Add-a-Leaf Install: Step By Step "How-to" | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Add-a-Leaf Install: Step By Step "How-to"

it is easy but a little tough putting 2 extra leaves in each side while the front was still connected to the vehicle...

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how did you go about doing 2 leaves? do you need a larger center pin? How did you insert them into the pack? Other then that is was like a normal AAl install?

larger center pin.. but wow is it a rough ride.. it was a normal install.. simple.

does this help any..


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did you guys swap the driver side leaf pack for the Passenger side?

i know some have done this in the past to help eliminate driver's sag.

and also...did the metal band for the leafs come with the kit?

davidmm69 yeah that does did you stagger the leaves between the stock ones?

yes i did you can see in the pic the new ones.

I did my add-a-leaf this weekend. I did use this nice write up as a pointer, great!

The leaf I used was PART # 6122 from Rough Country. It became the 2nd leaf from top e.g the 2nd longest leaf. It would give approx 1 1/2" to 2" lift.

One thing about the write up:

"7. Remove the bolt holding the rear of the leaf spring to the bottom of the shackle. Lower the spring to the floor"

I did not do this. I did not see any reason to and it worked out well without. The shackles were kind of rusted and also the bolts that holding the leaf. They will probably be a pita when I have to chenge them. Anyway, this lightened up the labour a bit. The rear axle was jacked up and slightly moved to be able to saw the bolt that holds the leaf.

After a day or two the rear sagged back half an inch. So the 2" became 1 1/2".

Thanks for the write-up anyway!

yeah that was an awesoe write doing aal's here soon..needed that..a guy i talked to befor lead me to believe u didnt need to take the spring pack off the shackles...wuts wit that?

ive been told its unneccesary to unbolt the leaf this true?

ExporeRanger: I removed the shocks, u-bolts and the of course the bolt that goes right thru the leafpack. The axle was hold up a inch over the leafs by jackstands when they were hanging and I just wiggled the axle a bit to get space when removing the the bolt and inserting the new one.
I did not unbolt the leafpack from the shackles or the other mount to the frame.

yeha man thanks a lot for the post..its gunna be helpful

Wanted an upgrade on my 2000 XLT V8 to increase towing capacity. This weekend I installed an AAL kit from AKA Carrier Springs LTD. Kit incluced the springs, the centering pin/bolt and new U-Bolts and hardware.
The write-up was helpful but I did several things differently.
First, the only problem I encountered was The only hick-up with my kit was, eventhough the centering pin/bolts were the same size, the nut that went on them was larger than the stock one and the hole in the shock mounting plate was too small for clearance. Apparently Ford puts an special undersized nut on their installation. Unfortunately the Ford nut threads were different thread than the new bolt, so I couldn't re-use it. I had to grind the holes larger in the shock plate for clearance because I didn't have a drill bit large enought to work.
As some have noted, there is no reason to disconnect the end of the top leaf from the supports. I also didn't disconnect the anti-sway bar. After removing the shock mounts, I just jacked-up the differential until I could get the centering pins out and the new ones back in. I must be lucky to live in FL away from salt roads because there was no problem getting any bolts out including the old centering pin. Just put a pipe wrench on the top of the pin and used a deep well to take the bolt off. Also no corrosion on the shock mounts to deal with after 150,000 miles. The kit supplied had a very long center pin/bolt so I put the bolt in the top spring and let it hang. Then I just put the individual leafs/separators on loosely, one at a time, and put the bolt on to hold them. Didn't even try to align them. Just let them turn whichever way there was clearance just to get them on the bolt. This would be MUCH easier with two people, but I was able to manage it by myself. Then I just aligned everything and tightened the bolt. When I put the axle back down on the spring, the pin didn't go into the hole so I put the jack on the spring, in front of the axle, forward enough where there would be clearance to install the shock mounts/u-bolts. When I jacked it up, the axle rotated and the pin fell into place. I then installed the shock mounts tight enought to capture the pin, then went to the other side and did the same thing. I then lowered everything until the axle was supported by the springs and did the final tightening on the u-bolts.
The results are excellent. I believe the truck actually rides better than it did before! Had spring helpers on prior to this and they made the truck ride very harshly in the back. This is much better. I didn't pre-measure the stock height, but it looks like I gained about 1-1/2" in the back. No more droopy tail! With these and the Rancho's installed, the truck feels great and should be ready to pull my trailered Mustang anywhere I want to go...

ok awesome write up..very helpful...i hav a few things to add..get those machine bolts..3/8 about 2.5-3 in long prepared to both grind the stock lead bolt of and to grind down the new replacement bolt to make them both fit (no biggie)..

also, while your down ther, go aheadand sand or blast anything and paint it..always a good idea, i did...i also inflated my spare to 40psi (good idea itll bleed a lil overtime)..

you may want to sand and paint the shock mounts,and perches and all that crapsince your there,plan to hava weekend, detruct-paint-construct way...this is a good time to replaceyour shocks,and a good time to replace your bushings..

ORDER BUSHINGS AHEAD OF ex hasnt been beaten too badly, but i waited on new bushings for a few dayswhile she sat onblocks because one ofthe shackle bolts melted to wehad to get it all out,soigot allnew polyurethane bushings and replaced em all..this gave me time to go thru and paint andsand stuff tho, (waiting on bushins) def a good idea to replace'll need a couple more thingsthen were suggest,somebigger socketsand bigger wrenches..ytou'll need air tools liek a grinder and impact wrench and def those c clamps he said

i also used a 20 ton press to get the busings out,and to get a rust welded shackle off..

the stock shackles, if you dont wantmore lift then the add a leaf, thenget a non lift shackle, but i suggest shackles..the stock ones arent very strong, AND...i had to tear one up to get the leaf it was a good thing i hadbought replacements..

lastly...if you hav a hitch, be prepared toeither remove it,or hava lotmore work..we needed to dropmy hitch to pull out the bolts onthe stockshackles..but turns out the hitch was all rotted anyways, and since we dropped it,we figured that out..andnow its trash..sothats helps lol..but yeah take my tips add it to his write shouldbe set..kuz his was easy and detailed..mine was the bad experience..but thanksfully my buddies got ALL the tools lol..soit worked out alright.
...happy lifting

o btw..poeple are speculating about taking the leafs off or not when doing the add a my opinion..take them off, completely..and since ther off, replace the bushings and clean a few thigns up n paint em..but back to taking em order for me to align the stock leafs with each other and the add a leaf i need to take them off and prop em up and line em up with the centerbolt and tightened em down almost tight, then fine tuned ther angle with a hammer, knockin em back n forth till they were all n uniformity and straight..then tightended the lead bolt down..i really suggest doing this kuz if ther out of alignment, ride and sag will be affected, and it sets u up for disaster in the future..

is it better to get the long add-a-leaf or the short one?

which one do u use for the double add-a-leaf and are there any other things needed for the double add-a-leaf?

I installed Add-A-leafs over this past weekend. I used the write up and it was very helpful! But my center pin came right out without a problem with vice grips on the head and a monkey wrench.

should fit the 98 too , , 2nd gen 1995-2001 should all be the same,

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Anyone looking for an AAL go to and enter in part number EXP13120 and the procomp aal will pop up. It will fit all 1995-2001 all you need to do is go to the hardware store for center pin bolts and nuts which is mentiond in the first post in this thread.