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Unread 10-08-2019, 11:53 AM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Hey Everyone, looking for a little advice/ideas...

I picked up a set of 20x8-10 wheels and tires for my cart, it's an 87 Marathon. My plan was to throw them on and see if I liked the look before buying a lift kit. Well, I like it as is but I do have a couple issues I'll need to fix.

First up, the carts a campsite crawler, won't be used for anything more than gravel roads with the odd speed bump thrown in. It's more for just touring around the park and the odd garbage run.

On the drivers side, at full lock to the left, I'm just touching the leaf spring and am about 1/4" under the inside wheel well with someone sitting on the cart. The brake pedal seems to have about 1.5-2" of clearance so I'm OK there. On the passenger side, I'm about 1/4" out from the leaf spring and 1/2" from hitting the wheel well at full lock to the right.

Looks like the driver side spring has weekend over the years. Based on a few different measurements, it looks like I'm sagging about a 1/4". Without replacing springs, I think the easiest fix would be to shim the body above the rear leaf spring mount. Would there be any issue with only raising the one side?

As well I'd like to get a little more clearance on both sides so I thought I'd use a 1/2" plate under the springs in the front as well as some wheel spacers. See if that gets me enough that I'm happy. I don't think I'd need to lift the front shocks if I'm only going up a half inch or so...or do I?

Wondering if this sounds like a good approach.

I'm open to any and all suggestion.

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Unread 10-08-2019, 02:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

I had that problem once, I made 3/4" (or maybe it was 1" don't remember) spacer blocks between the body and the leaf springs at the rear mount. Easy peasy worked great........

I will say if you think your springs are wore out they're pretty cheap to replace, and you can get standard or heavy duty
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Unread 10-09-2019, 08:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Unfortunately cheap in the US doesn't really mean cheap in Canada after exchange, shipping and boarder charges.

I put 1/4" wheel spacers on last night and it gave me a bit more clearance. I'll be throwing the 1/2" spacers under the front spring mounts tonight hopefully and see if that gives me enough on both sides. If it doesn't then I'll add some spacers under the rear spring mount as well. I also realized I'm toe out for alignment so I'll get that taken care of and see where the cart sits.

Thanks for the reply.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 09:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Well... Looks like a hit a snag. Turns out, with only a 1/2 inch lift up front, the tie rod tube has zero clearance from the leaf springs.

Dabble Inn, looks like I'm going to try it your way, 3/4 or 1" spacers at the back of the spring mount. Unless I've missed something or someone has a different idea? May still just jump on the 4" economy.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 09:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

My 2 cents. I had the same problem, same side, same vintage cart. New springs fixed it.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 08:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Just so there's no confusion, the tube was contacting BOTH springs after I threw the 2" spacers on. I'm assuming with a 4" lift that the tie rod tube has to be swung under the springs, didn't remember reading about that.

So new springs would definitely level the cart side to side, I get that, but would they give me enough clearance, without having to add the 2" spacers, for the bigger 20" wheels. Kinda rhetorical...I know that no one knows for sure, lots of variables.

On a positive, I found a Canadian supplier of the 19" springs for $44 each plus about $30 shipping.

Hmmm...

*edit* Been looking at front end pics online, some of the marathons have the tie rod tube above the springs and some below, without a lift. The 85 shop manual shows it above. Just curious were there big differences between the model years with regards to front suspension?
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Last edited by Full Circle; 10-10-2019 at 08:40 AM.. Reason: Added some info
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Unread 10-10-2019, 11:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

I haven't had a steering arm clearance problem since raising mine at the rear mounts, Last year I installed a pair of the heavy duty springs on a friends 88 because she broke one. Thinking they were like $60 for the pair on Ebay, she claimed it even rides better now, Here's a pic of my clearance
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Unread 10-10-2019, 07:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Ha! Just priced out HD springs off eBay. $300 shipped! Not kidding...

Thanks for the info, I'll update once I decide which way I'm headed.



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Unread 10-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: 87 Marathon Tire Rub - Minor Lift/Leveling?

Ouch, Check out our site sponsors for a pair. I don't know how shipping works up there but it might be worth a look
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