Add-a-leaf vs. rear leaf springs -
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Go Back > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Technical Forum > Add-a-leaf vs. rear leaf springs

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Unread 02-03-2009, 06:03 AM   #1
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Add-a-leaf vs. rear leaf springs

I'm going with a 3-3.5" lift. I need something to give me more clearance and cannot afford to go big right now. Anyhow, everywhere I look I'm seeing that I have to pick either add-a-leaf or new rear leaf springs (which costs on ave. around 200 more). I really don't want to spend that much more. I'm curious as to what the difference is. I'm kinda new to this so bear with me. Is the 'new rear leaf springs' is just junking my old ones and it gives me a new set rather than just 2 new ones to throw in the mix? If so, what do I really gain from this besides shiny new leafs? I'm really not trying to spend more than 350 on a lift.

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Unread 02-03-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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this question is asked all the time, so do a search and see what's already out there. here's the quick answer: the full leafs will replace your existing leaf packs with new leafs that are arched to gainthe lift you want. full leafs have the best ride and will last the longest before they need to be replaced. AAL's are a sinlge leaf that is inserted into your existing pack. the spring is stiff since it has to re-arch your stock spings. it will ride harsher than a similar full pack. AAL's have a reputation for wearing out quickly, especially if you are inserting them into an already sgging spring pack or are using the short AAL's. the longer AAL's will work fine if you are on a budget and can be upgraded to a full pack when you have the funds. for another cheap lift option, you can build your own rear pack using the stock leafs and a leaf from an S-10 pack. check out this out for more info:
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Unread 02-03-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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I had very good results with a the Rubicon Express 2.5" AAL and recommend it for an inexpensive lift option. The AAL and an extended shackle will give you about 3-3.5 " of lift. It worked well in Moab on the trails, hauled 300+ lbs of tools and parts, and gave a firm but not harsh ride on the street. The RE AAL did not sag in the 3+ years it was used.

More AAL discussion here -

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Unread 10-14-2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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If you're going to ask me, add-a-leaf is my choice. Here is a jeep leaf springs dealer where you can see for yourself a list of possible brands. the link that Tim gave is already a good one. Please keep us posted.
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Unread 10-14-2009, 02:14 AM   #5
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Like most things, you get what you pay for.
I've used both methods for 3" of lift and prefer full replacement leaf packs because they're made and shaped for the desired height with all the leafs having similar spring rates. They also netted a half inch more lift than the AAL's did.
Because the AAL's are arched differently than the stock leafs they get packed into, it's not quite a solid nested arrangement. They left different size gaps between leaves. They're also a thicker leaf with a dissimilar spring rate so their extra heft can bolster the stock leafs into more arch.

With that said however, AAL's can do the job for half the cost and do have their place in the natural order of things. I'd say if you just want to get a little more lift to run some bigger tires and don't have plans to do lots of technical offroading with heavy flexing, or even aren't planning to keep the vehicle long term, or plan to go bigger later, AAL's are fine and will serve the need.
A person who plans to keep their vehicle as it is for a long time and do lots of offroading would likely be better served by full replacement leaf packs.

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Unread 10-14-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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It boils down to what you want to spend and how long you want it to last. Some leaf packs tend to flatten out quicker than others. AAL wear out alot faster than a full pack. A bastard pack is cheap and depending on your combination you can adjust for stiffness and flex. I run a s10 bastard pack (jeep main, s10 main-eyes cut off, full pack minus the overload) Net 3 inches lift, nice ride awesome flex. Have been running this for a year now without any droop so far.
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Unread 10-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #7
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BASTARD PACKS ALL THE WAY!!! i had 3 inches of lift with aal that were crap. made a bastard pack with some nice s-10 pack i got off a 00 s-10 with 30k miles they work awsome
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