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Old 01-22-2010, 11:35 AM
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Red_Chili Red_Chili is offline
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Default Leaf spring service life

I sent the following to Roger Brown:
Quote:
I am running Alcan springs all four corners on my '87 4Runner
and have been very pleased. However, with about 6 years of use on my
fronts, and having had to replace a broken leaf, the kind folks at Alcan have
suggested they are at end-of-life (something I had not anticipated
when I purchased them... these things have a service life??). Things are a
bit tight right now so I am exploring other options besides replacing the
Alcan$$ with newer versions.

The front axle is located about 2.5"+ forward of stock (or what
would be stock if it were an '85). That is about the max with
an IFS steering box in the stock location, and a shortened
pitman arm. Lift is as low as possible for a SAS, about 3".

I know years ago running rear leafs up front, with extra leafs
added, was a common practice, for flex. Recently a friend
recommended I do this. I seem to recall that while they worked
pretty well on the rocks, highway behavior was iffy.
Since I tow a camper with my 4Runner, and run a 5VZ motor in it,
the need for weight handling and stability are pretty
important.

What inexpensive options would you recommend I investigate?
Quote:
Hi Bill;

Been more than happy with my rear up front swap. I think I was one of the first to do
this in the US, after getting a tip about doing so from a fellow in Australia over 10
years ago. You can add leaves as needed to get the load capacity and lift you want. Have
had no issues with bending or breaking leaves and given that mine are a combination of '83
and '85 leaves, if they were going to fatigue, that would have happened by now:
http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/4R_suspe...II.shtml#Front

--

Roger
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:39 AM
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So you really didn't know springs have a fatigue limit? All springs eventually break. I've personally broken a couple and I don't flog my pile of junk 1/10th as hard as you.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:53 AM
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Yep guess I am a dummy.

Everything has a fatigue limit. I figured it would be way out there along the lines of the truck, not 6 years in. Apparently the stock Toy leafs Roger uses fit into that category.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Yep guess I am a dummy.

Everything has a fatigue limit. I figured it would be way out there along the lines of the truck, not 6 years in. Apparently the stock Toy leafs Roger uses fit into that category.
Our original leafs are high quality but do eventually break. I snapped a leaf in right rear at about 135K, which is why I went to add-a-leafs and longer shackles to replace the broken one and get a little lift for the 'Nest. I then broke an AAL after about a year (they were used, I got them from Dean and I think he'd had them for about 5 or 10 years by then, not to mention I definitely abused them doing yard work). I then replaced the springs and eventually broke those NWOR pack on the Rubicon. In my case I did not properly limit the NWOR spring travel, so being 2" lift with long Downey shackles, thus higher arc and travel along with carrying lots of weight, I was simply letting them travel too much into recurve. Honestly surprised they lasted 6 years looking back... Anywho, the original springs usually last longer I think because (1) they are very well made, (b) the bump stops are correctly located to prevent over travel and (3) don't get abused like aftermarket because it's usually only after modification of the suspension that the truck gets thrashed.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Yep guess I am a dummy.

Everything has a fatigue limit. I figured it would be way out there along the lines of the truck, not 6 years in. Apparently the stock Toy leafs Roger uses fit into that category.
Leaf spring's blaaaaa. Best thing you can do to them is cut them in half!
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I need an FJ40....
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Cruisers are superior
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:22 PM
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I just knew this would draw the peanut gallery...



Next up... Alcan Basher-O-Rama!!
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by red_chili View Post
i Just Knew This Would Draw The Peanut Gallery...



Next Up... Alcan Basher-o-rama!!
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I need an FJ40....
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Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:43 PM
Bikeman Bikeman is offline
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Bill, when/if you are ready to invest in new leaf packs, I have been told by numerous friends in the desert scene that Deaver Spring is the way to go. They have supposedly been making springs since there were praire schooners. I like the fact that they use 8-10 thin leaves per pack depending on the application, with a no-sag warranty.

I was not impressed with the Alcans that were put on my ex-employee's SAS'ed 4Runner. At the time, they were spec'd and installed by now defunct Advanced Off-road (AOR) in GJ, complete with noisy Orbit-Eyes. The blame was really that the springs were too short resulting in bad shackle angle. Nonethess, it was a high-buck SAS swap done with at the time, cutting edge stuff like a Currie-prepped 85 front axle with chevy 1/2-ton outers, HP 3rd with an ARB and Cr-Mo axles. The rear had long springs with relocated hangers which rode rough for what it was, even with the custom-spec'd Bilstein shocks.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:52 PM
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Default 1/4 elipticals are so 1950s, UncleBen.

Uncleben? 1/4 elipticals are so 1950's!

Had 'em on the 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite!
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leiniesred View Post
Uncleben? 1/4 elipticals are so 1950's!

Had 'em on the 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite!
Dude, the Austin was using quarter elliptical springs in 1922 on the Austin 7, the original Mini.

http://www.antiquecar.com/gc_austin_7.php

Power went through a conventional three-speed gearbox to the solid rear axle via Hotchkiss drive. The petite rear axle was suspended by tiny quarter elliptic springs, and the entire rear of the chassis consists of little more than longitudinal frame rails which failed to extend as far as the rear-wheel centerline. Minimalist, indeed.
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Last edited by DaveInDenver; 08-26-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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