Leaf spring alignment - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 09-11-2017
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Icon5 Leaf spring alignment

I have a 2007 Ranger, and I do no towing or off-road driving with it, and nor have I done any sort of a lift to it. The leaf springs are original equipment and I keep the truck normally serviced throughout the year.

I had noticed several years ago, the bottom most 'leaf' and the shortest of the 'stack' was slightly (1-2 inches) 'twisted' out of parallel alignment from the bigger ones above it. This is on both sides. I have noticed no squeaks or other odd driving issues. Driving is smooth and quiet.

That I can tell, it seems all that is holding this 'in place' is the U bolt, and the rest of the assembly.

What causes just this leaf to 'twist' out of place from the rest?
Do I need to raise the vehicle and drop the axle to 'reset' this leaf, or am I okay leaving it as it is?
Would its unalignment cause any sounds to be heard around the vehicle, or driving issues?
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Old 09-11-2017
ADG ADG is offline
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There is usually a clip on at least one side of the spring pack that helps keep them together.
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Old 09-11-2017
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yes, the clip is still there on both sides and undamaged from what i can see. but that clip may just be holding the larger leaves and separate from the smallest one
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Old 09-12-2017
ADG ADG is offline
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Oh, the overload spring. On some ranger spring packs there are little tabs on the bottom plate to help keep that guy straight. Maybe those bent. I have heard of those twisting out from getting caught on rocks. It would be bad if it twisted to far toward the wheel. Keep an eye on it or have someone check it out.
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Old 09-12-2017
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so, this 'tab', if it is 'reconnected' would it keep it in place??

i took a close look at the pack and dont remember seeing any sort of tab.

and further, is there another way of resetting that smaller spring, other than lifting the truck, dropping the axle and removing the spring pack?

i could raise the vehicle, and take the back wheel off and smack the twisted spring with a sledgehammer, but afraid that would jostle the jack loose on the motion. i dont have a hoist.
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Old 09-12-2017
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i just checked and there are insulators (tabs?). round things that fit into a hole in a few of the springs. these insulators are between each of the larger leaves in the pack. there is no insulator in any part of the smallest leaf.

as previously mentioned by ADG, there is a clip on both the left and right packs, but this 'clip' only holds the larger leaves. there is no clip holding the smallest leaf.

unless there is a bolt in the middle of the pack top to bottom, it seems all that is holding these in place are the shackles, clips, insulators and the sheer weight of the vehicle through the axle
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Old 09-15-2017
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This is common and should not cause a problem when the lower over load spring is slightly twisted, yet if it is two inches out of alignment I would be concerned enough to investigate further.

I would imagine aggressive driving or burnouts to the point where you get spring wrap or axle hop could cause your non strapped overload spring to move around some under these extreme circumstances.

If this was my truck that I owned from day one I would consider better quality stiffer springs and new u bolts torqued to factory specifications.

I would also consider a Thrust angle alignment to make sure the rear end is still centered properly.

That is provided and your over load spring is really 2 inches out of alignment.

Ff the spring in question is 1 inch or less out of alignment I would consider this normal and just leave it alone.

If you do have a habit of driving aggressively and frying the tires you may want to upgrade the springs to a stiffer spring to prevent drive line damage and to get better traction.

here is a link that has some useful information that will help explain the dangers of wheel hop and or spring wrap.

Axle Wrap Prevention
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Old 09-17-2017
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Alright. Measuring from the rear end of the pack, as the front end is difficult to access or measure, shows it is about 1 inches off in both the left and right packs. Less than your suggested 2 inches.

I do no 'agressive' driving, per what I started the post with.... I don't go off road, and rarely ever change to four wheel mode. If it could be called aggressive, it would be driving in four wheel mode on snow, if and when it comes; which is very rare here. Or, driving about 27 miles per hour in residential areas over speed humps. And even rarer than rare, the few and far between times that I may leave the driveway, driving off at the curb and missing the ramp altogether. Even in those times, it is usually just one wheel and not both.

What is thrust angle alignment? I normally and habitually have the truck put through a multiple point inspection at the local dealership on a mileage schedule. Alls they have mentioned in relation to this is wheel rotation once I finally replace the tires, which may be sometime next year.

Well, I checked the link about axle wrap, and didnt really understand what I was looking at. But neither does it look, per what you have responded with here, that I have a major issue, as the 'overload' spring is less than 2 inches out of alignment.

Now, what if at some future time, I after lifting the back end and took weight off the spring pack; made the one straight again and applied an extra clip around that smallest leaf to hold it in place? Much the same as the larger ones have a clip around them. Would an extra clip cause more problems? Then, would I need to add extra insulators at the smaller leaf too? Per installation, it seems the insulators are set into a hole in the larger leaves. I really don't wanna take the whole pack apart to have extra holes put in the smaller leaves for extra insulators.

Here is a link to show exploded parts for what I have. The part in reference is the Rear Spring, number 5560.
2007 Ford Ranger Rear Spring | FordParts.com
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Old 09-18-2017
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If it were my truck I would consider at minimum sourcing new OEM U-bolts and replace them and realign the overload springs. after the truck is back together torque the bolts to factory specs.

Drive a few hundred miles and double check the torque then get a Thrust angle alignment, this is just a normal alignment that references the center line of the truck.

If you want to get real **** about it like I tend to do you could replace the rear springs also, yet if the rear of the truck is not sagging and the springs are not rusted out they should be fine.

If you find a lot of rust on the springs the extra debris from the rust and lack of flat surface could make it easier for the overload spring to move around more than normal just like sand under a large box on a concrete slab.
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Old 09-18-2017
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i think what ill do is wait until i can afford more upgrades, and change out the springs for better ones. i also need a tork wrench.

......i had one, but it showed the incorrect pound rate and broke one of the two external power train control module molded-in bolts. :( ive since replaced that bolt and now the cowl wont leak rain water there anymore.

for now, i will just leave the leaf as it is since its less than 2 inches off.
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