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  #1  
Old March 11th, 2005, 05:20
Timmay Timmay is offline
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$11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

I have been researching the best, cheapest ways to get a reliable amount of lift and a fairly smooth ride. My best option was to use the leaf springs from a spring under axle truck and mate them to my XJ main pack. Some good donor vehicles for this include earlier Dodge Dakotas, S10 pickups and blazers, Jeep Commanche MJs, etc. In early December I spotted an ebay auction for some 2wd S10 springs out of a 92. He was doing a 4 link and airbags and just wanted them out of his garage. He was about an hour away from me, so I won the auction at $11 and went and picked them up. When I first saw them I noticed they had LOTS of arch. Here's a pic of what they looked like.


They measured 11" even from the floor to the bottom of the overload leaf. I stood on them and the where very soft, exactly what I wanted. A soft leaf pack is sought after for an XJ to match the ever so flexy coil front suspension. I'm hoping this will balance out my flex and keep body roll in technical rocky sections to a minimum.

First, here's a list of what we'll need.

Donor leaf packs
New U bolts, nuts, and washers. Rusty's u bolts do not come with washers so you'll need to pick them up at the hardware store.
New centering pins
New leaf clamps if you don't plan to use the old ones.
Basic hand tools
4.5" angle grinder or something like it
Longer rear brakeline is recomended. I have a line from a 95 YJ that I am putting in this weekend.
Longer shocks. I relocated my shock mounts on the axle, so stock shocks fit perfect.
Anything I missed?

On to the install...

First we need to prep the donor packs to mate to the XJ main leaf. This includes cutting off the spring eyes and leaf clamps off the S10 pack. For the eyes of my S10 packs, the leaf wrapped around the bushing away from the top of the spring. This is good because you can cut partially into the radius and have a nice rounded edge to contact your main leaf. Otherwise there would be a straight cut leaf digging into the main leaf which could possibly cause failure. I used a standard 4.5" angle grinder with a 3/32" cut off wheel to make the cuts. It worked flawlessly. Here's some pics showing where I cut the eyes off.



I also cleaned the edges of my cut with an 80 grit sanding wheel.


Here's a pic of me cutting off the spring clamps. These where riveted on and I couldnt get the rivets to pop off so I just cut them off and used my old clamps. If you need new clamps they are available at any spring shop and I believe most auto parts stores.


The pics get kinda backwards here because the spring clamps are still on in them, but bear with me.

Next you need to seperate the leafs from the pack. The safest way to do this is a 6" C-clamp right next to the center pin and unbolting it. I couldn't get my center pin to unbolt so I cut it off. The pin is under a lot of tension so be sure it isnt aiming at anyone in case it decides to shoot off. With the C-clamp there I had no such problems.




Once you cut/remove the pin you can slowly release the C-clamp and let the pack seperate.



The last step of preperation is cleaning the leafs. I used a wire brush but pretty much any cleaning tool will work. You just want to get rid of the dirt and lose rust to prevent squeeking. You can also paint them with some epoxy based paint for a slippery surface. I didn't have time to do this but may down the road. I am also going to want to put leaf liners inbetween every leaf to minimize the leaf's resistance to flex.


Go out to the driveway and take a before picture like this.



Now you are ready to install the leafs into your XJ. Chock your front wheels, put the jeep in 4wd and park or 1st. Jack up the rear and place jackstands next to the front spring bolt on the unibody "frame rail". Take the tires off and let the axle down. Once at full droop make sure to support the pumpkin with the floor jack. In this pic you can see I used a bumper I was working on for the wheel chock and a set of rockrails i'm making for somebody for some extra jackstand height.


This is what you should see (minus the disc brakes, unless you are special). This pack has a 3" AAL in it and im replacing everything except the main (top) leaf.


You can now remove the u bolts and spring plates. Stock u bolts are an 18mm nut. They will be torqued down so a cheater bar may be needed.


Once you get those off you can move to the shocks. Also an 18mm nut, just unbolt it and slide the bushing off the mount. This is done so the axle can droop enough to have space to work.


Up next is removing the spring clamps. These will be different on pretty much all XJs. Your best bet is cutting them off and getting or making new ones. I saved mine because I just put them on not too long ago. A screwdriver usually does the trick.

After the clamps are off, C-clamp the leaf just like we did on the S10 packs. To get the center pin nut off grab a 1/2" socket and a vise grips to hold the bottom while you unbolt it. You can also cut it off like I did before, just be careful you dont cut into the main leaf.



Now you will want to drop the axle as far as it will go. I used the stock bottle jack from in the jeep to support it and protect my new rotor from slamming into the concrete.



Next up is releasing the C clamp again. Here's a little sequence to show how the pack opens up.




You can see in this picture how my AAL was pretty much holding the entire rear end up by itself. None of the other leafs have any significant arch to them. The S10 pack has all leafs arched fairly equally.


Now the old pack just slides out.
[/QB][/QUOTE]

Clean that main leaf some with the wire brush and paint if you want.


I then clamped the main leaf from the S10 pack to the XJ main leaf to make sure the length was right. The screwdriver acts as the center pin to keep the leafs lined up.



As you can see here, it was a little long on the forward side of the pack.


No problem, I just trimmed it to where it ends right under the bushing. That way there isn't a pressure point on the XJ main taking all the weight from the other leafs.





[QUOTE]Originally posted by Timmay:
[QB] Here's some pics of the S10 portion of the pack layed out.


You can see the overload leaf sits almost flat. The overload will act as a soft bumpstop and prevent the leafs from inverting which causes premature sag. Once the pack becomes flat, the overload with dramatically slow the compression of the suspension.


Now you can clamp the new S10 leafs in position where the old XJ leafs where. Use the new center pins as a guide to make sure they dont shift. This is also where you would want to add in your leaf liners in between the leafs.



The center pin will be way too long. You'll want to trim it down so it fits almost flush with the spring plate that goes over it.



Pull that C clamp out and put your leaf clamps on.


Throw on the spring plates, button up the shocks, add some new u bolts and torque them as tight as you can in a criss cross pattern. You will want to retighten the u bolts at ~50 miles after the install and once more at ~100 miles. This will ensure they won't come loose.



You can see here that the second and third leaf are very close to the spring eye so the weight is now on all three top leafs as opposed to just the main leaf.


Repeat that on the other side and your leaf install is done. Here's an after picture. I got ~4" of lift from this but the important thing is that it rides better and will not sag anytime soon.

Here's the after pic....


I will revise some of this later on.

Now that your modem has just slit its wrists, if you have any ?s post up.
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  #2  
Old March 11th, 2005, 05:36
Dirk Pitt's Avatar
Dirk Pitt Dirk Pitt is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Very nice!!!

Put some safety glasses on!
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  #3  
Old March 11th, 2005, 05:46
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bgcntry72 bgcntry72 is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Nice writeup...
Now...put that AAL back in and ditch the overload leaf.
For towing, they are great.
For wheeling, they scoop rocks, roots, dirt, etc.
HTH.
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  #4  
Old March 11th, 2005, 05:49
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scottsxj scottsxj is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

very nice, this is exactly what i plan on doing. You said earlier that you relocated the shocks so you could use the stock ones, how did you do that, i didnt see any pics. Thanks

scott
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  #5  
Old March 11th, 2005, 05:55
coderedxj's Avatar
coderedxj coderedxj is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Very nice, very informative. That's pretty much what I just did to my 99 Classic. We used a BDS aal with newer rear leafs from another XJ. I got about 3" of lift from it. We topped it off with some lift shackles. With the rear sway removed from stock, it flexes like mad! How does yours flex? I didn't see any updates of how it rode and flexed afterwards. Post up.
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  #6  
Old March 11th, 2005, 06:37
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Ludakris Ludakris is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

That is almost a mirror of what I did. I had 93' 2WD S-10 leafs. I netted about 4.5" of lift, and they are stiff as hell... what discs are those?
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  #7  
Old March 11th, 2005, 07:15
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dizzymac dizzymac is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Great post...........was gonna put it on disk and use for a tutorial but after saving it all my PC told me it didn't have enough memory.....lol.....made the mistake of opening all the pics...poor PC is sewating....lol.....guess I'll print it out......either way it still is a good post and should be of help to lots of ppl.Good work......OH ya...I had a ?.....were you running "lift" shocks or did you change to them?
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  #8  
Old March 11th, 2005, 09:32
MDMIKE MDMIKE is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Pitt

Put some safety glasses on!
X2. Other than that, very nice writeup! You're going to help alot of people out with this one!

MIke
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  #9  
Old March 11th, 2005, 10:10
Jay3XJ+ Jay3XJ+ is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDMIKE
X2. Other than that, very nice writeup! You're going to help alot of people out with this one!

MIke
Love the post.
This will help in what I am looking to do to the wifes XJ.
As far as the safety glasses...
Let me tell you that after finding out that once a piece of metal gets in your eye it starts to rust I'll wear safty glasses. Even if the metal comes out it leaves the rust and causes all kinds of problems and PAIN ( they cut it out) . And to think mine was just from a little loose flake on my jacket from work that blew into my eye while driving. Hey but four Dr. visits later I was good to go. I would hate to imagine what it would have been like if the flake was hot and coming off a grinder spinning at 25k-30k RPM
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  #10  
Old March 11th, 2005, 11:12
Slip Kid Slip Kid is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Nice, looks pretty solid - and that's the most complete guide to doing this I've seen.

however I second, third, forth and fifth the safty glasses - coming from a guy who needed eye surgery for not doing so. depth preception is one of those things you dont notice till it's gone.

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  #11  
Old March 11th, 2005, 11:22
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Ramsey Ramsey is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

beautiful write-up, now how about some flex shots
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  #12  
Old March 11th, 2005, 12:17
Timmay Timmay is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsxj
very nice, this is exactly what i plan on doing. You said earlier that you relocated the shocks so you could use the stock ones, how did you do that, i didnt see any pics. Thanks

scott
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=43241


Quote:
Originally Posted by coderedxj
Very nice, very informative. That's pretty much what I just did to my 99 Classic. We used a BDS aal with newer rear leafs from another XJ. I got about 3" of lift from it. We topped it off with some lift shackles. With the rear sway removed from stock, it flexes like mad! How does yours flex? I didn't see any updates of how it rode and flexed afterwards. Post up.
I put my SYE in at the same time and i'm still waiting for my driveshaft. As far as I know with a test drive in 4high it rides pretty damn well. Trust me, flex pics will come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludakris
That is almost a mirror of what I did. I had 93' 2WD S-10 leafs. I netted about 4.5" of lift, and they are stiff as hell... what discs are those?
Haha, this is why I do these writeups.

http://jeepin.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb...=006330#000000


Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzymac
Great post...........was gonna put it on disk and use for a tutorial but after saving it all my PC told me it didn't have enough memory.....lol.....made the mistake of opening all the pics...poor PC is sewating....lol.....guess I'll print it out......either way it still is a good post and should be of help to lots of ppl.Good work......OH ya...I had a ?.....were you running "lift" shocks or did you change to them?
I was running 3" shocks with my 3" lift, but I ripped a mount off and raised them like shown in the writeup above. I used stock length rear shocks and they are still in there. Seem to work okay for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3XJ+
Love the post.
This will help in what I am looking to do to the wifes XJ.
As far as the safety glasses...
Let me tell you that after finding out that once a piece of metal gets in your eye it starts to rust I'll wear safty glasses. Even if the metal comes out it leaves the rust and causes all kinds of problems and PAIN ( they cut it out) . And to think mine was just from a little loose flake on my jacket from work that blew into my eye while driving. Hey but four Dr. visits later I was good to go. I would hate to imagine what it would have been like if the flake was hot and coming off a grinder spinning at 25k-30k RPM
Saftey glasses. I'm usually religious in wearing them but I set them on the ground after cutting one of the eyes off and stepped on them. Since it was about 10pm I couldnt go get another set, not to mention the jeep was on jackstands already.

I loved those glasses.

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  #13  
Old March 11th, 2005, 14:24
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BSH BSH is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

There are lots of write-ups... but very few with pics this great. Outstanding - not just the write-up, but the pics are great.
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  #14  
Old March 11th, 2005, 14:38
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Citat3962 Citat3962 is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

Excellent Writeup!

And the links at the bottom take the cake...

I was wondering about how best to prepare the rear for a lift... this seems like a cheap option with a little fab work..

You have been added to my favorites!
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  #15  
Old March 11th, 2005, 14:41
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Ramsey Ramsey is offline
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Re: $11 Bastard Leaf Pack Writeup. *Tons of pics*

love the rear brake write up, definelty will be using it later
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