new leaf springs vs. shackle flip

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

  1. RAV52202

    RAV52202 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I had add a leafs on my 2002 1500 and I didnt like them. They did give me a 3 inch lift. I did a before and after measurement. The truck road rough.
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    [MENTION=36460]reggiecab2000[/MENTION], looks like 5160 steel, so no issues, there. What kind of bushings do they include? At that pricepoint I suspect rubber?

    Also consider that a higher count of thinner leafs allows for more even compression along the curve -- which improves ride quality over that of fewer leafs made of thicker material. i.e. There's more to the equation than just number of leafs and capacity; their thickness and count play together to determine capacity and ride quality.

    I like the offering you've put forth. I doubt I'll personally go that route as I'm willing to spend the few hundred extra to get a good ride -- knowing that the ride comfort that was purchased will be enjoyed for years to come.
  3. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    same here, im assuming rubber bushings, which ill gladly replace with polys myself...
    and as for deavers.... WOW, ive always known of them, but i just cant justify $750.00 + shipping for a set of leaves, though they may be superior. one day once im rich and happily settled into my career, deavers will be in my view LOL
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    They're stupidly spendy. However, there are some keys to the expense that aren't readily apparent unless you do all of your homework.

    • For starters, they come with urethane bushings. That's 50-90 clams (plus shipping) depending on who makes them, their quality level, and where you buy them ... to add, yourself. @tbplus10 was pretty adamanent when discussing springs and bushings with him that poly bushings would be preferable for overall handling and longevity, as they are firmer and do not biodegrade like rubber does. There is some ride quality sacrificed with them since they're firmer ... something I hope to more than make up for with a solid spring choice (so that I gain bushing durability, handling, AND ride quality ... i.e. total net improvement).
    • Then the Deavers have anti-friction pads between the leafs (translation: teflon) to reduce wear as well as noise (translation: squeaking that occurs once dirt gets in there). You can't buy and add that, to leafs... but it's got a cost to it ... and a return/value. (I've got a squeaky driver's side leaf, right now, and it drives me batty....)
    • Probably most significant is the full military wrap. @aloxdaddy99 who knows a thing or two about trucks suggested that whatever springs I go with have this feature. So I dug into why -- and learned that it's a failsafe where both the main and second springs wrap around the bushings so that if you break your main you can still drive on the secondary. For day-to-day driving no big deal, right, but the day you break your main spring it's now priceless, because you can get home or to a shop, etc. Since I'm off-road a fair bit (now more than ever, actually), this matters quite a bit to me.

    It was Alox who pointed me in Deavers' direction. I'm not 100% sold on them ... but I also can't find anything else that's as feature-packed and proven for the money. I'm still very open to alternatives that match of exceed everything that Deavers offer ... at a lower price point than Deavers.

    Once I settle on something I'll then begin the hunt on where to buy cheaply. If it ends up being Deavers then there's got to be a way to get shipping waived. I mean, heck, Summit just had free shipping on Skyjackers. There's got to be a deal to be had out there which shaves cost. In this economy it may be as simple as some calls to get vendors to compete for the business. They may not be able to adjust pricing due to price protection restrictions placed by Deaver, for example, but I bet they can work on the shipping.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  5. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    well in your case and having that extra money, I would make the same decision as you, but with my budget and from what i have read, im hoping to not lose TOO much ride quality with my decision, and if I do, its still my first truck, so everything i have ever done right and wrong to it will only help me make the best decisions for my next truck. but at the same time i weighed my pros with the stiffer springs which should balance eachother out for the most part.
    I mean my truck really does not ride all that smooth to begin with even though ive got bilsteins all around, i think its just the fact that its a short bed single cab, though my friend has the same but a 2009 model year, and it is smooth as can be...
    I can concur with you about everything you weigh in favor of deaver springs, because they have been around for some time and know what constitutes a good quality spring with a good quality ride.
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Even tho I don't care about lifting my truck and such; I do still question about places to buy replacement springs.

    But I do have a major question.... Why did GM switch from 5 leaf packs in the late 90's to 2-3 leaf packs in the 2000's. In my mind having 5 leafs to hold weight and handle roll is much better than 2-3.
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Ive got Deavers on the back of my Tacoma, one big reason I didnt mention them to you is because if your looking for a comfortable ride they tend to be somewhat firmer than a factory ride, and the cost is a bit more than other replacement springs, But as you pointed out for the money you get a lot of features. One good thing I found about Deevers is their warranty, I bought mine used from a friend that rolled/totaled his truck with around 1500 miles on the springs, 2 yrs/3k miles later I had the main leaf on the right side crack through, while on a very remote and rough trail, while on the trail a decision was made to patch thelraf, unfortunately while doing the patch/weld with the crude tools we had the second leaf was damaged also. I figured it was a case of you damaged/broke it you bought as far as warranty. A few weeks later while another friend was getting a warranty replacement set of springs with Deever he mentioned my recent experience, the Deever associate got my info from him and contacted me about warranty, which they completely covered no questions asked about my damage from sloppy repair. But again the ride is much stiffer with the Deevers, if the truck was a daily driver I dont think I'd keep these springs on it. Another place for heavy springs with a quality build is Alcan, but again a very stiff ride.
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    That's some interesting anecdotal information, as it's counter to what I've been reading about Deavers. Most people have said they're not terribly stiff, at all, ride-wise, unless there's a problem with the shackle angle (which would be an install issue, I believe).

    Also I've read there may be load concerns because apparently the spring rate is LOWER than the stock spring. Supposedly they squat badly when towing or hauling something above 4000-50000 lbs. What's your towing experience been like (and what were you towing) on Deavers?

    And by the way, I've scoped National, Alcan, and Atlas in addition to Deaver. Only one stood out clearly above the others for my application/use. If I had some kind of monster lifted machine I'd go with Atlas. If I had a rock crawler it'd probably be Alcan. National I couldn't really pin down as to where/when folks use them ... but they're the other tried/true spring maker, having been around since 1947.
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    National makes springs for big trucks mostly, guys doing monster truck builds with oversized axles use them a lot.
    The Deevers on my truck are Chevy sixty three inch, they were rated for a 3400lb std cab shrt bed truck, my x-cab weighs in at 3950 loaded for the trail, standing still I have negative angle on the shackles with a driver on board it goes to 1.5/2.0 deg which is where I located the shackle mount to sit. Ive even tried Revolver shackles with a 4 deg angle to work the arch a little but it doesnt improve much.
    When towing a 3600 lb boat with 550lb tongue weight I get about a 3" sag, 4.5" with the Revolvers on without a driver/passenger Ive moved enough equipment around to get a 55 front 45 rear weight bias, on the good side the stiffness of the spring keeps the wheels firmly planted for good traction, I recently added a RAS to the springs to stop wheel hop and get rid of the sag.

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