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Pickup Rear Spring Add-Ons


Cdfarabaugh

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My 2500 HD has always been a bit weak springed on the rear for my liking, and as it has aged maybe a bit worse.  Ivecalso installed an aluminum landscape body which is 400 lbs heavier than the pickup box, so when theres a trailer on it looks bad.  Theres lots of cheap add a leaf kits (prob not so cheap after you have to buy new u bolts).  I found this setup and like the adjustability of them and wondered if anyone else used something like this.  

Not interested in airbags as I dont care to mess with them airing them up and diwn.  I dont care if the truck rides like crap 😊

Plan was up till 2 years ago to buy a single rear wheel 1 ton to replace this truck.......but Unfortunately I cant justify 45k to replace this truck.  

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I'm told my 2500hd has 1 ton springs on it.  Original owner had a contractors cap loaded down with parts.  Not sure if they are a direct bolt on or not.  I can put a full ton in the bed with hardly any sag.  The truck still rides good to me although I'm sure nothing like a new one.

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Got air bags in my 03 but should have installed them sooner, I never pleasure drive my truck it works one way every time, hauled 3500 lbs of water after lunch and 3350 lbs of coal after that, I don't really adjust the pressure set them at 40 psi and leave them

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'07 3500 dooley here, you don't want bags thats your druther, I had the single leaf overload spring removed and had a 4 spring progressive put in to replace it, I also put in firestone bags and a 1 1/8" hellwig rear sway bar installed, the spring replacement was the idea of the spring and axle company I dealt with, the owners idea of adding a spring to the main leaf spring was over ridden by the lead hands idea of replacement of the overload spring, good luck.

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To each his own, but air bags are where it's at, unless you Wana mess with taking two sets of leaf springs, sandwhich them together, get longer u bolts, and put up with the ride. I did all the above on my 77 Ford, but then found I was blowing wheel bearings right and left, so now it has all those leaf springs of two trucks, and air bags riding on top a 1.5 ton dually rear axle. Point is, how crafty are you, or, how much money you have to pay someone to make your truck what it isn't ?

For the money, air bags are where it's at.(my opinion ) With a load, I run mine at 120 psi. Then again, I have the on board compressor, general driving I like 45-60 psi

Mark

 

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4 hours ago, td9inidaho said:

now it has all those leaf springs of two trucks

Had a 86 f250 that I built the springs up like that. I could put 2 ton on it and not even start to drop it. Rode like a log wagon empty. Air bags are the way to go with a on broad compressor.

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I had a set of those on my 1987 Chevy 1500. They stiffen it up just a little when empty but get progressively stiffer as the load increases. My truck was mostly back and forth to the factory job, but I sometimes pulled a gooseneck with medium load. When I traded the truck, I pulled them off. I think the springs are still taking up space under my work bench.

I have also had Firestone air bags on another vehicle. If a rock gets in the wrong place, it can rub a hole in it. Had that happen 3 times. I know, many people say they have never had a problem with them, just my experience.

I solved my "weak springs" problem. I traded my 1500 for a 2005 3500 diesel. Still rides good, and I can tow anything I have hooked to and have the brakes to stop it with.

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10 hours ago, Rawleigh99 said:

I put Timbrens on my 3/4 ton.  Don't have to worry about air leaks!

https://www.etrailer.com/suspension-enhancement.htm

I never thought of these Timbren blocks I really like that idea.  Easy to put on too.  

My main push against airbags is having them leak down if just using the manual ones, and not wanting to have to hardwire a compressor in for the better automatic setup.  Some dont have issues with them, some do, but I'd rather have the foolproof mechanical solution.  

7 minutes ago, 1965Dennis said:

had a set of those on my 1987 Chevy 1500. They stiffen it up just a little when empty but get progressively stiffer as the load increases.

That's what the brochure said, so I'm glad to hear firsthand.  I actually dont put many miles onnthe truck, only has 90k on it being an 07, but when its needed it gets used for all it's got.  It actually delivers a lot of horse hay locally in 70-80 bale loads.  This puts you right up against 9200 gvw.  It's legal but looks terrible.  Have a deckover trailer that's very tongue heavy as well.  

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Timbrens are over simplified. If your on them your on them, but if your truck is empty and you are off them, and you hit them every single pothole or small bump in the road, you know it. I did it once. I’ll never do it again. I’ve installed lots of airbags. a $10 bicycle pump thrown in the back of your truck can adjust them really quickly, with just a few pumps. I’ve T’d the two together, although technically your not suppose to, and run them to one central fill point too, with a $10 pressure gauge hardlined in.  They just work, period.  I grew up laminating springs on top of springs, and more springs, and then sometimes one would still break and axle wrap never really went away.  Or,  you bolt in one little set of Firestone air bags that has more capacity than any stack of springs could ever have

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14 hours ago, td9inidaho said:

To each his own, but air bags are where it's at, unless you Wana mess with taking two sets of leaf springs, sandwhich them together, get longer u bolts, and put up with the ride. I did all the above on my 77 Ford, but then found I was blowing wheel bearings right and left, so now it has all those leaf springs of two trucks, and air bags riding on top a 1.5 ton dually rear axle. Point is, how crafty are you, or, how much money you have to pay someone to make your truck what it isn't ?

For the money, air bags are where it's at.(my opinion ) With a load, I run mine at 120 psi. Then again, I have the on board compressor, general driving I like 45-60 psi

Mark

 

I went the same way, the onboard is inside the front wheel liner out of the way, been there 15 years and no dirt or water, the fuse box is in the same spot, the control is on the dash the other side of  the brake control, keeps everything right where I like it, when the box is empty I keep the bags at 50 psi or so, but when the camper is on (4,000 lbs) i keep the bags at 24 psi and it works in perfect unison with the springs.

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Our transit bus converted to RV has all air suspension no mechanical springs on her.  Factory Gillig equipment. Sort of goes with air brakes too. Computer automatically sets the ride height FB and SS and it is the best riding bus I have ever been on.  BUT every time it has set for a week or so we have to wait for a few minutes after a cold start to get it back to run ride height.

 

 

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23 hours ago, hobbyfarm said:

I'm told my 2500hd has 1 ton springs on it.  Original owner had a contractors cap loaded down with parts.  Not sure if they are a direct bolt on or not.  I can put a full ton in the bed with hardly any sag.  The truck still rides good to me although I'm sure nothing like a new one.

A 2500HD is a single rear wheel 1 ton truck.

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Back in early 80s i had a 1970 F-250 4x4.  The stock springs didn't have hardly any arc, before i got it had a life as a co-op spray truck. So  my solution was longer u-bolts and an 806 drawbar installed    as the bottom spring.  Reduced squat and gave a little lift as well. Probly wouldn't do that again like many things i did in my early 20s, but worked OK

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36 minutes ago, Cliff Neubauer said:

A 2500HD is a single rear wheel 1 ton truck.

I'm confused then.  It goes for inspection in a few weeks to the same place it always did before my time.  Ill have to ask them what they did to it.

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5 hours ago, Cliff Neubauer said:

A 2500HD is a single rear wheel 1 ton truck.

2500HD's are wierd as they have 9200 GVW like the 3500 SRW 1 ton trucks had prior to year 2000 yet are called a 3/4 ton.  A 3500 SRW has I believe 9,900 GVW or somewhere close to there and only difference I see is overload spring plies.  

One nice thing about this oddity is a 2500hd doesnt nerd I/M inspection in PA as 9,000 gvw is the cutoff.  

 

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8 hours ago, Cliff Neubauer said:

A 2500HD is a single rear wheel 1 ton truck.

My friend and I compared his 3500 single wheel with my 2500HD. Different springs and tires but at a glance the frame seems to be the same; axle maybe. That's not scientific, just looking at them side by side. It was some time ago but I think the 3500 had two more leafs in the main spring.

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11 hours ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

2500HD's are wierd as they have 9200 GVW like the 3500 SRW 1 ton trucks had prior to year 2000 yet are called a 3/4 ton.  A 3500 SRW has I believe 9,900 GVW or somewhere close to there and only difference I see is overload spring plies.  

One nice thing about this oddity is a 2500hd doesnt nerd I/M inspection in PA as 9,000 gvw is the cutoff.  

 

Might almost seem like they did this on purpose?, my 96 K2500 has way more leaf springs than my 03 2500HD and rode like it, thinking the spring steel has different specs between the 2

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Modern trucks have fewer springs, and more capacity, and ride better.  Can’t complain about that.  So rather than and without  messing up any of those factors,  -airbags

a new style max tow/off road F150 has more capacity than most F-250s and GM 2500’s from the 90’s.  
the first year superdutys (99), a 250 with plow prep had more capacity than the pre 99 SRW 350’s, not sure on 3500’s.

F250s and F350’s have had the same axles and springs for the last ten years or more, other than the 350’s have helpers mounted above the stack, that only come into play when the truck is compressed enough to make them contact there perches, (that the 250 frame is drilled for, because it’s the same frame too).  I’ve ran the part numbers on a lot of the pieces when comparing and ordering a 250 Vs a 350.  Buying the 350 is cheaper than adding those pieces to a 350
The trucks I had 25 years ago sure looked cool with 5” lifts and 35” tires and 8-10 springs in a stack, but they got 6-8mpg, hp was low, comfort was lower. But I still miss them

 

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