The axle was in place under the truck and Cole had taken his necessary measurements, so he worked through the night building brand-new coil buckets to bolt onto the frame. The plan was to build them similar to a Bronco coil bucket, and incorporate some kind of heavy-duty crossmember between the framerails to replace the two factory IFS ones we removed. We arrived the next morning to find some heavy-duty coil buckets bolted onto the frame with a bolt in each corner. A dual shock hoop bolted to the top of the coil bucket and ran down to meet the frame. For a crossmember, Cole had decided to go with square tubing that would sit flush against the bottom of the coil-bucket brackets. This also allowed a track-bar bracket to be built off the crossmember more easily since it was flat on all sides.You will notice our crossmember is welded to the frame brackets. This was for simplistic placement purposes while spending time designing other facets of the kit. The production piece you get will be able to be bolted up to the frame, making the brackets on the axle the only things needing to be welded in this entire kit. You can also spot the brake lines we had to bend for this picture. CAGE will include these hardline extensions, as well as flexible brake hoses to plumb the brake system. From another angle you can better see the way the track bar mounts to the crossmember. Though CAGE will offer a new track-bar option, cheapskates can use a '78-'79 F-150 or Bronco track bar. The track-bar bracket on the production crossmember will be pushed a couple inches farther out than the prototype bracket seen in this picture.From another angle you can better see the way the track bar mounts to the crossmember. Tho On the axle side, Cole welded the CAGE track-bar bracket against the axle and radius-arm axle bracket. A 3/8-inch plate steel was used to fabricate it, but the production weld-on brackets will very likely be made from 1/4-inch, which is more than adequate. The 3/8-inch steel is a bit thick and very hard to bend, which made it extremely difficult to snug up the track bar in the bracket with the track-bar bolt. In front of the bracket welding, you'll notice some very factorylike steering components. Well, that's because it is; nothing custom here. Though custom tie rods and drag links can obviously be made, we opted for the cheapskate plan and used '91 F-350 steering linkage to match the axle. It bolted directly into the CAGE drop pitman arm. For suspension heights over 6 inches tall we suggest using an aftermarket steering arm and a custom drag link, as the angle starts to get a little steep during full suspension droop.On the axle side, Cole welded the CAGE track-bar bracket against the axle and radius-arm a CAGE has progressive-rate Bronco coils readily available for around $150 per pair. These are so well priced that they are the cheapskate plan. Directly below the coil, you'll notice the lower coil bucket from a '66-'79 Bronco. We bolted these directly on top of the radius-arm axle brackets using two Grade 8 bolts, just as Ford did from the factory. Again, CAGE will have new pieces available, or you can forage for yourself in a junkyard.CAGE has progressive-rate Bronco coils readily available for around $150 per pair. These a It was almost midnight by the time we finished the design and install on the final day. Lift blocks were thrown under the rear leaf springs to get the truck to sit level until we could have some new leaf springs made. The 37-inch Mickey Thompson Baja MTZs on Classic II wheels were bolted on, and rubbed a little bit on the factory fender, but we would be trading the fenders out for some fiberglass ones very soon. We used a forklift to lift the front end and cycle the suspension, just to make sure that nothing was binding and everything was tightened up.It was almost midnight by the time we finished the design and install on the final day. Li The suspension was done but the drivetrain was not. The rear driveshaft was a little too short but would be OK for the trip home. The front driveshaft was totally unusable. It was way too short, was a reversed slip yoke with a fixed shaft, and the exhaust was routed in the way. On top of that the front output turns, even in 2WD on an NV246 Auto Trac transfer case! We would be able to leave the shop, but would still need new driveshafts and exhaust work done when we got home.The suspension was done but the drivetrain was not. The rear driveshaft was a little too s A couple days later, we were back on our home turf and at our local drivetrain shop. We put the truck up on a rack and inspected the suspension to see how it had handled the thousand miles we had put on it the day before. The only problem we could find was that our extremely knobby tire sidewall would rub a little bit of paint off one of the shocks in a full lock turn.A couple days later, we were back on our home turf and at our local drivetrain shop. We pu We had ordered two sets of Yukon 4.88 gears and install kits to match the front and rear gear ratios to the tires. The front high-pinion Dana 60 ring-and-pinion (YK D60R-488R-T) is a special application with a thick ring gear to fit a 4.10-and-down differential case. We also ordered a master overhaul kit (YK D60) since we had just purchased this axle and did not know its history. In the back, we had a 33-spline, 9.5-inch ring-gear 14-bolt axle that received the same gear ratio (YG GM9.5-488) using a standard installation kit (YK GM9.5-B) since we knew the rear axle to be in good condition. Though we can understand the monetary argument of not putting expensive synthetics in your engine all the time, how could you cheat yourself out of some nice Royal Purple gear lube for your axles? Gear oil is rarely changed (if at all) and spending a few extra bucks on the fancy synthetic will pay off in the long run. Our drivetrain shop, South Bay Truck, bolted the Yukon Gear ring gears onto the differentials (stock open carrier in front, Gov-Loc in back) and pressed the new bearings on. Though it is seldom done, it is a good habit to use assembly lubricant like Royal Purple's Max-Tuff when putting together drivetrain pieces. We mention that the front driveshaft had a "reversed" slip yoke. More specifically, it had a front female slip-yoke style output, something that can only be found on IFS trucks that did not need much driveshaft slip movement at all. We found that Pro Comp had a fixed yoke kit (PN 52046) that would fit in the NV246 Auto Trac transfer case that this truck came equipped with. The transfer case would have to come apart to install it, but we had no choice short of replacing the transfer case and dealing with all the GM sensors in the 'case.We mention that the front driveshaft had a "reversed" slip yoke. More specifically, it had Once the Pro Comp fixed-yoke kit was in, we were able to take a measurement and order new driveshafts. The Pro Comp kit calls for a 1310 U-joint to be used. It's a bit small compared to the rear GM U-joints and 1350 Dana 60 yoke, but the 1310 U-joint allows for more CV joint travel, something that would be severely hindered if the kit was made for a 1330 U-joint. Driveshafts seem to always be the cost you forget to factor into the project price, and it'll always bite you as driveshafts are not cheap. They added more than $600 to the cost of our project, and that was with some "good guy" pricing.Once the Pro Comp fixed-yoke kit was in, we were able to take a measurement and order new Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass fenders were the final ingredients to add to this recipe. The fiberglass unit will actually bolt into the five bolt holes used to hold the factory fenders, but part of the inner steel fenderwell will have to be cut to fit the Glassworks fender with its increased flare. The fenders cured our tire rubbing woes and put a cool, go-fast look on the truck.Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass fenders were the final ingredients to add to this recipe. « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Jerrod Jones Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!