1st post - Before and after leaf spring swap pics

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by GreenSilverado, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. 98chevy2500SS

    98chevy2500SS Specializes in Accessories 101

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    What a difference! My 97 w/ F44 sits at about 37 inches, which already has the 4+1 leaf pack, mine must be worn out, so it looks like I'll be ordering some new leaf springs.
     
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  2. SUBURBAN5

    SUBURBAN5 I'm Awesome

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    That's a beefy sway bar... looks awesome. I'll let you know about the roadmaster kit. Also thanks for all the tips. Sounds like I should be prepared whenever I tackle my leafs.
     
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  3. jaywestfall

    jaywestfall OBS Enthusiast

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    Would like to see the finished installation on that. I have a kit that includes a 1" rear sway bar. Not installed yet.
     
  4. CrustyJunker

    CrustyJunker Tractor

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    Great score! Looks good too. I'm not sure if those are stock 4+1 packs, though. It kinda looks like a 3+1 pack with an aftermarket 2" add-a-leaf.

    I'm eyeballing the middle leaf (3rd from top, or 3rd from overload), and I spy the fresher black paint, longer center bolt for the leaf stack, no plastic insulator, and the space between the second and third leaf is separated (usually because the add-a-leaf has a significantly greater arch than stock).

    Not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind. A near 4" gain is quite a bit!
     
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  5. PlayingWithTBI

    PlayingWithTBI Desert Old Guy

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    Now that you mention it, I'm wondering. I have 4/1 leafs and was thinking about doing the 3/1 also but (I want at least a 3" drop), now I'm hesitant.

    OP, can you check the "C" measurement on yours like shown on this link? Maybe that'll give us some indication as to what you have?

    https://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=16899
     
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  6. GreenSilverado

    GreenSilverado Newbie

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    I am pretty new to the full size truck world. After reading your posts, I think you guys are spot on. I looked again and I see it too. The one spring is definitely different than the others. I went and looked again at the truck I pulled them from and sure enough, there was a Rough Country (I think) lift under there. I didn't spy it earlier because I was only interested in the back. Looks like they hit a ditch or something and bent the torsion bars.

    The reason I chose this set was because the axle had already been dropped when someone else wanted the lift blocks. It makes sense now. If it was a 6" inch lift and there were 4" inch blocks and an add-a-leaf 2" bump up to equal out the 6" on the front. Is that how aftermarket lifts usually work?

    I tried to measure the "C" measurement like PlayingWithTBI mentioned but was unsure if it was measured loaded or unloaded. To me it looked about 5.5" while on the wheels and 9.5" lifted up on the hoist.

    So, is this a good thing to find ones with add a leaf or a bummer since they aren't factory spec 4-1 springs? Just curious. I am still getting to know this truck.

    IMG_6936.jpg


    IMG_6937.jpg

    IMG_6950.jpg
     
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  7. PlayingWithTBI

    PlayingWithTBI Desert Old Guy

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    Yep, sounds like you got a 2" lift. Unloaded your measurement should be 7-3/4". Good catch @CrustyJunker

    Edit: It looks like you'll get a 2" lift just by changing from 3/1 to 4/1. With the 2" helper spring you'll get 4". Good to know, I need to lower mine more than 2" so, I'll probably go with 3 or 4" drop leafs. Thanks for doing the research @GreenSilverado
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  8. CrustyJunker

    CrustyJunker Tractor

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    Nothing wrong with the add-a-leaf setup! Still a great junkyard score. As long as your satisfied with the ride quality and ride height, money well spent. If you decide to take your truck cap off, it'll probably raise up another half inch.

    -To answer your question on a 6" lift, you're correct. 4" block and a 2" add-a-leaf will equal your 6" total gain.

    I daily drove with both lift blocks and the add-a-leaf setup on several trucks with varied leaf spring packs. Unfortunately, all my data/opinions would be apples to oranges since they weren't all pickups, or same spring rates, etc.

    My 2-door Tahoe felt like it had the firmest stock rear suspension of all my trucks. An add-a-leaf probably would have made it ride like a covered wagon. If you hit rough railroad tracks or potholes a little fast, the rear would bounce up and unsettle the handling. That truck later had lift blocks and the suspension still behaved the same.

    On the other hand, my current Z71 has the softest stock rear suspension I can remember...Almost pre-runner soft. The stock springs didn't look sagged and ride height looked right where it should be. I don't know what kind of life it had prior to my ownership, so I couldn't vouch for its rear spring condition. Now has add-a-leafs and heavier duty shocks, but it's still softer than my Tahoe as far as ride goes...Who knows! :driver:
     
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  9. GreenSilverado

    GreenSilverado Newbie

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    Hi Jay, I got the rear sway bar installed and took some photos for you. For reference, I had it up on the lift for photos. The sway bear ends that are pointing upwards in the first photos sits level with the ground when the truck is on the tires. The instructions say that the ends should be level to the ground and the sway links should be 90 degrees to the level.

    I also took some pics of it sitting down on the tires to show it in its normal location and position. I lubed the heck out of those poly bushings to keep the squeaking crickets away and so far so good.

    While I was a sticky mess (that poly lube really is the worst to work with) I swapped out the front sway bar bushings. The old rubber ones were pretty chowdered and definitely needed replacement.

    Next up is new shocks and then I need to dive into the daunting A/C system. I also desperately want to do the Kodiak/Topkick door handle mod but can't find the parts anywhere (the rods appear to be unobtanium recently.)

    Result: The result is NOTICEABLE. I was surprised. Before if I went over railroad tracks, it would feel like the rear end would bounce around and feel "loose" back there. Now it recovers quickly. The most noticeable effect was in body roll (slalom maneuvers or interstate on-ramps, etc). It is much more flat and stable. The bar kit was pricey at $300 but the quality was up there. All the parts were well built and stout. It took my Dad and I about an afternoon to put it in. You can install it by yourself (Eric the Car Guy on youtube did it himself) but another set of hands makes it much easier.

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you need anything specific.

    -Curtis
    (GreenSilverado)

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  10. GreenSilverado

    GreenSilverado Newbie

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    By the way, the front sway bar bushings are easy to replace. They are not part of the rear kit but I already had them and they are kind of a "while you have all the tools out, you might as well..." type of thing.

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