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Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 3:42am
by wilsc449
Looking for some advice on the best way to lift my very heavy rear-end Safari.

I'm about to buy and install a 2-3" lift kit and think I might need to also add a leaf. Is it worth it?? Anyone else had a super loaded rear like this?.... The snow is coming soon and it's going to be slow going this low.
I'm in Canada and can get the parts shipped from the US but if anyone knows a good Canadian dealer for the lift or leaf that would be great as well.

Thoughts?

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 1:45pm
by Mmusicman
Yes.. add a leaf is a good easy solution.
I've done it with full size G-vans.. but not the Astro.
In my case, I used a leaf or two from another spring pack.
Junk yards might be an option.. and of course you can purchase stuff online.

Add the leaf first.. then see where it sits before you proceed.

It will obviously give you some lift.. and also firm up the spring rate which is beneficial for a heavier load. From the looks of it.. one leaf might work perfectly.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 4:15pm
by Rockridge
S-10 Heavy duty springs worked great on my 04. Even with bikes for 5 and loaded with the family and a weekends worth of camping stuff, the van will sit about level. Rides nice and eliminated some body roll.

It looks like the rear springs on your van are pretty tired, I have no experience with add a leaf but I wonder how much they will offer if they are not only fighting the sagging factory springs but also carrying the payload.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 4:42pm
by CopperFiremist
I wouldn't even waste your time with an add a leaf, from the looks of it those leafs are shot. I have the heavy duty 22-1195HD leafs on my van and IMO they give just as much lift as the S10 leaf( 22-687) Plus they are rated at 1700lbs vs the S10 are rated at 1400lbs

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 10:33pm
by Mmusicman
CopperFiremist wrote:Plus they are rated at 1700lbs vs the S10 are rated at 1400lbs

I believe my 2000 van has S10 springs.
Unfortunately, with lift blocks when the van is empty.. it REALLY sits extra high.
It does ride nice empty.. but that rarely happens. Normally loaded it's even.

You really have to determine your intended load and desired results.
Firm springs have less height variation on light vs heavy loads.. but ride firmer too, especially on light loads.
Personally, I prefer this.

The beauty of staggered leaf springs is that they work "progressively".. get firmer as they are loaded down.

Add a leaf (or two from another van) is a very inexpensive BUT EFFECTIVE solution.
It's really more of a modification thing, with uncertain results.
I turned 1/2 ton springs into 1 ton by doubling them on my G-van.. it worked great.

Aftermarket helpers are a good working solution, but will cost more.
New heavy rate springs are probably the best solution, but will be the most involved and cost the most too.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 11:01pm
by dcsleeper
I had a droopy *** old Ranger.
I put in add-a-leaf (s)
It looked right.
When I put ALOT of weight in the back, the springs just wrapped past the add-a-leaf and squashed.
It doesn't really bring back or increase your carrying capacity, only springs can do that.
In this pic, there is about a cubic yard of concrete in the back, a severe overloading.

103012

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 11:36pm
by stent
CopperFiremist wrote:I wouldn't even waste your time with an add a leaf, from the looks of it those leafs are shot. I have the heavy duty 22-1195HD leafs on my van and IMO they give just as much lift as the S10 leaf( 22-687) Plus they are rated at 1700lbs vs the S10 are rated at 1400lbs


what he said

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 21st 2020, 11:46pm
by Rockridge
I suppose another bonus of doing springs is that you would also be replacing the bushings at the same time and it puts you in a good position to look at the hangers to see if they need replacement, while you are there how are the differential cover seal and U joints, calipers & pads? Any small rust spots to hit with converter? And down the rabbit hole you go!

I was told my springs would settle after a year. It's been longer than that and they haven't. And I load it right up almost daily. It sits a bit raked out for me when empty, and I planned on taking out a leaf but that hasn't happened either. I've had it stuffed to the roof with bicycle stuff for a swap meet, plus 6 bikes hanging off the back with a full tank and it sits level and rides great.

Going to need to see a pic of the bikes too!

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 22nd 2020, 1:03pm
by Mmusicman
Rockridge wrote:I was told my springs would settle after a year.
It's been longer than that and they haven't.
And I load it right up almost daily. It sits a bit raked out for me when empty, and I planned on taking out a leaf but that hasn't happened either..

Hmmm... maybe a reason not to consider heavier springs?
Although I wouldn't consider bicycles a real load... :o

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 22nd 2020, 4:56pm
by WoodButcher
dcsleeper wrote:I had a droopy *** old Ranger.
I put in add-a-leaf (s)
It looked right.
When I put ALOT of weight in the back, the springs just wrapped past the add-a-leaf and squashed.
It doesn't really bring back or increase your carrying capacity, only springs can do that.
In this pic, there is about a cubic yard of concrete in the back, a severe overloading.

103012



45, 80lb bags shouldn't be loaded in a new full size 1 ton truck,,,,


Yep, I've done it too :shrug:

My '97 I built a frankenpack, often I loaded to the capacity of the springs but crawled up hills, prayed to stop going down and was just lucky I didn't need to panic stop or avoid someone else's stupidity, I had enough of my own.

New HD springs will give you lift and load, you can add more lift if needed.

New standard duty will put you back to stock height, (in your case lift from where you are) with a nice ride.

Add a leaf will give you what dcsleeper had.

IMO, go New. I just did the standard duty steel springs in my '93. I use it for work at the moment so it is loaded w/ tools and not a hint of rub on those big back tires.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 22nd 2020, 5:13pm
by Sailing_Faith
CopperFiremist wrote:I wouldn't even waste your time with an add a leaf, from the looks of it those leafs are shot. I have the heavy duty 22-1195HD leafs on my van and IMO they give just as much lift as the S10 leaf( 22-687) Plus they are rated at 1700lbs vs the S10 are rated at 1400lbs


Did you happen to take measurements with your 22-1195HD? Do you recall the actual increase in height these produced?

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 22nd 2020, 5:49pm
by CopperFiremist
I just measured it unloaded I'm sitting at 32.5" / 32" to the center of the wheel well.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 23rd 2020, 5:17am
by Mmusicman
Here's mine empty (with 30" tires)...

20201006_182443-2000 Astro Tire Lift.jpg


20201006_182421-2000 Astro Empty.jpg

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 23rd 2020, 6:03am
by K-TRON
I too recommend the 22-1195HD springs. I put them in my 1997 Safari AWD van and have put over 3500 lbs in the back of it while maintaining a near level and comfortable ride height. With the Timbren bump stops the ride is fantastic. The rear fenders are right at 32" with Firestone Destination AT tires.

Chris

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 23rd 2020, 9:48pm
by Rockridge
So did you get the new springs in yet?

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 24th 2020, 9:23pm
by wilsc449
Wow thanks for all the advise everyone!! A lot of options to go with. I'm thinking of trying to hunt down 22-1195HD springs and putting those in.

The interior is completely insulated and fully built for living with over the top thick/heavy wood (previous owner), the top ski box is packed to the brim with gear and the bikes will live on the back during the non winter months It's not a crazy amount but enough that our hitch constantly scrapes on any Rd with a slight angle.

As soon as the recent snow melts I'll put the springs in and upload some picks.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: October 24th 2020, 10:21pm
by dcsleeper
so I was confused by misreading the tape measure in multiple pics...

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: November 18th 2020, 7:06pm
by wilsc449
I'm finally getting around to this lift and replacement. I've ordered a 2-3" inch lift online and now have the 22-1195hd springs here ready to put in to give the rear end some much-needed support.

Does anyone have a link to a slightly longer U bolt/bolt package for these? I don't really want to get custom ones made. That's all I'd need right? Straight swap after I have these?

Sorry for the stupid questions. I'm definitely no mechanic! :banana:

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: November 18th 2020, 7:08pm
by wilsc449
Found the replacements, but need longer ones.

Re: Advise please... Add leaf or no?

PostPosted: November 18th 2020, 7:45pm
by sixsix
What "Grade" bolts package is it? Very important - deserves a read up on.

dcsleeper wrote:so I was confused by misreading the tape measure in multiple pics...
Sounds like the Hubble Telescope situation - got the conversion done properly 99.999 times right.


wilsc449 wrote:Found the replacements, but need longer ones.
That is what she said, "swell photos".