General Ford Ranger Discussion General discussion of the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Any leaf spring upgrades

  #1  
Old 1 Week Ago
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Any leaf spring upgrades

hi guys, recently figured out my leafs on the driverside of my truck are wore out. I noticed today they are bending upwards a lot with minimal force and making a clunking noise. My truck has rear shack lift with the common 5100 i think it is shackles. Im new to having to replace leafs so my knowledge about them are a bit poor. What would be the best upgrade or best way to approach getting new leaf springs for the rear when i run 33 inch tires on a regular basis. I also got the torsion bars on the front cranked up about 2 full turns, should i look into the aftermarket torsion key things for lifting the front or leave it be ? Thanks
 
  #2  
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Suspension springs are rated for the weight of the frame and body they support

Your frame in the front went UP when you cranked up the torsion springs weight rating, and it also made the ride harsher in the front, because frame and body weight can't hold the spring in place

Normally when you hit a bump the spring will absorb that bump because of the weight sitting on it, as it should
If you change the weight rating of the spring(cranking torsion bar), then when you hit a bump spring transfers the movement to the frame and body because is not heavy enough to hold the spring down.
Just the physics of it

Pickup trucks have always had an issue with rear springs, say rear frame and bed weigh 1,000lbs, if truck maker wants 1/2 ton rating then springs have to be rated for 2,000lbs, 1,000lbs more than empty
So pickups often have a stiff ride in the rear when empty.

What you can do is get correct empty bed weigh springs and then add an overload spring, so you get good ride empty or with small load, but still have the full 1/2 ton rating when needed
This costs more, so truck makers don't use them.

Good spring weight also does ALOT more, you get the best steering, braking and traction when you have all 4 wheels flat on the ground WITH the weight of the frame and body on them, again just physics
When springs are to stiff, too high of a weight rating, when you hit a bump hard spring pushes up the frame and body which takes the weight OFF the wheels, and since the frame and body weigh more than the axle and tires it can pull them up off the ground entirely, which can "look cool" but there is 0 control until they are back on the ground again, lol
Most have run into this on "washboard" roads with stiff rear springs, back of the truck starts drifting around, wheels are off the ground half the time, lol

So not just about a good ride, that's just a bonus, good spring rating gives you best handling on or off road

Shocks stop springs from continuing to bounce after hitting a bump, they can make ride and handling worse, but can never make it better, it all starts with the springs, good shocks let springs do there job

Thats my rant, lol
 
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I used the SkyJacker, '97 Ranger, 6" Lift Springs, without Blocks, to get 5+ inches of lift for 33" BFG Its !

If that helps any !
 
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Scrambler82 View Post
I used the SkyJacker, '97 Ranger, 6" Lift Springs, without Blocks, to get 5+ inches of lift for 33" BFG Its !

If that helps any !
the lift you bought is it a full leaf spring ? Or is it like add a leaf ?
im getting axle wrap or that clunk noise recently which is how I noticed the problem. When I left the clutch out and the power goes to the rear axle, once it takes the load I get a clunk noise and the top starts to flex up easily. So my wonder is should I replace with standard ranger leafs again or can I get a heavier duty replacement ? Does the leaf have to be the exact same length ? There’s only one shop here locally for me to buy leafs , it’s 170$ Canadian per side. I’ll do the labor myself cause if not the price is double. Any of you know of any common upgrades like f150 springs or better ones ? Thanks all
 

Last edited by NLBurden; 1 Week Ago at 10:20 AM.
  #5  
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First, are the spring you now have installed working ok other than the take off ?
If the existing springs are and doing what you need, the best thing to do is add Traction Bars, they will stop the Spring Wrap.
there are a number of Traction Bars, you will need to search and pick a few, post if you need an opinion.

The SkyJacker Spring are a Spring Pac, for a 6" lift Kit, but I got rid of the OEM Blocks and that made the Spring effectively 5" Lift Spring in a Ranger.
They weren't cheap, can't remember exactly but around $400.00.
So it will end up in WHAT DO YOU WANT to do !?!

Keep posting what you are thinking and where you want to go !

Ltr
 
  #6  
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Those traction bars you mentioned are they like a add a leaf ? Basically I’d like to continue to use my lifted shackles and just fix this clunk issue. The leaf springs seem to be good other then take off like you mentioned. My truck has a 3 inch body lift on it so I wouldn’t need the high lift that you have. In terms of the springs, I had a good look at them yesterday.
noticed my driver side rear bushing had play in it. I tightened up the bolt a turn or two and the play went away. Overall the springs seem fine, I may replace the driver side anyways cause I think it has a little bit of lean to it.
Additionally, I bought a new set of 33 inch mud tires. I’d going to replace all shocks and ball joints and basically all the front end as well prior to getting the wheels aligned. Few ranger projects going on ! Any recommendation for a good set of shocks
 
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Originally Posted by NLBurden View Post
Those traction bars you mentioned are they like a add a leaf ? Basically I’d like to continue to use my lifted shackles and just fix this clunk issue. The leaf springs seem to be good other then take off like you mentioned. My truck has a 3 inch body lift on it so I wouldn’t need the high lift that you have. In terms of the springs, I had a good look at them yesterday.
noticed my driver side rear bushing had play in it. I tightened up the bolt a turn or two and the play went away. Overall the springs seem fine, I may replace the driver side anyways cause I think it has a little bit of lean to it.
Additionally, I bought a new set of 33 inch mud tires. I’d going to replace all shocks and ball joints and basically all the front end as well prior to getting the wheels aligned. Few ranger projects going on ! Any recommendation for a good set of shocks
OK on the loose springs, that could be your hole problem, tighten both springs at the rear axle just to be sure.
Also, to me both springs should be replaced as a set, if one is worn out the other is just around the corner of wearing out.
Have you checked the Spring Mounting Bracket on the frame, the rear brackets like to rust out on Fords.

Body Lifts over even 2" should not be used, too much stress on the longer bolts, especially if you go off roading. (Just IMHO...)

I do not have a suggestion on shock, I don't follow them at all but I am sure someone on this site will. Last time I did anything with shock I went to ORW and found I had it all wrong and they ended up straightening me out.

The T-Bars bolt to the top of the axle using the U-Bolts that hole the rear axle to the springs. They extend from the housing forward over the spring and attach to the front Spring mounting point or frame.
Here is one type: these are for '98+ Rangers... similar to the ones I run and they work good. I also ran this type on my '88/5.0, but I think SuperLift, worked well then too !
These are from James Duff
https://www.dufftuff.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=5306&CartID=1



The larger bracket goes on top of the axle and the smaller one goes at the front spring mount.
The bar connects the two brackets and hols things tight.
There are bushing mounting points for the bar ends and these bushings allow the rear axle to move without binding the bar.

These are the type I used... $$$ !



A little more rugged than the Duff Pieces.
Not sure if these are still available.

One more thing, it may not be the rear springs causing the tilt in the rear of the vehicle, I know... WTF do you mean.
When I first got my first Ranger, I took it to a Spring Company, and questioned the tilt and asked if they can do anything, $75 later, it looked good but was told they had reworked the opposite front spring to get the stance corrected.
What I am saying is, don't just go hap-hazard into the suspension until know what is happening with it; have someone that knows suspension look at it first !

Ltr
 

Last edited by Scrambler82; 1 Week Ago at 10:20 AM.
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Scrambler82 View Post
Not really but they do bolt to the top of the axle using the U-Bolts that hole the rear axle to the springs. They extend from the housing forward over the spring, some attach to the front Spring mounting point or frame, I like them, and some just rest against the flat of the spring. They stay aligned by either the mounting to the frame/front spring perch or they have a Squared-Off U-Bolt loosely attaching to the Leaf Spring itself.

Here is one type: these are for '98+ Rangers...

https://www.dufftuff.com/ProductDeta...=5306&CartID=1



The larger bracket goes on top of the axle and the smaller one goes at the front spring mount.
The bar connects the two brackets and hols things tight.
There are bushing mounting points for the bar ends and these bushings allow the rear axle to move without binding the bar.

Then there is the bolt on type but I couldn't find an application for the Ranger.

Ltr
wow that is cool, I appreciate it man. That seems like a great addition to my suspension . Similar to a control arm to me. The price is a bit steep but I looked up some pictures, I bet I could fabricate the steel brackets and buy adjustable control arms similar to those! Thanks for the input.
 
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Originally Posted by NLBurden View Post
wow that is cool, I appreciate it man. That seems like a great addition to my suspension . Similar to a control arm to me. The price is a bit steep but I looked up some pictures, I bet I could fabricate the steel brackets and buy adjustable control arms similar to those! Thanks for the input.
If you are good at Fabrication, yes you could make some, make sure to put flexible joints on both ends... Look at the second set I posted, you might consider those to make instead.
 
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Originally Posted by Scrambler82 View Post
If you are good at Fabrication, yes you could make some, make sure to put flexible joints on both ends... Look at the second set I posted, you might consider those to make instead.
for sure, those duff ones look good. I’m pretty good at fabrication plus through college at the moment I have access to lathes and a lot of material I can use. Few heim joints and some plate goes a long way !
 
  #11  
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Well the clunk noise is fixed ! Appreciate all the input in this thread. I will be installing the traction bars too this year. It wasn’t the leaf spring making the noise but I’m now aware I have one sagging a bit. So that will be fixed. Upper u joint on my rear driveshaft was shot. I installed a full aluminum driveshaft off my parts truck and the clunk is gone. I will keep the old steel driveshaft but will use the aluminum for now. My parts truck is a 05 fx4 that I snagged for cheap ( it’s rusted out though )
 
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One more thing, If you make your own make sure to have some sort of slip joint in one end.

If you look at the second set, the frame mount end, you will see there is a slot not just a hole.
Duff's doesn't have one and the price is right.

Good Luck, post what you are doing.

Ltr
Good Luck in college.
 
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Take note your frame, and rear tires can only support so much weight.
 
  #14  
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Originally Posted by NLBurden View Post
hi guys, recently figured out my leafs on the driverside of my truck are wore out. I noticed today they are bending upwards a lot with minimal force and making a clunking noise. My truck has rear shack lift with the common 5100 i think it is shackles. Im new to having to replace leafs so my knowledge about them are a bit poor. What would be the best upgrade or best way to approach getting new leaf springs for the rear when i run 33 inch tires on a regular basis. I also got the torsion bars on the front cranked up about 2 full turns, should i look into the aftermarket torsion key things for lifting the front or leave it be ? Thanks
+1 on the traction bars as Scrambler was suggesting for the same reasons with new springs, and the clunking noise...was it rear shackle mount?

I've never had clunking (knock on wood) out of my leaves in any truck I've owned...even with 30-40 yr old leaves on an old F150.
 
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Originally Posted by cliffdog2004 View Post
+1 on the traction bars as Scrambler was suggesting for the same reasons with new springs, and the clunking noise...was it rear shackle mount?

I've never had clunking (knock on wood) out of my leaves in any truck I've owned...even with 30-40 yr old leaves on an old F150.
ended up being upper u joint on the rear driver shaft was shot, I replaced the driveshaft with a aluminum one off my parts truck and works like a charm. However my driver side spring is still sagging which will be fixed. Ordered all new shocks and front end components the other day, gonna rebuild all then give the truck a wheel alignment
 
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