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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had leaf springs de-arched? How did that work out?

I've got an '82 long-bed S10. About 20 years ago (!) I lowered it 2/2 with spindles and blocks. I've recently swapped the 2.8 for a 5.3 L33/T-56/Explorer 8.8, and I decided to get rid of the blocks. The front is 2" drop spindles (Blazer version, this time) and 1/2" taller lower and upper ball joints / tubular upper A-arms.

When I started buying parts for this, a 3" drop spring would have worked but I liked the 2" drop I had. I don't haul much -- it's mostly a fair-weather driver / cruise-in car show truck now -- but I do make an occasional run to a lumber yard, home center, etc.

To try to keep the 2" drop, I called Eaton Detroit Spring who said they would make a set of 2" drop springs, with no loss in load carrying ability. I ordered them. The individual leafs look to be the same thickness as my originals. They had less arch than stock, but more arch than I thought they would. We installed them, and the ride height is stock.

I called Eaton Detroit Spring and was told that the salesman that sold me the springs retired. They said that "they just need to settle, drive it about 100 miles". There was no way these springs were going to settle 2 inches, and they haven't moved at all. While on the call I asked what to do if that didn't help, and they said take them to a local spring shop and have them de-arched. I may call them again to see if they'll fix it.

I think my choices are to try to have these fixed, or write them off as a painful lesson and buy different leaf springs. Calvert Racing has split-mono leafs but I'm concerned about running those on the street in a truck that may see occasional use as a truck. We put 3" Belltech lowering leaf springs on Dad's '84 S10 Blazer, and he's happy with them. The leaf thickness per-leaf appears to be the same as stock, just with less arch. It's a bit more drop than I wanted, but I could live with it.

Thoughts?
 
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They can only de-arch most leafs a couple inches before the shackles reach their limit due to the length of the leaf increasing as it flattens out. Not a bad option for you in my opinion. However, it's not really fair for you to have to pay for that after being sold something that wasn't up to snuff in the first place. If you can't return them or have Eaton de-arch them that just sucks. I've always had good experiences with them.

Belltech leafs are pretty soft. I like the way they ride compared to stock but they definitely decrease load capacity. They're prone to wheel hop too without the aid of some sort of traction bar. If you decide to go with those and you haul stuff on occasion you could run them with air shocks.
 

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Could try to find some ZQ8 leaf springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I called Eaton Detroit Spring again. They asked me to send the springs back to them, so I sent them on Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I sent the springs back to Eaton Detroit Spring on April 3 (I think). FedEx picked them up from my house. They had two tracking numbers but were shipped as two pieces of one shipment. FedEx delivered one spring to Eaton on April 14 and the other on April 15, even though tracking shows them together the entire time :rolleyes:

When I called Eaton, Mike said that they showed 6 different springs for my truck, and that he thought they built them on a 1300 lb. payload spring. My truck only has a 1000 lb. payload (I didn't know there were that many different leaf springs for our trucks?) which he thought explained why it wasn't lowered. They never asked me for details about what my truck had, stock. I'm not sure why. Mike said he would be watching for the springs to come in.

I called Eaton back in early May, and after three calls I was able to talk to Mike again, and he asked, "Okay, what are we doing to them?" I told him I ordered them 2" lower than stock but they didn't lower it at all. He said they would fix it.

I got the springs back a week ago, and had to get new leaf spring pin bolts to match the 2 degree angle shims I'm using to fix my pinion angle. I installed the springs yesterday. As far as I can tell, they just de-arched the ones they made originally (judging by the stickers that were on them from the first time).

These do lower the truck. Before, the ground-to-bedside distance was 31.25". Now it's 28.75", so they lowered the truck 2.5". I'm down about 3" total from stock -- the 8.8 swap plus the angle shims lower it about 1/2" more compared to the stock 7.5" axle since the 8.8 axle tube is 3/4" larger in diameter than the stock rear.

I drove it yesterday. It rides fine -- not bouncy or rough. The shocks (Bilsteins I installed years ago) will probably need to be replaced with shorter ones. I've briefly looked at Viking but I'm not sure what all is out there. If Bilstein had a shorter version of what I have, I'd consider it. It definitely has less suspension travel with the de-arched springs but I didn't notice it on the test drive.

For reference, the front is at 27.25". I'm using stock Moog 5662 springs, with 1/2" taller upper and lower ball joints (and matching shorter UMI upper control arms to fix the camber curve), and 2" Belltech drop spindles, so the front should be down about 2.5" from stock.

340858
 

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If you find shorter monotube shocks that work on an S10, please let us know. I've got Bilsteins in front and Belltech Street Performance shocks in back and they are not that great in my opinion.
 

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When I lowered my first s10 (1988) I was concerned with this once I bottomed out a shock and it blew all the fluid out. What I found out was the 3+" drop was rather too much for the stock type shock to perform properly (ya think) anything more than 2.5" compression the shock would bottom out so like most curious teenagers I went to the parts store and looked at a few different shocks and found the 1970-1980 Vega/Monza shocks had the closest length to accommodate my s10s ride height at 11-3/4 extended and I think it is 6-3/4 compressed. The rears were a little more complex but my neighbor modified the rear shock mounts top with a 3/4" bar welded in with shock mounts which gave 1" travel to the shock and bottom an extended mounting bracket to lower the shock down 1" after that my s10 was smooth again. Back then we did not have a ton of suppliers so a lot of things got fabbed up in our garage. Hope this helps you out. I still use Vega/Monza shocks on lowered S- trucks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello,

Beyond the shocks sold by lowering kit companies (Belltech, Western Chassis), I have found two shocks. Anyone running either of these?

Calvert Racing has a 1" shorter shock, single-adjustable. Online reading suggests that these Rancho RS9000 shocks but 1" shorter.

Viking has a shorter-than-stock shock, double-adjustable. These are almost twice as expensive as the Calvert Racing shocks.

This is a street truck with a front suspension set up for decent street handling, not a drag-only truck. The Calvert Racing shocks are appealing if those are reasonable choices on a street car. The Vikings are cool but I would never use them to their potential.

Thoughts?
 
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