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Discussion Starter #1
I like the stock F150 leaves. They are 5/16" thick so flex well. The aftermarket leaf packs for ride, flex, and lift are typically 1/4" thick and comprised of many leaves. The packs on my rig were 7 leafs thick! I had them custom made and left the area before the guy could tune them for me. They were a bit soft. I found a couple of F150 packs at a wrecking yard that were already broken open/loose. Look for newer leafs, these looked relatively new when I grabbed them, no rust and were nicely arched still. The thin leaves flex better and you can cut them down to get what you need for spring rate and lift. It is easier to cut them down and utilize the existing center hole to bolt the pack together. Drilling spring steel is difficult but can be done with a good bit, proper speed and copious amounts of cutting oil. I did drill the ends for the teflon pads/sliders which reduce friction. The thing is you may find the shorter leaves in the F150 packs will work without cutting or drilling. If the stock length is not right, keep the center hole and trim both ends.

A longer leaf will add more spring thus more lift, plus lift in the thickness of the leaf. A shorter leaf adds less spring and thus less lift, but you still get the thickness of the leaf. Think of a longer leaf as more lift because of more spring rate and a shorter leaf for fine tuning under the pack. I wouldn't use thicker, less flexible leaves. The thick add-a-leafs suck for flex and ride as would 3/4 ton or one ton springs. Though some seem to have gotten good results with using the 3/4 ton springs with fewer leafs to get flex/ride I prefer the tunability of stacking many thinner leafs.

I have found that it is good to balance the spring rate between the front and the back axle. This maximizes articulation and traction at all four corners.

I recently installed the new 6" Superlex coils up front. I knew the rear leaf packs were softer than the front coils so I added in two leaves under the packs. I measured today and found that I could lift the front wheel 30" without any other tire lifting and the rear wheel would only lift 25" off the ground. Through trial and error, I found the rear to be too stiff. I removed a leaf and need to measure again.

The pics below show the leaves I added and the process of checking travel/articulation. I will add more pics later when I get a chance to flex it again. A good ramp, lift also allows you to check for any binding of the suspension and shock travel. No bind in the rear traction bar!

The three leaves I use for tuning:


 

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keep it coming... i was just thinking of doing this... one more thing... from what ive read: typically the teflon pads arent really needed...

read this: Production Deaver leaf spring-packs are sold with Teflon slider pads installed at the tip of each spring because they help to reduce friction and provide a smooth ride. We were surprised when Erik suggested that we remove these and grind/radius the edges of each spring instead. He told us that Teflon slider pads have become something that spring manufacturers and suspension companies like to promote, because they are a cost effective alternative to the labor-intensive (expensive) process of finishing the spring ends by hand. On race-springs that are subjected to hard off-road use, the soft Teflon pads often get small rocks and grit lodged in the surface of the pad, creating more friction than they eliminate. Teflon pads are also hard to keep in-place, and we had already lost two of them since we installed the springs. Erik put a radius into the end of each of our leaf springs using a bench grinder. Something like a 4 " angle grinder could also be used if you are servicing your springs at home. The spring shown in this image positioned on an anvil is about to have a spring-clamp riveted into that chamfered hole.

from herea deaver fine tuning

nice work...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have tested before by just pullin' up on a rock. A ramp is good for testing out your rig or I have seen a fork lift used many times. Today I used my engine hoist. I did not get a chance to measure again after removing a leaf. I had 30" under the front and only 25" under the rear. Hope fully it is better balanced now by removing the leaf.








 

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Discussion Starter #4
You can see in this pic that the spring pack is not even close to flat or inverted. There is more travel there to be had by softening up the pack some. I removed the second leaf up from the bottom, but ran out of time to flex it again and take pics.





The longest spring in my pics is cut the best. That angle cut spreads the load out better to the spring above it vs a 90 degree cut. A 90 degree cut would make for a nice breaking point for the leaf above. I am told it makes the spring pack more progressive in spring rate vs a 90 degree cut as well.:thumbup Skater is right too in that the cut ends should be slightly chamferred/beveled so as not to dig into the leaf above.

 

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Yeah Keep that info coming. This is interesting seeing that I am going to be doing a Leaf SAS. I want to be able to fine tune my Leafs.
 

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I assume that this tech relates only to ford springs as your talk of longer/shorter leaves is not entirely accurante as you wrote it, unless you ASSume that it is only in discussion to a ford pack, which I think you should make clear.

Im sorry, but this just seams like another post where you are trying to brag about how much flex you have. Its not that great and this isnt really a tech write up IMO
 

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I assume that this tech relates only to ford springs as your talk of longer/shorter leaves is not entirely accurante as you wrote it, unless you ASSume that it is only in discussion to a ford pack, which I think you should make clear.

Im sorry, but this just seams like another post where you are trying to brag about how much flex you have. Its not that great and this isnt really a tech write up IMO

I found the article to be interesting. I hadn't thought about why the springs are rounded off at the ends. I reread the posts and still did not think he was bragging about flex. He wrote of how he added too much spring to the rear how he tested it and how he's working through the problem.

I plan to tackle an SAS and remove the lift blocks from the rear of my rig. So, I appreciate reading what someone else is doing. Coincidentally, I have Ford springs on the rear of my Bronco too -grin-
 

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I assume that this tech relates only to ford springs as your talk of longer/shorter leaves is not entirely accurante as you wrote it, unless you ASSume that it is only in discussion to a ford pack, which I think you should make clear.
Im sorry, but this just seams like another post where you are trying to brag about how much flex you have. Its not that great and this isnt really a tech write up IMO
i understand what your saying plug...i think your missing the point though...although i dont think it quite covers the topic completely its an opening to it...

basically you can take multiple LONGER leaf packs and incorporate them into the pack... giving you more lift each time but the longer packs will flex better... the standard pack may have(lets just ball park) a 40" 2nd leaf, 34" 3rd leaf, 28" 4th, and a 20" bottom leaf... the smaller leafs help with lift but the shorter spring wont flex and travel as much...the lower leafs are most likely thicker(stiffer) and provide the height

by taking multiple 40" second leafs and cutting them down so your pack looks more like 40, 37,34,31,28,25,20... youve added more length in the leaf packs... they could theoretically give the same lift height as the above pack but flex much better...using the thinner 5/16" leafs could keep the ride comfortable while making a thicker(more leafs) pack that flexs well

its hard to explain... the deaver packs travel so well because they use more (less stiff maybe 5/16" thick) longer leafs in the pack(usually 10) compared to cheaper companies that use 5 total leafs(that are thicker per leaf...maybe 3/8")... mostly shorter...

whether or not it could be effectivly done without re-shaping the leafs, i dont know... but if you could get the packs to get the lift you wanted with the longer leafs it would most likely flex much better

i see the concept... it just needs more

dc
 

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i understand what your saying plug...i think your missing the point though...although i dont think it quite covers the topic completely its an opening to it...

basically you can take multiple LONGER leaf packs and incorporate them into the pack... giving you more lift each time but the longer packs will flex better... the standard pack may have(lets just ball park) a 40" 2nd leaf, 34" 3rd leaf, 28" 4th, and a 20" bottom leaf... the smaller leafs help with lift but the shorter spring wont flex and travel as much...the lower leafs are most likely thicker(stiffer) and provide the height

by taking multiple 40" second leafs and cutting them down so your pack looks more like 40, 37,34,31,28,25,20... youve added more length in the leaf packs... they could theoretically give the same lift height as the above pack but flex much better...using the thinner 5/16" leafs could keep the ride comfortable while making a thicker(more leafs) pack that flexs well

its hard to explain... the deaver packs travel so well because they use more (less stiff maybe 5/16" thick) longer leafs in the pack(usually 10) compared to cheaper companies that use 5 total leafs(that are thicker per leaf...maybe 3/8")... mostly shorter...

whether or not it could be effectivly done without re-shaping the leafs, i dont know... but if you could get the packs to get the lift you wanted with the longer leafs it would most likely flex much better

i see the concept... it just needs more

dc
I think he's saying the opposite....use short/thin leaves instead of multiple long/medium ones which are the ones adding spring rate during the majority of the compression cycle. The short ones would only come in during overloading,, otherwise they just add to lift height.

There are issues with this though (and the reasoning behind why Deaver keeps all the leaves spread out...multiple long, med-long, med, med-short, and short leaves, all thin) , but I'll have to come back to that discussion a bit later....
 

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I think he's saying the opposite....use short/thin leaves instead of multiple long/medium ones which are the ones adding spring rate during the majority of the compression cycle. The short ones would only come in during overloading,, otherwise they just add to lift height.
QUOTE]


agreed mostly. The original post contradicts itself some, or at least isnt clearly defined. It looks like He is using overload leaves to adjust height and rate, which should not be the case. The longer leaf does help support the main leaf, and more driectly affects rates, where theoverload should only be working in heavy load applications.

thin long leaves (as mentioned) do flex better. Arched leaves do not flex as well, and an arched leave has to be longer to be the same length as stock flat ones. There are many variables here, and I do not think most of them were covered n the original post. More it seems he was just trying to opining and stating small bits of info, which is not comprehensive and NOT a write up IMO. Nor do several pics of a moderately flexng rig tell much of a story.

this thread should be moved IMO
 

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get the front tire on the ramp...then look

either way...shado and plug i understand what your saying... i get it now...

overall i dont think you can effectivley drastically improve the capability of the pack without being able to adjust the individual leaves arch...you need the tooling at a spring shop... correct??

i agree more info needs to be brought forward...

:shrug

dc
 

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heres a pic of my 4" superlifts next to my factory packs... both have very broad changes in length in the leafs..(leaves??) you can see the difference in the packs he is using...
i dunno:shrug



the superlifts have 5 leaves (including the main leaf)
where his reworked f150 packs have 9

i dont personally know enough to tell you where the differences will lie... im just thinking...deaver 10...must be good:shrug...i think the concept is good, however like i said i dont know if you can actually get what you want out of it without properly reshaping each leaf depending on the needs

dc
 

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the basic premise of what I think he is say is correct, more, flat, thin leaves will f,ex better and typically have a softer spring rate. Its just the other stuff that is confusing and contradictory. This would make for good information, but as it is, its incomplete, inconsistent, and in some regards, wrong. in regards to the cutting/shaping of the leaves, I think he is over emphasizing that as well. Why are factory srpings cut flat? anyway, there is a lot of stuff that can be picked apart, but it would be better to just erase this thread
 

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leaf springs are simple.
ideally you want your pack to have the same arch when its off the truck and when your suspension is fully drooped. basically, flat leaves that are drooping a lot are just stretching and fatiguing the spring. take a look at the deaver packs, they have a ton of arch unloaded. that deaver article is very informative, even if it is for a pre-runner toyota.

factory springs are cut flat probably because thats the cheapest and easiet way to make the end of a leaf spring. factory springs also come with a lower number of leaves because lets face it, they really don't care how the truck rides as long as its A: cheap B: cheap and C: can take more load than its rated for so the idiot who puts 3000# in the bed of his 1/2ton won't die on the freeway. and a spring with a flat ride height like what is typical of stock bronco and pickup springs generally rides better than one with positive arch like a lift spring.

another important thing people seem to forget is spring clamps. IMO they are absolutely necessary to keep the springs from over extending (drooping), which can lead to bending/breaking. they also tie the pack together so that the main leaf isn't the only one doing the work to fight axle wrap and suspend the vehicle. bumpstops are the other half of the equation and function to keep your springs from inverting (negative arch) too far.

more leaves = more weight distribution between them.
more leaves = less weight per leaf.
this means:
1) a more progressive rate to the spring pack, the "jump" in rate from individual leaf to individual leaf is less.
2) thinner materials which flex and cycle "smoother"
3) more arch and thus more travel but still having the proper spring rate.

but then again, i just have some junkyard springs so what do i know...
 

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here are some things to watch out for:
ADD-A-LEAVES

notice how the different arch of the AAL (second one down) is placing weird loading on the main leaf. THIS IS BAD. after this i ran a stock pack + a stock main leaf without eyes as a pseudo AAL. it worked better and the compression looked much better than this, but now i am back to a stock bronco pack.
SPRING CLAMPS GOOD

yes, i could get more flex out of the suspension with the bolts removed, but then the main leaf takes all the stress. not really an issue with F350 leaves that were 3/4" thick....

this happened when i wasn't running clamps, and you can see the end result. ledge + lots of throttle = bent leaf and 2 busted driveshafts. i had a similar problem up front before i ran spring clamps and went thru a lot of u-joints thanks to axle wrap.

i say lets keep this thread going. i have tons of cool leaf spring pictures....
 
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