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Flat Leaf Springs

Old 05-07-2019, 11:02 AM
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Default Flat Leaf Springs

I put on lift shackles about 8 years ago when I did a spacer lift up front. All new (rough country) shocks at all four corners back then. My leaf springs are now flat under no load. And my ride is rough as heck!! Should I replace with stock leaf springs and softer shocks all the way around? Or should I get rid of the lift shackles....go back to stock shackles with 2" lift leaf springs?
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mudshack View Post
I put on lift shackles about 8 years ago when I did a spacer lift up front. All new (rough country) shocks at all four corners back then. My leaf springs are now flat under no load. And my ride is rough as heck!! Should I replace with stock leaf springs and softer shocks all the way around? Or should I get rid of the lift shackles....go back to stock shackles with 2" lift leaf springs?
I'd measure the height. The leaf springs sit much flatter than it seems they should. If you're below spec (considering the extra shackle height in the math) then you will probably want to replace the springs. Are the springs themselves original or in double digits for age? If so, then I'd definitely replace with whatever spring/shackle combo seems good to you.
I think the shock replacement will have a much bigger impact on ride quality than anything else. New springs will likely make it rougher for a while until the springs settle in.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
I'd measure the height. The leaf springs sit much flatter than it seems they should. If you're below spec (considering the extra shackle height in the math) then you will probably want to replace the springs. Are the springs themselves original or in double digits for age? If so, then I'd definitely replace with whatever spring/shackle combo seems good to you.
I think the shock replacement will have a much bigger impact on ride quality than anything else. New springs will likely make it rougher for a while until the springs settle in.

Yes. These are original leaf springs (1999). And the craziest thing was that a reputable shop that does my inspections told me that the shocks don't effect the roughness of the ride. I tried not to look cross eyed as I am friends with the owner. But back in my rock crawling days we put in stiffer shocks so that there would be less "droop" when coming off of rocks. Shoot, I even had adjustable Rancho shocks that would rattle my fillings out if I forgot to turn them back down once on the highway.

I think I will replace the springs and all four shocks to see how much improvement it gives.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:02 PM
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What you have discovered is that extended shackles are hard on leaf springs. Anyone with a raked muscle car can tell you that. By dropping the rear of the springs it has put too much pressure on the back of the spring which is designed to be at an angle, hence it is longer in back. So, the temper has gone out of the springs. You can add a leaf and get some of it back, or you can replace the springs with new ones and go from there. And yes shock ratios do affect ride quality. My shocks have ten stage valving in them for that reason
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 4.3L XJ View Post
What you have discovered is that extended shackles are hard on leaf springs. Anyone with a raked muscle car can tell you that. By dropping the rear of the springs it has put too much pressure on the back of the spring which is designed to be at an angle, hence it is longer in back. So, the temper has gone out of the springs. You can add a leaf and get some of it back, or you can replace the springs with new ones and go from there. And yes shock ratios do affect ride quality. My shocks have ten stage valving in them for that reason
Would you recommend going back to stock shackles and 1.5" lift springs like the Rancho springs in combination with softer ride shocks? Or just replace with a new set of stock springs with the lift shackles combined with softer ride shocks?
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 4.3L XJ View Post
What you have discovered is that extended shackles are hard on leaf springs. Anyone with a raked muscle car can tell you that. By dropping the rear of the springs it has put too much pressure on the back of the spring which is designed to be at an angle, hence it is longer in back. So, the temper has gone out of the springs. You can add a leaf and get some of it back, or you can replace the springs with new ones and go from there. And yes shock ratios do affect ride quality. My shocks have ten stage valving in them for that reason
At 20 years on the springs, they're probably due for replacement regardless of how hard extended shackles are on the springs..

Mudshack
I'd get the springs specific to the height that you're looking for unless they're exorbitantly more expensive.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by PatHenry View Post
At 20 years on the springs, they're probably due for replacement regardless of how hard extended shackles are on the springs..

Yep.

Just remember that a ton of people don't understand what shocks are for, and some shock manufacturers take advantage of that to sell products.

Shocks are NOT made to carry the weight of the vehicle. They are made to dampen spring oscillation. That's it. They are not there to level your vehicle, they are not there to compensate for extra heavy cargo loads.

The springs are made to carry the weight of the vehicle (and cargo).

When you ask shocks to bear weight, you wear them out prematurely, and you put excess stress on the shock mounting points, which eventually lead to failure there.
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