The perfect bastard pack ... maybe


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Old 05-21-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

I am sort of always tweaking my suspension to get what I want. Too cheap to just buy leaf springs I guess. I had a set of rear springs consisting of the main and a S10 heavy duty rear spring. If I used three leaves, it was good riding but not tall enough. If I used the whole thing, it had the right height but was too stiff. Our XJs are apparently quite a bit lighter than other comparable rigs which might explain why they do so well off road. So anyway, I have always wanted to experiment with some Isuzu Rodeo springs. They are slightly shorter than S10 springs, have about 2" more arch in them and have thinner leaves. The width is a metric size that is about 1/16" shy of the width of our springs, close enough. Here is the spring out of the vehicle.



As you can see, it has quite a bit of curve to the leaves. Here is an S10 leaf next to the Rodeo leaf



It is a well set up spring, here it is disassembled. Notice the space between each leaf. This space is called "snap". Probably because the spring will snap apart when the center pin is cut.



To use this spring, it is necessary to cut off the eyes with a torch and use the main leaf as our #2 leaf. I tried using all three leaves with the bottom leaf upside down. This would be a good design for a two stage spring and not allow the leaves to over flex and loose their temper. I set it down and got an amazing 6" lift with it. However it was too stiff like that. I then removed the #2 Isuzu leaf, which would be our new #3 leaf and kept the bottom leaf upside down. It looked like this.



This gave a very soft spring with something like a stock spring rate with 3" of lift. But it seemed a little soft like that. So I took the leaf I removed and cut it to 10" from center on the short side and 12" on the long side and put it right side up in the bottom. This changed the spring from a two stage spring to a single stage four leaf spring, which is what was factory and a little stiffer, but still flexible. My estimate is that it is about 1/3 greater spring rate just like my front RE coils. This netted a 4" lift together with my 1" spacer blocks gives me 5" rear lift which gets me level, which is where I started only now I have softer springs.

I am going wheeling Sunday and try them out. But I can tell already that it will be more enjoyable without those stiff rear springs.


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Old 05-21-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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Cool, think I want to this to mine. I want 4" in the rear.
so is it the: xj main
isuzu main with eyes cut off
then ???
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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nice write up

if i ever end up lifting mine ill probably end up going s10 leafs in the front and with these being a softer ride ill use these for the rear
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Running Free View Post
Cool, think I want to this to mine. I want 4" in the rear.
so is it the: xj main
isuzu main with eyes cut off
then ???
Then #3 Isuzu and then #2 Isuszu cut down
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamp View Post
nice write up

if i ever end up lifting mine ill probably end up going s10 leafs in the front and with these being a softer ride ill use these for the rear
s10 coils, or YJ style leaf conversion in the front? you'd lose a ton of drivability by switching to leaf.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:49 AM   #6
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Nice info here. I noticed the 2nd picture was supposed to be a comparable shot but it's identical to the first picture so we can't see the difference of the two. Do you happen to know the spring rate of the rodeo leaves?


My old man emu springs were set like that. The bottom leaf (overload) was arched the opposite way of the main spring pack.

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Old 05-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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cool write up might use some your info lol
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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I was in a hurry to post on the bastard pack, so I didn't have time to give my evaluation. So here it is. If you like soft flexy springs, this is the ticket. But you need to run your bump stops down about 4 or 5" or you can over flex them and take the temper out of the leaves. To show you how flexy here are some pics.





These two pics were staged in a deep hole in the road.





These two were going up hill and I was stuck and had to stretch cable.

So between the S10 and Isuzu packs, which is better. Well, that depends on what you want. The Chevy spring would make a better hill climbing spring because it has a higher spring rate and is also a multistage spring with the flat leaf in the bottom. However, if you want a ride that is like a stock spring, the Isuzu is the better spring. Also, they are flexier than the Chevy spring due to being single stage (no flat leaf). Both sets of pics were taken with my front sway bar connected and with RE 210# front coils. Also, if you are into higher speed on the trail, or hit those rail road tracks at speed and love those big speed bumps, the Isuzu springs are much better. The back end stays down much better and is a more balanced suspension package with the RE springs.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:53 AM   #9
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I liked this idea a lot, & grabbed these leaf packs from the junkyard yesterday. Also scored some V8-ZJ front coils. I noticed the rodeo bump stops are almost identical to my 98 XJ ones. (Which broke off from the mounting plates)

Pretty good workout for a 47 year old with hand tools. I was thankful that it was only 90 degrees out.

Hoping all the aches & pains go away by next weekend for the install.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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This chart is the best thing for terd leafs period. One thing I have been searching for is a main leaf that is thicker and stiffer that will work with a XJ. I have had alot of problems with the stock main.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #11
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Cool chart, & I bookmarked it.

Looks like the Toyota springs might work for an XJ.

Not sure if they are thicker or not, but they are in a pickup truck.

IIRC those trucks have fairly flat or even inverted springs though.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:59 PM   #12
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Moved

This is some good tech, nice article!
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:31 PM   #13
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I got the Isuzu leafs & started loosening the U-bolts tonight. Busted off the lower right side shock stud & wasted 2 hours drilling that out.

I completely forgot to measure my current ride height, so i won't know how much lift I got when it's done.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshot500 View Post
I got the Isuzu leafs & started loosening the U-bolts tonight. Busted off the lower right side shock stud & wasted 2 hours drilling that out.

I completely forgot to measure my current ride height, so i won't know how much lift I got when it's done.
From center of hub to bottom of flare: front: 17.5" rear 17"

Compare your measurements with that and you'll get a ballpark lift height.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #15
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Well I had it together with;

#1=XJ main
#2=Isuzu #1 with eyes cut off
#3=Isuzu #2
#4=Isuzu#3 (the one with the clamps attached.

This gave me a ballpark lift of about 6"

The shocks were topping off & it was too stiff.
With a limited amount of time, I decided to take it back apart & do it somewhat like 4.3L XJ said.

1=XJmain
2=Isuzu main with eyes cut off and cut down some.
3=Isuzu #2 cut down some
4=Isuzu3#

I'm about to go look at it now that i have the leaves apart again.
Trying to figure out how to keep the plastic slip pads between them.
I may just not have those.


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