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Adding Twist to your Truck

This article is from about 1998, shortly after I bought my Jeep, so alot of the information, and parts have since changed. I'll leave these articles here for others who are just starting out.

Here is how I got more of flex out of my Jeeps leaf springs. When I picked up my Jeep, it ramped about 260! Currently my Jeep ramps about 774 on a 20 degree ramp. Not bad, considering I spent less than $200 and only have approx. 3" of total lift. I'm pretty sure I will get it up to 850 or so, but beyond that, it's gonna be tough. (These are corrected figures, I final built a 20 ramp and measured it on that :)

The first thing I did was to disconnect my sway bar. My Jeep had extensions mounted between the sway bar and the stud on the spring plate. I'm sure this came with the lift, and wasn't there before. I just removed the extension and, as you can see, left the sway bar on the frame. This made the single biggest difference of anything, and it was the easiest to do. I drove my Jeep around after disconnecting the sway bar and couldn't really tell if there was a differance, so I left it disconnected. I decided not to remove it though, because I live in Wisconsin and have to drive half-way accross the country to get to good trails, I can reconnect it for long journeys. It scary enough to drive 75 mph as it is!

I aslo took out the center leaf of each pack. I picked this one because it doesn't have the retaining clips mounted to it. My jeep rode rock-hard, so I knew I had spring tension to spare, so removing a big one would help me soften up the ride, plus soft springs flex more. I also cleaned the springs and added some grease inbetween the leaves since I had them all apart. I lost a little lift by removing the leaf, so I made biggershackles to compensate.


Notice the front leaf spring clip is squeezing tight to the spring. This is how they all used to be. This can limit axle droop and increases the harshness of your ride. You can see how I loosened up the back clip by heating it up with torch kit, ($30 from our local Do-It-Yourself store) then rebending it while it was red hot. Nothin' to it! I will do the front clips when I get time, but it sure works nice for the story.

If you look at my bumpstop, you can see a spacer about 2 1/2" tall, lowering it down from the frame. This is an after market adjustment that was added by a previous owner. It probably came with the lift kit. When my tires are stuffed all the way up, there is about 2" inbetween my tire and the fender, so this thing is gonna come out and I'll replace it with the smallest one I can.

The shock I have on it are longer than the ones I bought it with. The problem is that I am going to take out that spacer, so I'll either have to go back to the old size shocks or make new, higher shock mounts. I have a welder so new shock mounts are probably the route I'll take.
See "Fitting Longer Shocks" for the exciting conclusion!

My brake lines are too short. When I ramp my truck, the brake lines are stretching pretty bad. These will be replaced with longer ones ASAP. See "Fitting Longer Shocks" for this exciting conclusion, too!

Email: mriley@dotnet.com