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Gangster Lean/Leaf Spring Sag Fix?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 239, October 30, 2011.

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  1. 239

    239 Active Member

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    A few months ago I noticed that my Explorer has the infamous "Gangster Lean", It sags on the left side by about two inches. I've searched and found out that it can be somewhat corrected by swapping the leaf springs from left to right and adding Monroe Load Adjusting Shocks. I'm planning on taking my truck into the shop tomorrow and having all this done. Anyone have previous experience with this? I want to make sure it helps before spending money, could anything else cause it to sag? Also I don't tow anything. Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    First: Measure the height on the sides with a driver and 1/2 tank of gas.

    Don't waste money on spring loaded shocks. Will make the ride stiffer and will not correct an asymetric wear on leafs.
    Swaping might be enough. If not just get new leafs (and good shocks) and use those. There are easy to replace by yourself if you have proper hand tools.
     
  4. yavapaires

    yavapaires Active Member

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    I would NOT just swap the springs. Something has caused the lean. If it is worn out springs, then stands to reason it will lean the other way when they are swapped. Check for a broken spring, or maybe even a bent or broken spring perch.
     
  5. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I was looking into new shocks, I only found one seller which charges $400 for both springs. That's too much for me right now, the shocks say they support up to 1,300 lbs so I thought they could help the leaf springs a bit.
     
  6. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I think the lean has been caused by time, it always sags even when parked on flat ground with no weight on the truck at all. If I remember right I read somewhere on this forum that the weight of the gas tank and driver makes the left leaf springs wear faster over the years so it leans that way. I was thinking about re arching the springs also.
     
  7. BrianDye

    BrianDye I'll have another...

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    The lean is caused by Fords ingenious idea of putting the gas tank on the left side. Plus the driver being on the left side, weight adds up fast.

    Do the math....20+ gallons of fuel is heavy!

    I also have the lean, but dont have the money to drop really for new leafs. Ive heard quite a few members just swap leafs from side to side and have it back level, but mine are beyond that point I believe. Plus if im doing the work to swap them, might as well just replace them.
     
  8. Lube

    Lube Active Member

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    You can always have them re-arced instead of replacing them. That'll save you a few bux.
     
    Last edited: October 31, 2011
  9. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    But the mounting points won't support that much. Plus you will have a very bouncy, stiff ride with the vehicle not loaded, because of those springs. And they will "raise" equally the rear, maintaining the same lean.

    If money is an issue, either rearch them, or get another identical code, right side, one from junk yard and install it on left...
    Good shocks probably are needed too in your case - Monroe Sensatrac (more for highway use), Monroe Reflex (more off-road), KYB Gas-A-Just (best for everything)...
     
  10. RNV

    RNV New Member

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    I just picked up a 97 Mounty this weekend and noticed the laen. Thanks for the advise guys.
     
  11. alohamonte

    alohamonte Active Member

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    add-a-leafs are probably the cheapest fix. then adjust the tbars and it should level out. however, the underlying problem of having the tank/drive on the same side will cause the issue to return over time.
     
  12. 239

    239 Active Member

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    I was just under the truck and took a video of the torsion bars. I believe that the passenger's side bolt is tightened more than the driver's. Could this cause the back to lean too though? the front leans also. I'm not ruling out bad leaf springs but maybe the bars could also be contributing to the problem, I've never adjusted them before. What tools do I need? And should I just tighten the driver's side bar to match the passenger's? Here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX0_mdFvAkU&feature=channel_video_title
     
  13. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    Actually, the shock mount points will take that load easily - the Explorers with factory air ride used the same mount points.

    Personally I am very happy with the ride quality of the Monroe shock / coil spring combination. I've done ProComp AAL's in the past, and the Monroes with (sagging, old) factory springs are much better.

    To the OP:

    if you're going to go to the trouble of having the rear springs pulled off, I'd buy a set of F150 leafs (like $200 from JC Whitney the last time I looked) and have the shop do an upgrade for you when they're swapping them side to side (there are a bunch of threads around about this upgrade).
     
  14. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    I've had a 3/4" drivers side lean, front and rear, with a full tank, since I've owned the Trac.
    Did a torsion drop on the passenger adjuster bolt. Took six full turns to get 1/2" higher front and back, on the left.
    Dropping or lifting the front will directly affect the opposite rear corner, distance will vary with the vehicle.
    Previously, my steering wheel was positioned at one o' clock, now it's dead straight and tracks perfectly.
    I've read any time the t-bolts are adjusted, alignment is a must. Time to get a free alignment check. GL
     
  15. 239

    239 Active Member

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    Update for future readers.

    I know this thread is very old, but I just thought I'd update it for everyone who's got the leaf spring sagging issue. The re-arching of the leaf springs that I had done almost three years ago is still holding up. So if you're looking to re-arch your leaf springs, go for it. As long as a good shop does it, it'll be worth it. I've also been running the Monroe shocks w/ coil springs on them for about the same time, without a problem. The shock mounting points have supported the weight safely and it seems that there's very little weight on the shocks anyway, as my leafs are still supporting most of the vehicles weight. So to summarize: I fixed my problem w/ re-arching my leaf springs, as well as adding load bearing shocks and it's been fine ever since. :thumbsup:
     
  16. PaulKDM

    PaulKDM New Member

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    Thanks for the update, I've had the same problem and now have learned a good solution.
     

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