Good-bye saggy rear on Runners
(34 low res pics loading)
Jan 9 2006

The ole' 88 Runner was feeling its age...and so was I! The factory leafs were sagged down all the way onto the overload leafs and the ride was tough on the backbone. Plus that saggy look made it look like every other Runner out there. I measured about 8.5" here in the pic from the frame to the top of the leafpack. I imagine if I had the Runner shell on that it would load down to an even 8 inches.

This Runner of mine sees just road duty. I recently found some nice coils (200 pounds per inch) to try so I needed something quick and dirty to test it with. Nothing real fancy and time consuming on the brackets. Turns out I can set the bottom of the coil in the rubber bump-stops like this......

UPDATE---JAN 29 2010----coils were found on an Ebay site in 12" and 14" a much softer 100 pounds/inch rating. coil info

....and, for the top, I could fab up a simple mount like this.

Using a cutting wheel, I was able to quickly remove the upper deflectors.

Then secure my mount up top with some short 1 inch welds.

With the weight fully on the leafs again, it can be seen that the overload is no longer close to the rest of the pack. This gave me a 3" lift, much better ride, and the ability to carry a larger payload as compared to a stand-alone 3" leaf pack.

A few others showed interest in this set-up so I whipped up a few more(with 150 pound/inch rated coils this time).....

Then Sean came over with his Phoenix work truck. Even though this is a relatively new 1993 xtracab, it had the leafs laying absolutely flat on the over-load. Part of that could have something to do with the fiberglass shell that hides about 500 pounds of his work equipment inside.

I made this mount to replace the rubber snubber.

And here it is with 3.5" of lift and a beautiful ride that he happily reported.

The coils and the leafs are now sharing this load that he carries all the time. This probably means that the lift will remain pretty much constant for 10 years or more.

This is Fred's truck from Florida. It appears to be sitting level or slightly low in the back. His lift leafs needed just a little more umph.

I estimated that with 4" of spacers that Fred would net about 2" of lift.

Self capture feature.

This took Fred about 4 hours to install and netted him a perfect 1.75" lift. Maybe at a later date, he will move the shackles forward an inch or so.

I was also looking at TJ coils used on 97 and newer Jeeps.

Napolean, on 4x4wire, posted this pic of his brother's college truck that had the same sag prob. By cutting off the end tip of the coil, he was able to make it work with no real fab work.

I experimented with a TJ mount for rigs that have the u-bolt flip kits....

...and added a self-capture feature.

Stace, another Phoenix local, is getting the full treatment here. His Runner sits mostly level and definately sags when the camping gear goes in the back.

We measured about 10 inches between the frame and the topland of the leaf. We figured that the 12 coil with a 2 inch spacer would do the trick. Stace's Runner also leans to the right. He was not sure if that was due to a weak front or rear leaf. It didn't make any difference because the coil was going to fix it...just a matter of placing a little extra spacer on the right rear to bring it up level.

As shown in the pic, even with the 2 inch spacer, the coil was going to slip in place with no special tools or curse words.

Stace working away...

masking it off and spraying some black paint on....

I can hear the leafs saying "THANKS MAN!"

Here's the after pic...Hard to tell but the left side received a 2.5" lift....and the right side has 3.6" which makes it perfectly level now. Stace is a happy camper ;)

Kyle's 86 pick-up truck was sagging on both sides...but noticeably more-so on the left side.

No broken leafs....very little actual weight in the bed....just saggin' to the left.

I put some extra spacer on the left to even it out....

The right side saw no spacers.

Looks clean and simple....and Kyle gets to keep on using the factory packs.

Much better profile...about 2.5 inch lift. To read all the comments from the original LONG thread go here...4x4wire thread

In these 4 pics, Brent from Kentucky, was having a saggy rear issue even with 3" blocks which are just below the range of this picture. Saggy rear leafs and 3" blocks didn't bring the rear up to the 4 inch lift of the front end.

Between the 12" coils and a couple inches of spacer under them, as shown in the pic, the over-all lift is now more than with the 3" blocks. More lift is still desired at this point. The short factory shackles are now straight up and down. Leafs 1,2,3 and 4 are now off the springboard which now gives a super smooth ride compared to before. Brent also reports that the new found articulation is great (tires track the ground better).

Using these new shackles, that are a full 3 inches longer than factory, has given another 1.5" of additional lift...enough lift to now give the Runner a good profile. These shackles are "C Style" which means the bolt heads are welded to the plate giving excellent rigidity/strength.

The nasty 3" blocks are gone. :)

Brent supplied a few more pics here.....before......

After! :):):)

Some shots of the shackles I supplied to Brent to get that extra lift (about 1.5" more).



Even Brent's son is happy with the lift! ;)