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leaf spring reduction

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:18 AM
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leaf spring reduction

This is how many leaf springs I have in the rear of my truck:



Thats 10 always in use and 6 extra that hit stoppers (not currently on). Those are also 1/2" thick or so. The old F600 beds weighed a whole lot more than what I have on now, which probably weighs 100-200#s. In other words there is so much suspension that I might as well have welded the axles onto the frame. It kicks like a bucking bronco, only ideal if say Denise Milani was ridding shotgun.

So I'm looking to thin it out a bit. The front seems about right and it has about 8.



I'm not sure how many to take out of the rear, even though the front only has 8, it doesn't have near the thickness as the rear, so maybe I'll get under there and measure and see.

Any thoughts on how many to remove?

How about the removal itself? Are those brackets riveted on?

Ideas?

Thanks
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:07 AM
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Starting at the top, remove 2nd,4th,6th,8th springs. reinstall with glide strips between leafs. To maintain same hight you will need to add a spacer equall to removed springs on the bottom.
Bob
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:14 AM
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I would start talking to a spring shop about lighter springs..yes that is a rivit...if you do it wrong you stand the chance of busting something and getting hurt or destroying the truck..you could try looking at a one ton and comparing springs ..or you could do like the guy befor me did to my truck ....2 inches of concreat in the back !! rides nice but I weight 4900 lb empty...talk to someone that know's springs you will get a better understanding of what is involved ...you have the time to learn ....
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:47 AM
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If you aren't going to be using the truck for hauling loads, I'd pull the overload springs entirely and remove about half of the leaves in the main springs...
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:07 PM
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Thanks.

I wouldn't mind lowering the ride height a little, it's about 4" higher than the front. This was done intentionally as I was planning on making the truck a 4x4 and the front axle will raise the front 4", but since I would have to go back and change all of that anyways, I might as well adjust it for 'in the mean time' driving.

Taking out the even ones makes sense. Where do I find glide strips though? Is it just the type thats on a roll or something special made for leaf springs? What's their purpose?


Any tips on removal? I imagine I can do it by lifting the frame up a little so the weights off the springs (but not too high, wouldn't want to have them flex the other way), remove the rivets, then take out every other one, and clamp it back down. I'll probably have to use a spacer as I have no idea where I'll find 4 U-bolts that big yet that short. Don't think it wise to cut them and re-thread them just yet. Actually I might just leave the top ones on for now, they won't effect anything but will look better than just a big block of steel right now, and then add just a little bit of spacing of what I take out, might even just put some of the lower springs up there.

I'm not doing the final build on this right now, just making it comfortable to drive around town. The back was perfect when there was 9,000#s on it, but with 200#s it's not the same, lol
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:14 PM
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I would take it to a spring shop and ask them how to remove the leaves you want out, re-rivet if needed and install glide strips and new U-bolts.

You may even be able to buy the strips and bolts from them.
 
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:12 PM
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I'm in a small town in the middle of no where, so I don't have access to a spring shop. The U-bolts for this would probably run me $100, and to be honest since this is all stuff I'm going back to later for sure, I really don't want to spend the money on that.

Whats the purpose of the glide strips? This is the first time I've heard of them, smoother ride?
 
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:03 AM
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I guess Sheridan is smaller than I thought.

I think the glide strips have teflon in them and make the springs slide smoothly and keep them quiet.
 
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:01 AM
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The glide strips will allow the spring leaves to slide easier as the spring deflects. Even taking out every other leaf, you will not get much spring deflection in everyday driving, so if you do not use glide strips you will not notice much difference.
On your U-bolts, after you reduce your number of leaves and remove the auxiliary springs, just measure the length you will need the U-bolts to be and cut and rethread the old ones. One caution - if the U-bolts are threaded pretty far up, and you will be using old thread that has been exposed over the years, enough might be rusted away so that you do not have enough thread for good engagement. If this is so, you will need new U-bolts. Use new nuts and washers though. New U-bolts are best, but if the old ones are in good shape with no pitting or cracks anywhere, just cutting and rethreading will work.

If you decide to make this change and do not want to remove the springs from the truck, be careful. You will want to support the frame securely and move the axle out of the way once you remove the U-bolts. Before you do anything with the spring center bolt, use several heavy C-clamps to hold the spring together. The clips that are riveted to several of the leaves can be reused, as long as you reuse those leaves. You can cut the excess length off of the clips and drill new holes for the bolts. Depending on the load you will put in the bed, a 6 leaf stack should work pretty good. Just save the leaves you remove in case you you want to put a few back in in the future.
 
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:27 PM
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Just running out ideas; could I maybe just flip the bottom say 4 or 5? Or maybe just move a bottom one or tow up to the middle (would keep the springs from touching like a spacer but maintain all the same heights but for the most part nullifying the ones below it)

Right now I'm just trying to get the rid more comfortable, and the less I can remove/cut/change till I know for certain what I'm going to be doing back there with it, the better.
 
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:34 PM
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Try it and see what happens. It gives you something to do for an afternoon and the worst thing that could happen is you'll have to put it back the way it was.

What you are proposing sounds logical.
 
 
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