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You Ever Wish You Were Lower?

Shimmy

Contributor
1977 Bronco
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
259
Loc.
Maple Valley
I bought my 77 Bronco a year ago and since then i've been trying to address the suspension and overall driveability of it. I realized shortly after I bought it that I wanted to redo the suspension and steering. Off I went to order my new 3,5" lift since I thought thats what i already had. I wanted to replace the old linear coils, add a leaf rears and blocks. It seemed like a mix match of pieces to me. Well, that was naive. I installed the 3.5" lift and realized i probably had a 2.5" lift or 2" prior. The bronco sits much higher now and here I am trying to address caster issues... It looks like drop brackets or LAs with the inevitable "cut and turn" will get me back to making this thing safe at 60mph. Here I go again and purchased the Duff LA kit, but production delays have it out 4 weeks. Thats given me some time to ponder... Should i just throw in the bag and get new 2.5" coils/leafs? I don't really need 3.5" of lift, but it sure looks awesome! Perhaps I'd still be in a similar situation with needing drop brackets to get more caster even with a 2.5" lift? I'm also on 35" tires, but I guess I wouldn't mind going down to 33's.

Anyone else have these late night thoughts that prevent them from sleeping? First world problems huh?
 

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NickMcAFP

Contributor
Newbie
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
69
Loc.
Sturbridge
I don't have anything helpful to say outside of yes. Yes I do lay awake at night worrying about lifts. Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about tire treads. I'm currently waiting on a backordered body part and I had a nightmare the other night about it.

The struggle is real.
 

71 CA Bronco

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
705
Your sitting ass high. If you pull a leaf or two out of the back it will help a bit. I like 35's with 3-1/2 lift but everyone is different. Long arms will correct the castor but you will likely need a sway bar to get your handling back in order. They are made to flex. Maybe someone that has used the shorter T-rex arms can chime in. It may not sway as much with those.
 

Jakedog

Contributor
Sr. Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
794
When I bought my bronco it had a new 5.5" lift on it. The handling was absolutely dangerous. If you accelerated it pulled hard right, and when you let off it pulled hard left.

I really didn't want it lifted that high anyway, so I installed a WH 2.5" lift. It handles way better now.
 

spap

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
2,255
I was thinking about going to 2.5 1 inch bl from my 3.5, I have 35 s both fenders cut and would have plenty of room
but a lot of busy work
 

Yeller

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
4,296
Loc.
Rogers County Oklahoma
I’m a low lift fan. Between no lift and lowered floor pans in my bronco the sitting height in the seat is the same height as a stock bronco with me on 37’s. Getting in and out is easy, driving feels more stable. I don’t run sway bars on a soft coil/link suspension it feels very stabile even with body lean on the street. The closer you can get your butt to the horizontal center of gravity the better it will feel that it drives on and off road as long as the steering and alignment are well sorted. Sitting lower the pitching motion is reduced increasing the controlled feeling of the ride and drive.

That lower stance also increase off-road performance by lowering center of gravity. Think race car, why are they low? To lower the center of gravity to increase performance. My back ground involves cars like the one below, they literally get driven up and down walls with control, the terrain they will conquer is not only impressive but often beyond imagination of even experienced off roaders. Low is where it is at.
 

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bigmuddy

Bronco Guru
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
6,447
I went from 3.5" to 2.5". The bronco rides so so much nicer. I love it
I have run a 2.5" with body lift and 35" rubber for years. Partly because I wanted a better center of gravity but also I find for me that its easier to jump in and out when I am driving it daily. 6' tall, short legs, yes its a problem.
I also have the Cage/Duff long arms as well and did soften the ride but I don't feel the need quite yet to run a sway bar, although I have no doubt I would like the addition on the twisty roads on occasion.
 

BGBronco

Contributor
N A S H V I L L E
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Messages
1,244
Loc.
Tennessee
Good looking Bronco! I like everything nice and level, so I understand your comment on addressing the rake.

The first Bronco I purchased had an older 3.5" lift and it drove horrible. Not because of the lift but because it was added without addressing all of the things that make the lift livable/drivable. I purchased an upper end 2.5" lift and worked on the steering geometry and got it to a decent level of drivability. Sold that and bought the Bronco I have now. I went from 2.5' down to 1.5", still needed to dial in the steering, etc but it was an easier process and it's perfect for my intended use as a daily driver with some, light trails and maybe camping. I guess what I'm saying is that if you like the lifted look go for it but it's somewhat excessive when people add lifts on vehicles and only drive around town. This is my Bronco with 1.5" lift and stock body mounts.
 

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ep67bro

Contributor
Bronco Junky
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
3,438
Loc.
Easton, MD
You can get good handling with a 3.5" lift. I have a wild horses 3.5" lift with 1" body lift and 35s. I have the bilstien shocks a drop pitman arm, drop bracket for the track bar. Bought the complete kit new springs front rear, all new bushings, and hardware. No long arms here and the truck also is pretty impressive off road, I can keep up with my inlaws Rubicon. The truck rides really good no pull to one side or other. Rides better than it did with all the other lifts I had on it. Rides nearly as good as my 70 that has no lift and 33s. With 35s I would stick with 3.5" lift. What is your air pressure in your tires? With my 35s I never run them with more than 30psi, over 30 and the truck seems to be jittery.
 
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Shimmy

Shimmy

Contributor
1977 Bronco
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
259
Loc.
Maple Valley
Thanks for all the responses and feedback! In the picture my bronco looks a little raked due to uneven road and rear black fender flares. It sits level. I forgot to mention that i'm also on a 1" BL. I have the Duff TB riser and heim steer setup so no bumpsteer either. Its this darn caster with a 3.5" lift! I can see why many have chosen 2.5" now. For me to obtain good handling I'll need a cut and turn with this lift. My other concern is if I drop to a 2.5" if it'll be enough to correct my caster enough that a cut and turn won't be needed. :unsure:
 

71 CA Bronco

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
705
Agree lower is better for overall handling after all Broncos are like driving with a sheet of plywood in front of you, but there is no reason you can't get a moderately lifted Bronco driving well. You should not need to roll the perches if you are going long arm. Long arms will correct the caster. I have 3-1/2" lift, Duff long arms, and can easily cruise at 75 MPH on the freeway and let go of the wheel or drive with one finger. I could do more than that if I was crazy enough to drive an early Bronco that fast. As others have said you just need to decide the stance you want and sort out the steering geometry/alignment/handling issues from there.
 

BkDanO

Newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
47
Just completed a restoration on my 73. 3 1/2 suspension 1" body lift, 35's I used the T-rex short arms, all new suspension and bushings up front. It drives amazingly well, no problem doing 70 down the freeway, but don't like to... I did add sway bars which really helped with the cornering. I am a big fan of the short arms.
 
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Shimmy

Shimmy

Contributor
1977 Bronco
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
259
Loc.
Maple Valley
Just completed a restoration on my 73. 3 1/2 suspension 1" body lift, 35's I used the T-rex short arms, all new suspension and bushings up front. It drives amazingly well, no problem doing 70 down the freeway, but don't like to... I did add sway bars which really helped with the cornering. I am a big fan of the short arms.
you're a lucky one and probably have caster dialed in to +4*?
 

Yeller

Contributor
Bronco Guru
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
4,296
Loc.
Rogers County Oklahoma
One thing I didn’t see you mention is do you know what degree the c bushings are? If you can get to 3* it should drive well, 3.5-4.5* is about perfect. I’ve set up as much as 10* works well with some set ups and not with others. My crazy contraption is at 9.5 and drives like it’s on rails but is hard on tire wear.
 

Madgyver

Contributor
Bronco Madman
Joined
Jul 30, 2001
Messages
14,175
I'm lowering mine. the rear 3.5 leaf springs are now sagging/sitting at stock height. i'll get the front down to match and cut metal if need to. it has 5.5" coils up front.

reason to go lower.
low center of gravity,
looks good with 37"s,
all around rig.
notice low parking garage.. i can drive in there too.
 

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Shimmy

Shimmy

Contributor
1977 Bronco
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
259
Loc.
Maple Valley
One thing I didn’t see you mention is do you know what degree the c bushings are? If you can get to 3* it should drive well, 3.5-4.5* is about perfect. I’ve set up as much as 10* works well with some set ups and not with others. My crazy contraption is at 9.5 and drives like it’s on rails but is hard on tire wear.

i have 7* C bushings and i'm at .3* caster with my 3.5" lift. I should measure how tall i really am. It feels taller than 3.5"!
 

abn373

Contributor
Full Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
304
Loc.
Charleston, SC
Now I am a little concerned. I am currently taking my 1990s 3" Skyjacker coils off and since nobody makes 3" anymore I went with Duffs 3.5". My Bronco handles like its on rails with the current setup, so I didn't/don't think an extra 1/2" will make a difference. I have 35s with heim steering and drag links, and the old school adjustable radius arm drop brackets (nobody seems to use them anymore, but I think they are key for road manners and getting camber set up), I have 7 deg c-bushings. I have zero bump steer or seath wobble. hope all that doesnt change.
I am sure the fiberglass tub and no roof or doors helps with the center of gravity some.
 
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