Do stock leaf springs go bad?

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by hogula, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. hogula

    hogula

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Ventura CA
    My 81 FJ40 rides like a 27 year old truck, kind of mushy springs and stiff shocks. Not too bad but it has all original suspension, including 27 year old shocks. I was considering the 2 inch OME full meal deal light/medium duty kit with springs and shocks. TLC told me it would settle to about a 1 inch lift.

    The question is this: would I be getting a decent ride if I just slapped on a nice set of Bilsteins and left the springs stock? I can afford the OME kit but have no desire to throw away money if I don't have to. Any opinions?

    It looks like this now.
    81FJ40 016.jpg
  2. Fast Eddy

    Fast Eddy SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,870
    Location:
    Morgan Hill, CA
    I had my rear springs recurved for $140 and got some new bilsteins. I think it rides pretty smooth for an old farm tractor.
  3. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,984
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    That is a nice stocker truck. What's wrong with your springs? They don't look sagged out to me. If you want new stock springs, check with Mark at Mark's Offroad. It's the kind of stuff he has stashed away.

    Why not just put new poly bushings in your springs, get some decent shocks (even stock ones if available) and call it good?

    Once you start modding the truck, the next thing you know it will be lifted 6 inches and running 37s. Yours looks great the way it is.
  4. fj40forlife

    fj40forlife

    Messages:
    1,497
    Location:
    Orange County
    if they stock shocks they maybe gone now. man fj looks nice. wish I had left mine stock. but ya I seen springs go bad but on mod rigs like soa big tires etc
  5. bbalbano

    bbalbano

    Messages:
    568

    I think this is some good advice, start by getting some new bushings, and shocks see how it goes.
  6. 77-fj-40

    77-fj-40

    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    eugene oregon
    it isn't your fathers oldsmobile a rough ride is the nature of the beast replace shackles,bushings,shocks,get your tires balanced and see what happens new springs will run you like 800 bucks atleast
  7. My wife said no FJ!

    My wife said no FJ!

    Messages:
    4,265
    Location:
    Montreal
    Nice stock rig...I'd try my best to keep it this way. There are many threads concerning ride, I know...sort of thinking of 'softening' the ride on my resto, but since it is a restoration, no aftermarket stuff.

    So far the best info I read was from coolerman

    "Remove your springs. clean them, paint them and slip plate them. Makes the much flexier... :grinpimp:"

    Other things I've read...add some weight to the back (not my first choice) lower the tire pressure to a safe point, remove one leaf, new shocks...with maybe softer shocks in the back...check them out here -->http://forum.ih8mud.com/40-55-series-tech/227994-most-pliable-aftermarket-suspension.html

    I'm leaning towards repainting/slip plate, new shocks, and slightly lower air...this should give me a much nicer ride, and still be all stock.
  8. nanuk

    nanuk SILVER Star

    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    Colorado
    Springs do wear out, my 75's front springs are a little more than flat. They are starting to look like the inverted ones on my 96 F250. But it is S/O and has been abused a bunch.
    If the springs look like they still have OK arch, do as others have said and clean, paint, etc and they should be fine.
  9. hogula

    hogula

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Ventura CA
    Sounds like good advice. Does anyone have the model number on the Bilsteins for an 81?
  10. 77-fj-40

    77-fj-40

    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    eugene oregon
    just an Idea check your springs out you may have a broken center pin

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