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post #1 of 4 Old 06-19-2021, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Rough Ride

Does anyone know haw to soften the ride of my M-38? I removed three leaves from each spring but it still feels like an old buckboard to my 73 yr. old bones. When I bought the vehicle 15 yr. ago one of the suspension outfits - maybe Skyjacker? - offered a 1" lift that claimed to provide a smoother ride but I can't find the product anymore. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-19-2021, 11:48 AM
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis
Posts: 29,079
Leaf spring brand and construction, shock type, tire construction, and tire pressure, in this order, all have an effect upon the ride "feel".

Check and see if you have local leaf spring builder that can/will make some custom leaves or custom spring packs for a smoother ride.

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not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution” Abraham Lincoln, 1859.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-20-2021, 09:37 AM
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1974 CJ5 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Easley
Posts: 2,853
M38 or M38A1? As a fellow senior Jeep driver I understand your need for a better ride. As with any other Jeep they were at their best comfort level when they left Toledo and went down every day since. You haven't said how close to original it is now. Those old military Jeeps deserve to be brought back to their original glory. I wish us old soldiers could do the same. Now that you have broken the ice with your first post pictures are appropriate. Please fill ought your profile so we can know more about you and your retired mechanical warrior.

You can order new springs for either here . The original purpose of both versions was traversing unimproved roads and off road at speeds of 45MPH or slower. No military vehicle was ever made with comfort of the driver/passengers in mind.
Your springs are probably tired from all the years of use and abuse--not that any G.I. would ever abuse any vehicle especially one off road. New springs and shocks should make the ride better.

Good luck and happy Fathers Day!


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post #4 of 4 Old 06-20-2021, 08:39 PM
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1981 CJ7 
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Location: Bali
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I have the CJ3A which is very close to the M38, my ride is fine.

To eliminate all else could I suggest you lower the tyre pressures a bit, disconnect the shocks and check the torque on the shackles and eye bolts?

then run it down the road and see if it is still too rigid?

The leaf springs in lift kits all seems a lot stiffer, which I put down to the spring camber and the high resistance line. the desire for "heavy duty". unless your M38 has a lot of additional gear, is the last thing you need.

The angle the shackle makes is also related to the installed spring rates. An almost vertical or 3 degree shackle will behave differently to a 25 degree angle on the shackle. This is related to spring length.

Missing clips, worn out isolators etc will also have an impact on installed spring rate.

Post up some pics!!!

BagusJeep lives in Bali with far too many 4x4s:
1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
1995 Cherokee 4.0 - CHEROKEE
1980 Land Rover Series III 109" troop carrier - ROVER
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