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Leaf Spring: I am losing my mind making a decision

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Leaf Spring: I am losing my mind making a decision

 
  #1  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:51 PM
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Talking Leaf Spring: I am losing my mind making a decision

Let's start with the basics everyone will ask:
-E1999 Ford F-250 7.3L Powerstroke XLT
-Stock Suspension all the way around
- I really hope I didn't make myself look stupid by missing information someone may need

Here is the deal, I am wanting to revitalize my suspension but I have jumped down a rabbit hole and need to find my way out before I spend money. The front of my truck only has two leaf springs which I find problematic to start. I do not want to lift my truck any more than where it sits right now other than to remove the sag I am experiencing in the front (level it out so to speak). I would also like to improve the ride quality and not make it any worse. When I started researching options, I was greeted with a wave of options and I do not know which to choose. I would love to use the Rancho 9000XL shocks because of their option to soften or stiffen the ride, but that requires me to replace or fix the old leaf springs first which could (and should I think) change the stock height in the front. I have completely overthought this topic but just want to cover all the bases before spending the money. From what I read, I should be looking towards add-a-leaf? OR should I replace the leaf springs entirely with new one? No cracks in the front leaves, they are just flat and close to the bump stops. I also need to determine (and how to determine) how much I should raise the front. A little nose squat won't kill me by any means. Thank you once again FTE members for the replies, this is the only site I use to ask my overthought topics
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:01 PM
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first thing I would do is determine how much they have actually sagged.

second, what do you find problematic about 2 leafs ?

the basics of suspension is the leafs have 2 functions, they determine the payload and set the ride height and they locate the axle. they do not determine the ride quality themselves,

the shocks function is to control the speed at which the suspension moves, this is what determines ride quality. now, the higer spring rate you use to increase payload capacity the more shock you need to control its motion and the more shock valving you use the lower the ride comfort goes.

I point that out because by using a Add a leaf you are increasing the spring rate to lift up the front and that is going to diminish ride quality by either using the correct shock to control it and it is stiff or not using enough shock and it is floppy.

the answer you are looking for is you want a spring with the stock spring rate that has the stock amount of Arch for stock height or a bit more arch for a bit more height.

a bunch a folks are going to start posting of this code and that code solutions but the real answer you seek is use the Code that your truck was equipped with, you can find that on the drivers door pillar data sticker.

you can install shocks before you install new springs unless you plan on lifting the truck several inches,


this is out of the 2001 factory ford service manual so you will want to confirm the ride height is the same for your model year as I know there are differences in 1999


 
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:11 PM
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2001. f-250 ride height specs



 
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:20 PM
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From what you are saying I don’t think an add a leaf is going to be your best option. It will give you some ride height but it will firm up the ride. If you’re just wanting to fix your issue I would agree with Camo and just go with the spring code you have and go from there. If you’re looking for a more “leveled” look you can go with an X code option to get some additional height (this being if you have a lower code on there right now) but you will feel the ride firm up a little. Nothing crazy in firmness IMO but you will feel the difference.
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:40 PM
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Getting a baseline of where you are versus stock height is the right place to start. If you are wanting a better riding truck, you do not want an add a leaf. It will certainly firm up your ride. Depending on your measurements, you may be close to stock height or you may want to consider spring replacement. Take a look at your leaf spring bushings. Wear will affect your ride quality and ride height. Remember, these things are supposed to have some rake so the rear can settle some when loaded, and the nose won’t point to the sky
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pirate4x4_camo View Post
first thing I would do is determine how much they have actually sagged.

second, what do you find problematic about 2 leafs ?

the basics of suspension is the leafs have 2 functions, they determine the payload and set the ride height and they locate the axle. they do not determine the ride quality themselves,

the shocks function is to control the speed at which the suspension moves, this is what determines ride quality. now, the tiger spring rate you use to increase payload capacity the more shock you need to control its motion and the more shock valving you use the lower the ride comfort goes.

I point that out because by using a Add a leaf you are increasing the spring rate to lift up the front and that is going to diminish ride quality by either using the correct shock to control it and it is stiff or not using enough shock and it is floppy.

the answer you are looking for is you want a spring with the stock spring rate that has the stock amount of Arch for stock height or a bit more arch for a bit more height.

a bunch a folks are going to start posting of this code and that code solutions but the real answer you seek is use the Code that your truck was equipped with, you can find that on the drivers door pillar data sticker.

you can install shocks before you install new springs unless you plan on lifting the truck several inches,


this is out of the 2001 factory ford service manual so you will want to confirm the ride height is the same for your model year as I know there are differences in 1999


Finally, some people and a website that ISN'T trying to push me to a product. I am completely fine with two leaves as long as they are sufficient enough to handle the heavy front end of the 7.3. Any thoughts on the Rancho 9000XL series shocks? I liked them as a option to be adaptable for certain conditions or terrain. I have the factory manual from ford but it is in PDF and I need to get the silly thing printed off! It's just way better in book form IMO. I was concerned with buying shocks before leaves because I didn't want them to get worn out prematurely. But now that I have some measurements to go by I can get the answer I need. THANK YOU. I just really want to improve things on the first go than spend money to find out the hard way to go a different route.
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ATS Junior View Post
From what you are saying I don’t think an add a leaf is going to be your best option. It will give you some ride height but it will firm up the ride. If you’re just wanting to fix your issue I would agree with Camo and just go with the spring code you have and go from there. If you’re looking for a more “leveled” look you can go with an X code option to get some additional height (this being if you have a lower code on there right now) but you will feel the ride firm up a little. Nothing crazy in firmness IMO but you will feel the difference.
Originally Posted by 97-psd View Post
Getting a baseline of where you are versus stock height is the right place to start. If you are wanting a better riding truck, you do not want an add a leaf. It will certainly firm up your ride. Depending on your measurements, you may be close to stock height or you may want to consider spring replacement. Take a look at your leaf spring bushings. Wear will affect your ride quality and ride height. Remember, these things are supposed to have some rake so the rear can settle some when loaded, and the nose won’t point to the sky
I will do that, thank you both for the replies. So first steps for me will be to measure the current spring positions according to the manual. Then I can determine if my spring are bad or just normal. From there I can look at bushings, shocks, and stabilizer bushings.
 
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:40 PM
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the idea of the ranch is good and I have had a few but to be honest they are over priced twin tube shocks,. while I think the Bilstein 5100 is not valved ideally to the superDuty it is at least a reasonable quality product, the Bilstein 4600 is valved better for stock size tires and also a quality-ish product.




at stock height and tire size, hands down the KYB monomax is my favorite, they nailed the valve setup and they are a decent quality monotube shock... I would pay Bilstein money for them but lucky for you they are 1/2 the cost

 
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pirate4x4_camo View Post
the idea of the ranch is good and I have had a few but to be honest they are over priced twin tube shocks,. while I think the Bilstein 5100 is not valved ideally to the superDuty it is at least a reasonable quality product, the Bilstein 4600 is valved better for stock size tires and also a quality-ish product.




at stock height and tire size, hands down the KYB monomax is my favorite, they nailed the valve setup and they are a decent quality monotube shock... I would pay Bilstein money for them but lucky for you they are 1/2 the cost
I'll look into those, thank you! I haven't looked at KYB monomax yet. I have heard many good things about Bilstein though. I finally have the information the book calls for, I even printed off the section you sent my from my manual as well. Here is what I got:

Front Ride Height Measurement:
Drivers Side: 4 1/4"
Passenger Side: 4 1/2"

Rear Ride Height Measurement:
Drivers Side: 6 1/2"
Passenger Side: 6 1/4"

Here is the sticker on the door jam, seems I have spring code "UA." What does the "A" mean? Here is a picture of the sticker just to make sure I didn't read it wrong.


 
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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Being a E99 you likely have the older style springs like I recently replaced on my 99 F250 CCSB V10 with some ATS X Codes. Leveled out good, no more thumpity thump under the floor boards either. Overall smoothed things out.

Being our trucks are 99's you may need a different U-bolt plate like I did. Was either $40 per at Horizon Ford for me or $40 for the pair at the wrecking yard. Take an impact, 21mm, 18mm and a 15mm.




 
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:11 AM
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Looks like the U code springs are 4800lbs the A is for the Rear Spring, I have them too, not sure on the rating though.
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bently_Coop View Post
Being a E99 you likely have the older style springs like I recently replaced on my 99 F250 CCSB V10 with some ATS X Codes. Leveled out good, no more thumpity thump under the floor boards either. Overall smoothed things out.

Being our trucks are 99's you may need a different U-bolt plate like I did. Was either $40 per at Horizon Ford for me or $40 for the pair at the wrecking yard. Take an impact, 21mm, 18mm and a 15mm.



Where did you end up buying your springs at? IF i were a smart man, I would have taken a picture of the shape of mine.
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by HungOverSheep View Post
Where did you end up buying your springs at? IF i were a smart man, I would have taken a picture of the shape of mine.
I ordered them from ATS Junior and they shipped within a week with new everything.
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:34 PM
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I got the yellow Bilsteins for super cheap on Amazoo. Felt very smooth but wore out in like 10k miles, so I think they were fakes. Went with the Rancho adjustables, very happy. Very handy to be able to adjust between loaded and empty.

Advice on the Ranchos from the manufacturer; hit them with clear coat to prevent rust, and a dab of grease behind the adjustment **** so it remains easy to turn.

Pirate; reps for the suspension data! I think my fronts are a bit saggy, now I can confirm exactly how much.

Edit; can someone rep Pirate for me? I'm in jail.
 
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by aawlberninf350 View Post
Advice on the Ranchos from the manufacturer; hit them with clear coat to prevent rust, and a dab of grease behind the adjustment **** so it remains easy to turn.
For the price that Rancho charges ($400 per set), one would think that Rancho could easily clear coat the shocks themselves, which would be vastly simpler and cheaper done en masse as part of the production process, and a lot easier and more satisfying for their customers. Same with the grease behind the adjuster.



Originally Posted by aawlberninf350 View Post
Edit; can someone rep Pirate for me? I'm in jail.
Been there, tried that, already backlogged on reps to Pirate.
 

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