Leaf-Sprung Rigs | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Leaf-Sprung Rigs

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Rob K

Rank II

Advocate II

I've owned my 93 Wrangler 'YJ' for almost 8 years now and it does okay on local roads and the occasional highway run. I've taken one 1,000 mile weekend road trip to western PA and it was rough, pun intended. I thought after that I would be confined to the local camp spots because of my leaf-sprung setup.
However, I'm starting to think there might be hope yet. After seeing an Instagram post Micheal posted a few days ago of a leaf-sprung YJ/CJ set up to head through Baja, I asked myself if I was just being too much of a baby about it, or maybe there is more that I can do to my rid to help the situation.
So long story short the big question is, who out there has a leaf-sprung rig they aren't afraid to put some long miles on?
 

Smileyshaun

Rank V
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Member III

2,779
Happy Valley, OR, USA
First Name
Shaun
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Hoffman
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4799

Leaf sprung rigs can work amazingly offroad but it comes down to how they are setup . There is a lot of difference in ride quality between manufacturers. I had one suburban that I put a 4" ruff country lift on and had a truck that I put a 4" skyjacker soft ride kit on and the difference was night and day the ruff country lift was just horrid but the skyjacker rode really smooth and made long drives enjoyable .
 

ohiowrangler

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2,268
Newark, Oh
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Ron
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Darling
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3644

A friend and I drove our jeep, YJ's, to Colorado Springs, CO from Newark, Ohio, and back. I hauled a harbor freight trailer back with a rust free YJ frame on it. Are you still running panard bars on the front and rear? Ron
 

Rob K

Rank II

Advocate II

A friend and I drove our jeep, YJ's, to Colorado Springs, CO from Newark, Ohio, and back. I hauled a harbor freight trailer back with a rust free YJ frame on it. Are you still running panard bars on the front and rear? Ron
Since my PA trip I have done a lot of work to my suspension after realizing a lot of the flaws that crept out. The panhard bars were removed and it did make a pretty big improvement. I have yet to change the springs to higher quality units (On now is 4" RoughCountry leafs approaching 7 years old).
I know there is more work that can be done, I'm just curious about other peoples situations and setups out there. Thanks!
 

Smileyshaun

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2,779
Happy Valley, OR, USA
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Shaun
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Hoffman
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Get grease able shackles and bolts. don't overtighten the shackle bolts it causes alot of binding its a real common issue , most people just crank them down hard
 

ohiowrangler

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Newark, Oh
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Ron
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I've had good luck with super lift springs, 3 1/2" from summit racing. The last set were labeled made in USA, there were about $60 each when I bought the last ones, Ron
 

HEYElliott

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Influencer II

3,969
Markham, Ontario, Canada
Member #

9232

My old chev colorado had leaf springs in the rear and my only downfall to it was having shitty shocks that leaked, took in water (somehow) and froze in a compressed position on me. Those potholes on the way home SUCKED.

If youre looking for people that have done long miles on leaf spring vehicles @IamJake is driving his old jeep across the country
 

TerryD

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Covington, Virginia, USA
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Terry
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I think @Jake Wettern | iamjake is who you are talking about going through Baja with Michael.

Anyways, something that makes a big difference on CJ/YJ ride quality is a shackle reversal that moves the front shackles to the rear of the front springs. This allows the shackle's movement to absorb the impacts of obstacles. This does affect ride height and if I remember correctly, can cause some front driveshaft slip yoke issues if you are really flexing it out, but for most mild trails I don't think that would be an issue for you. You don't seem to be wanting to build a crawler out of it.

There are also different qualities of springs out there. Rough Country has never seemed to make a spring that rides well in my experience. Tuff Country and Rancho seemed to be more desirable brands. I'm not sure if OME makes anything for those Jeeps or not. I had OME rear leaves on my XJ and they were great! They rode good loaded or empty, flexed really well and would carry a decent load since I ordered the Heavy Load set. I'm sure there are several other brands out there plus plenty of custom leaf manufacturers like the Alcan leaves I have in the rear of my Xterra. They are pricey but worth the money IMO.
 
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ohiowrangler

Rank V
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Member II

2,268
Newark, Oh
First Name
Ron
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Darling
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I used WFO concepts shackle reversal kit. I'll do it to every jeep I own, I have a new frame from FNJEEP. I've installed the S/R kit before I even put it under the jeep. Ron
 
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