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Old 09-18-2014, 03:02 AM
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Leaf springs on a JK... Seriously.

Granted it's not for everyone, but I feel like its a serious question and discussion.
Let me throw some reference points out there to show you it's a serious question.

Thoughts on leaf springs - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

One of my local club members has leaves on the front of his TJ.

I'm actually considering it for my 1ton swap this winter. Heck of a lot cheaper and easier to fab up compared to expensive coil overs. A friend has coil overs and 60s in his jk and easily has $12k in it. I'm looking at about $2-3k.

Granted it's not a daily driver, but definitely streetable.

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Old 09-18-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong with leafs, I loved the simplicity my YJ had and toughness.

Plus you don't need control arms sway bars or trac bars!

It's common for IFS trucks to go to leafs when they do a front axle swap because or price and simplicity.

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Old 09-18-2014, 10:41 AM
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Well I've considered getting a CJ setup for wheelin already but I can't fit my 6 kids in there.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Seems like a waste of money to buy a relatively new vehicle and make fundamental changes like that.

There's plenty of trail capable family haulers with the room you need and leaf springs already installed. Full size Grand Wagoneers and Cherokees, K5 Blazers, Suburbans etc. are all out there and don't cost very much.
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:23 PM
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Let me clarify. 5 kids and wife. My apologies.

I've considered a Bronco or Blazer, but the lack of doors is a big hindrance.
The waggies are a little too old for me, although there are some nice v8 options to make them sexy.

I used to have an xj before all the kids, but it started getting cramped. Granted the jk is dang tight too, but considerably better than the xj.
And I am really attached to my current jk.

I'm thinking leaves up front would be totally stupid, but with swapping in a 14b or sterling, I'm thinking it would save hours of effort and considerable money to leaf the rear.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Chrysler has been making leaf sprung JK's for about a decade now.
Of course just in the military market.
Most of them are Nato and Saudi purchased but still quite a few out there and they seem to hold up just fine under all kinds of weight.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #7
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Chrysler has been making leaf sprung JK's for about a decade now.
Of course just in the military market.
Most of them are Nato and Saudi purchased but still quite a few out there and they seem to hold up just fine under all kinds of weight.
That beast needs some better tires on it!
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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That beast needs some better tires on it!
You beat me too it I was thinking the same thing
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by J33paholic View Post
Let me clarify. 5 kids and wife. My apologies.

I've considered a Bronco or Blazer, but the lack of doors is a big hindrance.
The waggies are a little too old for me, although there are some nice v8 options to make them sexy.

I used to have an xj before all the kids, but it started getting cramped. Granted the jk is dang tight too, but considerably better than the xj.
And I am really attached to my current jk.

I'm thinking leaves up front would be totally stupid, but with swapping in a 14b or sterling, I'm thinking it would save hours of effort and considerable money to leaf the rear.
Quite honestly, it would be easier to weld control arm brackets and coil pads onto an axle than it would be to adapt the JK frame to accept leaf springs.

There is literally no advantage to leaf springs on a JK. None at all.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:27 AM   #10
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Quite honestly, it would be easier to weld control arm brackets and coil pads onto an axle than it would be to adapt the JK frame to accept leaf springs.

There is literally no advantage to leaf springs on a JK. None at all.

I have to disagree. Welding shackle mounts to the frame would take MUCH less time. Most of the time would be torching the old mounts off.

And if it was an axle swap you may or may not need to weld the spring perches on.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:10 AM   #11
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That beast needs some better tires on it!
Appreciating work
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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I have to disagree. Welding shackle mounts to the frame would take MUCH less time. Most of the time would be torching the old mounts off.

And if it was an axle swap you may or may not need to weld the spring perches on.
Any toothless redneck with a welder can slap on shackle mounts. It takes a fair amount of work to do it right.

That assumes that the frame rails are in the right place to accept the shackle mounts. Given that the frame was designed for a 5 link coil setup, the frame rails may not be in an ideal location to mount the shackle. You may have to do significant work to build up a structure so that you get your geometry right. That's not as critical on the rear as it is on the front but it is a non-trivial thing if you want to get decent performance out of your suspension, both on road and off. I've been wheeling for a very long time and I've seen some pretty bad leaf spring conversions that have no business being under a vehicle of any kind.

You also have to deal with frame strength issues. The Jeep frame is designed with crumple zones. You start putting the weight of the vehicle out at the end of the frame rail and you may see the frame bend over time, especially if you wheel it hard. And I don't know about you but compromising the safety of my occupants, especially if they were my kids, is not something I would be willing to do.


Welding a few brackets onto an axle and bolting it up to the factory suspension is a better way to go all around.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:43 PM   #13
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I would be willing to bet that any mass-market $3k suspension upgrade would far surpass a one-off leaf conversion in all matters of off-road performance, durability or ride quality. This seems tantamount to a 4 wheel drum brake conversion.

I'm pretty sure all manufacturers of non-hauling vehicles switched to coils for a customer-centric, performance relevance to the application, and not to merely charge people more money. Just a guess.

To quote a gentleman on this forum with 31807 posts, so theoretically more experienced than I:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Leaf springs are cool for old Jeeps but they don't work as well as coil springs do for offroading. And they sure don't ride nearly (!) as well as coil springs do. Put it this way... there are a lot of people converting their leaf spring suspensions to coil springs, and there are commercial kits for doing that too, but not the other way around.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:26 AM   #14
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Just do the artec 1 ton swap kits and be done.
https://artecindustries.3dcartstores...ord=JK+one+ton

I wouldn't mess with leaves, your going to run into issues and end up with a jeep that is less capable.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:33 AM   #15
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:38 AM   #16
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I would be willing to bet that any mass-market $3k suspension upgrade would far surpass a one-off leaf conversion in all matters of off-road performance, durability or ride quality. This seems tantamount to a 4 wheel drum brake conversion.

I'm pretty sure all manufacturers of non-hauling vehicles switched to coils for a customer-centric, performance relevance to the application, and not to merely charge people more money. Just a guess.

To quote a gentleman on this forum with 31807 posts, so theoretically more experienced than I:
Even the mass market manufacturers are switching to coils in their 3/4 ton and maybe even 1 ton trucks.

The only time I've seen someone swap in leaf springs is when they take out an independent front suspension and replace it with a straight axle from a truck that came with leaf springs to begin with. Even then, the kit is engineered with everything that's needed to get the geometry right, including any additional bracing that is required to make it structurally sound.

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