Straight Axels and Leaf Springs | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Straight Axels and Leaf Springs

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Buzzard13

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Does anyone else experience lots of side to side rocking when loaded and driving down trails? I am pretty sure my shocks are original. When I hit a bump with just one tire or say both fronts, there isn't much bouncing. The rocking is enough to make me stop and crawl, almost at idle, through the section. Thoughts?
 

MidOH

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Some more low speed damping will help a ton.

Disconnect your sway bar.
 
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Billiebob

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Does anyone else experience lots of side to side rocking when loaded and driving down trails? I am pretty sure my shocks are original. When I hit a bump with just one tire or say both fronts, there isn't much bouncing. The rocking is enough to make me stop and crawl, almost at idle, through the section. Thoughts?
what are you driving?
stock? or
a few pictures might help.

but with how little you have given, I agree with midOH, disconnect
what size tires and on what ?
 

ThundahBeagle

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Well, in your avatar I see a 1960's Ford and a 70's/80's era Dodge. So if your shocks are original, I'd say they are due to be changed. Kidding. I'm presuming you are driving something a wee more modern.

I dont know how old your truck is so I can't speak to the springs but I 3rd the sway bar disconnect. And maybe air down a little. Make sure to put everything back for the highway
 
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Buzzard13

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The Dodge, 78 W200, is what I drive. I doubt it has a sway bar. I should air down more often. I am pretty loaded right now, though

I plan on getting new shocks. Do the springs get soft with age? I think coils do, I'd imagine the same principle applies to leafs. I'll look into spring bushings.

I run 235/85R16 tires on 8 bolt steels. Basically stock and I don't intend to change much. I had the truck up on blocks and stretched the suspension; thats what my shocks look like anyway.
 

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MidOH

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Yeah, that's just an empty tube. Try some quality monotube shocks first. Springs if needed.

Bilstein and Fox2.0 are good budget shocks.
 
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Buzzard13

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I was going to get Bilsteins. Then I heard I void going off road. Do not need anything fancy.

Mono or twin tube?
 

ThundahBeagle

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Leaf springs do sag over time and your 78 is probably due. You might get sway with some helpers.

But keep in mind the difference between the job of the shocks vs the job of the spring. The spring allows the chassis to absorb bumps that send the wheel upward, while the shock keeps the wheels on the ground instead of continuing to bounce up and down like a bungee jumper.

I certainly agree those shocks look spent. I have Bilstein 5100's and I like them. I dont know anything about offroad voiding Bilstein warranty. I sure hope not. That would be weird. But I bet even any Gabriel, KYB, or Monroe rated for an 8 bolt hub truck would be better than what you have there.
 

MidOH

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Off roading voids everything. Shocks, engine, trans, everything. If you bring me a broken truck with a rock dented oil pan and mud in every single crevice of the frame.......yeah, that's full price.

Shocks are cheap, don't worry about it.
 
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MMc

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Leaf springs do sag over time and your 78 is probably due. You might get sway with some helpers.

But keep in mind the difference between the job of the shocks vs the job of the spring. The spring allows the chassis to absorb bumps that send the wheel upward, while the shock keeps the wheels on the ground instead of continuing to bounce up and down like a bungee jumper.

I certainly agree those shocks look spent. I have Bilstein 5100's and I like them. I dont know anything about offroad voiding Bilstein warranty. I sure hope not. That would be weird. But I bet even any Gabriel, KYB, or Monroe rated for an 8 bolt hub truck would be better than what you have there.
This is so right on for springs and shocks. I would stay away from helpers, springs don’t cost that much and are the ride. I have a 9 or 10 pack for springs now, when I am empty it rides very well.

Driving Bilsteins off road will void the warranty. I sent mine in after I blew them out, I was charged for the rebuild, they never felt right after, but it could be me. Now I run Kings or Fox. Bilstein has high end shocks, I am sure Icons, Walker Evens and other top of the line shocks are just fine.
 

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This is from Bilsteins warranty page info. Read #4.

WARRANTY RESTRICTIONS
The limited warranties set forth above do not cover normal wear and tear and are non-transferable. Exclusions include:
 Surface finish, boot or mounting hardware such as, but not limited to, rubber bushings, bearings, valve shims
 Original equipment shock absorbers - which are warranted by the vehicle manufacturer
 Damage caused by improper installation
 Damage caused to non-motorsports product as a result of racing, driving competition or off-road
use
 Use on modified or other than Bilstein-recommended vehicles
 Bent or broken rods showing abuse or abnormal wear
 Cosmetic damage such as scratches, notches, dents and corrosion
 

ThundahBeagle

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Yikes! Define offroad I guess. Theres places where people live on roads that are no longer officially maintained. Are you saying that the farmer who buys a new Chevy work truck, and drives it along the edge of the field collecting bushels of corn to drive to market - he's voided his warranty? The construction worker who buys a Teadesman and is involved with building a subdivision, he's voided his warranty?

That's what these trucks were made for. So, is it a judgement call. As you say, mud up in every crevice vs. the 'real and responsible reasons for being offroad
 

Billiebob

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The Dodge, 78 W200, is what I drive. I doubt it has a sway bar. I should air down more often. I am pretty loaded right now, though

I plan on getting new shocks. Do the springs get soft with age? I think coils do, I'd imagine the same principle applies to leafs. I'll look into spring bushings.

I run 235/85R16 tires on 8 bolt steels. Basically stock and I don't intend to change much. I had the truck up on blocks and stretched the suspension; thats what my shocks look like anyway.
I'd say the shocks might be shot. Springs tend to flatten with age on blocks there is lots of camber, what do they look like on the ground? And new springs will improve everything if yours have lost that camber but the big difference will be shocks which dampen the action and reduce rebound which causes the rocking, you hit a bump with one tire and upset the balance, new shocks stop the rebound. Sway bars only transfer that rebound action to the other side, they have no ability to stabilize the ride, they only control lean when cornering. If anything on a rough road they will make the ride rougher since they transfer the up travel of the wheel hitting the rock to the opposite side. The smoothest ride I ever got was in an old Econoline pickup, it had no sway bars, incredibly tiny light 14" wheels and plenty of wheel travel. You could drink coffee crossing a freshly plowed field. Get new shocks, even the cheapest NAPA shocks will make a huugggee difference.

Gorgeous Dodge, I had one when it was new.
 
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