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Rear Spring Improvement

Adding two leaves to the Ram rear spring pack

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The camper and utility bed required a lot help from the Helwig helper springs that were installed in 1995. With the adjusters pulled tight, the 2500 pound helpers could just barely maintain the rear height. Roanoke Auto Spring suggested adding one leaf to each spring pack. I thought we should install three leaves per side and remove the helper, but they were concerned that the ride would suffer when the camper was removed. We compromised at two leaves added to each spring, and figured we could add a third if it was needed later. I could also put the helper back on if a little extra capacity was needed.

The result is a much more stable ride, with side sway control much better than the add-on helpers provided. Axle wrap has finally been controlled. So far, the match between the spring and the load is good, but a third leaf may be necessary when the rear bumper / tire rack is completed.


Roanoke Auto Spring Works
401 Williamson Rd NE
Roanoke VA
540-343-1597

Roanoke Auto Spring Works offers complete spring, driveshaft, alignment, frame, and steering component sales and services for all vehicles from cars to large trucks.

For many years, Roanoke Auto Spring has regularly appeared in the wheel drive magazines lists of excellent businesses. These lists are compiled from reader polls.

In 1999 I had Roanoke Auto Spring modify my Ram's front driveshaft for a Spicer 1530 U-joint to mate with my Dynatrac front axle. The driveshaft is fully balanced, has extra travel, and has a grease (zerk) fitting to allow routine lubrication of the slip joint splines.

In January 2000, I needed to beef the rear spring pack to support my utility bed and camper. Roanoke Auto Spring's experienced spring technicians were up to the task.

Installation of the new leaves took 2 hours, and went like this:

I drove the truck in wondering how they would pick it up to remove the spring.
Answer: using a chain fall attached to the hitch. The technician said they do this all of the time - the hitches are plenty strong. I am not worried about using the hi-lift on the hitch any more...
The four leaf OEM spring with the Helwig helper installed on top.
The axle was supported on jackstands and helper spring and all leaves but the main were removed.
Removed leaf pack
The clamp locating pins are driven out of the spring ends with an impact hammer
The locating pin holes are countersunk to allow bolts to replace the pins.
23 years of practice help the technician shape the new leaves to the correct profile on a 30 ton press.
The end of the leaf is heated with a torch, then punched and chopped to size. This operation was done on both ends of all 6 leaves!
A light grinding smooths the chopped end.
The completed pack is clamped together and temporarily banded for installation.
Spring straps are custom sized to keep the pack aligned while under load.
The axle bracket plates were drilled out to fit larger U-bolts
spring pack photo out of focus The completed installation

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