Adding springs to factory leafpacks from another set of original leafpacks... | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Adding springs to factory leafpacks from another set of original leafpacks...

Pulled the leafs apart and painted them with graphite paint. That stuff is a little messy to work with and does not stick very well.
Put it back together without the metal spacers or the plastic slip buttons at the ends of the springs. Taking out the spacers resulted in about a 1/2" less in spring pack thickness. Thought it was too tall in the rear before so it should work out well.

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I am reposting this so all the info is in one thread, Thanks again BKennedy.
I started the leaf spring swap. I am doing pretty much the same leaf spring mod that BKennedy did to his ex. I started by taking the old leaf springs out. Both sides had a broken leaf and were rusted. I had to cut the u bolts off lol. I had fun. I measured the height with the old leaf springs and it was 34 1/2". I am using Sunex 10 ton jack stands to hold the ex while I work on her.



The Frankenleaf mod is done. Here is a picture of how it sits now. I am impressed by the difference in ride quality from my old packs to the new ones. The ride is a bit more firm but in a good way and the sway is a lot less also. I will post pictures later on of what I did and the supplies I used. Thanks again BKennedy for the good info. Aslo the ride height came out almost exactly the same maybe 1/16 less if that. My old setup was an soa on stock springs on a two inch block. The Frankenleaf is five springs with no onerlaod spring and its pretty much the same height. So with that it is at least two inches over the stock springs.


So for an update on the frankenleaf mod, i grabbed two sets of leaf packs from two fist gen explorers for around $100.00. use a c clamp and take the center bolt out holding the leafs together. Mine were rusty so i ground them off. I picked the pack with the best bushings to use on the ex and the others to cut. Once you decide which pack you want to cut, take the main leaf with the bushings and mark where you want to cut it. BKennedy measured 1.5" past where the leaf starts to bend. I could not figure where I wanted to start meausring so I butted the measure tape on the bushing and measured two inches and cut there on both ends. One I cut the main leaf two inches on each end I put the freshly cut leaf under the main leaf I decided not to cut. Next I just simply put the good second uncut leaf under the cut down main leaf to make the third leaf.






The next leaf to be cut will be the second leaf spring from the pack you have decided to cut. I cut 1.5 inches off of each end of that leaf and now stacked it under the uncut third leaf to make the fourth leaf. Finally the last leaf to be added to make the fifth leaf is the shortest leaf of the stock pack which you do not have to cut. The overload spring was not used. I hope this is not confussing lol.



Once I had the packs cut where I wanted the I clamped an uncut leaf next to a cut leaf so I could angle the edges like factory. I used a grinder to accomplish this task.



Once I angled all the leafs corners that I cut I took both of the shortest leafs which are the fifth ones to my local machine shop to have holes drilled for the leaf spring retainers. I followed Bkennedys mod and also moved the retainers to the rear. I had the shop drill and countersink the hole in between the two existing holes from the factory plastic shims. I also used 1/4" x 1 1/2" carriage bolts. I used the chrome ones because they seemed to hold better in the countersunk hole.




I will post the flat stock size later on when i get a chance to review my notes. For the spring retainers I used flat stock. I again had my local shop bend the flat stock 2.5 inches wide with 3 inch sides. The limiting bolt was a 5/16" x 3.5" fine thread grade 8 bolt with lock washers and a 1/2" x 2.5" tension pin in the center so I could tighten the bolts without the sides bending in.


Before putting the packs all back together I painted the leafs where there is metal to metal contact with EZ Slide graphite paint. I sanded the leafs a bit before applying this paint because like BKennedy stated this stuff does not stick very well. For the center bolt I just replaced it with the stock size, and for the length I believe I went between 3 or 3.5 inches long with a nylock nut. The new pack is now 2 inches thick. Once the packs were painted with graphite paint and assembled I painted the packs with gloss engine enamal to help the graphite paint from wearing off quickly.





I used Ruffstuff Specialities u bolts and spring plate to install the new leafs in my ex. The new ubolts are pretty long so I measured and cut 1.5 inches off of all the ubolts before installing. I also paint the spring plate with gloss engine enamel to prevent rust. My local shop enlarged the middle hole in the new spring plate to fit the larger nylock nut. By the way I use Rustoleum gloss black engine enamel with rust inhibiter. I torqued the ubolt nuts to 90 foot pounds using the same method as BKennedy. While I was in the back I ground the rivits out of the spare tire carrier and removed the rusty piece of metal.







The first picture was my old setup which was stock leafs on a 2 inch block. The second picture is after the frankenleaf mod. Pleas ask any questions because I know I have left info out. I just wanted this done so I tried to take as many pictures when time permitted.