For those of you who found that your truck’s rear suspension is not capable of handling your daily load, and lifting applications. There is a great cheap way of increasing payload. It will add some height, so make sure you talk with your local shop about the need for a new shock; or, do some searching and find an answer or at least an idea of what you need.
Here is a quick guide of how to install an add-a-leaf. I recommend purchasing a repair manual (Chilton) from your local auto supply shop for your make and year to help removing original suspension; or with a little of research figure out how to remove yours online.
Beware this procedure is DANGEROUS! Can cause serious injury if not done CAUTION! I take no responsibility for any damage that may come to you, helper/s, bystanders, yours or other’s vehicles.
This project was completed at the TechShop! Check them out at techshop.ws
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Step 2: Removing Rear Suspension
1. Lift the rear suspension with a floor jack that has the weight capacity and the height to lift your vehicle 2-3 inches past when your tires are off the ground minimum… If you are replacing with larger tires at this time, make sure you add the difference in tire size for easy install.
a. Consult your owner’s manual where to place jack
b. Add jack stands under your axle, if the gap is larger than a few inches lower floor jack SLOWLY till just above one of the jack stands. One side is usually higher than the other.
2. Open your Add-A-Leaf package and see if there are any clips they give to help you keep your springs together. Follow instructions on proper placement of them if you want to use.
a. Removing the entire spring package it was easier to work on, and little safer than being under the truck during the addition.
3. Use repair manual to remove rear shocks and leaf springs…
a. Take pictures to remember where any metal shims or plates are located in your leaf spring.
4. A few pictures…
5. Afterwards I laid out the lower leaf spring with new bolt through it, added the new leaf and assembled the rest of the leaf springs.
6. This is where you might have to use U-Clamps or a friend or two to help get the nut on top, or get lucky and not have to fight it much. After tightening (use torque wrench to tighten to specifications) and there is a lot of bolt left, you will need trim it off, (see second to last picture). I did mine at the top of the nut but you could leave some sticking out, it all depends on the rubber stop (if you have one, see last picture).
Step 4: Replacing Leaf Spring and Final Notes
7. Replacing the new leaf spring takes strength, patience and teamwork. I installed the front or non-shackled part first, which seemed easier then the shackle end first. Afterwards you push downwards on the shackle and back towards the bumper using force, bottle-jack from your vehicle and I used a hammer’s handle to push on the bottom till I got the bolt in. Then replaced the u-bolts, rubber stop, brackets and tighten all to their torque specifications.
8. Install new shock if purchased or old one if it can fit… Check before you leap! Torque to Specification!
9. RECHECK all bolts for correct torque and to make sure you got them ALL tight.
a. It’s not fun driving along and all of a sudden CRACK!!
b. Always be safe and double check!
10. Replace wheels and torque to specification…
11. Deep breath and Enjoy your work!!