How To Lift a 52 stock susp. wagon??

52 wagon

Gear Grinder
Aug 24, 2010
20
Texas
Willys Model
Willys Year:
So here goes....I have a 1952 stock suspension wagon 4 wheel drive. What are some of the ways I can add some lift to the suspension without extensive modification. I am somewhat of a purest but do desire some extra clearance. Any and All Help appreciated.
 

cnsay

Well Oiled
Jun 20, 2010
1,482
North Idaho
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
How much lift are you after? Find a rancho dealer and they can get you Rancho 2 1/2" lift springs, but they are much stiffer than stock and some people do not like the ride. Walcks and Willys America sell stock original springs, if yours have sagged it mat be enough lift. If you want taller lifts then you may have to find a shop to build you some.
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Billy,
I have been down this road several times, so pleeeeeeeeze, listen. It'll save you money in the long run. :)

1. It's hard to find the Rancho springs these days. They actually stopped manufacturing them a while ago. That's ok though. THEY SUCK. You will get a nice lift/stance with them, but as stated, the ride is terrible. It's like sitting on a tree trunk over pot holes. You will regret it.

You can have springs made, but it's expensive and YOU have to do all the measuring. This is not as easy as it sounds. You cannot just measure from hole to hole.

Get springs from a reputable WILLYS restoration shop.

DO NOT buy springs over the internet. Trust me on this one.

DO NOT perform a spring over axle lift either. It's easy, with a steering arm modification, but Don't DO IT.

Walcks has springs to fit your application, but I have heard of complaints from folks that received the wrong ones and had to go through it all twice.

Willys America will make your springs for you. They don't keep springs in stock just to pull them off of a shelf. Paul actually makes them for your application. If you want a bit of a lift, he'll do that too. I had it done for my wagon. He built in a 2" lift for me. It's one of the smartest things I've done.

I like that you say you are a bit of a purist. I am as well. I played the game of modifications, but Pure Willys is the way to go. The only thing different on my springs is the addition of Con-fer shackles up front. Willys vehicles have a bit of a forward slope to them that I don't care for, so I put the Con-fer 2" shackles up front to level it out. They don't change the geometry at that measurement.

As far as adding lift with your current springs...You can't, unless you go over the top, or add insanely tall shackles which will screw everything up. You could do a body lift, but that's purely up to you.
Call Willys America and tell him what you want. Then save some pennies to do it right which means you'll do it right and save some pennies. :)
Steve
 

wally72

Bigger Hammer
Feb 21, 2010
170
Indiana
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I replaced the springs on my '55 pickup three years ago with springs and bolts from Walck's, very pleased with the results, worth every penny. Truck now sits at correct height, rides and steers MUCH better, carries a pretty good load without excessive rear sag. I have had experience with "rearched" springs, not worth the effort, they simply do not perform as well as new.
 

52 wagon

Gear Grinder
Aug 24, 2010
20
Texas
Willys Model
Willys Year:
aquawilly54 said:
Billy,
I have been down this road several times, so pleeeeeeeeze, listen. It'll save you money in the long run. :)

1. It's hard to find the Rancho springs these days. They actually stopped manufacturing them a while ago. That's ok though. THEY SUCK. You will get a nice lift/stance with them, but as stated, the ride is terrible. It's like sitting on a tree trunk over pot holes. You will regret it.

You can have springs made, but it's expensive and YOU have to do all the measuring. This is not as easy as it sounds. You cannot just measure from hole to hole.

Get springs from a reputable WILLYS restoration shop.

DO NOT buy springs over the internet. Trust me on this one.

DO NOT perform a spring over axle lift either. It's easy, with a steering arm modification, but Don't DO IT.

Walcks has springs to fit your application, but I have heard of complaints from folks that received the wrong ones and had to go through it all twice.

Willys America will make your springs for you. They don't keep springs in stock just to pull them off of a shelf. Paul actually makes them for your application. If you want a bit of a lift, he'll do that too. I had it done for my wagon. He built in a 2" lift for me. It's one of the smartest things I've done.

I like that you say you are a bit of a purist. I am as well. I played the game of modifications, but Pure Willys is the way to go. The only thing different on my springs is the addition of Con-fer shackles up front. Willys vehicles have a bit of a forward slope to them that I don't care for, so I put the Con-fer 2" shackles up front to level it out. They don't change the geometry at that measurement.

As far as adding lift with your current springs...You can't, unless you go over the top, or add insanely tall shackles which will screw everything up. You could do a body lift, but that's purely up to you.
Call Willys America and tell him what you want. Then save some pennies to do it right which means you'll do it right and save some pennies. :)
Steve
Thanks Steve I have actually admired the stance your wagon has and would like any and all the details you can supply.
 

62 OlllO

Well Oiled
Oct 19, 2009
1,821
Georgia
First Name
Kevin
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Just a thought, how about a body lift? 14 body mounts...perhaps lifting it 3/4" of metal welded to excisting arm mounts wouldn't screw anything up to bad...Just an idea.
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Billy,
Not much more I can add about the springs. When I took my wagon back to stock configuration I knew I had to ditch the Rancho stuff. I called National Spring with the information on what I wanted. They said send them the dimensions and it would cost big $$.

I think Walcks has good products and I have purchased items from them in the past, but I destinctly remember when I talked to them, the answer I got was, "yeh, I think we got somethin' to fit". I wasn't too keen on that.

When I called Paul at Willys America and explained to him - I was going back to stock, but putting 7.00 X 16's on instead of 15's, so I still needed a little lift , he said no problem, because he makes them per order. I received them back in 2003 and i'm still quite pleased with them. Of course the wagon is still a boat anchor in the driveway due to a frazzled engine. :) I'm sure prices have gone up a bit, so I won't feed you any numbers at this point, but I do suggest you call and talk to him.

www.willysamerica.com
707-632-5258

Good luck.
Steve
 

52 wagon

Gear Grinder
Aug 24, 2010
20
Texas
Willys Model
Willys Year:
aquawilly54 said:
Billy,
Not much more I can add about the springs. When I took my wagon back to stock configuration I knew I had to ditch the Rancho stuff. I called National Spring with the information on what I wanted. They said send them the dimensions and it would cost big $$.

I think Walcks has good products and I have purchased items from them in the past, but I destinctly remember when I talked to them, the answer I got was, "yeh, I think we got somethin' to fit". I wasn't too keen on that.

When I called Paul at Willys America and explained to him - I was going back to stock, but putting 7.00 X 16's on instead of 15's, so I still needed a little lift , he said no problem, because he makes them per order. I received them back in 2003 and i'm still quite pleased with them. Of course the wagon is still a boat anchor in the driveway due to a frazzled engine. :) I'm sure prices have gone up a bit, so I won't feed you any numbers at this point, but I do suggest you call and talk to him.

http://www.willysamerica.com
707-632-5258

Good luck.
Steve
What about the con-fer shackles? is that a brand or type?
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Sorry Billy, I forgot about those. Con-fer is a brand. They are pretty well known in the 4WD community. Any 4WD shop worth it's weight will be able to help you out with a set. I can't remember what I paid for mine way back when, but i'm thinking it was under $30. Figure somewhere above that these days.
Let us know how it goes.
Steve
 

white52

Sharpest Tool
Aug 27, 2010
254
Colorado Springs, CO
First Name
Kyle
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Aquaman,
You mentioned to Billy to definately not do a spring-over lift. Just curious as to why. I don't have a strong opinion either way, but would like to hear your thoughts.
 

lbpa18

Precision Fit
Nov 9, 2013
682
Alaska & Utah
First Name
Lew
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
Steve (acuaman54), I am re-reading all the old posts on lifts. I have a stock 59 wagon and am about to redo the suspension. Mine is pretty sagged and tired. I can go with new from Walck's and add new body blocks as well since mine have not been replaced before. I read where you had Willys America add two inches to your new ones. Theirs are more expensive than Walck's but if it works I wont have to do it again in my lifetime. I like tall skinny tires and a tall stock appearance. By far the best I have seen that suits my own taste is the JP magazine article with the green 62 wagon on new chasis and running gear. They were running 7.50 X 16 wheels and tires but with a seemingly healthy lift. But it looks pretty good. I just dont know how much lift theirs ended up being. Is there a way you can send me a couple pics of yours from the side and at a distance enough that I can get some perspective? Thanks in advance. I am particularly interested in being able to compare apples with apples. If you can measure what your axle is from the frame now that would help too. Then no matter what tires you have I can measure my height above axle and get an accurate idea. Any other thoughts and Im all ears.

Regards, Lew Beck
 
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