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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2000, 11:24 AM
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Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

I am planning on installing a set of Explorer ProComp add-a-leafs on my '93 Jimmy next week and I have a couple of questions. Based on the length of the new leaf (~50"), it will go between the #1 leaf (~50-51") and the #2 leaf (~40"), although it appears that it will just fit between the eyes of the #1 leaf. The question that I have has to do with the spring clamps. On the current 3-leaf pack, there are spring clamps on the ends of the #2 leaf. The add-a-leafs came with 4 new spring clamps. Should these new clamps be installed on the ends of the same leaf (was #2, now #3), or should they be used on the ends of the new leaf and the old clamps reused on the old #2/new #3 leaf? My guess is that the new clamps go on the ends of the old #2 leaf and the old clamps thrown out, but I'd like someone who has installed these before to confirm this (or set me straight). Also, is there anything I should look out for that the Chilton manual and the add-a-leaf instructions don't point out? It seems fairly straightforward. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Jim Carbary

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2000, 12:37 PM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

Very good question and one I'm dieing to hear the answer on. I will be doing add a leafs in the future. I will be going with the Superlift ones that are from a full size when I do the 6" lift. And when I looked at their SEMA truck, they didn't have those on their and that was a big concern to me. Do us all a "big" favor 1st. Before you do the leaf pack, measure from the groung to the top of the fender opening of the wheelwell. Then afterwards do it with the leafs installed so we all know what "actual lift" you get. A lot of people fail to do this and it's info that is very valueable to folks that haven't done it yet. You say the leafs are about 50" long? I talked to people on another site that bought Tmaster ones and they are the short leaf for the bottom and real hard on the rest of the springs. Sounds like you got the good kind. Get you some tephlon pieces like stock to prevent spring wear before you finish the job. It will reduce friction, wear, and give you better articulation too. Did you get these at Summit? And if so, what was the part number? And how thick are they compared to your stock springs? And now to answer you question, contact ProComp and ask them 1st. They have a Tech guy standing by for people like you that buy their products! Tom

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-17-2000, 01:46 AM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

It is a real straight forward project, as far as the clips definately toss the old ones and use the new all around. I heard of guys who use no clamps to increase articulation but they have to constantly check to make sure the leafs are staying parallel.


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2000, 12:52 PM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

Here is the response that I received from [email protected]:

Hi Jim, that part number is well suited for your S15 although it may need to be shortened depending on spring design. Some springs have one spring end up and one down. If both ends curl up and the add a leaf will not contact either spring eye under compression then assemble it as you have stated. Try to retain the factory clamps if possible and use the supplied clamps if needed.

I plan on starting this project on Monday (if all goes well). I'll post the results when I'm finished.

Jim Carbary

post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2000, 10:44 AM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

Well, I finally installed the add-a-leafs last week. I would have posted this information sooner, but my computer monitor died last weekend. Here's some information and tips for anyone interested in doing this. The add-a-leafs that I installed on my 1993 GMC Jimmy 4-door, 4WD are Explorer Pro Comp, part number 13124-1. I purchased them from offroadconnection.com. I was originally going to purchase the Trailmasters because they were cheaper ($43 + $8 S&H), but offroadconnection said that the Trailmasters were on back order and wouldn't be available for about 4-6 weeks but if I wanted, they would sell me the more expensive ($50 + $8 S&H) Explorer Pro Comps for the same price. I give offroadconnection a thumbs-up for that. If I remember correctly, my Summit catalog lists the same Explorer Pro Comps for $50.

As I previously mentioned, the Pro Comps are about 50" long. According to [email protected], the part number that offroadconnection sold me are the correct add-a-leafs for my application. The add-a-leafs are 2 " wide and 5/16" thick, which is the same as the stock leafs. They are advertised as adding 1-2" of lift. How much lift did I get? Keep reading. . .

Tip #1: If you have two different sizes of jack stands (as I do), use the shorter ones to support the truck and the longer ones to support the rear axle. I reversed it and had to start over, as the shorter stands weren't tall enough to support the rear axle.

Tip #2: Make sure before you start that you get new U-bolts, washers, and nuts. I (naively) thought that I could reuse my 8-year old stockers. Eight Michigan winters will put a nice coat of rust on them. I ended up breaking all four U-bolts, so I had to stop, take my wife's minivan, and order new parts at the dealer. Waiting for the parts to come in added a day to the project. New U-bolts, washers, and nuts will cost (are you ready for this) $84.56 from a dealer. The dealer I went to wouldn't give me their wholesale price, which really ticked me off, but I was in a bind, so I paid full price. Find a dealer who will give you their wholesale price, or better yet, order them from gmpartsdirect.com. The same parts cost $60.44 wholesale, and $48.32 from gmpartsdirect. The part numbers are: U-bolts (4) 15684331; nuts (8) 11507027; washers (pack of 10) 15650965.

Tip #3: Be prepared for the rear axle to rotate forwards when the last couple of U-bolts are removed. It will get your attention very fast. Put your second hydraulic jack under the pinion yoke to help support it.

Tip #4: This has to do with my original question about the spring clamps. The stock clamps are 1/8" thick steel, so there was no way that I could bend them. I cut off the bent-over ears with a cutoff wheel. I left the straight part of the clamp sticking up to help align the leafs (the stock clamp is riveted to the #2 leaf). I used the clamps that came with the add-a-leafs next to the stock clamps towards the axle. Use a C-clamp over the old clamp to compress the spring pack when installing the new clamps. So far, this setup seems to work well.

Tip #5: The hole for the centering bolt (the bolt that clamps the leafs together) is offset about 2" towards the front spring eye. Thus, each leaf has a front and a rear end. Don't mix the ends up!! The distance between the hole and the front end of each leaf is about 2" shorter than the distance between the hole and the rear end of the leaf. The hole in the add-a-leafs is in the center. However, the 50" add-a-leafs are too long (the front end runs into the front spring eye). I had to cut the same 2" off of one end of the add-a-leafs. I did this with a cutoff wheel and a 4 " angle grinder. Buy two wheels, cutting the leafs is hard on them.

Tip #6: Don't torque the nuts on the U-bolts until you have both sides done and have the heads of the centering bolts placed in the corresponding holes in the bottom of the spring perches. You'll need some play between the springs and axle to line everything up on both sides. Trust me.

I took Diver's advice and measured from the ground to the top of the wheel opening (actually the stock wheel opening flare) both before and after (with a half tank of gas). Again, my truck is a 1993 4-door with 160,000 miles that the previous owner used as a tow vehicle. The front dimensions didn't change (as expected) but for reference, the left front is 32" and the right front is 32 ". Before the operation, the left rear was 31" and the right rear was 31 ". So, the rear end had settled about an inch. You could easily see this when the truck was parked, and I've noticed that most of the older (pre-1995) Blazer/Jimmys that I see look like the back end is lower than the front. Now, after the operation, the left rear is 32 " and the right rear is 33". So, I gained 1 " on both sides. Also, the truck rides and handles great. Before, the back end bounced and swayed on the highway, and it really leaned in turns. Now, the ride has really settled out, and it hardly leans in turns. As my wife says, it now rides like a truck. So, I'd label this a big success. Better ride, better handling, 1 " of lift, and all for about $140. Oh, and about 10 hours of work. But, I could probably do it in about half the time if I had to do it over again.

Jim Carbary


post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2000, 01:25 PM
 
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

Thanks, for the good info! Did you now turn up your front t-bars to level it out???

Has anyone used any other brands that came fully bolt in, (didn't need to be cut) and what results did you get?

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2000, 10:48 AM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

No, I haven't turned up the torsion bars, because the front end only sits 1/2" higher than the back end. I'd rather have it sit a little high in back so its sits fairly level with the kids in the back seat and a full tank of gas. Also, I had the front end aligned this fall and don't want to pay to have it redone so soon afterwards. I also want to drive it for about a thousand miles and retake the measurements to see it anything settles. I noticed another benefit on the way to work this morning. Before, driving on the highway with a crosswind was a real pain since the truck wanted to do everything but go straight. Now, the crosswind this morning didn't affect it at all.

Jim Carbary

post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2000, 11:34 AM
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Re: Add-a-Leaf Installation Questions

I have used a add-a-leaf from superlift that just bolted right in with no modification. It replaced the bottom leaf of the pack (factory helper) and was pretty much the exact same size. It gave me a bit more than 2 inches of lift in the rear too.

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