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View Full Version : will this work? Good idea?


chefdrp
08-31-2004, 11:31 PM
I got my new work truck as you all know. Well its a 1/2 ton. what do you guys think about the idea of putting 3/4 or 1 ton leaf springs on it. Its going in the shop at a little mech shop to fix the hangers on the springs and put a Reese reciever on.He said he would put another leaf inbut what about just puttin some other ones on?

locutus
08-31-2004, 11:41 PM
I thinks it's a good idea especially if your trailers tongue weight is going to squat the back of your truck down. The only difference you might notice is a little rougher ride. I have a 3/4 ton pickup and honestly can tell very little difference in ride from my 1/2 ton.

GrassFearsMe
08-31-2004, 11:41 PM
I have a 1500 dodge with 3500 series suspension in it. I can hold a crap load but it is real stiff when i comes to bumps.

fga
08-31-2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by locutus
I thinks it's a good idea especially if your trailers tongue weight is going to squat the back of your truck down. The only difference you might notice is a little rougher ride. I have a 3/4 ton pickup and honestly can tell very little difference in ride from my 1/2 ton. i've had an F150, and an f250. for me it was a world of difference in the ride. my 150 drove like a cadillac. my 250, well, my wife wanted to go for a drive a few times hoping her water would break....;)

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
08-31-2004, 11:49 PM
Your truck is as strong as your weakest link. Yes it will help if the tongue is really heavy. However things like your wheel bearings, your tires, your axel, your transmission are only made for a 1/2 ton pickup. I dont think the transmission is such a problem. The main thing you need to worry about if you change the leafs to pull more weight is your brakes. The main difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton truck is bigger brakes and bigger suspension. I know there are other chages but for the most part that is usually the only difference, especially with the older trucks. If you plan on pulling or carying more weight, plan on braking sooner and more frequent brake jobs. Wont help you in a panic stop though. Basically my main point is what ever is the lowest weight rating is your weakest link and thats your limit as to what you can carry. If you plan on carrying the same weight and just add a leaf for tongue weight you should be fine.

locutus
08-31-2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by fga
i've had an F150, and an f250. for me it was a world of difference in the ride. my 150 drove like a cadillac. my 250, well, my wife wanted to go for a drive a few times hoping her water would break....;) If I am not mistaken, on my 3/4 ton there is couple of inches of travel before the extra leaf springs are enguaged. It rides really smooth unless I have my trailer hooked up or hit big bumps.

Turf Medic
08-31-2004, 11:56 PM
Different capacity of axles and bearings. You would not be able to carry the same weight as a 3/4 ton just because you put the heavier springs on it. Might even give you a false sense of security when looking at how the truck isn't sagging under the load. That coupled with the reduced stopping power, looks like an accident or an expensive repair bill waiting to happen. JMO With the differnece in price of a 1/2 and a 3/4 ton don't you think if the manufactures could get away with just putting heavier springs to up capacity they would be all over that.

Lbilawncare
09-01-2004, 12:07 AM
I fully agree with Turf Medic. I would get a set of Timbrens, cheaper and just as effective. We have an 84 Chevy 1/2 ton 4x4 that we put 3/4 springs on the rear. We used to treat it like a 3/4 and it would haul anything, the only problem was the smaller differential, didn't take too long for the teeth to wear out.

chefdrp
09-01-2004, 12:10 AM
all great points guys. Thanx alot.

Runner
09-01-2004, 12:10 AM
You may want to just look into a set of Timbrens for it. You would have the best of both worlds. A softer ride, and greater spring capacity. What everyone is saying about the axle, brakes, bearings and such is a genuine concern, though. Know your limits, and use the truck wisely.
Also, if it IS a sagging with the trailer issue, Timbrens are not the answer. Bigger springs would be more suitable. Timbrens wwill just help it from botoming out after it's already sagging. Bigger springs will keep it up in the first place, although it WILL affect your ride when empty.

fga
09-01-2004, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by locutus
If I am not mistaken, on my 3/4 ton there is couple of inches of travel before the extra leaf springs are enguaged. It rides really smooth unless I have my trailer hooked up or hit big bumps. for me its the opposite for some reason. same thing with my dump truck. when i have weight in it, it rides awesomely smooth. and in my defense, we have some killer potholes that knock you around, and that tight suspension is a back breaker with no weight in there.. i stopped taking cups of coffee with me in the morning.

Eric 1
09-01-2004, 01:51 PM
You would need to install a hole 3/4 ton rear end, just get a junk truck and rip the rear end out, springs and all, then install it.

Gravely_Man
09-01-2004, 01:57 PM
Erid1 just came up with the idea that I also thought of. Just swap out the whole rear end if you can.


Gravely_Man

Andyinchville2
09-01-2004, 02:34 PM
Watch the brakes.....3/4 ton trucks have bigger brakes....Also if the only mod to carry more weight is the springs you'll still have to
be careful not to overload the 1/2 ton axles and tires....Just because it doesn't sag doesn't mean it can carry or stop a load safely....

Turf Medic
09-01-2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by Eric 1
You would need to install a hole 3/4 ton rear end, just get a junk truck and rip the rear end out, springs and all, then install it.

This quite possibly could work for you, not that big of a job, and I am quite confident there is no difference in the frame structure 1/2 to 3/4 ton. As mentioned you will still have a concern with the braking power, the majority of stopping capability comes from the front wheels. And you will still be using the 1/2 ton set up on the front. I would make sure you get the drive shaft from the 3/4 ton if you decide to undertake this, a good machine shop should be able to adapt it to the 1/2 ton, if I remember correctly 3/4 ton usually uses heavier driveshaft components ie u-joints. Good Luck

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
09-01-2004, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Turf Medic
I am quite confident there is no difference in the frame structure 1/2 to 3/4 ton.

This is very true. Like I said before especially with the older trucks, the frame and body style are about the same. The main difference is bigger suspension and bigger brakes. Swapiing the suspension system from another truck only solves half the problem. You may save yourself a few hundred dollars by only swaping the suspension and axel, but what happens if you get in an accident because you could stop quick enough? Just a rough idea : Truck($2,000) Basic open trailer ($2,000) Your equipment ($14,000) Plus another totaled car ($15,000). You save a few hundred dollars by not doing the brakes, but you risk $33,000 give or take if you get in an accident with 1/2 ton brakes. Three steps forward a hundred steps backwards. JMO

Eric 1
09-01-2004, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
This is very true. Like I said before especially with the older trucks, the frame and body style are about the same. The main difference is bigger suspension and bigger brakes. Swapiing the suspension system from another truck only solves half the problem. You may save yourself a few hundred dollars by only swaping the suspension and axel, but what happens if you get in an accident because you could stop quick enough? Just a rough idea : Truck($2,000) Basic open trailer ($2,000) Your equipment ($14,000) Plus another totaled car ($15,000). You save a few hundred dollars by not doing the brakes, but you risk $33,000 give or take if you get in an accident with 1/2 ton brakes. Three steps forward a hundred steps backwards. JMO

I was at napa today, they sell heavy duty pads and heavy duty cross drilled rotors that they say will give a 1/2 ton the stopping power of a 3/4 ton? It would cost about $250 -$300 to install them. They will be going on my new truck as soon as it needs new pads.:) We will see what happens.:)

barnard
09-01-2004, 10:02 PM
What is the max tongue weight for the receiver and the ball mount ? I doubt if its over 500 lbs. Most are not . There would be no need for the stiffer springs. Balance your trailer load so max tongue load is acceptable.

Eric 1
09-01-2004, 10:16 PM
Screw tongue weight, i have hap WAY over 500 pounds on mine. I mean how is it going to break? the only thing to give is the bolts, theres 6 of those, grade 8. Its not going anywhere. Plus, you may have a trailer AND a load of say, mulch, or any supplies.I haul fire wood mulch,sand,rock and god knows what else in the bed of my truck.the helpers are a necessity for me.

all ferris
09-01-2004, 10:30 PM
The frame on my 2500hd is way heavier (bigger) than on a 1500 truck. The frame on my old truck (2500 light duty chevy 1990 7200# GVWR) actually tore apart were the reciever attached to the frame. That truck had the same frame as a 1500. The result was the trailer tounge dragging on the ground behind me. I also had to put 2 rear ends in it beacause of the extra weight. Most 3/4 ton HD's have a full floating axle vs. semi floating. The semi floating axles are not near as up to heavy use as the full floating. Trying to make a 1/2 ton truck do the work of a 3/4 ton truck is not a good idea.

Eric 1
09-01-2004, 10:37 PM
Dude, what did you do to tear apart a frame!!!!!!!!:alien:

all ferris
09-01-2004, 11:07 PM
Dude, I used it. You can't put 10#'s of $hit in a 5# box.

PMLAWN
09-02-2004, 03:11 AM
Eric-Please do not drive your truck around my area as I love my children and do not want you to kill them because you think it is OK to overload a truck and than drive it on the street. Thanks

Dwan
09-02-2004, 03:29 AM
It takes a lot more then springs to make a 1/2 ton truck into a 3/4 ton truck, Like larger brakes, bearings, axles, frame rails, driveshaft, U-joints, 3rd member, tires, wheels, lug bolts, spring hangers, shocks, and that little sticker on the door panel that when you get polled over, for been overloaded, by the cops keeps you from going to jail. also insures that your insurance will cover you in an acident.
Now which is cheeper the right truck or trying to change that 1/2 ton.
If you can't afford the right tool for the job then you are not charging enough or should not be in the business.