Installation Instructions

Installation Instructions
Add-a-Leaf Instruction Sheet
Please read instructions before beginning installation.
Installation requires a professional mechanic. Prior to beginning carefully inspect the vehicle’s steering and
driveline system, playing close attention to the tie rod/drag link ends, ball joints, and wheel bearing preload. Also
check the steering sector-to-frame and all suspension to frame attaching points for stress cracks. The overall
vehicle must be in excellent working condition; repair or replace all worn parts.
We have two types of add-a-leafs, full length and overload type. The installation process is basically the same for
either type. The only difference is their position in the spring pack. An add-a-leaf is always placed beneath
the leaf that is just longer than it is so that all spring pack leafs remain progressively longer from bottom to top.
All full length and some overload type add-a leafs require spring pack disassembly. Some springs have fairly thick
riveted on steel straps that hold the leafs plates together. Generally, the straps must be spread apart for spring
pack disassembly, then reformed to allow for the add-a-leafs extra thickness. These straps reform easily when
heated and can be reused. Depending on fuel tank location, for safety it may be necessary to remove the springs
from the vehicle.
• If a torch is used during this installation, protect any heat-sensitive components located in the immediate area
by covering them with a water saturated cloth. Most undercoating are flammable, but can be extinguished
using a water filled spray bottle. Have this and a ABC rated fire extinguisher at hand.
• Prior to inserting leafs, be sure all leaf mating surfaces are free of grit, grease, undercoating, etc.
• A factory service manual for this particular year and model should be on hand. The manual will contain
fastener torque specs and any assemble techniques or special tool requirements that are unique to this vehicle.
• Shock absorber length, depending on the particular vehicle, may not be adequate. Whatever the case, we
highly recommend the installation of a premium grade shock for optimum performance.
• The spring pads (where the leafs or blocks seat on the axle) are prone to collapse or warp, especially on older
models. The blocks (or springs) require a perfectly flat surface for mating or excessive spring axle wrap-up will
result. The pads are not flat, repair or replace them.
• Overload add-leafs are designed to replace the stock spring pack’s bottom leafs. The stock bottom leaf can be
retained (positioned under the add-a-leaf) if the extra lift is desired. The extra lift gained will only be the
thickness of the stock bottom leaf.
• Prior to disassembly, inspect the stock u-bolts for corrosion and adequate length. Rear u-bolts will probably be
to short if degree shims are used or if the stock overload leaf is retained when the overload type add-a-leaf is
Step 1.
Step 2.
Put the vehicle in neutral, raise the vehicle
and support with jack stands or other
suitable means on the frame. For front
installations, the stands normally are
placed just behind the springs rear
hangers. For rear installations the stands
are generally placed just in front of the
springs front hangers.
Put vehicle in park, or low gear for manual
transmissions, and chock the tires
remaining of the floor to prevent accidental
Remove the tires and position floor jack to
support the axle. Remove the bottom
shock bolts.
Step 3.
Step 4.
Step 5.
Step 6.
Step 7.
Step 8.
Step 9.
Step 10.
Step 11.
Step 12.
Remove nuts and washers from the u-bolts on one side of the axle. If the straps or bend clips must be
disturbed, do these first before removing spring eye bolt. Have c-clamps in place on either side of each
strap before center bolt is removed.
Remove the spring eye bolts and nuts and remove the spring.
Unbolt center pin and remove. Un-clamp leaf spring. CAUTION - Take care when releasing the cclamps since the springs are under load and will “spring” apart when released.
Position add-a-leaf under the next longest leaf of the spring pack. Replace the shorter spring leafs under
the helper leaf and clamp together, being careful to align the center pin holes in the spring leafs. If less
lift is desired the leaf under the new add-a-leaf can be removed.
Insert the new center pin supplied with the kit through the spring assembly with the head of the center
pin in the same location as the stock pin. Re-compress the pack with the c-clamps, not center pin, to
avoid stripping of nut/bolt threads. Bolt together, being sure to align leafs. Cut off excess threads on
the center pin with a hack saw. If applicable, re-form straps or install new bend straps. If heat is used
on the straps, allow them to cool naturally and thoroughly before removing the c-clamps.
Replace spring on vehicle and replace u-bolts, nuts and washers. Torque u-bolts evenly using a “x”
tightening sequence to the following values.
65-80 ft./lbs
75-90 ft./lbs.
86-110 ft./lbs.
Do not fully tighten the stock shackle and stationery spring eye bolts. These bolts are not torqued until
the suspension is supporting the vehicle weight.
Front only - Most models have a turning radius stop bolts located on the front axle knuckles. In a full
locked turn these stops limit turning before the tires make contact with the leaf springs or the steering
sector itself is “bottomed out”. Adjust, as required, each stop bolt to where it limits turning at least ½”
before tire-to-spring contact occurs. Tire-to-spring contact may cause tire damage and, in extreme
cases, increase the possibility of vehicle rollover.
Repeat process for the other spring.
Remove jack stands and lower vehicle to floor. With the suspension supporting vehicle weight, torque
the springs stationary and shackle eye bolts.
Alignment - On solid axle applications, alignment is not significantly altered by add-a-leaf lift. But, we
suggest that alignment be checked to assure correct tire wear and drivability.
As a general rule, the taller a vehicle is, the easier it will roll. Offset, as much as possible, what is lost in rollover
resistance by increasing tire track width. In other words, go "wide" as you go "tall". Many sportsmen remove their
mud tires after hunting season and install ones more appropriate for street driving; always use as wide a tire and
wheel combination as possible to enhance vehicle stability. We strongly recommend, because of rollover possibility,
that the vehicle be equipped with a functional roll-bar and cage system. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses should
be worn at all times. Avoid situations where a side rollover may occur. Generally, braking performance and
capability are decreased when significantly larger/heavier tires and wheels are used. Take this into consideration
while driving. Do not add, alter, or fabricate any factory or after-market parts to increase vehicle height over the
intended height of the product purchased. Mixing component brands is not recommended. We make no claims
regarding lifting devices and excludes any and all implied claims. We will not be responsible for any product that
is altered.
Any vehicle equipped with any aftermarket product should have a “Warning to Driver” decal installed on the
inside of the windshield or on the vehicle’s dash. The decal should act as a constant reminder for whoever is
operating the vehicle of its unique handling characteristics.
INSTALLING DEALER - it is your responsibility to install the warning decal and forward these installation
instructions on to the vehicle owner for review. These instructions should be kept in the vehicle for its service life.
It is the ultimate buyers responsibility to have all bolts/nuts checked for tightness after the first 100 miles and then
every 1000 miles. A qualified professional mechanic must inspect wheel alignment, steering system, suspension
and driveline systems at least every 3,000 miles.
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