Soften the ride. Leaf spring torque. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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Soften the ride. Leaf spring torque.

Hello,

Installed a 2.5 in lift some 1400 miles ago or so and it's been pretty rough. I haven't changed the shackles yet, that is on the list.
I by rough I mean bouncy on small stuff and when you hit a big bump at speed it's stiff.
I poked around some forums and found out that if I loosen the bolts and torque them down to WAY BELOW spec, it will ride better.
So far, this is true. I took them down all the way around, including on the frame eye bolt, to 60ft lbs torque. I can't imagine going lower than this for my safety.
Still, some people recommend all the way to 30 all the way around. I know I can get locktite or Nylock nuts to keep it from backing off.

My question is, what do you guys think is safe, or what torque do you guys have experience with?

Thanks

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post #2 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 07:36 PM
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What brand shocks did you install?
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post #3 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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Originally Posted by Duck Doctor View Post
What brand shocks did you install?
RE express standard with a 2.5 in lift

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post #4 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:24 PM
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mine are at 40-50 (brace bolt)-40. and 50 at the frame bolts.

But they are aftermarket shackles and bushings with nylock nuts.

do what you feel comfortable with but also would not hurt to flex the springs out a bit. What type of shocks did you get with that kit? are they the twin tube RE shocks nitro?

~YJOTM MAY '16, JULY '19~


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post #5 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:28 PM
CJ7-Tim
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What tires, and what tire pressure ?

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post #6 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
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What tires, and what tire pressure ?
good point

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post #7 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:50 PM
Tarneg
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first start with torqueing the bolts to the correct torque . and yes check tire pressure just in case the balance shop left one at 60 or some such ( i have had them do it to me). then i would take your shocks off and drive it around to see if its an over rated shock or over rated spring causing your issue. good chance its the spring as since the 80s leaf kits are known to be stiff as a board. if with no shocks on its still overly stiff then you need different springs as they have a load rating that is too high. you can also take out individual leafs and swap others in ( many times the smaller ones do much of the lifting IE cause the most lift and are the stiffest) but if you dont have others to swap this wont help much. never run the bolts under torqued, there is a spec for a reason. mine are 95 and 105 foot pounds for shackle and frame respectively. mine rides soft for leafs but i also have 11 leafs that only have a small arch to them so they are all soft if the kit you have has only a few leafs then they are going to be stiff no mater what and shocks wont make it softer. --- now if you ride without the shocks installed and its a nice ride then all that is mute and the shocks are rated too high and thats an easy fix with softer shocks. if you want anything explained more let me know and i can go nuts into it, best of luck and dont forget even soft leafs will not ride as soft as hard coils
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post #8 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
mine are at 40-50 (brace bolt)-40. and 50 at the frame bolts.

But they are aftermarket shackles and bushings with nylock nuts.

do what you feel comfortable with but also would not hurt to flex the springs out a bit. What type of shocks did you get with that kit? are they the twin tube RE shocks nitro?
Yes, the kit came with the twin tube nitro shocks. I haven't done much research on the shocks themselves. Are they decent? I really need to upgrade the shackles and bushings, I know I do. I also took my PSI down to 28. That helped also. Last thing I want is to have my nuts back off. I'll have to upgrade to Nylocks and go lower on the torque when I do. It really does help to lower the torque it's noticeable I messed about with it a few different torques. I probably won't go to 30. Seems a bit suspect.

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post #9 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarneg View Post
first start with torqueing the bolts to the correct torque . and yes check tire pressure just in case the balance shop left one at 60 or some such ( i have had them do it to me). then i would take your shocks off and drive it around to see if its an over rated shock or over rated spring causing your issue. good chance its the spring as since the 80s leaf kits are known to be stiff as a board. if with no shocks on its still overly stiff then you need different springs as they have a load rating that is too high. you can also take out individual leafs and swap others in ( many times the smaller ones do much of the lifting IE cause the most lift and are the stiffest) but if you dont have others to swap this wont help much. never run the bolts under torqued, there is a spec for a reason. mine are 95 and 105 foot pounds for shackle and frame respectively. mine rides soft for leafs but i also have 11 leafs that only have a small arch to them so they are all soft if the kit you have has only a few leafs then they are going to be stiff no mater what and shocks wont make it softer. --- now if you ride without the shocks installed and its a nice ride then all that is mute and the shocks are rated too high and thats an easy fix with softer shocks. if you want anything explained more let me know and i can go nuts into it, best of luck and dont forget even soft leafs will not ride as soft as hard coils
This is interesting Info. How far can I ride with the shocks removed safely? I know that the ride isn't as good as coils. Some upgraded shackles call for lower specs on top of all the other people doing it, I figured it would be okay for now. I think the springs are rated for 225. The reviews are excellent for the springs. I think the upgraded shackles will fix a lot of my issues. Shocks might be suspect too

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post #10 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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31x 10.5x15 goodyear authority 28psi. before they were 34

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post #11 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 10:37 PM
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Make sure that your bushing sleeves are as long as they should be. Lots of them come short so when the bolts are torqued down the bushings get pinched and aren't allowed to rotate as the suspension cycles. Also, twin tube shocks are pretty much junk, along with most "white body" shocks that come in kits.

With the right spring rate and shock valving any leaf spring setup can ride as well as any coil spring setup on the street. Coil springs and link setups have their advantages throughout suspension travel but spring rates are spring rates. There isn't much impressive about stock TJ link geometry...

Pull the shocks and drive around your neighborhood, if it isnt too soft and bouncy then get out for a longer ride. I ran Rancho 44044 springs in the rear for a stretch and I couldnt tell the difference without shocks. The spring rate was meant for a Grand Wagoneer front end with a V8, my light YJ wouldnt hardly compress them hitting bumps on the street.

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post #12 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 10:41 PM
Tarneg
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ya if it rides okay and you can control it you can drive without them for a while. i daily drove and wheeled my rig for about 20 months never having shocks installed but mine is much heavier and bigger than a yj. it dpends how it handles with them off so Randon gave good instruction on the test drive.
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post #13 of 47 Old 06-27-2020, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
lewisyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
Make sure that your bushing sleeves are as long as they should be. Lots of them come short so when the bolts are torqued down the bushings get pinched and aren't allowed to rotate as the suspension cycles. Also, twin tube shocks are pretty much junk, along with most "white body" shocks that come in kits.

With the right spring rate and shock valving any leaf spring setup can ride as well as any coil spring setup on the street. Coil springs and link setups have their advantages throughout suspension travel but spring rates are spring rates. There isn't much impressive about stock TJ link geometry...

Pull the shocks and drive around your neighborhood, if it isnt too soft and bouncy then get out for a longer ride. I ran Rancho 44044 springs in the rear for a stretch and I couldnt tell the difference without shocks. The spring rate was meant for a Grand Wagoneer front end with a V8, my light YJ wouldnt hardly compress them hitting bumps on the street.

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
I do think the bushings are of adequate size. I'll take off the shocks tomorrow, drive around a bit. I also think that when my bolts were at factory spec, they were not allowing proper rotation causing a lot of what I read was "bushing bind". I'll follow up here and let you know how it goes. I do think another big problem is the rear end being so light, I'm glad you mentioned that. I don't have a back seat, a back window, etc... no weight back there. How can charged shocks compress with no weight. Thanks for the pointers, will circle back soon.
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post #14 of 47 Old 06-28-2020, 12:53 AM
UPStrades
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I noticed better ride with greaseable shackles. Then i really noticed better ride with old man emu
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post #15 of 47 Old 06-28-2020, 05:55 AM
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60 ft/lb is still REALLY tight IMO. Safety and piece of mind is important so don't do something that makes you uncomfortable. Me personally.... I make sure I have good lock nuts with washers under the head and nut. I also make sure to grease the bolt regardless of whether it's greaseable or not. I tighten everything until the bolt stops spinning and then back it off until I can spin the bolt with the lock nut. If I were to put a name on it, I'd say "snug". If I had to guess a torque, my calibrated hand would put it somewhere around 15-20ft lbs.

The shackle torque helps prevent something called stiction. This is defined as the static friction that needs to be overcome to enable relative motion of stationary objects in contact. The more torque you have, the more static friction you create and the bigger bump is required to move your suspension.

If your track bars are still in place, remove them both. They are garbage and do nothing for our Jeeps. Bolt torque and track bar deletes can be experimented with for free. If neither of those are the magic bullet, then you're going to need different shocks. For some reason, the vast majority of lift kits come with shocks that are valved way too high for our small jeeps. Nitro shocks especially are horrible.
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