To Build the Monster Rear Suspension for your 81-up Dodge RC
*Disclaimer* This is provided as a free service
and for information purposes only. There is no warranty, promise or responsibility
given by us to you that if you try this all will go perfectly. It all has to be
EXACT!!! Not close, not pretty good. EXACT! Also, I didn't go into cleaning the
metal before welding, grinding down edges for full penetration, stepping up hole
sizes in the drill press or the like. If you need us to tell you that stuff DON'T
TRY THIS AT HOME! Best to take the drawings to a welder and have them
make these for you. Now that you are thoroughly paranoid about screwing it up
For those of you who have followed the
development and now the release of the plans for the Monster Rear Suspension
know, the Ramchargers are not included in this, until now! Here are the new and
improved plans for the '81 and up RC's! The part you make will look different
from the pictures here. I moved the pivot point down 2" and forward
about 1/2" to better suit fender clearance and pinion angle. Unfortunately
this means the parking brake tabs shown here won't work. There needs to be some
serious work done to get it function. All the P-brake stuff has to be moved to
INSIDE the frame, not outside like is stock. You are on your own for that,
sorry. We never did get it R&D'd before we had to close our doors. If you
can handle this though you should have little trouble figuring it all out.
Beside, most old Dodges haven't had a working P-brake in years.
There are a few things you will want to double
check before beginning. First, the front brackets are VERY close to the body
mounts on the frame. We didn't get a lot of chance to test this on many trucks
so I hope it does not vary much. I gave it a little wiggle room but there isn't
much there so it's tight. Also, the body tub has 2 crossmembers under the floor
right where this is going. Again, tried to give you as much room as possible but
there isn't much there so you may need to grind the front hangers just a bit to
clear the floor. You can see what I mean in the bottom photo on this page.
In the rear you can use the stock bumper
brackets but you might need to shave the ends just a bit to make installing them
a bit easier. The funny notch in the rear hangers will become quite important
too as this will let it clear the gas filler tube. Otherwise use the plans and
directions from the Monster Rear
Suspension page for the rear hangers. This is just the front directions
Here's what it takes to do this
What materials you'll
- 2 - 8"x8" 3/8" steel plates
- 2 1 1/2" 3/8"
bar stock about 3 3/4" long
- 2 1 1/2" 3/8"
bar stock exactly 2 .5" long
- 4 4"x 3 1/2" triangles out of at least 1/4" steel plate.
- 16 1/2" X 1
1/2" Grade 8 Bolts
- 16 1/2" SAE Style
(around 1" outside diameter) hardened washers
- 16 1/2" Fender
style( 1 1/2" outside dia" at least) thick washers. You want
something with some beef as this will keep the bolts from pulling
through the frame.
- 2 5/8" x 4 1/2"
long grade 8 bolts, fine thread
- 2 5/8" grade 8 fine
- 2 5/8" fender style
- 2 5/8" SAE style
- 6 3/4"OD-5/8"
ID x2 15/16" long metal sleeves
The steel we got from IMS in Irvine, CA.
All our bolts and such came from McMaster-Carr Supply in Sante Fe Springs,
What tools you'll need
Drill press and at
least a 1/2" drill bit, 9/16" and a 5/8" drill bit.
Band saw, plasma Cutter
or some way to cut 3/8" steel plate accurately and precisely.
210 amp mig welder. You
can use a big stick welder if you have one and are good with it. Tig
welding would work too but with material this thick I prefer Mig or
Big disk sander or
Additional Parts Needed
The new 66" rear springs
are the real key here. We cannot supply the springs. You will have to source
those yourself. It's not hard to get them. Here are a few parts numbers you can
use to find what you need.
Stock vs. the new 66" rear springs
Skyjacker - CR33S
(single) for 6" of lift
Skyjacker - CR35S (single) for 8" of lift
Pro Comp - 13211 6"
of lift (very soft springs)
Pro Comp - 13711 8" of lift (very soft springs)
Stock 88-98 rear
springs will net about 3-4" of lift with the instructions below
|You'll need to change out
the stock bushings with the poly bushings listed above. The easy way to
do this is to wedge a large screwdriver in the gap at the springs eye
where it wraps around the old bushing. Don't go too crazy. The bushing
should slide right out with little effort now. Insert the new bushings
and 5/8" ID inner sleeve and set them aside while you build the
rest of it.
view of front hangers
of Rear Flip Brackets
Rear for directions on how to build the rear hangers)
|Here are links to the Adobe PDF file that
has everything you need to make your own RC front spring hangers for this
suspension. Open it, print and use it as the template. They SHOULD be 1:1 so you can use
your template to make your holes. Double check that your printer didn't
scale it though. Because of the size it will not print the front edge of
the drawing. That's OK, just line it up on the back and bottom and punch
your holes where they need to be. I included a larger file that does have
all the lines on it so you can see what it looks like, If you have a large
format printer (11" wide) I'd print this page and use it. If not
don't worry about it.
Pics to follow
|If you are stumped and have no idea what
you are looking at try this.
That will help you see what the basic idea is. That is for the standard
Dodge shackle flip though so what you are building will look
The plates get 4 1/2" holes
where it bolts to the frame. The spring pivot hole is drilled to 5/8". These
MUST BE EXACT!!! Round the corners to make it look pretty if you care.
Cut your 1 1/2" wide 3/8" bar
stock to 2 @ 3 3/4" and 2 @ 2 1/2". (See Below)
have to be perfect here. We used a metal cutting bandsaw for this and it
worked well. Just make sure they are straight and equal on both bars. This
is critical to it all lining up right and the truck driving straight down
|The last two holes you need to drill are
in the 2 1/2" outside tabs that will get welded on one end of the 3
3/4" bars you just cut. Mark it
3/4" from one end and each side and drill a 5/8" hole there.
This must be exact! Shape the end with the hole in it so that the corners
won't get caught on the shackles. It also looks a lot better. Be as pretty
as you want but don't take away too much material. Broke because it's too
pretty ain't pretty at all!
Pics to follow
|Take these two 2 1/2" tabs and put
your 5/8" x 4 1/2" bolts through them. Now thread the 5/8"
nut on the end so about 1/4" of thread is sticking out the end. Place
this in the 5/8" hole in the plates. I don't need to tell you that
there is a left and right here. Make sure they are flipped right side up!!!
Place the 3 3/4" 3/8" bar under the outer tab and line it up so it's
parallel with the top and bottom for the plate. This is important but not
critical. Eyeballs are good enough for that part BUT make sure everything
is nice and straight, square and plum. Nice right angle between the plate,
the 3 3/4" bar and the outer tab!!!! Make sure the nut is firmly and
squarely against the surface of the plate. This is where it can all goes wrong in a
hurry. Take your time and get it PERFECT! Now you can start welding it all
up. Tack the nut and tabs on all sides first, recheck that all is perfect, then crank up
the heat and melt some steel! This will take a lot of heat to weld up
3/8" plate. Don't try this with a 110V welder. It won't work!
||After it all cools down remove the bolt
and clean up all the welds. Get rid of any splatter and get it ready for
more welding. Take your triangles and hold them up to the topside of the
upright bar. Figure out where you want them. Angle the rear piece back at
the top for more complete support. the front will have to be just about
straight up to avoid clearance problems with the body mounts. Weld the triangles on and
PLEASE, weld the
snot out of them! This will be taking all the weight and force from the
Again, clean up the welds, grind the
splatter and paint.
Now that you're done with that you just need
to get the old hangers and rivets outta there. You will also have to remove the
parking brake bracket. drill out the front two holes where the old hanger was to
bolt the new brackets on and drill the middle hole to 1/2". Assuming you've
already done the rear hangers and shackles you can now bolt it all up and hang
||Here is a shot of the brackets we made. The pivot point is 2"
higher on these than on the brackets you are making. The spring will just
touch the tabs I welded on for the parking brake cables at full droop
(10" of down travel BTW!). Since the pivot point has now been moved
down so much the tab would be in the way big time. There is no way to keep
the P-brake stuff outside the frame on a RC. It has to go inside but it's
not too hard to do.
||Here's another shot just to show you what you're dealing with here. As
you can see, the front of the bracket tucks behind the body mount bracket.
In fact, getting that front bolt in is a little tricky. It has to go in
first and then you can put the others in. Also, because the pivot is lower
than shown here you will have much larger gussets (those triangle pieces)
on yours. That will add to the strength quite a bit. Not that you have
anything to worry about with 3/8" plate and all. These things are
made with so much overkill in them it's not even funny. I'd rather have
too much strength than not enough though.
That's about it. Again, if this
seems over your head PLEASE take the plans to a professional welder/fabricator
and have them made properly. It's still going to be cheaper than a hospital stay
or worse, a funeral.