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  #1  
Old 02-18-2010, 12:01 PM
Elwoody Elwoody is offline
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Leaf Springs

Hey ya'll! I was walking out to my `87 G-Wag on my way to work and I happened to notice something a little funny with my front leaf spring(s). I've included pictures just so you folks can (hopefully) see what I see. It appears that the front-right leaf spring is sort of 'locked' on a horizontal position, which thus pulls the actual leaf spring up. I've included the front-left leaf spring for comparison.

So my question is: how hard of a fix is this? and how much should it ultimately cost me? I can still drive, and I'm sure I have been driving while it was like this. And could this have been causing that feeling I've been having in that the vehicle tends to want to veer off in a particular direction, especially during higher speeds (or when I'm breaking, for that matter)?

OK, I hope to hear your thought'ses

P.S. I'm sorry the comparison pic (front-left leaf spring) 'might' on the dark side. Proceed to make Star Wars jokes >_>
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Front-Left_LS.JPG (90.9 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg Front-Right_LS1.JPG (130.2 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg Front-Right_LS2.JPG (133.9 KB, 91 views)
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2010, 12:18 PM
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SPROING! Looks like the shackle got loose or maybe hit something causing it to hinge up like that...I am no pro but have you tried pulling it back down? Might be tough if the spring is bent or under alot of pressure.

I am sure one of the gurus will weigh in soon...Also I think someone is getting rid of stock waggy springs in the sale section.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2010, 12:32 PM
Chumley360 Chumley360 is offline
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That last time I saw a spring do that it was a rear spring and it had to be replaced. But someone else might have some better, or more hopeful, input than that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:17 PM
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fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
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Good chance that spring is warped/weakened by this. A long prybar and some caution should be able to pop it back out.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2010, 01:27 PM
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CHICOWAGGY CHICOWAGGY is offline
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Thats exactly why I don't like lift shakles.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:29 PM
Chumley360 Chumley360 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICOWAGGY
Thats exactly why I don't like lift shakles.

+1
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:57 PM
Elwoody Elwoody is offline
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So if it needs to be replaced; with what could it be replace with? and how much do you suppose it could cost?

I know some have suggested the possibility of being able to "pull it back down". I for one certainly hope it's not perminantly warped. Though if it is, I'm guessing it will have to be replaced which takes me back to asking what I can replace it with and cost.

I will be calling my buddy who owns a shop, with any small chance of luck, he might have a leaf spring laying around... Maybe.

As for the lift, I didn't do it. Personally I'm not super keen on lifts either. But what's done is done, I suppose.

Hope to hear some more!
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:08 PM
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azpackrat azpackrat is offline
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Jack the truck up and put jack stands under the frame then slowly lower the front axle.
X2 on the extended shakle on stock springs, they are a nessary evil with lift springs, because the lift springs are longer than the stock springs (more arch), but with stock or near stock springs I think they cause too many problems, more lateral movement, too much arc allows the springs to invert or in your case fold-up. Not that it couldn't happen with stock shakles it's just less likely.
If I were you I would not continue to use that spring any longer than I had to, it looks 'kinked' which will create a weak spot and might lead to a break. If possible replace them both with a matched set to maintain the same spring rate on both sides.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2010, 02:48 PM
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wow

Ok so that sucks what did u do and is it a lift kit or stock springs
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2010, 02:56 PM
Elwoody Elwoody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockin wagoneer
...is it a lift kit or stock springs

I guess it's a lift kit of some kind. I'll have to call the previous owner.

...Unless there's some easy way to tell. Or at least a way to tell period. I mean they kinda all look the same to me. I wouldn't know how to shop for new springs anyway I mean would I measure them? I'll look for some paperwork or something when I get home.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:06 PM
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cajun_lad cajun_lad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azpackrat
Jack the truck up and put jack stands under the frame then slowly lower the front axle.

Try this ASAP before the spring gets permanently warped, if it isn't already. Once the front axle is lowered (with the frame supported up on stands), it should pop back down. Just make sure when you jack up the axle again to get the frame off the stands, that it rotates toward the front. This might need a little gentle persuasion... aka a BFH.

As far as replacements go, BJ's has a good selection of stock and lift springs, once you figure out what you have. They can probably help you with that too. Again, it'd be a good idea to change the pair, especially w/o knowing too much about the history of them.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2010, 03:25 PM
Chumley360 Chumley360 is offline
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It might just be me, but isn't that a drop pitman arm in the pics? If so this doesn't say how much lift it has, or what manufacturer, but that it does has a lift.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:30 PM
Elwoody Elwoody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chumley360
It might just be me, but isn't that a drop pitman arm in the pics? If so this doesn't say how much lift it has, or what manufacturer, but that it does has a lift.

I believe the lift is just 4 inches. And as far as I know, those could be stock -- but what do I know?!
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:36 PM
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After looking at your pic's again, I see that I was mistaken about the spring arch. In the second pic the angle makes the spring look flatter, I only glanced at the third pic, which I believe is more true level? Anyway the leaves look to be thicker than stock leaves also, so maybe a three or four inch lift, which would make an extended shakle appropriate.
Did you hit something really hard? or maybe you flexed it out and rapidly compressed it on that side? or loaned it to someone who's avoiding you lately? just a thought.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:01 PM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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If it were me and I didnt want to improve it, Id flip the shackle back, set it down and drive it. I had the spring at the mount bend on my '67 Gladiator and I heated it up, bent it back down and drove it until I sold it. Its risky--but.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:27 PM
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Wow...

I've only heard of that happening...never seen it.

I'd be careful when popping that sucker back down...loaded springs can be deadly...

I'd almost chock the truck and get some sturdy rope and a come-a-long...I wouldn't want to be standing close enough to it, to use a pry bar when it over centers...

yes...and ditch the extended shackles.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:33 PM
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Shackle and spring fix

The ultimate problem is not the shackle but the angle of the shackle. When you install a longer shackle the angle becomes shallower. Your pics show the good spring and shackle at almost 90 degrees to the frame. You definitely have lift springs and I would say with a four inch arch in your springs, you need the lift shackles for all the geometry to work right. The shackles really don't look that long, maybe 6 inches. You can have the bent spring rearched, if it doesn't settle back in, and should cost you about $50. I doesn't look like a bend yet in the picture, so I agree with just flipping it back down but get some weight off of it first. Your ultimate fix is going to be moving the mounting point back about two inches on the frame. You need about 30 degrees off of vertical to keep this from happening again. This is where lift shackles get a bad rap is that they get mounted wrong or mounted in the same place and the angles are all wrong. Move the mounting point back with some brackets you can buy at most off road websites or stores and weld them back a little so your shackles have a nice laid back angle, and yes I run lift shackles and smash them up on rocks all the time with old soft stock springs and have never bent one yet. Just my .02
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:31 PM
Elwoody Elwoody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyj7175
I'd be careful when popping that sucker back down...loaded springs can be deadly...

I'd almost chock the truck and get some sturdy rope and a come-a-long...I wouldn't want to be standing close enough to it, to use a pry bar when it over centers...

I was actually thinking to ziptie a crowbar to a polarm (painting pole, thing) I use to get the pinestraw off the roof.

I'm not gonna lose a head!
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2010, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
so maybe a three or four inch lift, which would make an extended shakle appropriate

Can't really understand this comment as an appropriately made lift, would have longer main leafs to keep the shackly orientation correct. Lift shackles are not good for any app. They tend to do just this, they change the angle of the shackle to more near vertical. When in a droop situation w/ the spring unloaded and shortening,,,they are at a neutral position relative to the frame and can go backwards just as easily as frontwards. This is what has happened w/ your rig. The bottom line is that the main leaf is too short for the shackle/ lift orientation. It needs to get longer, or, the shackle base needs moved back, or, you need shorter shackles.. Pick one, I personally think your main leaf is toast..
You may get lucky and have it set back down correctly but that will not fix your issue.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:04 PM
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azpackrat azpackrat is offline
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An extended shackle is recommended for lift springs for exactly the reason you mentioned. In order to have more arch, the mainspring must be longer than the stock mainspring, as the spring compresses and flatens it lengthens, if the shackle is too short it will stop the compression and you will lose articulation and possibly damage the shackle, mount, or spring.
The short shackle becomes an ersatz bump stop, but it is subject to horizontal stress instead of vertical impact like a bump stop.
Since the shackle and spring mount perpendicular (roughly) the length of the shackle would only change the mounting angle slightly, and would actually make it less accute, since it has a longer radius to work with. I agree that in full extension you run the risk of inverting the shackle, but the risk is the same with a short shackle if you have a too short or a high arch spring. At full extension/droop the shackle will be in line with the spring, not inverted, this is true for any length shackle, so a return to the correct position would depend on the spring flattening correctly on compression. If the spring is too short, shackle binds or the compression is sudden, it could invert regardless the length of the shackle.
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