How to Install an Additional Leaf Spring
Many truck owners wish their vehicles could have more lift or the ability to carry more load. Fortunately, there is one easy way to improve both lift and load capacity. All you have to do is install an extra leaf spring. This job can also be done by nearly anyone in their own garage. To save money on paying a mechanic to install an extra leaf spring for you, simply follow these instructions.
The first thing you will need to do is make sure you have the right tools for the job. Tools you will need for this job include a jack, multiple jack stands, a twelve inch pry bar, a one half inch socket and ratchet set, and a three eighth inch socket and ratchet set.
After you have gathered your tools, you will need to lift your truck up into the air. Do this by taking the jack and placing it under the rear axle’s differential. After you have used the jack to lift up your truck, retrieve your jack stands. Place the stands under the frame and the axle. Doing so will make sure the frame and axle remain supported while your truck is suspended.
Once the stands are in place, begin to lower the jack until the frame and axle come to rest on the jack stands. Before you get under the vehicle, you should test to make sure the stands are very secure. If they aren’t, you run the risk of an accident occurring.
Next, take your one half inch ratchet from your set. Use the ratchet to loosen the nuts that keep the u-bolts tightened against one side of the axle. There should be four nuts, and they should be on each side of the axle. Make sure to only loosen the nuts and not take them off completely. Doing so could release too much tension from the springs.
You should now repeat the same steps on the opposite side. Just do the same as you did before. Once you finish, the leaf springs should not have any additional tension constricting them. However, you should still make sure everything is resting securely on the stands just to be careful before you remove the bolts completely.
If you do observe remaining tension constricting the leaf springs, you may want to adjust the stands and jack a bit to alleviate the tension. You may for example want to raise the jack higher or lower to lift or drop the axle. Always make sure to adjust the jack stands accordingly when you change the setting of the jack.
After you have followed all these steps and taken the proper precautions, you can completely remove the u-bolts from the axle. The axle should now be resting on the jack stands alone with the jack keeping the differential elevated.
Next, you need to locate the straps that should be fastened to the leaf spring’s two ends. Retrieve a pry bar and use it to loosen these straps. Be careful not to distort the straps too much. You will need them for later.
Now find the center bolt of the leaf spring. Use your ratchet to loosen it. The pack of springs should separate apart after you remove this bolt. This will allow you to add an additional spring.
Go retrieve your new leaf spring and place it into the pack. Make sure to use the same arch as the other springs already in the pack. You may have to place it on either the bottom or the middle of the pack depending on the spring you bought. Check the packaging to make this determination.
Your leaf spring should have also come with a bolt that is long enough to fit the extended pack. Place the bolt through the pack and then fasten it into place. After doing this, place the clamps back as they were originally.
At this point, you should elevate the axle with the jack and connect the hole located on the axle pad to the leaf spring’s bolt. After that, simply tighten back all the bolts as they were before and then lower your vehicle back down. You should now be done.