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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Tips on making custom leaf packs???

I need some suggestions. I am helping a friend that has an '86 Grand Wagoneer. We want to make a homemade lift. I have another complete set of Wagoneer springs and a pair of add-a-leafs. Any suggestions on a starting point. I haven't made any custom packs before. Should I cut the eyes off the main leafs and add them to his original spring packs? What about the add-a-leafs? His rig has sagged quite a bit and 2-3"s would be about perfect. Should I consider making some shackles to go along with the new spring setup? I know shackle lifts aren't great, but 1-1.5 inches longer won't hurt anything. Give me some suggestions.

Thanks,
Tom
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 11:42 PM
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Re: Tips on making custom leaf packs???

1. Disassemble the spring packs.
2. Sandblast the springs.
3. Paint the springs.
4. Paint the bearing surfaces with teflon paint.
5. Install teflon pads between the leafs.
6. Reassemble the packs.

Low buck cost with high payback.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2002, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tips on making custom leaf packs???

Hey LEVE,

What about the lift? I want to incorporate leaves from both packs to get some lift.

Thanks,
Tom
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 12:00 AM
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Re: Tips on making custom leaf packs???

Tom, mix and match is fine...if you are willing to get the characteristics of the outcome. To get the lift would mean:

a. a stiffer ride.
b. more unsprung weight.
c. possibly more stress on the frame.

The question I always ask myself is that when you try to gain height with mix and match leaves... what's it do to the arch? That arch is going to have to take, and keep the stress at bay. How long can it sustain it? And then subject the pack to the torque and twists of off roading and how long will it be before it fails? It's not unlike a SOA to gain height... only to have the springs fail withing a year, sag, and even break from the re-engineered geometry.

IMHO, the imediate result is good, however the longer range outcome is questionable at best, and bleak at worst.

But, as you know I'm a doomsayer, and contrarian, and often wrong! [img]images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2002, 03:24 PM
 
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Re: Tips on making custom leaf packs???

Tom, we've done custom mix and match spring packs a couple of times. Usually we were trying to just get a bit more load capacity out of trucks for hauling firewood. However, we've also done them for trailers and for mild lifts. I had the packs on my '74 CJ5 done at an actual spring shop last winter. I took all four packs in, and had them:

1. Replace the main leaf on the front drivers pack (it was bent)
2. Add a leaf to all 4 packs
3. Re-arch all four packs for approx 2.5" of lift.
4. Install the bushings in the packs.

Set me back about $220. That is a good price here in Alaska. I've been happy with the setup so far--but remember my jeep is a trail rig that does more mud than rock--and no extreme rockcrawling at all.

Now when I was a kid (15-18) I had a 1978 F-150. To get the lift I wanted to clear 33's without touching, I snagged a set of spring packs we had laying around out of a Chevy half ton, and used the main leafs with the eyes burned off and one of the middle leaves and added it to each of the rear spring packs. I then had them re-arched. To get the front to set level we simply drilled out the rivets holding the spring hanger/shock hanger (single piece on that year F150) and moved it down until the vehicle set level. Then we riveted and welded it back on. One thing--that rig had NO flex! I didn't know anything about it then, and just wanted bigger tires to get into my fishing and hunting spots. Anyhow, it can be done.

From what you've said though, if I was going to do it with what you have on hand, I would probably only add a single leaf to the packs, use a very mild (1") shackle lift and have the springs re-arched. That would give you slightly less flex than stock, and about the amount of lift you want. I can't imagine have the springs rearched costing much more than $50-60. Cheap and relatively easy.

Let us know what you decide to do, and good luck!
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