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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my '04 since new and am now likening the idea of my Baby being 2-3ins lower. Anyone installed the BelTech kit (spindles and hangers) with stock springs??? I'm concerned with any steering/handleing issues as well as pinion problems. No track use just street. Wheels are stock 18's. Thanks Rick
 

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I'm using the spindles with the Belltech shocks and stock springs. Only differences I could tell was a slightly reduced turning radius and a bad*ss stance.

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Not sure if you've done it already or not, but I would recommend rebuilding the front end while you have it torn apart. It's not much more work considering you'll already have half of it apart.

Also... Get clunk washers if you don't already have them. Do not skip them or you will be pulling it apart again in a few months to install them.

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2004 Sonic Blue Truck is # 3348 of 3781 built on 05/03/2004
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@XBMX Figured I'd also put my reply to your message in here for anyone else interested.

The kit is a nice complete kit and comes with everything you need. Now that being said from my research on here from years of others installing the drop spindles as well as what I ran into. If you are running the stock 18" wheels and either the generation one or two spindle the bottom of the spindle will cause the castle nut that mounts the spindle to the LCA to rub and destroy the barrel of your 18" wheel. There are two remedies for this. First grind the castle nut down well past the cotter pin that keeps it safely secure (I did this for a couple of years with no issues till I got the SM0304 20's). The second is to have a machine shop machine the bottom of the spindle to allow for the castle nut to be recessed and not drag against the wheels.
(Still Problems with Belltech spindles?)
I am running the stock sway bar with Energy Suspension (AutoZone, Oreilly's, and etc) end links. I will caution you that I have recently attempted to replace the LCA ball joints (replaced them originally back 3-4 years ago with no problems) and ended up having to replace the entire LCA as the ball joints I was getting from Napa as well as RockAuto would not fit in my stock LCA.

I run the OE coils with the isolators still in the UCA with no problems as well as the OE Bilstein shock in the front and a pair of Strange Engineering (Strange Engineering S6000EM: Adjustable Rear Shock 1979-93 Ford Mustang | JEGS) adjustable shocks in the rear.

Couple of things that slipped my mind is that my pinion angle is at 0-1* with the Belltech 6* shim (part # 4979-001) that comes with the kit. You will need to remove OE shim from your leaf pack when you get it. I did have a local shop (Sam's Alignment) suggest I try running an 8* - 10* shim to get to -2*
You'll also want to make sure that who ever does the install actually installs the Belltech leaf pack center through bolt and half inch spacer (the shop that did mine did not) that comes with the kit. This allows for the head of the centering bolt to align with the hold in the axle housing mounting plate.
I discovered this year that they hadn't installed it after trying to get my thrust angle corrected during my last alignment (done after replacing UCA & LCA).
If the through bolts are not in the kit you can order them directly from Belltech (part # 110314 & 110321). I also replaced my leaf spring top plate with the ones from WFO Concepts (2.5" Leaf Spring Plates, Pair | Leaf Spring Plates | WFOConcepts.com) and got new U-bolts from Napa (part # BK6504078)

I also ran into an issue with the Stifflers long bars not being able to mount due to them being too long with my drop. Brian @ Stifflers recommended cutting about 1/4" +/- off each end, just to make sure the rod end doesn't have to be bottomed in the tube to get it installed which is what I was having to do originally with my drop.

Ok, I think I remembered everything this time.... LOL


541999


542000
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Boss Hoss, thanks so much for a great detailed run through of a very difficult project. I was hoping someone with experience would chime is just as you have, I'm sure your tips and insight is not only going to help me but many other members as well. Thank you, thank you, regards Rick
 

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I'll add one note: many of the drop shackles over-state the drop that you'll end up with. Their 3" drop is really just 2". If you want a true 3" drop in the rear (from the shackles alone), get the Johnny Lightning shackles. You can call them directly. These shackles are so long they almost bump the bed of the truck (in fact, you may have to tap the bed seam slightly out of the way - no big deal). But they get you more drop than other brands.
 
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I’m thinking about the stiffler coil over set up. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about that set up. I’ve ran djm lower arms and cut springs. They all handled like crap in my opinion. I’ve got bell tech hangars, those were really fun to install. I think you could run jlp shackles in rear and spindles up front. Hangars with drop shackles will slam
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just got back from my test ride after the Belltech Kit was installed. End result "THE TRUCK'S STANCE IS AWESOME". Being a picky PITA I just ordered they're shorter rear shocks. I suggest anyone entertaining lowering include a set, fronts seem fine.
 

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I'll add one note: many of the drop shackles over-state the drop that you'll end up with. Their 3" drop is really just 2". If you want a true 3" drop in the rear (from the shackles alone), get the Johnny Lightning shackles. You can call them directly. These shackles are so long they almost bump the bed of the truck (in fact, you may have to tap the bed seam slightly out of the way - no big deal). But they get you more drop than other brands.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the advertised 3" drop on most sites is because that is what it gives a regular F150. I figure most retailers / manufacturers just cut and paste the description. I have seen kits that specify 3" drop with a disclaimer that it's only 2" for the L.

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Discussion Starter #15
My install on is pretty much on the money, 2front 3rear (within a 1/8") before being driven. Expecting some setteling when driven a bit. Rear shocks next.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Changing the rear shocks to shorter made a big improvement. No more pogo effect from the originals bottoming out.
 
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