Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

71 Power Wagon – Give it Some Lift

Install lift

Install lift

I ordered a Rough Country 4-inch lift which was basically a new set of front leaf springs, blocks for the rear suspension and new shocks. A few months earlier I ordered a Firestone Ride-Rite Air Bag Suspension. My plan was to install the 4-inch lift on the front and the Ride-Rite on the rear. That way I have the option to let the back squat a little and if I will be towing or just want to level the truck I can add air to the air bags.

I already had the front clip removed and decided to remove the truck’s bed to make the job a little easier. This also lets me work on the bottom of the bed and clean, sand, prime and paint the rear section of the frame and axle.

The first step was to remove the old leaf springs. The old springs were practically inverted so I was excited to see how much lift I would actually get.

Install Rough Country Lift

Install Rough Country Lift

I used a floor jack and jack stands to support the axle and I used my engine hoist to raise the frame once I had every thing disconnected.  This was a good time to clean and repaint the section of the axle where the springs mount, prior to installing the the new leaf springs.

The only thing left to do on the front end was to install the new springs. It was a job doing this by myself, but the installation went smooth for the most part. It was nice to have new suspension equipment and new hardware on the old truck.

4-inch front lift installed

4-inch front lift installed

In this photo you can see the lift in the front of the truck. I actually like the stance and decided not to install the Rough Country blocks in the rear suspension. Instead I will install the Firestone Ride-Rite air bags. Then I can add or release air to get the look I want and it will work great when I tow a trailer.

Remove Bump Stops

Remove Bump Stops

Now it’s time to start the rear air bag installation. It looked pretty straight forward. The first step was to remove the old leaf spring bump stops since they were interfering with the installation. The other thing you want to check is that you have the required back-space clearance from the frame to the tire. I used a cut-off disc on the grinder and a big hammer to get the old bump stops off.

Ride Rite Installed

Ride Rite Installed

With that done the rest of the installation was a fairly simple bolt-on job. You just preassemble each side, mark and drill some holes and bolt the assembly on the frame. I did not install the air lines at this point because I bought the air compressor to inflate and deflate the air bags and I don’t know where I want to put it yet. With the suspension lift completed it was time to finish scraping, sanding, cleaning, priming and painting the frame.

Join me next time when we prep the frame for paint.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

Next post:

71 Power Wagon Finishing the Frame

Sponsored by:


Need a sway control hitch?
Learn More about the Equal-i-zer®
The Original Equal-i-zer Sway control hitch has been enjoyed by thousands of trailer owners for over 50 years. Learn more about the Equal-i-zer hitch, and find which hitch will work best for you

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: