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Old 03-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
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Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

The back end of my 98 E250 EB 2x4 is sagging a bit. Not too bad, and I could leave it as is without any real issues (I don't tow anything). Yet, I would ideally like to even it out and maybe even get a bit more clearance in the back.

I just went to my local reputable truck spring shop here in Philadelphia and got a price of $575 to re-arch the springs and add an extra leaf to lock it all in place. When I asked how much higher it would sit, the guy at the shop said he could do it as much as I want (within reason). If I go this route, any advice on how much extra lift (if any) to add over leveling out the van? I'm staying with the stock 16" tires.

I was also considering adding Firestone airbags (or the equivalent), which would be cheaper and I could install myself.

I do have a class III/IV trailer hitch for bikes, any I guess there might be the occasion when I tow something in the future, but this is not being set up to tow on any sort of regular basis.

Thanks for any thoughts and advice...

BrianW
Abington/Philadelphia, Pa.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

It really depends on if you like the ride the way it is now. I had SMB added a leaf to mine for that reason, & it got damn stiff. YMMV with what your guy is gonna do, but even after SMB added the leaf it still rode low so I added the bags rather than another leaf. The bags made it a bit stiffer but took care of the sag. I don't even want to think what adding a second leaf would have done. Finally I got tired of the ride and took it to Deaver Spring. After Deaver did their thing, the ride improved big time but tail was still low. So they sent me another leaf and I added that. The ride didn't really change like when SMB added theirs. With the van now level I was a bit worried that if I put the bags back on it would ruin the ride but it really didn't, plus the cornering improved. So it seems that in my experience anyway, it all depends on the spring pack you have and whether or not the ride is OK on your van. Deaver uses multiple leafs compared to pack SMB west installed at the time. With air bags you have to worry about leaks and if you don't have air you can't adjust the ride but you don't have to worry about the ride height. You have the choice where you want it to ride no matter how you load it or what you pull behind your rig.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

My van is a stock 2wd E250 so it has the OEM Ford springs. The ride is pretty much fine, but I'd just like to get the rear up a bit to get things level. Mostly cosmetic, but also because when the van is loaded down I tend to drag the rear hitch when exiting my sloping driveway.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

My observation is re-arched springs will sag sooner than new springs. You can probably have Benz-springs build you a custom set for less than you were quoted for re-arching.

I added height to mine by adding a couple leafs out of an F350 spring pack set. And i have airbags.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:57 PM   #5
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

Re-arched springs will definitely re-sag sooner than later. Sometimes it can be helped if a new leaf or two is added. I would go with airbags. Provides more support when you need it and less when you dont. Cheers, Fernando
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:06 PM   #6
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

Thanks. Installed airbags a month or so ago, and they have been great on our our big western trips so far: Philadelphia to Missoula, Mt, currently, and headed up to Glacier tomorrow. 4500 miles and counting!
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

A budget option is air springs, or rubber springs

At the 16 year mark, the original rubber springs failed on Da Bearsmobile. One was deformed from 16 years of compression and the other one missing. Since 95 dodges have no rear sway bar, rubber springs are good for stability...so are air shocks

http://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspens ... 7AodAkYAcg

The rubber springs might be good new, but gave a bad stiff ride at the end and it sagged

So I decided to replace the rear shocks with these...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Air-shocks-Dodg ... fb&vxp=mtr

They work well... rear was sagging and lifted it 2 inches with 100 psi. Very quick to fill with just a hand pump. I can run up to 200, but am happy at 100. Does lose pressure over the winter, so I boost back up in spring

I needed new shocks anyway, so spent an extra $50 and tried these....and they worked!
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:46 AM   #8
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?



I probably have the original rear leafs that my van came with plus it has a hellwig helper spring.

Should the air bags be there to fix temporary loads on the rear (towing, hauling stuff in the back) instead of permanently fixing sag when there's nothing extra loaded in the rear?

How would you fix the sag in my rear?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocsmb


How would you fix the sag in my rear?
You already have a slight sag since the front end was redone plus it looks like your trailer weight distribution is way off. Think it's time for a new leaf pack in the rear.

Read this article.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...on-systems.htm
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: Sagging rear: re-arch + extra leaf or airbags?

Trailer looks pretty level to me but I think you're right the rear leaf pack might be tired
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