torque load on the axle.

Long leaf springs will articulate better than radius arms but spring wrap / wheel hop is an issue.

Three or four link with or without a panhard bar will give you better articulation and axle control.

Keep in mind that radius arm suspension came out from under a 5500# truck. A 3000# Jeep is not going to have the weight to make it twist.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #17
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Thanks Bronco4-play, I'm probily going to swap leaf springs back under it. Still trying to decide. Might leave it alone for awhile.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 09:55 PM   #18
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I thought I'd toss these pics up for you. This is a 1977 F150 with 4" drop brackets. Maybe all you need to do is pick up or fab a couple of brackets simular to the pics. Im parting the pick up so I dont have any fresh pics.




If you need any other pics of the brackets let me know. Ill be pulling the brackets this weekend. I can have better pics then.

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Old March 1st, 2010, 10:00 PM   #19
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What kind of coils are you running? Could it be that the coils are from the fullsize and just way too stiff.

lgottler here on the board swapped a radius Ford suspention under his TJ in my barn and it flexed awesome. He used coils meant for a TJ though. The TJ coils in comparison to the stock Bronco coils the axle came with were about half the wire size and much more flexible.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepers48 View Post
If you need any other pics of the brackets let me know. Ill be pulling the brackets this weekend. I can have better pics then.
I'd like to know the distance from side to side on the brackets and the axle. If you could, thanks for your help.
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