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Author Topic: Suspension: Dakota Springs Swap  (Read 12707 times)

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Suspension: Dakota Springs Swap
« on: January 09, 2008, 09:55:37 »

Dakota Springs Swap

Below, excerpted from a thread by Bill55az, are details on how to swap Dakota truck rear springs to your F/J/M-body. This swap requires that the rear Iso-Clamp setup be deleted.

Dakota Donors:

  • 1987 to 1996 Dakotas
  • Possibly 1997 to early 2000s Dakotas

Dakotas were available with different spring ratings, so you need to decide how stiff you want your donor spings to be. The load rating for the springs will be on a door tag. Below are the available spring ratings:

Dakota Spring Ratings:

  • 2300-2400lb  - These would be best for a sedan.
  • 2700lb  - These are just right for a heavier wagon.
  • 3000lb  - These are very stiff, and are probably best for drag racing only.

Dakota (Dak) truck springs have the same front segment length as the F/J/M platform, which places the rear axle in the correct position.  However, the Dak springs are 2" shorter in the rear, so an adapter plate has to be made to move the rear mount forward. 

Bill55az made new front mounts and moved the front mount location up an inch.  Dak end bolts are smaller, so new smaller holes were drilled on the front mounts smaller to fit. If you use the F/J/M type front bolt, the Dak springs will need new bushings. It's a lot of work to remove the old front bushings, so you should use the Dak bolt with taper shims at the front hanger hole to take up the slack. If you get different bushings for the rear shackle to spring mount, you can use your existing FMJ bolt there. The front spring eye is also different, so pinion angle shims may be needed.

Related Topic: Suspension: Eliminating the Iso-Clamp System

Photos: Courtesy of Bill55az

  • Adapter plate and front hangers
  • Leaf spring mounted to adapter plate

Source: Originally posted by Farley's member Bill55az
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 15:47:47 by Reggie »
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