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  #16  
Old January 28th, 2018, 16:21
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

These are air springs. NOT bump stops. That said, there are some available with bump stops inside them- if you want to pay $200 for a spring. Nope!

I know something has to be under the vehicle to keep the axle in place (DUH?). But my point is that there are people running stripped down leafs (removing all but the main and maybe two longest) which does that job, and air springs doing the heavy lifting (literally). An antiwrap bar would of course be a good idea for us in the offroad community if doing that. Maylbe a panhard as well, if we are seeking the best of both worlds (and I am).

10 inches is definitely a tall bag. There are different bags available (rolling lobe, convoluted, etc). I went with these because they suit my build- my SAS S10 is at something like 11" of lift from a factory truck (I've got SOA front/rear, Dana 44s, etc). A lot of tlhis can be addressed with bracket locations. I want to run the cradles posted above so went with the 6" round double convoluted bags, as I have something like 18" of wheel travel. My build is very softly-sprung, I basically built it as an expo rig with DD in mind. I can nearly max out my 5' hilift jack before I get a wheel off the ground (which is why I mainly use bottle jacks when needing to do a tire change, but that gets into another discussion).

(EDIT: on new computer, lost part of the post..)

I'm investigating the impact of line size on fill rates- the bags I ordered have 1/2" fill ports, and I understand some people are able to make the vehicle jump off the ground when using 1/2" line. NOT what I'm after. I want to be able to adjust ride height on the fly given different parameters- so I can kneel the truck when parked to make it easier to get into, or load the roof rack. Don't need to lay frame, and that would be rather impossible with a solid axle vehicle anyway. I'd like to have it drop a couple inches (low clearance, small deflection for steering)when driving on the interstate, or going to maximum height needed when doing parking lot maneuvers (slow speed, high deflection of steering). To do so I'd need the ability to move across about a 6" range of height in 2 seconds or so. This would be a future upgrade, for now I want to get the bags in hand and scope out mounts fore/aft to stiffen up my spring rate. I am getting rather alarming body roll (better addressed with a swaybar, but that won't do all of it) and excessive front end dive under braking (definitely comes down to weight/spring rate). I added a 5/7L V8 where a 4.3L V6 used to live- difference is something like 100 pounds, IIRC. I will also be adding a heavy front bumper, winch, and hilift up front. I could get with any of a number of custom spring shops, weigh the corners of my truck, and hope for the best.. for probably $400/corner. I can put $1500 into the springs, or a couple hundred into supplemental air springs and gain more features. This is why I'm doing the air springs.

First stage of the job will be checking for clearance and fabricating bracketry, installing the springs as supplemental, "dumb" units with an external air fill. Then in the future I will look at going with onboard air (likely a ViAir compressor, with the sliders as tanks), 4 valves (fill and dump for front and rear), stripped down leafs to investigate the ability to control height. After that, it gets into an imbedded controller, probably built on a RaspBerry PI.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s

Last edited by burntkat; January 28th, 2018 at 16:35. Reason: stupid computer ate part of the post
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  #17  
Old January 28th, 2018, 17:50
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Do you really think towing will have less axle wrap than off road with a "stripped" leaf? I sure don't.
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  #18  
Old January 28th, 2018, 18:42
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

And again, it's simply a matter of building an antiwrap bar. I've said that a few times now, and it's NOT a big deal. I built my own suspension here, that's simple. Moving on..
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #19  
Old January 28th, 2018, 18:54
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techno1154 techno1154 is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

18" of travel sounds like a lot,.....but what do I know. My XJ have 10" shocks on the front and uses just about all of it and 8" out back but uses only maybe 6". I have not tried to measure the total travel at the wheel/hub center.

It seem you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish and the best approach that will get you there. I will follow your build and offer my inexperienced comments.

I like the idea of blazing your own trail instead of following the same old beaten path.
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1996 XJ; 4.0L; AW4; NP231; SYE; D30 and D44; ECTED; 4.10 gears; 30X9.5 -15 BFG/AT/KO; 3" lift; Rusty's LCA; JKS ADJ UCA; Kevins ADJ Track bar; Drawtite Front Receiver; Dual Electric Fans; Dual Battaries.
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  #20  
Old January 28th, 2018, 20:02
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Not that it is apples to apples, but my Camaro has mono-leaf springs in the rear. There is a way to do it.
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  #21  
Old January 28th, 2018, 20:58
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anak View Post
Not that it is apples to apples, but my Camaro has mono-leaf springs in the rear. There is a way to do it.
Exactly. No, it isn't quite analogous to a truck build, but building an antiwrap bar is really not difficult, either.

I've considered going with a linked front and rear - but the headache of chasing down death wobble problems is just not something I want to deal with. I came VERY close to going leaf springs on the front of my 90 XJ for this very reason. It wasn't until I tackled the DW on the front of my wife's ZJ (by replacing everything except the housing and gearset) that I realized what a pain links can be. Leafs are elegant in their simplicity - control arms and support all in one.

They have their own issues, of course - namely the fact that a firm ride and flexible suspension are more or less at odds. That's why I'm looking at the A-O-L solution.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #22  
Old January 31st, 2018, 05:53
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Air bags have arrived, they are smaller in diameter than I expected- a good thing, I just suck at guesstimation. Smaller bags have higher spring rate for the same pressure, so I suspect this will work in my favor.

At 0 pressure, they are about 8" tall. That's strictly the rubber holding its shape. They look like they will package easily into my suspension, using the Ruffstuff Specialties HD spring plates as a base to build off of (seriously, those things are BEEF!- 3/8" thick, IIRC.)I will weld some 1/4" wall receiver hitch stock I have laying around to elevate the bag mounting surface high enough to allow me to get tools on the u-bolt hardware, and weld a 1/4" plate atop it, offset as needed to clear and align to the framerail. Similar arrangement from the framereail, with a reinforcing section of 3/16" welded to the existing frame to spread the load. While I'm at this I will work in trackbar mounts front and rear, to address lateral sway, and bumpstop mount/landing pads as well. I'll also use the Daystar bag cradles to allow suspension dropout when doing angles and dangles with the truck, so as not to rip the bags open.

Forgot to mention, at 0 pressure with a pipe plug loosely installed, they support about 260 pounds with little squashing. I think I'm on the right track here.

These bags will grow in diameter some under pressure, as do most. There are other bags out there- made in USA, called "Slam Specialties". SS6 are a direct replacement for these, but are also nearly 3 times the price. That said, they do not grow in diameter at all, apparently, and so they do more work with less pressure. If I have any issues, I may explore their use, it will be a simple affair to change these out.

Just thinking now, doing some "back of the napkin" engineering on the fly, I may leave the spring plates unmolested, as my bolts are extra long (I have long nuts, doubled up on them). Lock down the spring plates with nylocks of normal height, fabricate all my needs as above on 1/4 or 3/8" thick plate, with holes to enable them to bolt in atop the spring plates. Nylocks bolt that down, and likely some loctite as well.

This will all be on my S10, so it doesn't apply to the XJ world directly (honestly it will be adaptable with very little effort). The only reaason I am doing the S10 first is because it's my DD and is *super* soft and wallows all around like a pig. My 90 XJ is presently deadlined, and my son's 97 is in the hands of a new driver- the 4" lift I've installed is all he's getting for a while. I will install RC SRBs out back after the rear springs settle a bit more, and eventually will install airbags out back to enable him to have some towing capacity as he's getting interested in the fabrication arts as a possible career and will need a way to tow heavy stuff now and again.

That said, this is modified tech, and this info is applicable to XJs, so if all are fine with the pics not being of XJs for a while, I will continue to post my efforts.

As it looks now, I'm $80 for the bags, probably $50 for some steel (I could build with parts on hand but don't want it to look too terribly hack, so will buy some plate and the like), $60 for the cradles, $40 for air fittings. That will do one end of the truck, with enough steel to do the other. A friend is a heavy diesel mechanic so I can probably raid his spares stash for fittings and line. Worst case, I am looking at about $300 to do the whole truck with an external-fill air system. That will be phase 1, and I've long since intended to build some sliders and have them sealed for air tanks (giving me about 6 gallons of storage). Another $200 (haven't really shopped that yet, so maybe less) gets me an onboard electric pump. I can of course do all of that in bits and pieces on down the line.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s

Last edited by burntkat; January 31st, 2018 at 06:08.
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  #23  
Old January 31st, 2018, 06:02
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techno1154 techno1154 is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
That said, this is modified tech, and this info is applicable to XJs, so if all are fine with the pics not being of XJs for a while, I will continue to post my efforts.
That is great! I love individual creativity.
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#594
1996 XJ; 4.0L; AW4; NP231; SYE; D30 and D44; ECTED; 4.10 gears; 30X9.5 -15 BFG/AT/KO; 3" lift; Rusty's LCA; JKS ADJ UCA; Kevins ADJ Track bar; Drawtite Front Receiver; Dual Electric Fans; Dual Battaries.
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  #24  
Old January 31st, 2018, 06:15
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by techno1154 View Post
That is great! I love individual creativity.
Thank you sir, but I am FAR from being creative here. In all I am doing in the automotive world, I am "standing on the shoulders of giants"... ie, I saw some dude do this online and I'm imitating it.

That said, I do tend to do things a little different than most. Everyone has told me with the SAS build that I don't need swaybars, don't need trackbars with leafs, etc- "it's supposed to be soft, that's why you built it with solid axles". Uh, no.

I am inspired by Ujoint Offroad (Ford Van SAS custom shop) and their skidpad test drive, where they drove the slalom with very little body roll, at speed. Granted their system is all leaf-sprung, but I see no reason why an air assist can't stiffen up my suspension greatly, and then give me the flexibility (literally and figuratively) I see at the touch of a button.

EDIT: here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7OxIKyIGOU

If this works very well, I may go nuts and work up some electronic whizbangery via a Rasapberry Pi body control system- giving me automated height control for different conditions- such as opening the door with the engine off- truck drops to the bumpstops.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #25  
Old January 31st, 2018, 07:02
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Bring on the pics.
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  #26  
Old January 31st, 2018, 19:48
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

I've settled on 3/8 line to run the bags, because it's neither too fast (not building a hopping car) nor too slow. Also, as it happens I'm in the midst of upgrading 600' of my air lines from polyurethane line to Flexzilla hybrid hose. I have more 3/8 air line than I know what to do with! If I keep this away from heat and abrasion it should be fine under the vehicle. A 5/8 Addel Clamp (stainless clamp with a rubber cushion, what is used in aircraft) every foot or so ought to work fine in that regard. Also, I have fittings on hand already - hose barbs, 1/4 NPT, and some time with a Clamptite tool and stainless safety wire, I should have no concerns of leaks.

I found check valves to screw right into the 1/4 NPT. What I'm having a little trouble finding, are Schrader valves that screw into 1/4 NPT. If anyone has ideas, please pipe up.

Sealant - what am I using? I gave up on tape long ago, although if one must, the yellow stuff rated for gas pipe is FAR superior to regular Teflon tape. But I'm a dope man, only in this regard. Pipe dope, aka pipe joint compound. I use the Oatey brand, and have enough to last the rest of my lifetime (I'm super bad about losing stuff in my shop and finding multiples later).

I have a 6" stinger coming off each bag. Plan is to have a dump valve at each bag, with a check valve as close to the bag as possible, so I have less concerns of bag pressure loss if I have a problem with lines/tank /compressor. I spoke to a guy on another project at work, they are bagging F450 trucks with link arms to support a lot of very heavy equipment. I can't talk about it much except to say it's REALLY cool, and no, you'll probably never know about it. But the guy also has bagged several of his POVs, and brought this to my attention - you don't want to tee the bags together, as you will get pressure transfer while driving, and it can actually make sway and handling problems far worse. Each bag needs to be check-valved, and of course you'll need a dump valve, unless you are only going with external-source fills. For Phase 1 I am doing the latter, just to get them in service (and my truck tamed down - it really is a bit frightening!). I will run two 1/4" lines to vicinity of my fuel filler, down to a 3/8-3/8-1/4 tee close to each bag, with one 3/8 leg capped off for future expansion when I go to Phase 2.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #27  
Old January 31st, 2018, 20:33
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freestyle81 freestyle81 is offline
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Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anak View Post
Bring on the pics.


X2
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  #28  
Old February 1st, 2018, 12:54
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Pictures (there aren't many, yet) forthcoming, gents- I have to figure out where to post them, since Photobucket decided to screw everyone.

Will drop some sources and my findings here as I go about the build.

Source for prefab brackets and parts:
Bottom and Top mounting plates for 2500 and 2600 series bags: http://www.bcfab.com/Lower-Airbag-Mo...el_p_1733.html
Those are presently on sale, normally $9/per, now $5/per. A set of 4 each tops and bottoms, shipped to my house, will be $62. I really can't compete with that, the steel alone would cost me in the vicinity of $30. Now, this is not a ready to go bracket, but that won't involve much work. I'm probably going to tack these heavily to a piece of 3/16, gusseted, and then build off of that to accommodate bumpstops, trackbar bracket, etc. It won't be as pretty as a CAD-rendered bracket built up from plate bits, but I don't have that kind of infrastructure to design the build.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s

Last edited by burntkat; February 1st, 2018 at 13:03.
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  #29  
Old February 2nd, 2018, 15:57
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Clearly I'm still in the research phase..

I realized that 3/8 line I was going to use- old air hose- was WAY too large. Why? Because it's 3/8" ID, and the hose used in air systems is OD. IE- the 1/4" line that most folks use is 1/4 on the outside, and really small internally.

Great, whatever, why worry? Because that's more volume the compressor would have to supply.

The guy I was discussing this stuff with recommended 3/8 air line, but I think I'm going to go with the 1/4 for now, at least while I'm just doing it as an external-fill system. I've been looking into the different fill speeds of different sizes and 1/4 ought to be fine.
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #30  
Old February 4th, 2018, 22:15
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Good to note I am not completely nuts-

http://gojeep.willyshotrod.com/Howto...Suspension.htm
__________________
-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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