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  #1  
Old 06-18-2013, 11:47 PM
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Default Why won't these springs work on a 4x4??

I'm sure there is a simple answer to this that I'm not thinking of....

Ran across these Belltech 3" third gen lowering leaf springs earlier while searching for replacement leaf springs. They are only listed for RWD trucks. I was under the impression that the rear suspensions in 4x4 and RWD trucks were basically the same. So why won't these work on a 4x4?

http://www.belltech.com/leaf-spring-21.html
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:14 PM
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Don't know why they wouldn't. Maybe they just have them listed under RWD only because the vast majority of people don't lower 4WDs. It doesn't say they won't fit 4WD in the description. Call 'em up and ask.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:19 PM
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When you put in your vehicle info including 4x4 under the vehicle selection area it gives a big warning that says this will not fit your vehicle. I emailed them and asked why. I'll update when I get a response.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:47 PM
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Got a reply from BT pretty quick. Here's what it said.

Thank you for contacting Belltech,

Well, we're not saying that it won't fit, just that it is not designed around
the 4 wheel drive. Also, we manufacture nothing for the front of the 4 wheel
drive. The choice is really up to you.

Have a great day!

Thanks,

Adam Tormey
Technical Advisor
KW automotive
North America, inc.


So, yeah, I think they would work. It's kinda odd though... I can't seem to find too much info or reviews about them. I''m thinking maybe more people go with 2" shackles for $50-75 rather than 3" leafs for $330. I wouldn't even consider if it my stock leafs were not in the shape that they are...literally. If my stock springs weren't misshapen I think I would just yank the OL for the free 3/4" drop and call it a day.

I wonder how they would ride? In what little I could find, a few said they were stiffer than stock but most said they were softer than stock. I would think they would have to be softer. There's only two springs in the pack!!

I'm probably wishful thinking anyway. $330 is a lot to drop when I can just leave it as it is and likely not have any issues.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:44 PM
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Personally, I'm not a big fan of lift/lower blocks, shackles, and things of that nature. I used to be into the lifted 4WD scene (not street queens, ones that actually got used), and most of those guys frown upon blocks and shackles because they tended to create problems, either through weird geometry angles or simply weakening the suspension system. That being said, most of those guys are pretty hard on their rigs, too. If you are fairly easy on your ride you probably would be fine with extended shackles. I'm just looking at the cost of the shackles ($70) deducted from the cost of the springs. That's $260, you get the drop you want, and non-wavy springs to boot! At the end of the day it's your decision, good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:05 PM
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I'll be the first to admit that my truck is a pavement queen. The worst it sees is an occasional gravel drive or maybe the rough, washed out road to our camping spot that we go to maybe twice a year. So I don't think I have anything much to worry about there.

I'm already running Mcgaughy's 2" drop shackles. Zero issues so far and love em compared to stock. I just keep finding myself wishing for a tad bit more drop....not slammed or anything, just a little bit less fender gap. I wouldn't try to run the drop leaf springs with the drop shackles so I would actually have to replace the drop shackles with OEM shackles (which I would have to buy...the OEM shackles that I took off were worn out). So I'm probably looking at $400+ to go with the drop leaf springs.

I am revisiting the idea of pulling the OL spring. It will get me down just a tad more for free. I'm also thinking that pulling the OL and new shocks on the rear might even help the ride a little. I'm just concerned about doing so with the springs like they are. The OEM springs are really the only reason I have been considering the drop leaf springs anyway.

Thanks for all your input....I gotta lot of thinking to do I guess, lol.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:25 PM
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Whether you leave the OL spring on or remove it, doesn't really make any difference. So if you're ok with leaving it then you should be ok removing it. You seem to have a misconception that the OL leaf does something for the rest of the spring pack, when not overloaded. The OL spring is only contributing once you flatten the above springs out parallel to the OL spring. You can also remove the OL leaf and if it doesn't work out how you want still get the drop leafs.

Personally, I'd remove the OL leaf and see how I liked it. My only concern would be when hauling very heavy loads. But I'd have that concern with drop leafs too(as I'm sure they will not hold as much weight).
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:17 PM
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I understand what you are saying about the functionality of the OL springs but go back and look at the photos that I posted in my "Is this what my leaf springs are supposed to look like?" thread. Those photos illustrate what is bothering me the best. In those pics it looks like the bottom of the leaf pack is in contact with the OL spring in the center for what appears to be a good 8-10" section. I may be completely wrong....I'm certainly no engineer...but I really don't see how the thicker, stiffer OL spring can't be providing some measure of support to the main spring pack that would help it resist bending over the axle housing. Basically, it appears that the OL spring is helping to spread out the force placed on the main spring pack over a greater surface area. It seems like to me that if you were to remove the OL it would decrease the surface area of the main spring pack that the force is being applied to and make it more susceptible to bending. Maybe the spring pack is strong enough to handle the extra pressure. I would like to hope so but I'm a little afraid to find out, lol.

I don't haul very heavy loads so no issue there. If it's that heavy, I have access to a small utility trailer to help distribute the weight. I'm sure you are correct about the drop leaf springs having even less capacity than the stock springs with the OL removed. The more I think about them though, the more I think the cost is going to keep me from going that route. That's one of the biggest attractions to removing the OL springs...it's free! And that leaves mod money for new rear shocks, HID fogs, etc.....lol.
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Last edited by starquestbd22; 06-21-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:00 AM
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Yeah I know what you're getting at, but I think it's just a misconception. When springs are arched the way they are supposed to be, the OL leaf is flat, not arched. The contact point from the above leafs to the OL leaf is the same amount of area as where the other leafs would contact the axle if the OL leaf wasn't there. I can't imagine you'd have any issues. Keep in mind too the springs don't mount on to the round axle, there should be a flat plate there.
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Last edited by snrusnak; 06-21-2013 at 08:02 AM.
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