Lifting a TTB Suspension

Roadkill

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A common question when lifting TTB (Twin Traction Beam) suspensions is, "Why do I need drop brackets?" or "Why can't I just add a coil spacer or use longer springs?" Actually you can do that, but you will have alignment problems if you lift more than an inch or two. The alignment problems can cause excessive tire wear and steering problems. With this post, I will attempt to explain why.

There are three factors to alignment, Castor, Camber, Toe-in/Toe-out. In this post, I will only be talking about Castor/Camber and how they are affected by lifting the TTB suspension. I made this picture to illustrate the relationships of the TTB components and how Castor and Camber angles are measured.



Steering is accomplished by pivoting the wheels right or left on the axis between the upper and lower ball joints. The only method to adjust Castor/Camber angles on the stock TTB is by changing the bushing/spacer that the upper ball joint is mounted in. This will move the top of the wheel in and out or forward and rearward a small amount to obtain the optimum Castor/Camber angles. There is only room for about 1/2 inch adjustment any direction from dead center. (Only amounts to about 2 degrees of adjustment)



The picture above, is exaggerated, but it illustrates the affect of using longer springs or spacers to lower the wheel without lowering the axle and radius arm pivot points the same amount. If you are only lifting a small amount, (1 or 2 inches) you should be able to change bushings on the upper ball joints to bring things back into alignment. Adjustable bushings are also available. They eliminate the need to replace bushings during alignment, but they won't give you any increase in the amount of adjustment possible. If you are adding larger lift amounts, (4

 
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Justshootme84

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Excellent work and graphics, Roadkill!!! That should help to explain the "geometry" of the TTB (Twin traction Beam) front suspension on 80-96 Ford F-150/Bronco. The closer the axle beams and radius arms are to being horizontal and parrallel to the ground, the better the alignment and steering are. Camber can be looked at as "tire lean" in or out when viewed from the front. There should be no lean, so the tire runs straight and wears evenly. Caster can be looked at as the"return to center" ability of the steering. If the caster is off, steering is erratic, and the pinion angle for the front driveshaft is affected. One of the downfalls of the TTB is that the camber changes as the wheel moves up and down, and can easily be knocked out of alignment by a pothole or hard offroad driving. JSM84

 
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Roadkill

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I was explaining to a guy at work why his lift plans for his F150 wouldn't work. He just wasn't getting it so I drew him a rough sketch on paper and he got it clear as a bell. That's what gave me the idea for the post. Graphic was done in Microsoft Powerpoint and saved as a .jpg image file.

 

davytenn

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Sounds like you have a thorough understanding of the 80-96 Bronco suspension.

Question...

I would like to raise a 94 EB enough to put on 33's. I want it to set up a little higher in the front than the back. I want a lift kit that has enough give for daily driving and not rattle the teeth out of your head at every bump. Suggestions? Pics?

I would appreciate any help. Thanks

 

davytenn

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Killeen? I used to live in Killeen. Off Stan Schlueter (?) On Spotted Horse. Small world. Ran into a friend of mine over here in Iraq that still lives in Cove.

First Team!

 

Justshootme84

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davytenn, since you can often fit 33's on your stock 94 suspension, you have some options on whether to lift or level the ride. A 4" suspension lift kit will be the best choice, IMO, since it keeps that geometry of the front end correct. It will often ride better than stock and have much better travel when offroad. JSM84

 

Roadkill

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I agree with JSM84 that a 4 inch suspension lift is probably the best thing for what you are looking for. If you don't want to spend the $$ for that, a simple leveling kit could also work. Many people can fit 33's on stock suspension with some minor trimming on the rear edge of the front bumper or by shimming the bumper further forward with some washers at the mounting points. You can try to correct the alignment issues with adjustable alignment bushings that are available for around $50 from Broncograveyard.com or are included with some leveling kits. They may or may not completely fix the aligment which will cause tire wear problems. Thats why I would say the 4 inch kit is best since it maintains the original geometry of the front end.

Killeen? I used to live in Killeen. Off Stan Schlueter (?) On Spotted Horse. Small world. Ran into a friend of mine over here in Iraq that still lives in Cove.First Team!
I too live about a mile off of Stan Schleuter (won't say exactly where for the obvious reasons), also spent a few years as a tank mechanic in the Cav ('98-'01) before changing MOS. I don't think I will ever leave Ft. Hood for more than year (or 15 months this time :mad: )

Stay safe, bro.


 
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love_my_bronco

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I agree with JSM84 that a 4 inch suspension lift is probably the best thing for what you are looking for. If you don't want to spend the $$ for that, a simple leveling kit could also work. Many people can fit 33's on stock suspension with some minor trimming on the rear edge of the front bumper or by shimming the bumper further forward with some washers at the mounting points. You can try to correct the alignment issues with adjustable alignment bushings that are available for around $50 from Broncograveyard.com or are included with some leveling kits. They may or may not completely fix the aligment which will cause tire wear problems. Thats why I would say the 4 inch kit is best since it maintains the original geometry of the front end.

I too live about a mile off of Stan Schleuter (won't say exactly where for the obvious reasons), also spent a few years as a tank mechanic in the Cav ('98-'01) before changing MOS. I don't think I will ever leave Ft. Hood for more than year (or 15 months this time :mad: )

Stay safe, bro.
with a lil more $$$ couldnt ya just drop in a dana 60 straight axel and lift the bronco easyier?

 

coachtmc

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with a lil more $$$ couldnt ya just drop in a dana 60 straight axel and lift the bronco easyier?
As I and others have asked on previous posts, what can we do to correct the excessive camber/tire lean when backing up? It is an extreme top lean when backing up, but straightens up when driving forward. Backing and turning is a real challenge. I have a 4-inch lift kit from Rough Country that includes extensions. Should we or can we align the front end while the tires are leaning? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Rough Country has been no help at all. 89 Bronco 33 X 12.5 tires.

Thanks,

Coachtmc

 

BLADE262US

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Its really just the nature of the design besides how far are you driving in reverse ? If you did adjust this with them tipped in from going in reverse it would make it go way out when you went forward which is where the attention needs to be directed so you dont wear out the tires , If you get them very perfect up and down which I did using the polyurethane coil spring spacer . What you will see is yeah it looks great rides drives great noh hook a trailer to it pulling something and the nose will go up and the tires will lean out and Ill tell ya its not a fun ride on the pavement . So Id just follow the recomended degrees of adjustment and leave it at that . Only other option you have is like others have stated put in a straight axle then they cant work independant of eachother like that . :D /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

 

coachtmc

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Its really just the nature of the design besides how far are you driving in reverse ? If you did adjust this with them tipped in from going in reverse it would make it go way out when you went forward which is where the attention needs to be directed so you dont wear out the tires , If you get them very perfect up and down which I did using the polyurethane coil spring spacer . What you will see is yeah it looks great rides drives great noh hook a trailer to it pulling something and the nose will go up and the tires will lean out and Ill tell ya its not a fun ride on the pavement . So Id just follow the recomended degrees of adjustment and leave it at that . Only other option you have is like others have stated put in a straight axle then they cant work independant of eachother like that . :D /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />
Thanks for the info. Looks like we will just leave it as is.

Coach

 

Outkast

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question if i buy a lift kit from say bronco graveyard do they come with the drop brackets? if not where do you get them? how much? installation easy/hard?

 

coachtmc

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question if i buy a lift kit from say bronco graveyard do they come with the drop brackets? if not where do you get them? how much? installation easy/hard?
The 4-inch lift kit that I bought from Rough Country came with the drop brackets. The installation is somewhat challenging if you are not experienced. I guess one of the hardest parts was grinding off the bolts/rivets that held the original drop brackets in place. Whoever you purcase your kit from you need to ask them if the drop ackets are included.

Good luck,

Coach

 

country_punk

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well, you guys seem to know what you're talking about here... so here's my issue. lol. I have a 95 bronco xlt ttb front suspension with a 6 inch suspension lift. I have noticed i still have rubbing issues where my front tires (35's) still hit the corner of the fender nearest the door. I like to play really hard. I refuse to cut my fenders, and I'm not converting to solid axle. I had planned to put in a 3 inch body lift, and also go to 37's. this will fix my problem... but I'm really not a fan of body lifts. I have actually bought the kit at this point, along with gap guards.... but have since learned of the rear bracket flip that drops the leafspring and gives about another 4 1/2 inches of lift. in my opinion doing more lift in a manner like this would be great, but how do i get the front to match??? also I have been planning on getting the leveling kit for it too, because the front does sit a little lower, but I also have a 12000 lb. winch that I'm installing into a fully enclosed homemade 10guage plate steel bumper, of which I'm sure will bring the front end way down... hence the need for the spacers. So, with all of that info my question is what way would be the best way to get around another 3-4 inches of lift on my truck? Or' how to match the front to the rear bracket flip lift?

bronco_006.jpgjune2007_024.jpg

 

Mike G

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Just wanted to say........Thats a sharp looking truck. I have had my reserves about the billet grill and new style headlights but they look great on yours.

Mike

 

Beardly

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Okay now guys... I got my rig re-assembled with new balljoints, took it into the alignment shop and they got it as close as possible with existing components, EXCEPT that they could not dial in the passenger side caster w/o blowing the camber... the caster is out by 1.6 degrees. I have single-piece, eccentric camber/caster bushings, and considering the two-piece for individual adjustment (camber vs caster).

NOW, I'm also considering the Eccentric Adjustable Radius Arm Bushings (partially just to get new bushings in there), which the parts store says will give me 2-degrees of Caster adjustment. This may still leave me a little short though, because that's undoubtedly 1-degree either way from center. This method is clearly a much less direct adjustment than a balljoint bushing.

Anyway, wondering if anyone out there has had any experience with Eccentric Radius Arm Bushings yet????

Thanks,

~Beard :unsure:

 

89eddie89

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ok so i have a 4 inch superlift already and i want to add 2". What do yall recommend i do? But i am not taking off the 4 to get a bigger susp lift.

 

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