01 August 2012

how to not bottom out

One of the things I didn't put on the list of things to do
was add a couple leaves to the front spring pack.
So let's do a "how to".
shin smackers

The front spring only had 7 leaves,
and the heavy cadillac engine was too much for the suspension.
There was less than 1/4" between the spring and the inner frame rails,
so the outer 8" of spring was taking all the flex.
The frame could have been notched,
but it was obvious the spring pack was too weak.
spring repack tool kit

The first thing to do is assemble all the tools needed.
Of course this shot was taken when I finished.
before picture

I take tons of pictures,
and you should expect I'd take a proper before and after.
Not this time.
I did take a measurement from the frame horn to the ground - 23".
stool time

Now it was gonna get greasy,
and this is my backup phone already.
Not too many pics here.
original leaf spring

I had scrounged up some remnant spring leaves,
but they were the same sizes that were on the pack.
A couple minutes with the grinder and they were the right lengths.
whittled down leaf spring

One of the most important things to do is clean up the bottom side ridge,
a little rounded so it doesn't dig into the top of the spring underneath.
Yeah no pic of that.
spring leaf assembly

Putting all the greasy leaves together is a little tricky.
A couple clamps, a hammer and a long 1/4" rod or bolt is all you need.
spring bolt

The original spring bolts are hollow and have a grease fitting.
It's a trick way to lubricate the leaves.
No luck here,
a normal hex head bolt was rounded to fit in the locator hole.
greasy spring pack

Now there is a total of 11 leaves in the spring pack.
That's about 3/4" higher just in the thickness of the new springs.
The suspension felt much stiffer but smoother,
now that the spring didn't knock on the frame.

With everything buttoned up,
the new measurement from the frame horn was 25.75",
about 2.75" higher than before!
The problem was I'm not exactly sure if I counted the notches in the jack stands.
I thought it was 6.
The other thing is I didn't take a good side picture to compare the before and after.
Oh well,
it doesn't really matter.
Definitely worth the hour and a half.


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