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AFCO Spring Install

Discussion in 'Suzuki Carry' started by cmaxxer, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. cmaxxer

    cmaxxer New Member

    I know there's the thread in the general section about installing coil springs, but I figured since this install is specific to the Carry, that I would start a new thread here.

    I purchased a set of AFCO 275# springs from Summit Racing ($44.00 each I think) a while ago, and finally had a chance to install them today on my DB51T Carry.

    I found the easiest for me to release the spring tension was to load the spring using a floor jack (truck placed up on jack stands), taking the nut off from inside the cab using a 3/8" impact, and then lowering the jack slowly to release the stored energy. I then took out the spring by tipping the strut towards the outside of the truck.

    These AFCO springs are for coilovers, so are flat on the bottom, so I matched up the location of the square cut ends on the OEM springs (both ends to ensure equal free height), and then carefully cut them with a zip disk, smoothed the ends over with an abrasive disc in a die grinder, and was ready to go.

    The install was a bit harder than the removal, simply because the strut rod wanted to slide into the strut canister, so I gently clamped through the coils and onto the rod with needle nose vice grips, to hold the shaft. Also keep in mind that the upper strut bearing to strut rod is keyed (by using a large flat area on the threaded section of the rod).....or at least mine are.

    I lined everything up, raised the strut with the floor jack and got it assembled. The second one went even faster. Basically an hour and a half job.....and I gained 2" without any strut spacers.

    Attached Files:

    Tony Evers, Cris, Acerguy and 2 others like this.
  2. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    Very nice write up. I wish I had done that, but I wasn't thinking and started installing. I didn't cut the spring but I tossed the Idea back and forth a few times in my head. How does it ride? Better, worse same?

  3. boatman

    boatman Member

    Yeah - nice write up and pics - thanks!

    So - what greg said. How's the ride? I think I'm getting close to bottoming out mine occasionally (potholes are getting bad here right now). might be a good solution. how much extra travel does the strut have to accommodate this 2" lift? any fear of the strut gettign damaged under tension if the wheel assembly is allowed to go to full extension in a hurry?
  4. cmaxxer

    cmaxxer New Member

    I haven't driven the truck yet. I still have to finish the remainder of the front lift, rear lift, and correcting steering geometry (drop the centre link, drop the steering box), confirm that the camber and toe are correct.

    There may be some danger of the strut topping out now, but the suggestion I saw on this site (I think Milt suggested it), was to install a cable on each lower control arm to limit the extension. I think I'm willing to sacrifice these struts just to see.
  5. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    Let us know. Mine settled a bit after some use, yours probably will too.

  6. kepow

    kepow Member

    Please excuse my ignorance just trying to get my head around this
    ...we cant get shocks with enough travel to eliminate topping or bottoming out?
  7. cmaxxer

    cmaxxer New Member

    I would say that the simply answer, while using the stock struts,.......is yes.

    With the stock springs, the struts won't top out (most likely, anyways), but don't have enough damping to stop bottoming out.

    With aftermarket springs, the spring rate is high enough to reduce the likelihood of bottoming out, but that same spring rate keeps the piston higher in the strut cylinder (thus the gain in ride height), and increases the chances of topping the strut out.

    I believe the stock struts have about 4 1/2" of travel. What's even more interesting though is the measured gap between the bottom of the frame rail and the jounce bumper on the rear springs. Mine measured out at 1 1/2". That means 1 1/2" of effective travel on the rear of the truck (depending on what the jounce bumper is made of....and I didn't check...I just assumed it was steel by its' appearance). Increasing that spec is my immediate goal. That's why this truck will see a spring over conversion in the next few days, and a short jounce bumper will be installed at that time.
  8. kepow

    kepow Member

    Again......excuse my ignorance.......why keep the stock struts? there must be something out there with enough travel to suit our need or.....i guess obviously not..... as there are many people on this forum smarter than I.
    Im very interested because I have my first 7 trucks arriving soon and I will need them all lifted even if its just 2 inches. More lift would suit my redneck needs better .......but not at the expense of the integrity or the reliability of the truck
  9. cmaxxer

    cmaxxer New Member

    These struts are not like anything I've seen before (and I worked 15 years as an automotive journeyman). They have a far smaller bolt pattern for the upper bearing mount, and are generally smaller.

    On deeper introspection, I do think that the upper bearing will provide some cushioning on top out. To prove this remove your seats and watch the top of the struts as you jack the truck up by the front diff housing and hang the wheels. The bearing allows the strut to come down on full extension and will most likely save the strut.
  10. kepow

    kepow Member

    cant fab a piece to fit between the top part,,,,where the old strut mounted,,,, and a new style strut?
  11. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    Don't mean to butt in... but I compared almost every strut at the autoparts store to try to find something and came up with nothing. I measured 5" of travel on my Daihatsu's struts 2 of which was consumed by a bump stop.

  12. miniMOG

    miniMOG Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks for the great write-up!
  13. kepow

    kepow Member

    none of the utv struts are close?
  14. Timetripper

    Timetripper Moderator

    Great pics & great write up.
    If you keep this up someone will ask you to be a moderator :rolleyes:
  15. cmaxxer

    cmaxxer New Member

    These are the only ones I've seen, but it sounds like these guys don't have the best reputation (no personal experience, though)

  16. bigguybigguy

    bigguybigguy New Member

    I just finished installing 2 new springs with old struts as they seemed OK.
    WHAT A difference in ride quality the truck came up 2 1/2" some happy i did it with springs and not spacers as i still in the travel of the strut. I never got AFCO springs but aftermarket ones for $34.00 each from Summit.
    My 2cents worth
  17. bigguybigguy

    bigguybigguy New Member

    One thing I forgot to add was when i got the springs at work we have a banding machine for shippinng pallets and used that to compress the spring to about 7" with 2 bands one on each side.
    After installation just cut the bands and pull the parts out after you have the cap nut on the top of the strut .
    Doing it that way it took an hour for the complete job.
  18. greg0187

    greg0187 Moderator Staff Member

    What spring rate did you use and what model truck did you put them on?
  19. bigguybigguy

    bigguybigguy New Member

    I did it on a Suzuki Carry 1992
    Used a 300 & 275 it rides some lot better
  20. bigguybigguy

    bigguybigguy New Member

    I am big so i went with 300 drivers side and 275 on the other as I plan to
    add a snow plow in future.
    most cases 250 or 275 would do just fine.
    Hope this helps.Why the difference as I am bigger than your guy and so the difference.

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