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Old 02-27-2023, 12:06 PM   #1
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Leaf Spring Replacement

My 2004 E350 was one of Heber's first SMB 4X4 conversions. It was done in '04. Van has over 330,000 miles and has been maintained and repaired to withstand not only trips into remote areas but also long road trips while towing a travel trailer with an 800# tongue weight.

The original spring sets were built by Betts in Fresno, CA. I had been curious about spring wrap also but the rear leaf springs are bending down on the front end. Same with the front leaf springs. Not sure what the mechanical dynamics are but, if there are no compelling arguments against them, I may just stick with the lift block and stock Ford rear leaf springs.

The front springs are another matter. Sitting on a flat surface, the front axle frame to axle "bumper" has only a 1" downward excursion left. Noticed that after I mounted a new set of FOX Shocks several months ago.

CAT weights with the van fully loaded (sans trailer) are: Rear 5460#. Front 4360#

Before I purchase a new set of leaf springs, I need to know what brands you replaced your spring packs with and how you like the ride and durability of the replacements.

Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2023, 02:30 PM   #2
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Can't help with your question SierraHawk since I'm in the process of doing the same, so this post will keep me informed on the feedback you receive. But, also felt compelled to congratulate you on the 330,000 you've put on your van - Good to see others out there aggressively utilizing these rigs for what they were intended...I just cringe when I see them come up for sale with low mileage.
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Old 02-27-2023, 02:34 PM   #3
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I put Deaver springs on my van many years ago and they are holding up well on my heavier than average van. Huge difference from stock springs that came on the van with SMB 4x4 build.
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Old 02-27-2023, 05:29 PM   #4
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Alcan Spring in Grand Junction, CO.
Justin at UJoint CO has switched over to using their spring sets, says they hold up much better than the Atlas they had been using on conversions, good luck getting anything from Deaver, last I heard they were months out.
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Old 02-27-2023, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi View Post
I put Deaver springs on my van many years ago and they are holding up well on my heavier than average van. Huge difference from stock springs that came on the van with SMB 4x4 build.
Same here and I love them. Best upgrade I think I've made.
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Old 02-27-2023, 08:37 PM   #6
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So did you all order directly from Deaver by weighing van and providing them weight and measurements?

I’ll be needing need rear springs shortly also.
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Old 02-28-2023, 01:14 PM   #7
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So did you all order directly from Deaver by weighing van and providing them weight and measurements?

Iíll be needing need rear springs shortly also.
Yes and they took care of the rest. My plates needed welding and beefed up and the installer did that as well. I used Oregon Auto Print here where I live and they are the west coast contract manufacturer for Deaver. I'm in Portland.

I went through Jeff at Deaver: *(714) 542-3703‬
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Old 02-28-2023, 01:34 PM   #8
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I installed Alcan rear springs in July 2020, which means they were built just prior to the change in ownership. I was replacing stock springs with Quigley lift blocks, and I installed Sumo rear bumpstops at the same time (an excellent combo, in my opinion). The front leaf bushings wore out in a matter of months, and the new/current owner said he would honor the warranty, but I chose to replace them myself. Other than that, we've been extremely happy with them.
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Old 03-01-2023, 08:10 AM   #9
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So did you all order directly from Deaver by weighing van and providing them weight and measurements?

I’ll be needing need rear springs shortly also.
Mine was a full service install at Deaver. Dropped the van off and they did it all. I think I was one of their very first vans. The rear spring packs were initially great with an empty van, but not when loaded for trips. The wheels were also not centered front to back in the wheel openings in the rear so I took it back to them to add one more leaf and change out the main leaf to push the axle back (I think?? Maybe it was forward. It's in an old thread of mine somewhere.) an inch then everything was and has continued to be great.
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Old 03-02-2023, 11:47 AM   #10
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You mentioned axle wrap. I had four inch lift blocks and they caused a lot of wheel hop in loose sand or dirt. I Had new springs built at Alcon (by the old owner who made a couple mistakes, but I have no experience with the new owners). The new springs are arched enough to eliminate the blocks and the wheel hop is nearly all gone. You need accurate individual wheel weights and clear instructions on what you want, like a four inch lift with a multi leaf, progressive pack with pads between each leaf and quality bushings.
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