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softening the hard leaf springs

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by ktm25089, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Feb 15, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    Oct 18, 2006
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    hello,
    i have a m38a1.with the 12 leaf front and the 13 leaf back.
    as you can imagine it's hard as a rock and little scary on driving.i'm thinking to remove for start 3 leafs from each spring and test.i know that i can't make my jeep soft as a caddy but little softer.you can't press the leaf even you jump at the back of the jeep.the only suspension is the air on the tyres.:(:(
    have anyone try it?
    if i remove leafs i will loose height.i don't use the jeep off-road.it's daily driving and some slow trips 50-60 miles distance.
    any opinions?

    thanks
    George
     
  2. Feb 15, 2008
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    George, when we got Tonka he had the heavy duty spring pack & we were in constant danger of loosing the fillings out of out teeth:(

    I took him to a local spring shop & they removed some leaves, re-arched & trimmed things to match the specs for the lighter duty packs & it was a world of difference. The price was pretty reasonable as I recall.

    H.
     
  3. Feb 15, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    howard,
    the problem is tha here we don't have spring shop,neither in a distance.
    i will do my own the removing.
    how much leafs did you removed?do you remember?
    yes,i have the same problem with the teeth
     
  4. Feb 15, 2008
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Sorry, can't remember exactly. The M38A1 parts manual shows 11 front & 13 rear leaves. The CJ5 parts manual show two lighter duty sets, 5 or 7 leaves for the front & 9 for the rear. Unfortunately it's not an exact proceedure as the individual leaves are different lengths between the two packs, you would have to pick & choose the military leaves & trim them up to get an exact match with the civvy ones but frankly I don't think its that critical. I had to rebuild Tonk's packs last year due to some broken leaves, FWIW heres's some pics-

    http://www.tantel.ca/Images/The Sludge Pile/Section_S_Springs & Shocks/

    H.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    so,i have to make some experiment with them.i'm thinking to start with the back first.
    It is better to start to remove from the first small leaves?or trying to remove one,leave one,remove one from the center?i think the small are the hardest.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2008
    Hawkes

    Hawkes Member

    Nova scotia
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    Actually, with a spring under you'd probably gain height, or at least break even depending on the number of leaves you remove.
     
  7. Feb 15, 2008
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    George. I wouldn't start with the short guys on the bottom, I think if you get rid of them you'll end up cracking the longer leaves very quickly. I'd try pulling the pack completely apart & loosing every 3rd or 4th leaf.

    H.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2008
    PatchyCJ5

    PatchyCJ5 Toledo Steel

    Deltona, Florida
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    Jun 25, 2006
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    George, I have the same problem. I removed 3 leaves from the rear. The springs were under the axle, didnt loose any height. Unfortunately the only 'spring action' I have is in the tires-much like yours.
     
  9. Feb 16, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    patchycj5,

    with the 3 springs removed did it make some difference?
     
  10. Feb 16, 2008
    66cj5

    66cj5 Jeep with no name

    NorthWest Indiana
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    I would take the springs apart and smear some grease between each leaf. made a big difference on mine.
     
  11. Feb 16, 2008
    w3srl

    w3srl Jeepless in Pittsburgh Staff Member Sponsor

    Pittsburgh, PA
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    :iagree:

    Disassemble each pack and clean up the rust & corrosion with a wire wheel. Grease liberally when you reassemble. I've seen packs that couldn't move at all because the leaves were rusted together.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    i did it when i was make the frame off restoration.
    but the m38a1 with the 11 front and 13 back is very-very rough.
    thats the way i'm trying to remove some of them to soften it little.
    i know it's an old jeep.and old jeeps are loud,noisy,hard to drive,no brakes,no safety e.t.c compared to new cars.
    but because this is a daily driver and i'm making some trips with this i was made some modifications.high back seats,4 point harness,roll-bar(thinking to upgrade to 6 point cage),solex,electronic ignition,electric fuel pump.
     
  13. Feb 16, 2008
    PatchyCJ5

    PatchyCJ5 Toledo Steel

    Deltona, Florida
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    No, not enough to notice. Sorry
     
  14. Feb 16, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    if 3 is not enough,how many i have to remove?i'm thinking if i will remove more then i will suffer from breaking leafs.
     
  15. Feb 16, 2008
    w3srl

    w3srl Jeepless in Pittsburgh Staff Member Sponsor

    Pittsburgh, PA
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    IMHO you are jot going to be happy until you go with new, softer spring packs such as those for a CJ vice the military springs. Replacement packs can be had for ~ 80-90 bux each from the Jeep parts places...
     
  16. Feb 17, 2008
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

    Apopka, Fl
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    You definitely need to consider the breakage possibility. Removing a leaf adds to the leverage factor on the next longest leaf. Personally I think removing leaves is dangerous for highway usage. Especially with older springs which can break into multiple pieces.
     
  17. Feb 17, 2008
    ktm25089

    ktm25089 Member

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    i didn't think that.you have right.and i'm using the jeep on highway for my trips.
     
  18. Feb 17, 2008
    4dawudz

    4dawudz Dale

    ADK NORTHERN New...
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    When I rebuilt my 2A on a 5 frame, I went with HD springs, 12 in the rear, 10 in the front.....kind of like NO springs...stiff, ouch, hard!!! I removed 5 in the rear, 4 in the front, did the bounce test, thought I took to many out, seemed way to soft. Then installed dual shocks all around, THAT was the ticket, I've been driving it for 30 some years and now the poor springs are much to flat, probably should have changed them maybe 10 years ago...to busy, didn't drive it as much as I did...but now is the time and I'm in the process now!

    Dale
     

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