Tech article by David (Bucmaster)

Below is my 3.5" "universal lift" from about 1987. I call it a "universal lift" because the lift companies sold one lift kit that fit everything from our small Broncos to long bed F-150s with big blocks in them. To even call this a suspension system is a crime. There is virtually no movement. These springs can be yours for the price of shipping. Or I can save you some money by suggesting that you jack up your rig to the desired lift and weld in a solid piece of steel in place of your shocks.

First put your Bronco up on jackstands, remove the shocks, springs, radius arms ect..... I chose to do one side at a time. Next, I torched off the original radius arm frame mounts.

I then torched the spot welds off of the steel "donut" from the radius arm frame mount. You will need these. I was planning on building the new mounts out of half inch steel plate but......

I found these pieces of steel in my scrap pile. They were the perfect size that I needed. I just had to Henrob the frame cutout and torch out the hole. I then used a Dremel to clean up the hole. My steel was galvanized, so I had to do a lot of grinding to get to good metal. If you do ever grind on anything galvanized, don't breath in the vapors. Not to good for you. If you don't have access to these parts you could easily use 1978-79 Bronco mounts in a pinch.

I then welded the "donut" over the hole just like the original , only a whole lot beefier. I used a MillerMatic 210, not the small Lincoln in the photo.

I then took the radius arm extensions that I purchased from, cleaned up the mating surfaces, pressed the extension on to the radius arm (really I pounded it on with a brass hammer), and welded it all the way around. The extensions don't seem to be on there webpage, but I do remember just calling them and shelling out around $125 to $150 for the pair. Can't really remember for sure(sorry).

Next up is bolting the new long rod on to the front end. I measured from the front bolt on the rear leaf spring, on the opposite side to the center of the front axle. I then made sure that my measurement was the same on the side that I was fabing up.

I got lucky and was able to use the factory predrilled holes in the frame. I wanted to use just the bolts first to see if all my calculations were correct before I finaled it with the big Miller. I also chose to angle the radius arm mount down so that at rest, the radius arm and mount are in alignment. I figure that it will give me more down travel before it binds than if I were to mount them 90 degrees from the frame. I realize that there are other problems with this style front end that will limit travel before the mounts bind, but I figured every little bit helps.

Heres the final look(before welding). 5.5 BC coils, Bilstein shocks on F-250 mounts and all new bushings.

Here is my finished project. Found this little hill next to the shop to try her out on. When I started this project, I had no intention of increasing travel. I just wanted the old Bronco to ride better. It does. The suspension feels really plush. It does have that squishy feel when you first drive it, but I am used to it now. I think it will travel farther if I can find a better hill or use the forklift at work to flex it. The stock rear suspension also really limits the flex. One last thing I may do is weld an eye on the frame and another eye on the radius arm so that I can put a tie down between the eyes if I ever need to change a tire. My handyman jack is rendered useless with this suspension. I can jack it to the top and not lift a tire off the ground. Unlike the old suspension, where I could jack up on one corner and change both tires.