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new leaf springs vs. shackle flip

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by reggiecab2000, May 8, 2013.

  1. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    alright guys heres my dilemma...
    my rear leafs are in need of replacing, been noticing for some time that they have been sagging, theyre pretty flat right now.
    I have the OEM 2/1 leaf pack which is rated around 1500 lbs per side.
    Now on top of that I do have 3" rear blocks that I would like to rid myself of, just not a fan of the blocks and never have been.
    so basically im looking to solve 2 problems...

    To do this I have 2 main options I am looking at and other options that can be pieced together.

    Option 1: (~$300.00)
    ___order a set of 2500 leaf springs (4/1 leaf pack) rated at 2025 lbs per side, which would provide between 2-3" of lift.
    ______pros: remove blocks, same stance (ballpark), increased load capacity (if needed)
    ______cons: rough ride when empty...(I would like input on how rough it is, if i chose this option, because, frankly, I'm driving a truck, its not like I expect a smooth ride anyway...)

    Option 2: (~$200.00 + ~$200.00 for 1500 (2/1 leaf pack) replacement leaf springs)
    ___order offroaddesigns shackle flip kit http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog/shacklekit.htm
    ______pros: kit provides 4" of lift, flips the leaf spring shackle, remove blocks, removes tension shackle converts it to compression shackle
    ______cons: labor of removing riveted OEM shackles (fun work?!), must buy this and OEM replacement leaf springs because with lift it provides it still doesnt fix my sagging springs

    id rather stay away from an add-a-leaf.
    obviously i cant do both of these options because it would provide too much lift...(i.e. 2500 leafs + shackle flip)
    just wondering some input on this topic, thanks guys!
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Option 3 -- Aftermarket leafs that provide lift you need/want -- maybe some skyjackers? Just throwing the idea out there. Probably 5-6 Franklins assuming you do your own work...
  3. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar

    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would go with the 2500 springs OR go to a spring shop and have a set custom made. There are still a few shops around me that do that kind of work. I don't know how the price would compare to the 2500 spring price.
  5. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    @Pikey, why would you go that path? You mention that you would but you don't underscore the rationale behind it. Is it purely a cost/labor decision without any concern for the ride quality? Is it a matter of trying to stay OEM? Or something else?

    I'm asking (and active in this thread) because I, myself, have been considering spring replacements -- specifically to get rid of my rear blocks (I have nothing wrong at this time). However, I care greatly about ride quality and 200-300 dollars one way or another isn't going to break me. I also don't care about staying OEM. Thus, I am interested in the reasoning people use when they make recommendations such as yours ... and am just as interested in reason behind the direction @reggiecab2000 ultimately takes, as well. That info may influence my own approach, if I choose to go down this path.

    Educate us, please!
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would go with the 2500 springs as a cost saving measure. If he wants to eliminate the rear blocks and not do the shackle flip then that or new "custom built" springs would be the route I would take. I have seen some issues with shack flips, such as pinion angles (I know.. There will now be a group of guys posting saying that they have done it with no problems) Personally, I would prefer to keep the shackles in the stock position. I don't like the though of adding something that long, due to increases in the bending moment of the shackle and the new bracket. (not sure about moment increase for the shackle as the shackle remains the same length, but angles may change the internal forces, I don't have a leaf spring truck to look at, measure and do analysis) In my opinion, the shackle and it's material were not designed or tested to be in compression, they were designed for tension. As you know @SurrealOne, different materials have different tensile and compression properties, Maybe there would have been ribs added in different places or a different material used if the intent was to use it for compression. I would rather worry about the decrease in the shear capability of the longer u-bolts when used with the rear lift block. It has been some time since I have dealt with one of my local spring shops, but I have seen them build leaf springs that have the arch wanted for the desired ride height. A good shop can use specific thickness or material of leafs, giving you the height you want and the ride you want. If I were doing it I would visit a spring shop and talk to them. The price may be comparable to the 2500 leafs and you could still maintain the ride you want.
  7. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    I have been researching the poop out of that actually and still seem under-educated....
    I would rather do that shackle flip because it would kind make me want to take the bed off my truck again but i would completely undercoat the whole thing if i had the chance or at least eliminate all the rust, then paint my whole rear end along with the shackle flip...
    but.... i keep seeing threads saying the shackle flip is perfect and doesnt hurt any pinion angles then an occasional thread saying to beware of pinion angle shifting and tension vs. compression vs OE design, and I HAVE NO IDEA! there seems to be ALOT of speculation and/or mixed reviews and perhaps that means that until further education or professional opinion is rendered it might not be the best path to choose considering all the variables listed.

    I found out I do have a local spring shop here and gave them a call earlier today about a 3" lift leaf spring, the guy took my information and said he would call me back....... which never happened... I guess i will try back on monday and see if My business seems like more of a concern to them....

    my main purpose of this is to solve the dead leafs I have now AND to eliminate my 3" fabtech blocks... lower price is always nice but functionality is key as well as not driving like a cement truck as some have said with 2500 springs on a 1500.... IF i get a "reasonable" estimate on custom leaf springs (i.e. less than $400.00, I am very inclined to choose that route)
  8. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    called the local shop again... they said they could add three inches to my leaf, and what they would do is reuse my current leaf springs, add-a-leaf to them, and re-arch them to make it a 3" lift and he quoted me $650.00 out the door... at that price i might as well buy a set of deavers and call it done....

    now i believe I may be inclined to to an add-a-leaf route but most only seem to add between 1 to 2 inches, how could I add 3 inches? and how do those affect rise quality?

    the shackle flip is pretty much out of my mind now, as cool as it sounds, theres just too much to worry about, even though it is the cheapest route.
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I was just in touch with Deaver. Since others may read this (and [MENTION=44531]Sierraowner5.3[/MENTION] should, as well, since he wanted to know what I learned):

    • The listing on Deaver's website showing 2WD is a misprint and should say 2WD/4Wd, as their springs are designed to work on both.
    • Deaver spring pricing on the website is for a pair of springs, not just one.
    • Deaver U-bolt pricing is for a complete kit of 4 u bolts with nuts and washers.
    • Deaver uses use only American-made 5160 spring steel.
    • Deaver leafs are a full progressive design 10 leaf assembly with diamond cut ends ... with inserts on the ends of the leafs.
    • Deaver springs come with urethane bushings, but OEM steel encased rubber bushings can be used if requested.
  10. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    thanks for that info surreal!


    well actually... once again my mind has changed...


    if you check out this link it actually lists 4 different options for leaf springs on 1999-2012 silverado 1500/2500/3500

    http://www.generalspringkc.com/Leaf_Springs_Chevrolet_GMC_Silverado_Sierra_1500_1999_2011_s/1825.htm

    ill sum it up real quick....

    4 options for leaf spring packs:

    1500 O.E. replacement

    ____1. 3 leaves (2/1 leaf pack) 1500 lbs capacity

    2500 O.E. replacement

    ____2. 5 leaves (4/1 leaf pack) 2025 lbs capacity

    ‚Äč2500/3500 O.E. replacement

    ____3. 6 leaves (5/1 leaf pack) 2235 lbs capacity

    ____4. 8 leaves (7/1 leaf pack) 3300 lbs capacity

    now found another website sdtruckspring.com, who sells the same sets and also has an amazon store that offers free shipping...
    I have elected to purchase the 4/1 leaf pack, seeing that although it has two more leaves, the actual spring capacity is 1000 lbs more (total from both sides), which shouldnt convert driving a half ton truck into driving a cement truck....

    the total to purchase two leaf springs and have them shipped to my door is $319.90. which i think is a great price for brand new leaf springs. sure i will probably get a LITTLE bit of a stiffer ride from these springs, but the fact that they are stiffer will also reduce more body roll, minimalize axle wrap, and allow me to get rid of my 3" blocks, since these 2500 springs provide 2-3" of lift when used on a 1500. whenever i hit the order button, I will let yall know, and of course will update when i get the chance to install them, and comment on the ride quality change as well, and the whole nine yards.

    Im sure some people might issues some caveats on this decision, I am open to all commentary.

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