Join Date: Oct 2001
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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!