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post #1 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on leaf springs

Think I'm gonna install a rear leaf pack. Thoughts from the assembled throng?

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post #2 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 11:37 AM
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Why, other than hauling heavy weight?


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post #3 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 12:22 PM
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My old Tj had leafs front 4 link rear. Even on 42s it was the most stable rig I've ever wheeled.

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #4 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 12:37 PM
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The JK-8 runs rear leaf springs.

IDK, I personally would rather run either stock style with coils or run coilovers (preferably! But- $$$).

Reasons (IMO):
1) Leaf springs run spring under will kill ground clearance
2) Leaf springs run spring over would be too much lift
3) Coil/link setup makes for more controllable articulation if you are building for extreme flex. Yes, in a moderate flex setup, leaves can be made to be a VERY stable vehicle but, for extreme flex, coil/link makes for more controlled flex since you can design in exactly what arc you want the axle to move in.
4) Coil/link offers more adjustability
5) the suspension setup of coil/link is not solely dependent on the spring like leaves are. (if you break a leaf, you lose axle positioning vs on a well thought out coil/link, if a coil busted, you'd just be sitting on your bumpstops with the axle still positioned correctly)
6) You can shape the links in such a way as to maximize ground clearance under them, or design the setup to protect the drivshafts, etc. Leaves don't give many positioning/shape options.

Advantages to leaf springs:
Simple, cheap, easily tuneable (take out a leaf, add a leaf, interchange packs), potentially higher load capacity, stable ride.

I'd keep coils (or go coilover!) personally. When I had a leafsprung offroad rig, I really wanted to switch it to coilovers!!!
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post #5 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 12:51 PM
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4WS did it on his rig & it seemed really stable out in moab. I don't think I'd do it as I'm not a fan of leafs but it seems to work well in a big heavy rig such as our JKs. That being said, I have a buddy that has switch both of his YJs over to coilovers F&R & is a much happier man now. (both are built YJs with Atlas's, axles, etc.)

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post #6 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 01:38 PM
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When wheeling out i Llano, i had a YJ in front of me and everytime he would pop the clutch and get the front end up on an obstacle his jeep would wobble like no ones business. At one point his jeep almost wobbled into another jeep. I don't know the whole set up, but it put me off leaf springs.

I think this thing is finally coming together. Still Needed: drive shafts, frame mount rails...then done son! For a while...
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post #7 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 04:59 PM
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Not a fan of leafs over coils (coming from a YJ/XJ/Toy owner). Unless I was planning to get a Hemi, D60, and tow some heavy weight; id stick with the coils.
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post #8 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 06:04 PM
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What drugs are you on......
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post #9 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 08:48 PM
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When I get mine paid off I will be sticking full width d60/14bt and leaf springs under it. Watching guys spend thousands of dollars to make a good coil setup to me is nuts....to each his own.




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post #10 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
Not a fan of leafs over coils (coming from a YJ/XJ/Toy owner). Unless I was planning to get a Hemi, D60, and tow some heavy weight; id stick with the coils.
That is why the 4wd jeep had the leafs was towing btw.

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post #11 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 10:22 PM
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i have seen simple clean leaf setups that bwould make most our JKs be left behind like its a joke.

That being said: I have no need for them as I already have the mounts for coils, it to me would be backwards thinking.
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post #12 of 26 Old 06-16-2011, 10:37 PM
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I've considered a hinged Quarter Elliptical rear. That could be a badass setup on a stretched 2-Door.
Almost did it when I was questioning my outboard coilover clearance, but ended up with a pretty sweet setup with plenty of room so...
Maybe next time.
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-18-2011, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VADERJKU View Post
The JK-8 runs rear leaf springs.

IDK, I personally would rather run either stock style with coils or run coilovers (preferably! But- $$$).

Reasons (IMO):
1) Leaf springs run spring under will kill ground clearance
2) Leaf springs run spring over would be too much lift
3) Coil/link setup makes for more controllable articulation if you are building for extreme flex. Yes, in a moderate flex setup, leaves can be made to be a VERY stable vehicle but, for extreme flex, coil/link makes for more controlled flex since you can design in exactly what arc you want the axle to move in.
4) Coil/link offers more adjustability
5) the suspension setup of coil/link is not solely dependent on the spring like leaves are. (if you break a leaf, you lose axle positioning vs on a well thought out coil/link, if a coil busted, you'd just be sitting on your bumpstops with the axle still positioned correctly)
6) You can shape the links in such a way as to maximize ground clearance under them, or design the setup to protect the drivshafts, etc. Leaves don't give many positioning/shape options.

Advantages to leaf springs:
Simple, cheap, easily tuneable (take out a leaf, add a leaf, interchange packs), potentially higher load capacity, stable ride.

I'd keep coils (or go coilover!) personally. When I had a leafsprung offroad rig, I really wanted to switch it to coilovers!!!
Dont forget:

* Coils don't suffer axle wrap
* Coils don't break spring hangers on the trail (seems to happen every year on the Rubicon to someone in our group)

Other than for a dedicated towing Jeep, switching to leafs is a step backward. Look at what a hard time the 4WS guys had trying to sell the leaf sprung JK, those leafs seriously killed the resale value.
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-18-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
Dont forget:

* Coils don't suffer axle wrap
* Coils don't break spring hangers on the trail (seems to happen every year on the Rubicon to someone in our group)

Other than for a dedicated towing Jeep, switching to leafs is a step backward. Look at what a hard time the 4WS guys had trying to sell the leaf sprung JK, those leafs seriously killed the resale value.
Adding leafs doesn't change the value any m ore than a long arm does. How often are people rebuilding flex joints or dealing with stripped arms ya know.

Leaf sprung vehicles can be set up so there's NOTHING hanging below the axle. imagine not having to skid all your control arm mounts, no longer drag your shock mounts, etc.

My TJ had leafs front, 4 link rear and flexed like a mofo. most stable rig i've ever wheeled/driven. The owner before me would drive it 75 mph down the highway on 42's too.

in no way is leafs a step backward as long as they're set up CORRECTLY







and to give perspective. this is next to nick's JK on 37's



to the OP: don't let people who have never owned, built, or wheeled a correctly set up rig on leafs discourage you. I can't say that i'd do it to a JK, but leafs work when done correctly

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-19-2011, 06:23 PM
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A number of years ago I did some consulting work for the once renowned Avalanche Engineering (predecessor to Poison Spyder Customs), now defunct. Their best fabricator, Drew Barber, had just built a killer Cummins powered Suburban as his personal rig. The Suburban was on the cover of Petersen's 4x4, with a feature article. Despite the fact that they built extreme coil over sprung competition buggies and coil sprung extreme rigs for their customers, I noticed the Suburban had sprung under leafs front & rear. Drews comment: "Leaf springs work". There you have it.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-19-2011, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2wranglerx View Post
.... but leafs work when done correctly
My previous rig was a '94 YJ, Dynatrac 44/60, ARB/Detroit, Atlas II, 36" IROKS on Traiready beads. After watching my friends struggle to get their TJ long arms to work, failed spring overs that caused more problems than they solved, etc., I decided to just leave it spring under with RE 4.5" springs, M.O.R.E shackles & shock mounts and extended length Bilsteins. It was stable as hell, went anywhere the more complex TJs went and I never had a single suspension related break. Per my previous quote: Leaf springs work.


Last edited by SoK66; 06-19-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-20-2011, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks y'all. To respond more in-depth, this is my first Wrangler, having owned (pwned?) a Grand Cherokee and a 1976 Wagoneer. Loved 'em both. I bought the JK because I'd always wanted a "Jeep Jeep", having grown up on the South Texas beaches and seeing guys wheel those badass rigs up and around. My spousal unit approved the PO for this order and away I went.
I do tow heavy stuff around though. The Jeep is primarily a "work vehicle" when I'm off-duty, used for towing a small 12' single axle trailer and only once, repeat once (will not do again, oh Good Lord) a monster dump trailer. The problem comes from the various crap I throw in the single-axle: lumber, stone, concrete,riding mowers etc etc...y'all know, the stuff you do when you build, landscape, plumb, re-furb and any other honey-do's that come down the pipe. I'd like the stability of leaf packs since time off to wheel around is scarce. As it has been mentioned though, a proper set up will still allow for plenty of travel too, and beaches don't have a whole lot of articulation-heavy application I guess
Thanks again. Sorry for my ramble. I'll post up pictures and a short write-up once this new project gets rolling.

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post #18 of 26 Old 06-20-2011, 07:53 PM
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looking forward to pics.....inspiration.....
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-20-2011, 08:26 PM
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The bad thing is stiff springs necessary foe heavy loads aren't great off road

31 jeeps in... still have issues
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-20-2011, 08:53 PM
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I would think that the coil springs can handle more towing weight than the anemic 6 banger under the hood.

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post #21 of 26 Old 06-21-2011, 07:14 AM
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To tow more weight with the JK's I suggest dual rate or progressive rate coils. Maintain the ride and the off road capability, increase the tongue weight and payload the Jeep can handle. Perfect.

The biggest issue with leaf springs is that the ride sucks compared to coils. And if they're heavy duty enough to carry a load it sucks even more.

If you insist on the leaf springs, go with a softer main leaf and a helper underneath to provide addiditonal weight carrying ability. Other wise your Jeep will ride like crap and you'll have oversteer issues when unloaded.

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post #22 of 26 Old 06-21-2011, 02:39 PM
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Ok some other bad things with leafs with no links:
Caster/pinion change with suspension movement that can not be corrected easily.
Axle wrap, either attempted control or uncontrolable.
Decreased approach or departure angle.
Not as easy to change spring rate or ride height.

As for the load carry BS go find me a modern semi-truck with leafs, even trailers are switching to links and "coils" (airbags)

A " correctly" done leaf setup is just as hard to setup as coils to me, just only slightly cheaper. But i guess some people have difficulty number crunching the math for coils

I am just tossing out info, take it as you wish. I have built 1/2 elliptical (normal), 3/4 ellip, coils, airbags and soon to be coilovers. I would much rather setup a link for my time
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post #23 of 26 Old 06-21-2011, 03:15 PM
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I think the only time leafs could be better is if you're going fullwidth 1 ton. Otherwise it's retarded. That being said, my 91 yota crawler with ruf and TG rear springs flexed unbelievably well and was way more stable then any linked toy in our group. I had a rear tire literally 5 feet in the air on a sidehill steep cliff climb and never felt like it was goinh to roll where the linked guys unloaded immediately and took a tumble.on street ride was horrible. This was with 16" shocks that I could max out either way.


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post #24 of 26 Old 06-22-2011, 08:50 AM
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When you are taking something already linked and trying to go leafs I think it's a backwards step. If stability is something your after, a double triangulated 4 link offers just as much stability IMO. Not hating on leafs though because I've seen some wicked set-ups on leafs, BUT it's old suspension technology. If you picked up a wrecked JK/TJ/LJ and had to build the suspension from scratch on a budget then go leafs all day. All said and done it will always come down to personal preference, I applaud your efforts for trying something less done on a JK either way good luck


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post #25 of 26 Old 06-22-2011, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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All things considered the Jeep tows well as it is. I'm looking at the J8 and wondering why this one has leaves and the US market has coils. Coming from the military, I think simple is better. Yes, ride comfort is sacrificed and I'm not on the "Jeep thing" bandwagon. Getting beat to freak'n death on a washboard road is not my idea of a grin-inducing good time. Spills my beer. But if a leaf spring suspension can maintain pinion angle, locate my axles and handle a heavy load (and yes, do it cheaper than coilovers or dual-compression), all while eliminating a bunch of moving parts, then it may be something to at least research and ponder, which is why I posted up.
Not trying to start an argument; both setups have pros and cons, like every damn thing. But if I remember correctly, every heavy duty rig I've driven in the oilfield had a leaf setup. My fire dept rigs and ambulances have leaves. As far as OTR trucks now, it can be butterflies, pixies and happy thoughts for suspension; I've seen both. I guess it's like most things: whatever makes you happy. I posted somewhere that you can't change a guy's mind on politics, dog breeds and lift kits. I'll amend that now to include suspension setups.

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