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Thread: Got Saggy leafs? here's how to rebuild them..

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    Mud Puppy Grevus's Avatar
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    Default Got Saggy leafs? here's how to rebuild them..

    In this thread I’m going to explain how to rebuild your stock leaf packs and get a better ride plus about 1-2 inches of cheap lift.
    I got the idea from reading the latest issue of JP. In this issue they pointed out 10 most troublesome problems with our Jeeps. In the YJ segment they did a short article about rebuilding tired, sagging leaf packs.
    I should have taken pictures when I did this but the thought didn’t cross my mind.
    Here’s what I did.
    I located some stock leaf packs from a `95 YJ (thanks WB Powell) so from the start the packs were newer than mine (I have an `89).
    I took measurements on all four corners from the tire to the bottom of the flare and recorded the numbers to see just how much lift I got from this.
    The first thing I did was dis-assemble the donor packs . The packs are held together with 3 clamps for the rear and 2 clamps for the front. Each pack has a main bolt in the center of the pack keeping them tight and together.
    I used a grinder with a metal cutting wheel to cut the clamps to free up the leaves, then removed the main bolt. The nut was a 14MM I used a drive socket and ratchet with a vice grip securing the bolt. Place the pack into a table top vice with the vice grip secured by the vice and unbolt the pack. I had to use my Hi-Lift handle as a breaker bar to loosen the nut.
    Once the bolt is free and the leaves are separated I took the main leaf (the leaf with shackle eyes) and the second leaf. Next thing you want to do is cut off the shackle eyes about inch away from the eye so that the leaf isn’t too short. I used grinder / cutting wheel to do this. Once the eyes are cut off I used my drill with a wire brush to clean off any surface rust and dirt, and then repainted them flat black. The research I did on this part some guys used a silicone based paint to reduce friction when the leaves were flexing where some guys used regular Kyrlon paint stating that the silicone paint really didn’t make that much of a difference. Just ensure you get all surface rust off, I had to use a grinder on some parts of the leaves as the rust was thicker. These areas were where the plastic end pieces where or in the center of the packs where the thin aluminum spacer set. Basically anywhere water would sit. After all the donor leaves where cleaned an painted ( I used 3 coats) I started pulling the packs off the Jeep. I did one end at a time starting with the rear. You can start where ever you choose but I started at the rear.
    Same process as with your existing packs as you did with donor packs. Take the packs apart clean and repaint.
    Re-assembly, on the rear packs you will have 7 leaves. Starting at a small leaf increasing in size up to the main leaf. This next part will depend on you and your towing needs. As the smaller leaves will not add lift but will add to the load the leaves can handle. I choose to leave off the last 2 leaves an just add the 2 from the donor pack. 2 reasons for this for me.
    1.) So I could use the same main bolt as what was on the donor packs as it was a tad bit longer then the one from the ones off my Jeep.
    The sequence for re-assembly is as follows..
    Your main leaf
    Aluminum center spacer
    Donor main leaf
    Aluminum center spacer
    Second donor leaf
    Spacer
    The remaining leaves.

    Ensure you put the center spacers back in as this will help with friction. Also if you were able to salvage the plastic end spacers replace those for friction reduction. I choose not to. It’s not a big issue if you don’t replace them as some leaf packs don’t even have them.

    Replacing the main bolt was a 2 person job, I had to use 2 clamps to press the leaves together to reinsert the bolt. You will notice when you’re stacking the leaves that the donor leaf and second leaf will have more arc then your existing main leaf (unless you scored sagged leaves, if that’s the case you won’t get any lift just stronger load bearing leaves)this extra arc is what causes the lift. It works in the same principle as doing a add-a-leaf kit. It forces the main leave to have more arc which in return causes lift.
    Once the leaves are compressed re-bolt them and they are ready for the next step.

    The next step is totally up to you and your preference. Spring clamps. Some extreme flex guys will say that leaving the clamps off will allow for more flex but you run the risk of the leaves sliding from side to side under positive load

    Positive load is when the leaf is in the position of a U (droop) and negative load is when the leaf is in an upside down U.

    I chose to replace the clamps. Since I cut the other ones off I had to fab new ones. I used 1” by steel plate cut to size and then pressed on the leaf closed. ( used a clam to center it on the leaf then heated it with a torch then banged the shit out of it with a 5 lb slege until they were closed).

    Re-install the leaves and continue to the front (or rear)

    The front packs have only 5 leaves, repeat the same process on these as the others I chose to leave off the smallest leaf and added my 2 donor leaves.

    Re-install , put the jeep on the pavement and measure the 4 corners again. I netted roughly 1.5 inches of lift and corrected the sagging issue on my right front leaf pack.


    reason # 2 for leaving out leaves... I'm not going to be towing anything heavy so I wasn't to concerned with load.
    Last edited by Grevus; 04-13-2010 at 10:31. Reason: left out reason #2
    `89 YJ 33's 4" lift, High-lined front and rear "The Mistress"
    ** NOTE TO SELF** it is illegal to stab stupid people in the eye with a pencil

  2. #2
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Nice man. Where'd you do all of this?

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    Rock crawling Infidel BucketOKarma's Avatar
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    Great info! I have a friend with a YJ that could really use this method, even if it's just temporary.

    Thanks.
    - Shane

    2000 TJ 2.5L SE, 2" spacers and XJ springs up front, Crown-Vic springs in the rear, Edlebrock shocks, 33" Dayton M/Ts, JKS discos, SYE/CV shaft, Warn gastank skid, 4.88 gears ShrockWorks sliders, OX locker, Camo soundbar, and 04 Willys Edition front seats, still LOOKING FOR A MATCHING REAR SEAT.

    HeavyMetalConcepts.com

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    Mud Puppy Grevus's Avatar
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    in my garage.. and it's not really a temp thing.. its just a temp thing for me. The rebuild is a permanent thing.
    `89 YJ 33's 4" lift, High-lined front and rear "The Mistress"
    ** NOTE TO SELF** it is illegal to stab stupid people in the eye with a pencil

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    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Seems as though you need garage tools. Idont have said tools, so this shall wait. Great job though. Next time take pics noob

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    Mud Puppy Grevus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by korisu56 View Post
    Seems as though you need garage tools. Idont have said tools, so this shall wait. Great job though. Next time take pics noob
    well if you weren't in Delware I'd offer my garage to you I have all the tools required, but if you get a wild hair and want to take a trip the offer stands.
    `89 YJ 33's 4" lift, High-lined front and rear "The Mistress"
    ** NOTE TO SELF** it is illegal to stab stupid people in the eye with a pencil

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    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Appreciated. Posted in the other thread.

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    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    Can also use acetylene torch and pipe wrench to straighten the clamps, then drill and insert bolt allows for leafs to open more, but not have the side to side action.



    I pulled a leaf from my CJ's front pack when I flipped the U-bolts (still have to do the rear). Suspension had very little flex. But is basically same concept.

    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

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    Mud Puppy Grevus's Avatar
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    cool^^
    `89 YJ 33's 4" lift, High-lined front and rear "The Mistress"
    ** NOTE TO SELF** it is illegal to stab stupid people in the eye with a pencil

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    Rock crawling Infidel BucketOKarma's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan, my buddy was just trying to figure out how he was going to end up working the clamps since if he cut them he might not be able to cut heat and bend a new piece of metal. That bolt method might be just the trick he is looking for.
    - Shane

    2000 TJ 2.5L SE, 2" spacers and XJ springs up front, Crown-Vic springs in the rear, Edlebrock shocks, 33" Dayton M/Ts, JKS discos, SYE/CV shaft, Warn gastank skid, 4.88 gears ShrockWorks sliders, OX locker, Camo soundbar, and 04 Willys Edition front seats, still LOOKING FOR A MATCHING REAR SEAT.

    HeavyMetalConcepts.com

    CampMJ.com

    SISOffroad.com

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