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Old 01-18-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default Setting up the leaf spring suspension

This is a bit long, so forgive me in advance......

My TF2 is very much a work in progress. However, I just about have the suspension where I want it, and I'm quite happy with it.

In setting it up, I wanted:
  1. Emulate a 1:1 Toyota Hilux suspension as much as possible.
  2. Eliminate pinion rotation as much as possible when on/off throttle.
  3. Get sane pinion/driveshaft angles.
  4. Find a way to prevent springs from pretzeling.
  5. Tune suspension for general trail use, very light rocks. I have no interest in doing crazy crawling with this TF2 so mad flex wasn't a goal.
  6. Eliminate the awful kit shocks with their internal springs. These shocks make the overall spring rate worse than necessary.
  7. I didn't want to use any optional parts like box or Z shackles. I want the suspension to work, not get articulation from these products.
After fussing around with red and black leaves in various configurations, I learned:
  • The 2 lower black leaves are absurdly high spring rate. I sandwiched them for 48 hours with 20lb of dead weight and they did not flatten nor show any appreciable softening. They are sitting in a container and will likely never be used.
  • In testing and watching another TF2, I observed the lower springs tend to dig into the leaf above, as opposed to moving freely - hence the oil-impregnated nylon. (Notice the paint/coating scraped off yours?)
  • Military wrap is a no-go (at least, right now). I tried opening the eyes on both black and red leaves to get a full wrap, but this made the suspension rock hard. I still want to figure this out, again to emulate 1:1.
  • The steel Punisher shaft in the front is the limiter for suspension movement. The spring pin through the shackle/spring eye hitting the frame is the next limiter. I intend to fix this and will update this post.
What I ended up using:
  • Red leaf as the main, topmost leaf.
  • A strip of 1/64" oil-impregnated nylon sheet cut just longer then the length of the next leaf down. My intent here was to eliminate the digging, and allow the springs to compress naturally.
  • Long black leaf with the eyes cut off.
  • 1/32" wear-resistant nylon cut for the lowest, overload leaf.
  • I cut and tapped shims from delrin. Thanks to RC4wd posting shim dimensions on their site, I had a good starting point. My shims are 20mm long, 4mm to <1mm angle so about 10* (?), tapped with 3mm holes to match the spring bolts.
  • Temporary: Axial SCX10 plastic shocks, 90mm, no coils on them. I had them lying around, and they proved out my setup. However, I could stand to go with 100mm in the rear.
  • Gelande front shock hoops.
  • I don't have true high-steer, but a close approximation.
So, what I have is is a spring pack modeled after 1:1 - topmost spring is softest and mostly used to locate the axle, with the springs beneath (the black one and nylon, in my case) providing progressively more spring rate.

Anyway, some pix accompanied with even more words. I am very open to suggestions and other ideas.

This shows the basic spring configuration:


Front driver's side. I'm still getting sme lift steer when turning right, so I suspect a taller spacer/longer bolt will help:


Rear springs, need to flip the nuts/bolts back as specified in the maunaul (the kit shocks hit the nuts when I was testing).


Front works ok, I'll modify the Punisher shaft to get more:


Rear suspension works well. I am very happy how the compressed spring flattens out, shackle is almost horizontal, and how the other side extends and springs "fan" out.


Spring flattens without inverting (optical illusion that it appears to be pretzeling). Perfect.


Again, front limited due to no compression of Punisher shaft. This is a +4" step, still not terrible.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

I cut off 1cm from the female end of the front steel Punisher shaft (to match the length of the kit nylon shafts). This netted a nice increase in front suspension travel, and I suspect another 5mm will be about perfect.

Making that cut was hard:


Front suspension mostly compressed, still have a little slip yoke travel left:


Exactly what I wanted: extended side fanning out, compressed side nearly flat:
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Looking good so far. Glad to see my old reds being put to good use. Now it needs to come out to play!
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Thanks man, but your old red leaves are sitting on the bench! I may yet end up using them............
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Wow GREAT info so far. Thanks a ton bud. I'm about to tear my TF2 down to get the suspension working correctly, it just binds, pretzels and sucks over all. Lol.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

I need to update - the overload nylon leaf setup didn't work out so great after a little run time + putting the body on the rig. Where I'm at now is: Red (topmost), nylon impregnated w/ oil; black long leaf with eyes cut off; impregnated nylon; then the lowest leaf is the middle-length black leaf from the stock pack. With the shims I made, I have the ride height I want and packs that work great.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Seriously I would simply pop the stock black ones back on. The rear with no helper, the front with just the large helper underneath.
The stock leafs bed in after just a few hours trail time to handle just as good as the reds but without the bending of the reds.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by northernerbill View Post
Seriously I would simply pop the stock black ones back on. The rear with no helper, the front with just the large helper underneath.
The stock leafs bed in after just a few hours trail time to handle just as good as the reds but without the bending of the reds.
Agreed
I,ve found this a real good set up , i did add some anti wrap bars to the rear to save the leafs
and i run Axial shock hoops and SCX10 shocks up front
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

The black w/ no "helper" results in too much pinion tipping and potential for over-compression (or, inversion), which will ultimately lead to bending the main black leaf unless you run an anti-wrap bar. I don't want to run an anti-wrap bar, those are for Chevy's with high HP, lots of chrome, that only stay on pavement. ;)

The long black leaf with the eyes cut off will not bend the red leaf. When the pack compresses, the pressure of the black leaf is at 2 points: where the screws pass through the leaves into the axle housing, and right on the point where the spring shackle pins pass through the red leaves.

In my original post, I listed some goals, #1 is to have a spring pack that is "scale" and emulates the 1:1. I don't find a single leaf, anti-wrap bars, or coils particularly scale.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

I've run reds in every combo and they always bend in the end.......always. For very light trail runs though am sure they don't need tweaking back too often. Whatever the helper size was influenced where they bend.

I've never fitted an anti wrap bar, and don't really suffer with it either.

I run the single black leaf on the rear with no helper as there's very little weight and it performs great.

The front I again use the black and the longer helper underneath to help due to the extra weight the front carries.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr00zah View Post
The black w/ no "helper" results in too much pinion tipping and potential for over-compression (or, inversion), which will ultimately lead to bending the main black leaf unless you run an anti-wrap bar. I don't want to run an anti-wrap bar, those are for Chevy's with high HP, lots of chrome, that only stay on pavement. ;)

The long black leaf with the eyes cut off will not bend the red leaf. When the pack compresses, the pressure of the black leaf is at 2 points: where the screws pass through the leaves into the axle housing, and right on the point where the spring shackle pins pass through the red leaves.

In my original post, I listed some goals, #1 is to have a spring pack that is "scale" and emulates the 1:1. I don't find a single leaf, anti-wrap bars, or coils particularly scale.
If your gonna run reds , be prepared to fit anti wrap bars or get a weekly order for new springs .
Like has been said the stock black leafs are firm at first but then soften up nicely with a little use , were as the reds are fine at first but then become too soft after a little use.
As for coil overs in the front its not needed just run a bigger shock (I run SCX10 ) but ditch the springs, you just can,t get enuff down travel with the standard length shocks IMO

These are my anti wrap bars in there initial prototype and testing stage
i,ve since trimmed of all the fat and painted em black , and you really can,t see em unless your really looking for them



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Old 01-29-2015, 01:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatick View Post
If your gonna run reds , be prepared to fit anti wrap bars or get a weekly order for new springs .
Like has been said the stock black leafs are firm at first but then soften up nicely with a little use , were as the reds are fine at first but then become too soft after a little use.
As for coil overs in the front its not needed just run a bigger shock (I run SCX10 ) but ditch the springs, you just can,t get enuff down travel with the standard length shocks IMO

These are my anti wrap bars in there initial prototype and testing stage
i,ve since trimmed of all the fat and painted em black , and you really can,t see em unless your really looking for them



Attachment 307993

Attachment 307994
The black stockers do soften up quite a bit after only a couple of hours...
I'm even using the longer helper on the rear now because mine has softened quite a bit.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

I very much appreciate the input and experiences you guys have shared! In the end I suspect some/a lot of your advice will end up on my TF2, especially once some of my theories show themselves to be bunk (but I need to go through this and experience it for myself).

BTW I'll be running a topper/campershell on the main body, along with some stuff in the bed. This will impact the weight and distribution, but how and how much is a mystery to me now as I've not got the main body finished.
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

We understand, Cr00zah. You were just trying to see how many times you could use "oil-impregnated nylon" in one thread. We're impressed. The true test will come in a couple of weeks when we can compare yours and mine out on the trails and rocks.

As for your distaste of Chevy's, I'm still hurt that you scoffed at the electric red and white temporary K-5 body on my lovely new 1/5th scale Ascender (or at least it looks 1/5 th scale next to a TF2). No worries, though. I'll get over it. I think.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by new2rocks View Post
We understand, Cr00zah. You were just trying to see how many times you could use "oil-impregnated nylon" in one thread. We're impressed. The true test will come in a couple of weeks when we can compare yours and mine out on the trails and rocks.

As for your distaste of Chevy's, I'm still hurt that you scoffed at the electric red and white temporary K-5 body on my lovely new 1/5th scale Ascender (or at least it looks 1/5 th scale next to a TF2). No worries, though. I'll get over it. I think.
It's amazing you've gotten through, what - 2 rides lately without breaking anything? And you bust on me?

Coupla stickers and that K5 body can be the designated Whaaaambulance. For humans, it's so large.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:14 AM   #16
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

It turns out the red main leaf -> long black leaf with eyes cut off -> medium-length helper on front and nylon overload on rear is a great combo. No pictures, but I was very very happy with how the suspension worked on a ride yesterday.

And I truly am a dork - I should not have cut the front Punisher, when the front completely unloads the shaft can separate. Ah well, live and learn............
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

I like what u have done so far Cr00zah. I'm building my TF2 with bit more flex then what u want but trying to keep scale movement.
I will be doing alot of trail and rock crawling so need some flex. I have reds all around and large black leafs out back as helper.
Odds are i will go back to all blacks when i have the truck finished and at full weight.



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Old 02-13-2015, 04:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Setting up the leaf spring suspension

Hello Cr00zah have you tried or heard of the Chino mod where you taper the ends of the springs to make them narrow at the top of the eye.This made the most difference on my stompers suspension,it allows the leaves to twist with the axle more freely.
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