Author Topic: 2wd lift  (Read 586 times)

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Offline RedneckInTraining

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2wd lift
« on: June 28, 2020, 01:50:39 am »
I picked up a 2wd 1988 dakota longbox to go camping in. I've been everywhere in 2wd trucks so I have a fair understanding of what they can do. Except this one threw me for a loop the 1st time I took it out for a test run. The long box dakota has a BIG FAT A55 behind the rear tires. I went on a side road that turned into an overgrown goat trail so I tried to turn around and promptly got the bumper stuck on a small embankment just enough that the street tires and open diff couldn't free the truck. It was a great time to find out that the jack that came with the  truck was bound up and wouldn't work. So I ended up walking an hour back out to a main road until I found someone willing to drive back there and give a tug. When we got back all the truck needed to be free was for him to push (with his body) on the truck in 1st gear. So the truck needs some clearance in the worst way. Up front I can use coil spacers for a modest amount of lift. Out back I was thinking of longer shackles or an add a leaf kit I'm not sure which option would serve me better. The truck is spring under with compression shackles. Other than the silly departure angle the other problem was how slow I had to go offroad due to the small 205/70/15's that are on the truck, but lifting it will allow for some tires with some sidewall.
1994 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD
1987 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6

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    Online RXT

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    Re: 2wd lift
    « Reply #1 on: July 5, 2020, 07:43:22 am »
    The biggest limitation to lifting that 2wd will be the front end. Coil spacers will provide you some modest lift, but you'll still be limited to the smaller tire sizes. I would recommend a body lift along with coil spacers for the maximum amount of lift. Other than that, the only way to make more room for bigger tires is cutting the fenders

    As an FYI, there is (or was) a 2wd lift for 97-99/00-03 Dakotas but you'll be on your own if it could be used on your '88. You could experiment by seeing if 97-99 suspension components will fit an 88. (But it won't be cheap)
    https://www.doetsch-shocks.com/17.asp

    Theres no limit as to how much lift is possible in the rear. You could raise the rear a bunch and go with a bigger tire for max traction and max ground clearance, but it will have that 70's muscle car rake. At least with a 2wd, you don't have to worry about matching the front and rear tire size, -other than carrying two spares.

    There are several options for lifting the rear. Personally I'd shy away from an Add-A-Leaf. These add spring arch by using a very short but highly arched spring that when installed and tightened will force the leaves to arch. It works but the spring becomes very stiff and you lose suspension flex and ride quality. An exception might be the a different version of the Add-A-Leaf that is much longer. The greater length allows for spring flexibility.

    You can gain a lot of lift with a spring-over conversion. Basically the axle is mounted below the springs instead of being mounted on top. The difference in ride height could be about 5 inches. The only thing required is to weld a pair of spring pads to the top of the axle.

    Cut off the shackle and hanger brackets and relocate them on the frame. This is a somewhat big job because you have to grind off all the rivets to release the brackets, and then, you have to drill all new holes in the frame, with rather accurate measurements.

    Shackle flip. I don't recall if there was ever a readily available shackle flip for a Dakota, but you could probably adapt one for another truck or build one from scratch if you got welding skills. You may have to relocate the spring hanger end to benefit from any lift from the shackle. The nice thing about a shackle flip is articulation improves. But consider the downside, which is the rear will tend to squat more under a load. So if you plan to use the truck to haul around stuff, you may want to choose another lift option.

    No lift at all. I'm adding this option because you might want to consider it. You can install larger tires by opening up or tubbing the rear fenders and wheel wells, or just remove the bed all together. However, if you remove the bed, I'd recommend you build a nice hefty flat bed to put weight back on the rear tires, and more rear end weight helps off road traction. (Consider a rear mounted winch)

    Ed
    « Last Edit: July 5, 2020, 07:44:55 am by RXT »
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    Offline RedneckInTraining

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    Re: 2wd lift
    « Reply #2 on: July 7, 2020, 06:11:38 pm »
    I ended up finding some 30x9.5R 15 tires that fit with only a little bit of trimming up front, although a spacer might be nice because it rubs a little at full bump.
    1994 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD
    1987 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6

                          RON PAUL- 2012
    Governments control people. Who CONTROLS the GOVERNMENTS of the people?