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  1. #1
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    Default The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    I am sort of always tweaking my suspension to get what I want. Too cheap to just buy leaf springs I guess. I had a set of rear springs consisting of the main and a S10 heavy duty rear spring. If I used three leaves, it was good riding but not tall enough. If I used the whole thing, it had the right height but was too stiff. Our XJs are apparently quite a bit lighter than other comparable rigs which might explain why they do so well off road. So anyway, I have always wanted to experiment with some Isuzu Rodeo springs. They are slightly shorter than S10 springs, have about 2" more arch in them and have thinner leaves. The width is a metric size that is about 1/16" shy of the width of our springs, close enough. Here is the spring out of the vehicle.



    As you can see, it has quite a bit of curve to the leaves. Here is an S10 leaf next to the Rodeo leaf

    ]

    It is a well set up spring, here it is disassembled. Notice the space between each leaf. This space is called "snap". Probably because the spring will snap apart when the center pin is cut.



    To use this spring, it is necessary to cut off the eyes with a torch and use the main leaf as our #2 leaf. I tried using all three leaves with the bottom leaf upside down. This would be a good design for a two stage spring and not allow the leaves to over flex and loose their temper. I set it down and got an amazing 6" lift with it. However it was too stiff like that. I then removed the #2 Isuzu leaf, which would be our new #3 leaf and kept the bottom leaf upside down. It looked like this.



    This gave a very soft spring with something like a stock spring rate with 3" of lift. But it seemed a little soft like that. So I took the leaf I removed and cut it to 10" from center on the short side and 12" on the long side and put it right side up in the bottom. This changed the spring from a two stage spring to a single stage four leaf spring, which is what was factory and a little stiffer, but still flexible. My estimate is that it is about 1/3 greater spring rate just like my front RE coils. This netted a 4" lift together with my 1" spacer blocks gives me 5" rear lift which gets me level, which is where I started only now I have softer springs.

    I am going wheeling Sunday and try them out. But I can tell already that it will be more enjoyable without those stiff rear springs.
    Last edited by 4.3LXJ; 09-01-2010 at 08:00 PM.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  2. #2
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    niles, MI
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    what year rodeo?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Any of them that don't have rear coils. Dodge Raiders too
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  4. #4
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    Salem, Oregon
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Nice... I'm definitely gonna have to try this instead of s-10 leafs. Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Nice write up.. any rreason why you didnt consider using MJ leafs ?
    87 XJ Chopped Locked Alloyed, Caged 3 linked W/doubler
    87 Free MJ Project
    90 MJ DD stock on 31's
    90 MJ Truggy 1tons, doubler, H1's on 42's

    Sheetmetal fears me

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by pingpong View Post
    Nice write up.. any rreason why you didnt consider using MJ leafs ?
    I was looking for certain characteristics in the leaves themselves such as higher arch and thinner steel. These had what I wanted. These flex well and ride very well.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    If you get a change look at the MJ leaves.. the main is kinda thick.. the other 3 not so much. Talk about an Arch. they give a lot of lift, and flex well too
    87 XJ Chopped Locked Alloyed, Caged 3 linked W/doubler
    87 Free MJ Project
    90 MJ DD stock on 31's
    90 MJ Truggy 1tons, doubler, H1's on 42's

    Sheetmetal fears me

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    One problem with MJ leaves is finding one to rob. So far, what I have rides very well on and off road with lots of flex. I think I just need to add one short one in the bottom and I will have it. I have kind of gotten where I want a softer ride in my old age.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Yeah they are getting harder to find in the j-yards. I think I am going to do something with my DD ride... Speaking from experience the MJ leaves flex awesome on a MJ.. in fact they might be too soft... I always had bad axle wrap
    87 XJ Chopped Locked Alloyed, Caged 3 linked W/doubler
    87 Free MJ Project
    90 MJ DD stock on 31's
    90 MJ Truggy 1tons, doubler, H1's on 42's

    Sheetmetal fears me

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    That is a problem with a flexy spring, they are bendable. We always go back and forth when building bastard packs. The axle wrap is not a real issue for me though because I have installed a CV joint in the drive shaft and if I do get a few degrees change due to wrap it won't affect the length of the shaft much. But I sure like the way it rides and flexes.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    theres a mj at chico pnp must have just been put out rear leaves are still on it and it has aftermarket shackles and yeah i go to pnp way too much i bought some more lebaron hood vents when i was telling the guy at pnp what they were for he said "yeah theres some guy with a cherokee here in town that has all kinds of crazy holes cut in his hood"i guess your pretty noticeable steve

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by nismo5 View Post
    theres a mj at chico pnp must have just been put out rear leaves are still on it and it has aftermarket shackles and yeah i go to pnp way too much i bought some more lebaron hood vents when i was telling the guy at pnp what they were for he said "yeah theres some guy with a cherokee here in town that has all kinds of crazy holes cut in his hood"i guess your pretty noticeable steve
    Yeah, I just saw it today while I was there. Didn't have a tape measure with me though. Anybody know if the main leaves interchange between them. I am thinking that the MJ main with the Isuzu leaves under it would be perfect. The Isuzu leaves still have a little more arch than the MJ.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    mj springs are a couple inches longer than xj springs im pretty sure from eye to eye they also move the axle back a couple inches because of the center pin hole i lost interest because i didnt wanna relocate the rear shackles i think theres threads on naxja about them

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    OK, thanks. I didn't have my tape measure with me today. I will stick with what I have. I am happy with it.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The perfect bastard pack ... maybe

    yeah when i measured it was enough difference that seemed like it was alot of work or i could just order lift springs so i went the easy way but your bastard pack sure as heck beats the price by a long shot im sure

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