Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Mitsubishi Delica Camper vans, lift kits & other Delica Accessories!

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Growlerbearnz
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby Growlerbearnz » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:17 am

Lately I've noticed that the caravan has been sitting a little nose-up when towing, when I'm sure I built the Delica's tow bar to tow it absolutely level. I think my rear springs have sagged a little.
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Add-a-leaf kits are easy for more common 4WDs, but not for the L300. I ended up buying a Toyota Tacoma kit because it was cheap, local, the centre pin is offset like the L300's springs, and it has nylon anti-friction pads (unlike some cheaper leaves). This one: http://www.trail-gear.com/product/4854/tacoma-rear-add-a-leaf-95-04

It still needed to be shortened a little at one end, and a new hole drilled for the plastic pad.
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The existing spring leaves have dimples to help locate them. I had to grind off the dimple next to the new leaf.
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Reassembly was uneventful.
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And now it's up on stilts. It should settle a little, which will be nice.
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I'm not quite finished. The differential pinion angle has always been a little high (4-5 degrees higher than the transmission). The new springs have helped by about 1 degree, but I'm going to install some wedge shims to correct it properly. The spring packs are also mounted with a couple of rubber isolating pads. I had to remove one of the pads to make room for the new leaf (cargo vans don't have the pads, so it's ok), but I think I'll buy new, longer U-bolts so I can keep the rubber pads as well as the larger spring pack.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

Stella87
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Vehicle: Mitsubishi Delica L300 P35W
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby Stella87 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:38 pm

Growler, I am making a trip back down to southern California soon and will be stopping by deaver. They manufacture custom leaf springs and have been in the industry for ages. Already spoke to him about re-arching my spring pack as well as a heavy duty add-a-leaf. I'll post up some more info when I get down there .

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"Delilah" 91 L300 P35W Exceed

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Growlerbearnz
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:18 am

Good idea! I looked into having my springs refurbished here, but the cost was NZ$500 a pair. Cheaper than buying new ones, but more than I expected. Something about being the only spring manufacturer in the country or something? Yay New Zealand! It's pretty, but it's small.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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WanderingPeso
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby WanderingPeso » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:12 pm

Hi Growlerbearnz,

Great post! We are interested in doing the same for our 1989 Delica. Do you know if adding the leaf springs lifted the back at all? What is the difference in weight rating now that you have them installed? Did you end up adding the longer U bolts?

Thank you for your feedback!
Wandering Peso
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1989 Chamonix Delica Starwagon

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Growlerbearnz
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:01 pm

WanderingPeso wrote:Do you know if adding the leaf springs lifted the back at all? What is the difference in weight rating now that you have them installed? Did you end up adding the longer U bolts?


It lifted the back about 2 inches- the photos tell the story. I'm not sure how to measure the weight rating, as long as it's not sitting on the bump stops I'm happy.

I fitted these U-bolts: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N8RMEIO. The top plate needed to be drilled out as they're thicker than the stock ones.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

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WanderingPeso
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby WanderingPeso » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:14 pm

Thank you for the response!

It's tricky finding the right size as we are adding additional weight (about 800#) to the van after the modifications are complete and gear is loaded. We were trying to find a way to add a leaf, for the additional weight, without adding much of a lift. Any thoughts on that?
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1989 Chamonix Delica Starwagon

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Growlerbearnz
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Rear springs Add-a-leaf

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:59 pm

You'd have to figure it out by trial and error, I think. Making the spring stronger is going to lift the back, but adding weight brings it back down. If you used an add-a-leaf like I did and the lift was too much you could always shorten the add-a-leaf a little at a time until the height was correct.

Maybe the best way would be to find a spring manufacturer and have your existing springs re-curved. They could weigh your van and re-arch the springs to end up at whatever height you specify- and if it's wrong, they can fix it.

When I added the leaf I had to remove one of the rubber mounting pads, as there wasn't room for it any more. I removed the top pad, but if you removed the lower pad instead that would lower the back end by a quarter inch.

You want to end up with the lowest leaf (the thick, flat one) not quite touching the leaf above it when the van's fully loaded. The lowest leaf is an overload leaf, it's intended to massively stiffen the spring up when there's a large load in the van. If the curved leaves are touching the overload then your ride is going to be harsh.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.


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