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12/31/18 2:41 p.m.

I recently bought a 96 Roadmaster wagon and I'd like to lift it 1-2 inches to fit some 31-32 inch all terrains on it. The rear is already pretty high and may not need anything, but the front will need a boost to fit beefier tires. I plan on some bumper trimming, off road driving lights, skid plates, to get a grandpa's rally, prerunner, adventure kinda vibe going. Does any one know what springs will fit the front to give it the mild lift I'm looking for? I'd like to avoid coil spacers and add a little wheel travel if possible. Thanks!

Run_Away Dork
12/31/18 3:13 p.m.

I have no experience with what you're asking, but I'm sure the donk crowd would know what to do.

grover HalfDork
12/31/18 3:18 p.m.

We’re going to need some photos. 

ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/31/18 3:26 p.m.
Zachary New Reader
1/1/19 9:09 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory :

I have investigated the donk kits, but they are questionably engineered and more lift then I am looking for. I am wondering, since GM made B-bodies for so many years, if there is another spring from a different application that will fit and give a modest boost. The easy path would be a 1, or 1.5 inch spacer, but perhaps there is an off the shelf spring I can put in with some longer shocks. Is there a way to determine this?


Zachary New Reader
1/1/19 9:12 p.m.

In reply to grover :

I'll put up some photos of its current condition. It came with a dented fender (with a non-matching replacement) and a failing custom paint job. It also came with a rebuilt transmission that shifts nice and firm, and a posi rearend with 3.73 gears. It moves the considerable heft of the wagon along quite nicely!

Toebra Dork
1/1/19 11:24 p.m.

Wouldn't the Roadmaster wagon be the heaviest car on that chassis, so it would already have the stoutest springs?  Maybe something off a hearse or an ambulance?

Antihero Dork
1/2/19 2:00 a.m.

The donk cars are lifted really badly....like blocks over or under the coils level of scary, dont do that

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
1/2/19 6:38 a.m.

I believe hearse springs are the answer in the rear, AdventurePiggy's wagon has them and has some excellent rake to it.  The front springs are a standard coil spring without any special ends on it, MOOG has the specs listed here so you could probably get something  from a circle track supplier with a little more rate to lift it, or just cram some spacers in there.  As another alternative, you could try Gabriel "load carrier" type shocks which have their own coilover setup on them, although I'm not sure they'll be up to the task if you want to do serious offroading.

Dave M
Dave M Reader
1/2/19 6:45 a.m.

I support this.

914Driver MegaDork
1/2/19 7:32 a.m.

I believe AdventurePiggy said he used F-250 springs.

Stanger2000 Reader
1/2/19 2:30 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

Roadmaster 'Allroad'?  

Me likes this

Zachary New Reader
8/26/19 1:43 p.m.

To resurrect this thread, 4 of these are on the way to my door:

size 265/75/16... about 3.5" taller and 1 " wider than stock. My plan so far is to tear into the front end, replace the crusty ball joints, check the health of the wheel bearings, add taller springs, longer non-blown shocks, and sawzall any fender sheet metal needed to fit these meaty monsters!


These are the specs on my stock front coil springs (Moog 5404): Free height 17.31", Installed 12", I.D. 4.08", Bar size .68, Spring rate 352, Load 1840. Although I suspect the springs in the front now are lower than stock.

I have found some springs for a 70's continental (Moog 9012): Free height 17.63", Installed 12", I.D. 4.03", Bar size .76, Spring rate 498, Load 2850.

Those should give me a boost, but will they be too stiff and rattle my fillings loose?  A less aggressive option I have found that will fit is Moog 862 with a Spring rate of 397 and Load of 2250. I'm just not sure how much lift that will translate too in either case. Anybody have any advise or experience on what I could expect? Does anyone know how to find a shock with a longer stroke and more damping that will fit and tame the stiffer springs?

The rear already seems like it has heavy duty or hearse springs installed, I think just some minor fender trimming will get the tires to fit. I will include some pictures of the carnage when I can borrow the wife's smart phone. 

noddaz SuperDork
8/26/19 4:24 p.m.

Hockey pucks for a body lift also?

I keep scrolling back to the blue Roadmaster and looking at the front fenders and tires in awe.

Zachary New Reader
8/26/19 6:01 p.m.

In reply to noddaz :

I thought briefly about a small body lift, but I never liked the look and I'd rather skip the trouble and cut more fender with the sawzall. AdventurePiggy's blue wagon is an inspiration and stick shift to boot!

I did find this:


and have been scrolling through trying to find shock absorbers with the same mounting points, but with a longer stroke. Any shock I can find with a longer stroke will also have a longer collapsed length. This could lead to "bottoming out" the shock and damaging it, even with lifted springs, right?

Zachary New Reader
8/26/19 6:23 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

I found the build thread from the fella that did the stick shift conversion on AdventurePiggy's wagon and it looks like the front springs were slightly lower than stock, but much stiffer:

I found a shock that works well with the moog 7268 front springs.
These springs are 770lb/in and my rear springs are cc641 about 400lb/in.
The napa 76741 shock is a HD shock fot the front of 1999 chevy 2500 pickups, costs $44.95, and the rebound damping is perfect. It does harshen the ride a little bit but the ride is still very good. All the bounciness and sway are gone! It really makes the car feel modern.
The spring rate on the pickup is 1040lb/in so the shock is more than up to handling these springs. Extended height is 14.00, compressed is 9.25". Total travel is 4.45" but thats ok because my car sits 1" lower in the front with the 7268 springs.
It also has a rake to it that i like on the wagon.


A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
8/27/19 3:28 a.m.

Let me turn on dad mode here.  

Son, you’re doing it wrong.  Those cars look sublime with unpolished Torque Thrusts and a slight rake.

Mode off.


oh and the donk stuff poorly engineered?  Come on now.  I don’t believe that.  No donk ever has been poorly engineered.  



Zachary New Reader
8/27/19 9:22 a.m.

In reply to A 401 CJ :

Yes they do look great that way! This is my second Roadmaster wagon and I hope to grab a clean southern one to subtly lower with stiffer suspension before they get valuable. This one is cruddy underneath and perfect for my winter beater/ summer canoe rig and  I can no longer ignore the hilarity of lifting a car not meant to be lifted.

I poured through Monroe Shocks Spec PDF and found some part numbers that would give slightly more travel. Next up is to see what application they are for to see if they would tame the stiffer, taller springs. Anyone have any idea of how much increased spring rate and load would translate in inches of lift?

Zachary New Reader
12/16/19 11:05 a.m.

Zachary New Reader
12/16/19 11:10 a.m.

Zachary New Reader
12/16/19 11:15 a.m.

I got the front end rebuilt and the new springs crammed into place. I've been driving it around for about a month now and it is pretty hilarious. Both the driving dynamics and peoples reactions. It has a bit of bump steer, but drives nicer now then before. Mostly due to no longer having a trashed pitman arm, blown shocks and a cracked spring, but nevertheless. Next up is a front bumper build with a skid plate salvaged from an aluminum canoe I drug out of the woods by the river yesterday from our last big flood.

ultraclyde PowerDork
12/16/19 11:18 a.m.

you sir are winning at life. Kudos.

the_machina Reader
12/16/19 11:28 a.m.

That's fantastic!

Zachary New Reader
12/16/19 11:30 a.m.

Since you've seen the winter beater, here is the summer car:

I got it this last summer after reading about them on the forum for years. You guys are right. So. Much. Fun.

spandak Reader
12/16/19 11:39 a.m.

I hope that roadmaster has seen air. It's asking for it

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