Bullet Proof Mounts
Rear leaf spring conversion, Part 3: Spring hangers
I wanted this vehicle to be as low as possable to keep the center of gravity low. I kept this in mind when I built the spring hangers. After doing a lot of reading on a number of forums I decided to go with Chevy 1/2 ton truck leafs (63" chevy's) for the rear springs. I lot of guys are running them on Toyotas with good results. I priced out the springs at a wrecker and at a dedicated suspension place and the new ones were a little under double the price. Because I want this car to be praticaly new, I bought the new springs form the suspension place. I removed the over load leaf in an effort to get a more comfortable ride out of the springs and to keep it low. I frenched the front hangers ~2 inches up into the frame and welded the rear shackel mounts high up in the frame rail to mantain a low frame.
This was the first suspension system that I had built from scratch so I wanted it to be a strong one. Using what I learned on Pirate4x4 I built some solid and original mounts. For the front mounts I used 3 1/2" x 1/4" square tubing. I cut out a piece I designed, keeping some of it boxed for rigidity and then capped the front end with some 1/8" plate. The cap was fitted in to the inside of the tube to keep it square. I then notched out the frame and welded the mount in to place. There's a tounge at the top of the tube to give the mount more frame contact. To give it a smooth edge and strengthen it I gusseted the front with some 1/8" plate. The pictures show it better then I can explain.
For the shackel mounts I used some round tubing and a couple of Energy Suspension bushings. I've heard that polyurethane bushings can make a lot of noise. I'm hoping that the graphite impregnated bushings that I'm using won't have that problem. The recommended tubing is the 2 1/2" OD, 1/4" wall, and is 2 1/2" long. The bushings were Energy Suspension PN:9.9485. I made the shackels out of some 3/8" x 1 1/2" flat bar and 6" from pin to pin. My new drill press made it easy to drill the holes. I used 3 1/2" x 9/16" bolts for the spring eyelets and 3 1/2" x 5/8" bolts for the upper shackel mounts, all grade 8 with lock nuts.
I'm not sure if the shackel angle is right. I'm hoping once the weight of the car is on the springs the angle will be better. With the rear frame and suspension completed I can start working on the spare tire carrier. Something I'm looking forward to doing.