Pro Tips: Advice on lowering the front of a KW
What’s the best way to lower the front of a Kenworth W900A? – Josh Peterson via e-mail
When lowering any older truck that has a higher profile than desired, the first step is the overview of the project at hand – and what it is you want: (a) a lower stance; (b) the full-blown slammed look or (c) a basic conversion to air-ride.
Then you need to figure how the truck will be used: work, show, on-highway or off-road. Answering these questions will help ensure at the end of the day your truck is still workable.
If it’s just about getting the truck to sit level, or lower than stock, removing the factory spring spacers and installing a new set of springs most likely will get you where you want to be. Older trucks had, for the most part, stacker leaves. The leaf springs of newer trucks have fewer leaves for a more forgiving ride with more flex.
When converting or updating, you most likely will want to use a two-leaf spring pack on each side. Converting old to new springs will take some legwork, and working with a local spring shop can help if you provide the right info:
(a) width of your springs
(b) number of leaves
(c) distance from center spring pin to the front and rear of the springs
(d) size of center bolt
(e) front-end weight rating
(f) spring-pin length and width and size of bushing
(g) outside dimension measurements and width of springs
When you go to the spring shop, they will want to know the year, make and model of the truck. This is where half will jump off the bus because if the book does not list the spring, they balk. Be patient: Giving them all the spring measurements will help them track down the springs by size – not make/model.
Once equipped with the dimensions, double-check your truck to ensure there are no clearance issues. Then take it from there. – Jeff Battler, 12ga. Customs