Question about possible spring over lift and bigger tires.


Sharpest Tool
Feb 6, 2010
Ann Arbor MI.
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
I have a 61 Sedan Delivery wagon with original 226 and drivetrain. I am thinking about doing a springover lift and putting slightly bigger tires on it. I was thinking maybe 32 or 33 inch. Question is; has anyone else done this and do you think this size tire will fit. Also, will the stock drivetrain power this ok? With stock gearing (which i'm not even sure about) will my acceleration and top speed suffer even more than it already does? Thanks for any thoughts.
Let me be one of the first to say...Don't do it. Bad idea. The Wagons are top heavy as is. If you do a spring over, you are looking at roughly 8 - 9 inches of lift. That's WAYYYYY too much; not to mention that your springs are probably sagging anyway. Has it been done??? yeh. Some smartly, some not so smart. If you are considering doing this because you think it's going to save you money vs buying a proper lift, well yes it the beginning, but things change. Ok, enough negativity. Here's some stuff
1. Longer brake hoses
2. Brackets to weld on the axle tube (some axles have pads up top, but are not drilled for the leaf pin. Be careful not to drill too far
3. You will have to put your steering arm up top. This requires swapping out the kingpin blocks. You'll notice when you try to put the steering arm on the top it won't work. You need to change the ball position and also heat up the arm to bend it to the proper position. Grind off the back and then you can punch out the ball. Reverse it and re-weld. Now you can put it on the top side of the knuckle.
4. Lengthen drive shaft

1. Acquire spring pads and weld them on. Make sure to get the pinion angle correct.
2. You can now fit the tires you want and then some.
2. The drive shaft will need to be lengthened.

33" tires will fit nicely with a 2.5 - 3" lift. Do yourself a favor and spend the money on some quality springs that will give you what you want.
If you lift the front that much, and end up having to change the pinion angle to keep the drive shaft pointed at the TC, then you will end up with negative castor. The truck will not have good road manners. If you leave the drive shaft at a steep angle, you get vibration. I would not recommend a SOA on these axles.

New springs would be a good start. You should get back a couple of inches. I did a 1" body lift on my truck with out too much fuss.
I have to echo the above 2 posters.

Several years ago spring overs were all the rage. It appeared to be a 'free lunch'. Now we all know who 'free lunch' appeals to, the young and naive crowd. HEY just do a spring over and get a free lift...yea, sure, free lunch right?

I learned many decades ago there is no free lunch in life.

What a SOA also brings about is the 'law of unintended consequences'. The best examples of this is our Congress and the laws it passes intended to remedy an issue but only creates a new problem.

SOA is very common with the military trailer crowd of which I am one. It appears at first blush that putting a SOA on your newly aquired military trailer will get it higher and level with your lifted Jeep. Well it does. BUT it makes an already tippy loaded trailer FAR more tippy than it was. Ever notice what the military uses for a trailer hitch? Pintle and lunette. The purpose of which is when (not if) the trailer flips the lunette spins and does NOT take the Jeep with it. The 'law of unintended consequences' really shines here.

Bottom line is safety and a SOA is just not worth it.

[NOTE: I did not do a SOA on my M101 trailer]