Precision Metal Fab (PMF) RSK Install - OBS - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:04 AM
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Precision Metal Fab (PMF) RSK Install - OBS

RSK = Reverse Shackle Kit. Moves the shackles from the front of the springs to the rear where they should be on the OBS Ford. Uses Super Duty (99-04) springs. For best results use V-code SD springs. SD springs are made of different steel that absorb the jarring better than the OBS springs. Shackles at the rear allow proper spring movement providing a much MUCH better ride. This kit is for the OBS F350 4x4 or OBS F250 4x4 that has been converted to the OBS F350 Dana 60 solid front axle.

I want to open with this; to all the OBS guys who have resigned yourselves to putting up a with bone jarring teeth rattling nerve grating lumber wagon of a truck because we love the OBS...THIS IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS. Stop putting money into go-fast goodies momentarily and kick your next little stash of mod cash into this kit.

I need to give a serious nod to Trevor and his crew at PMF for building a VERY high quality kit. The welds are flawless, the powder coat was perfect and the fitment is superb. The entire thing can be installed with basic hand tools. I did the install by myself and it took about 5 hours from the time I rolled my truck into the shop till I rolled it out. Having done it once now, I could probably shave two hours off that time.

I called Trevor (yes, when you call PMF you get the man himself not some fool in a call center) and talked about what I wanted to achieve with this mod and got his input. Very helpful and very patient fellow. I went with a basic powder coated 2.25" RSK (no optional tow hooks or hitch receiver). I live North of 49 so shipping included, the kit cost me about $500.00 Cdn.

You will need an adjustable track bar and likely new u-bolts depending on the condition of the ones in your truck currently. PMF makes both and can supply them if needed. I already had the adjustable PMF track bar (again, superb construction and fitment) and a set of u-bolts. You will also need longer shocks. I went with a set of Rancho RS5273 but you can use whatever you want. OEM brake lines can be retained with the 2.25" RSK. The kit is available in other heights and Trevor will discuss other required supporting mods if you want taller than 2.25".

I went to my local wrecker and got a pair of V-Code Super Duty springs out of an '04 F250. The arch seemed healthy and the bushings were almost mint. I used a wire wheel to buff them clean then sprayed them with my favorite color in the rattle can rainbow, flat black. The used springs cost me $200.00 Cdn.

This is what came in the box. The first pic is not mine, forgot to include the front bracket in my parts pic. My only complaint hardware wise is that the kit did not include the bolts for the new V-Code Super Duty leaf springs. I had some on hand so it wasn't a huge problem but it is something to consider when you are sourcing your springs.




I am fortunate enough to have the use of a full service shop with a hoist and all the fancy air tools etc that you can imagine. Don't panic. It can all be done on the ground with a couple bottle jacks to lift your truck off the axle. I removed my front tires but if the install is being done on the ground you can leave them on to support the axle. I started by stripping out my old suspension. It consisted of OEM F350 leaf springs and 2.5" DIY mini spring packs. I didn't take pics of the removal because it is very straight forward. Remove the shocks, u-bolts, front drive shaft and front leaf springs and shackles. I left the brake lines and steering intact. Removing the front bumper would make life easier but mine weighs like 300lbs so I worked around it.



I dry fit the front bracket to see how it was going to line up and which holes I would be using. The bracket comes with several holes drilled to accomodate different applications but you only use three per side.



This is how superb and precise the fitment is; this little gob of weld from the Ford factory was preventing the bracket from properly seating. I ground it off and smoothed up the curve of the frame on both sides and it slid into place mirroring the curve of the frame like a hand in a glove.




Figuring out which bolt holes to use and where to put which bolts burned up some time but after a couple failed attempts I got it figured out. Not complicated, just sit and ponder it a bit. Getting my fingers up into the frame to start the washers and nuts was frustrating but wasn't too bad. I used an 1 1/8" flat wrench and socket with swivel extension on a 1/2" impact for the two big bolts per side and a 15/16" flat wrench and socket with swivel extension for the one smaller bolt per side. A rubber hammer is crucial here. This is no loose fitting, slap it on and go piece of crap bracket. It fits tight to the frame and has to be JUST right for everything to line up perfectly.





The only modification you have to do to your truck is drill out the rear OEM spring hangers to 3/4". I used a 3/4" bit in a 1/2" air drill.

THIS IS COMMITMENT TIME. DO THIS LAST ONCE YOU HAVE DRY FIT EVERYTHING AND MADE SURE YOU ARE COOL WITH PROCEEDING. THERE IS NO GOING BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I installed the supplied grease zerks in the new rear spring shackles and loose mounted them using the supplied 3/4" bolt. The same 1 1/8" tools are used to tighten them. I like to grease suspension bolts during install. Some guys disagree but I have found that it makes install easier and will help prevent seizing in the bushings over time making it easier to take apart later if needed. I also greased the shackle while it was loose mounted.




I installed the new to me V-codes and loose fitted everything. Rubber hammer helps to massage the springs into place. I tightened up the hanger and spring bolts then re-hung the axle with the u-bolts. Once the axle has been hung, re-install the shocks and front drive shaft.






Once your truck is back on it's own wheels, roll it back and forth and get the front axle centered before installing the adjustable track back. The PMF bar is extremely well built and the joints fit like a glove. 1 1/2" and 1 1/8" flat wrenches are used to install it. I think the track bar bolts are 18mm and 21mm...? This pic is with my old suspension. Install the track bar with the full weight of the truck compressing the suspension to where it will normally sit.



My truck was roughly 2.5" over stock before the install and I think it's about an inch taller than that now but the springs will likely settle etc so we shall see in a week or two. I believe that my truck would be roughly 3.5" over stock F350 (not F250) height up front with the 2.25" RSK and used V-code springs. The variable in the equation is always the springs. Depending on their condition the amount of lift could vary +/- 1-1.5".

My truck has OEM F350 4" (3 7/8" or something actually) blocks in the rear so it sits nice and level with the RSK. The new ride is absolutely freaking incredible and I am kicking myself for spending the last couple years messing around with different springs and mini packs and crap instead of just buying this kit.

PMF RSK....DO IT, DO IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trevor at PMF: (520) 465-7971 thall@precisionmetalfab.net
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Last edited by JJFLASH; 01-27-2014 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:48 AM
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Great write up! I'm high considering buy their kit when my tax return comes in.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:35 AM
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Great write up JJ
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:01 AM
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Great writeup JJ! I love my PMF RSK. It was well worth it! Post a picture of the finished truck on the ground.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:07 AM
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Ugh! you make me want this but I dont want any more lift. Beauty write up though!
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:48 PM
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great write up JJ

i guess i'll add this to the list of things to spend money on
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:04 PM
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Thanks fellas. Drove it in to work tonight and am still just as impressed as I was last night.

I worked a 12 hour day shift yesterday then did the swap so I was a little tired by midnight and it was -40 something out so I wasn't too hip on taking a finished pic last night. I did take a before pic and I'll get an after pic Wednesday likely.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:52 AM
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Great write-up. I ordered my PMF RSK and U codes today. Can you give me some insight on the u-bolts? I see you bought new - are these identical to the ones you took off? If not, then what are they?
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:32 PM
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Thanks brother. The u-bolts I used are the original OEM ones that were on my truck when I got it when it was still in stock F250 form. They came off when I did the D60 swap a couple years ago and thankfully I kept them in stock when I got longer ones made to accomodate some of the spring setups I have tried. Your OEM F250 or F350 u-bolts will work. The reason I mentioned getting new ones in the write up was because our trucks are 20 years old and many of them likely have seized solid, rusted u-bolts on them. My local machine shop will make me a set of four u-bolts to whatever spec I can come up with for about $65.00. If yours are in good shape and you can remove them without wrecking them you can use them
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:43 PM
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Here are the before and after pics I said I would post up. There really isn't much different height wise because the before pic is with 2.5" DIY mini packs on OBS F350 springs. Might be an inch taller now so 3 ish inches over stock F35O height I would say.

Before:


After:


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