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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Common problem...we shop around for the cheapest springs and install them....Looks great...but the first time we go over a good size bump we find out why guys get hernia's and our women won't ride in our rigs without wearing a sports bra. If I had the bucks, I would install a set of springs from National Spring...but I don't, so the following is what I did to soften mine up a bit while I was making some other mods to the rear end. The attached photo adds a little insite.

1. Removed springs and took apart the leaf packs.
2. Sand blasted and then polished the leaf ends.
3. Rounded out and tapered the leaf ends.
4. Painted with a good gloss enamel.
5. Installed Teflon pads (from National Spring) on the leaf ends.
6. Re-assembled leaf packs.
7. Installed Zirt fittings into the main leaf hanger (on the frame). The idea here is to get grease into the area between the poly bushing and the hanger. If you look at the photo you will see how large an area it is...and a source of spring stiffness.
8. Using my moto tool, I cut a small groove around the bushing to allow grease to get in.

The end result was an improvement. Its still a little stiff, but the bone jaring stiffness is gone. Intresing note: My first test drive was without the shocks attached...felt great...put the gas charged shocks on and ouch. They are a large contribution to the stiffness. As soon as I have the bucks, I'm adding Rancho RS-9000's and setting them on 1.

I have only done this to the rear, but the front will get the same treatment next month. One other side note. My CJ is an 84 and in great shape...I thought. When I pulled my rear axle out I was alarmed at all the dirt in the break lines. I was amazed at how much dirt and rust was in the master cylinder....and the breaks were working just fine. Next week the master cyl is being rebuilt and all the lines are going to be flushed.

John......southern CA
84CJ7,3"lift,32"BFG,4.11's,ARB,Solid Axle's
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
John, a few questions:

1. How do you get the teflon pads to stay in between the leafs? Do they fall out?
2. Can you buy the pads from National? How much are they?
3. Is it hard to unpack the springs without a torch?

Thanks for the info. Good luck.

John C.

[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. The Teflon pads are round disks that have a 7/16" dia 'stud' that sticks out of the center. I punched a 7/16" hole near the end of the leaf spring and the stud fits in there. They won't come out.

2. The pads from National were about $0.50 a piece...real wallet breaker there.

3. I used a BFS (big %$#$ screwdriver) to bend the clamps back and used a hammer to bend them back in place. The center bolt that holds them came out just fine. No torch needed...just a lot of muscle and refreshments.

John......southern CA
84CJ7,3"lift,32"BFG,4.11's,ARB,Solid Axle's
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John, any interest in padding mine?
Too lazy, too near x-mas.../wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif

Wish I'd seen this post before I put on the springs back not too long ago!

Jon-YJ94
a work in progress
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a quick note. Try double nutting the shackle and spring mount bolts. That way you can adjust the pressure on the bushing, to prevent overtightening, without ever having to worry about being too loose or the nuts coming off.


 

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DDAWG...what brand lift is this that you are working on? I am within days of ordering the Black Diamond (BD) 3" for my CJ5, but am still toying with the idea of national spring. I have learned in the past that most of the time you get what you pay for...but I have heard good things about BD.

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif
JK
78CJ5
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just as an FYI - there is a product called "Slip-Plate" that is a graphite impregnated paint. You can get it at agricultural supply stores. Seems that if you painted the leafs with that, it might help too.

Marc
Contagious Off-Road
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
JK,
My springs are Dick Cepeck's...but are actually made by Tuff Country or one of those spring makers....I personally rode in a jeep with National's in it....they WORK....When you order them, they actually have you weigh the front and rear of your vehicle so they can make them properly....the leaf packs also have at least 7 leafs vs. my 3-4 leafs...that makes a diff too....about the only sure way of getting a soft ride is with the coil conversion....BIG BUCKS...

Hope this helps....good luck on your choice

John......southern CA
84CJ7,3"lift,32"BFG,4.11's,ARB,Solid Axle's
 

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Actually, you can easily get a good soft ride out of leaf springs - build your own. Use junkyard springs and piece them together to get whatever rate you want with however many leaves you desire.

I have built all the springs packs under my Toyota, and they ride super smooth.

It it really not that hard to do, and the results are pretty impressive. The best part? It is cheap to do/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif

David
Davids 4x4 Page
 

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Just for what it's worth. The one thing I did on my Samurai that improved
ride quality more than anything was a shackle reversal. It allows the
front axle to roll up over bumps and not push against they to compress
the springs. Don't know if you've tried it or not. You can get a kit to
do it but did mine myself. It's not that hard if you can weld. I'm planning
on doing it on my CJ2 when I get the chance but always use the Samuri as
a guinea pig first.
Just my opinion.

C-Ya.....................kh
 

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hey DDawg16,
would you please do both my jeeps,/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif it could be my Xmas gift?

actually i'm going to take your advise and order some of those teflon springs pads for mine, maybe the grease fittings also, i know my wife will thank you.

my 2 cents, my CJ-8 (cheaper 2" lift springs) had a dramatic on-road ride inprovement when i installed a winch,
(more weight = cadillac ride?)

3/4tonYJ
My Jeep Page
 
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