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are these leaf springs dead?

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Old 12-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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are these leaf springs dead?

or is this normal?
I've been curious about the sorry weak springs but don't want to duct tape a video camera under my truck and drive around. So, I stopped on a hill, shifted to N, and set the parking brake to get these pics. Here are the pics of the front end and rear end of the driver side spring while facing up hill. (leaves touching at one end, gap at opposite end)

I also noticed that the 2nd leaf has indentations the right shape and location to make it seem that the ends of the shortest leaf hits it pretty often. It looks like you can see it in the one pic but that's really just a shadow.
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are these leaf springs dead?-img_20121217_180343-spring1up.jpg   are these leaf springs dead?-img_20121217_180401-spring2up.jpg  
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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Need a pic of the whole spring length
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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Most Toyota leaf springs are not very good. They sag after a couple of years especially if you haul a trailer or something. Just look at any 4Runner or 4x4 pickup from the 80s or 90s, they sag down in the back.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
or is this normal?
I've been curious about the sorry weak springs but don't want to duct tape a video camera under my truck and drive around. So, I stopped on a hill, shifted to N, and set the parking brake to get these pics. Here are the pics of the front end and rear end of the driver side spring while facing up hill. (leaves touching at one end, gap at opposite end)

I also noticed that the 2nd leaf has indentations the right shape and location to make it seem that the ends of the shortest leaf hits it pretty often. It looks like you can see it in the one pic but that's really just a shadow.
Hmmm, is it my lyin' eyes or is there a "hump" in your main spring in firstr pic ?? If it IS a hump, time to find some mains at least, they can be OEM (which for what I do this is preferred) & rebuild them...

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Most Toyota leaf springs are not very good. They sag after a couple of years especially if you haul a trailer or something. Just look at any 4Runner or 4x4 pickup from the 80s or 90s, they sag down in the back.
My '83 solid axle never developed a sag or any warping either, actually those were good years for 'Yota springs, its just years '98 on up that they really sucked....
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #5
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Maybe tomorrow I can try to park on the same hill and get a pic of the full spring length.

I'll also see about getting a pic on level ground to show sag when it's not all wrapped up under the load of being stopped on the hill.

I think the front springs aren't much better. By the shine the metal under front bumpstops, I'd say my coils are letting the front bottom a lot too.

I drive mostly highway with little or no cargo so it's kinda pathetic that the springs haven't lasted. My '88 yota made it over 160,000 miles on the original shocks and the springs never had issues. Actually, that was the most reliable truck I ever had. Was a mistake to get rid of it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
Maybe tomorrow I can try to park on the same hill and get a pic of the full spring length.

I'll also see about getting a pic on level ground to show sag when it's not all wrapped up under the load of being stopped on the hill.

I think the front springs aren't much better. By the shine the metal under front bumpstops, I'd say my coils are letting the front bottom a lot too.

I drive mostly highway with little or no cargo so it's kinda pathetic that the springs haven't lasted. My '88 yota made it over 160,000 miles on the original shocks and the springs never had issues. Actually, that was the most reliable truck I ever had. Was a mistake to get rid of it.
Sagging springs 99% of the time can be easily rectified by adding better American steel, actual bends in the main (or any other spring) aren't fixable, even if (as some here have tried) re-ARC'd its a permanent weak spot & the adverse spring will rear its ugly head once again in a short time...

& yeah, thats exactly how I felt about my '83, still kicking myself for selling it...
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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I found a pic from 2007 and it's obvious that the truck has sagged all around.

I couldn't get a good angle for a pic of the full length leaf. Here are pics showing the front half though. 1 pic on level ground and 1 pic stopped on the hill. Sorry the level shot is blurred. You can see that the bottom leaf touches the middle one when it's torque on the hill but there is about 1 inch gap on level ground.

I don't see any unusual shapes, bows, bumps, etc on level ground. The top leaf isn't completely flat but there isn't much of a curve to it when parked level. My guess is that it wraps up a lot when I accellerate or brake considering how much is bows just stopping on a hill.

Think add-a-leaf would be ok to revive it or am I too far gone?

Anyone ever used Custom Springs Inc (shop in Memphis)?
I'm going to try to make it out there on my lunch break sometime this week to see what they can offer.
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are these leaf springs dead?-img_20121218_191004-hill.jpg   are these leaf springs dead?-img_20121218_191115-level.jpg  
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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IS THE GAP YOU SPEAK OF RIGHT HERE AT THE BUSHING WRAP ??







I mean, I see another slight gap furtherdown the spring, but thats mostly due to fact. anti squeak pad just in front of spring clamp
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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No, the gap I meant is right near the tire in the pic. Hard to see. My pack only has 3 leafs. I mean the end of the short bottom leaf is not rubbing on the middle leaf when I'm on level ground with no loading.

Actually, with the parking brake set, I can push the truck back and forth by hand enough to wrap the springs so that the end of that short bottom leaf hits on the middle leaf. There are scratches on the underside of that middle leaf where the bottom leaf ends hits all the time.

edit: I know the gap at the end is normal. I was just point out how it doesn't take much torque/load for that gap to disappear.

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IS THE GAP YOU SPEAK OF RIGHT HERE AT THE BUSHING WRAP ??







I mean, I see another slight gap furtherdown the spring, but thats mostly due to fact. anti squeak pad just in front of spring clamp
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
No, the gap I meant is right near the tire in the pic. Hard to see. My pack only has 3 leafs. I mean the end of the short bottom leaf is not rubbing on the middle leaf when I'm on level ground with no loading.

Actually, with the parking brake set, I can push the truck back and forth by hand enough to wrap the springs so that the end of that short bottom leaf hits on the middle leaf. There are scratches on the underside of that middle leaf where the bottom leaf ends hits all the time.

edit: I know the gap at the end is normal. I was just point out how it doesn't take much torque/load for that gap to disappear.

Oh, I understand all too well what your talking about, its weak springs exasperating axle wrap....
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:25 PM   #11
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Your springs look ok. But they do look to be the non-tsb springs. 2 supporting leafs and an overload. That pack is known for being way too soft. If you don't do a lot of heavy hauling in the bed of the truck, I would suggest our 3 leaf aal set. Will lift the rear about 1.5" and will help the rear end ride better.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #12
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I don't haul often but when I do it's heavy. Like gravel, mulch, or wood.

Would it be safer in the long run to just replace the entire leaf rather than doing an AAL?

Whatever spring I do, I want it to last the life of the truck.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
I don't haul often but when I do it's heavy. Like gravel, mulch, or wood.

Would it be safer in the long run to just replace the entire leaf rather than doing an AAL?

Whatever spring I do, I want it to last the life of the truck.
It's ALWAYS a better idea to replace the pack as a whole. Especially for sagging springs. Adding an add a leaf is like a bandaid on a big cut
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totmacher View Post
I don't haul often but when I do it's heavy. Like gravel, mulch, or wood.

Would it be safer in the long run to just replace the entire leaf rather than doing an AAL?

Whatever spring I do, I want it to last the life of the truck.
If you are hauling really heavy loads like that from time to time then I would say a combination of either a new leaf pack or the 3 leaf aal set, with a set if Timbrens for load support. They will keep you from sagging too much and help stabilize the load when you are hauling Gravel, Wood, Etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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So I got the OME/Dakar leaf packs but can't install one of them. The sleeve through the rear bushings is too small for the shackle bolt to go through.

The other leaf fit just fine. Guess my truck will be up on jackstands for a while.
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