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Offroad Tech Discussion pertaining to additions or questions which improve off-road ability, recovery and safety, such as suspension, body lifts, lockers etc
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:43 PM   #1
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Downey Leaf Springs

So... I was thinking of picking up a pair of the downey rear leaf springs for my 86' runner due to previous reviews I have read on this site. However, lately I have read some reviews saying these springs aren't preforming very well and are sagging more then expected.
Can anyone give me some assurance that these springs will get rid of my sagging rear end or is my money better spent elsewhere? I am planning on getting the 3" lift.

Any help or reassurance is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:50 PM   #2
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depending on weight, you may need springs and shackles. i run the rear downeys on my 89 p/u and they have been on there at least 8 years. they have been very abused and have lost little to no height. performance is going to depend on if you re-use your overload spring. i didn't re-use the overloads and they twist like crazy, but i had to ad a traction bar because of the excessive axle wrap.

mike
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:28 AM   #3
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if they sag, put an add-a-leaf in them, or get longer shackles. i just bought some(my fronts are still in the mail, rears are here) from another website pretty cheaply, i think $340 or so shipped front and rear, what drew me to them is that they're mil-wrapped unlike most other aftermarket springs(besides the expensive stuff like alcan, marlin etc)

keep in mind that you need to add your load leafs from your existing spring packs to these though. that's not from experience, its from the directions that come with the springs
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:40 PM   #4
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After having the downey 3" springs, I have some suggestions.

The Downey pack is good if you want a simple bolt on system. They perform well and flex better than an AAL or block. I recently measured 9" of travel on my Downey 3" pack. That is going 1" into the bump stops.

Now if you want a soft ride, I would consider the Deaver tripple pack. It won't increase your flex any more than your stock spring pack already does, but it will lift you and supply a more compliant ride. If I were to do it again, I would get a moderate shacle and the Deaver tripple pack.
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:22 PM   #5
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I like the downeys. I've had them about 8 months, and they flex way better than my stock springs with add a leafs. I don't recoment add a leafs, as they stiffen ride, and i don't think they have much bennifit. The downeys are cheap which is another plus.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:17 AM   #6
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Did using your stock overload leaf with the Downey's make them ride stiffer as well?
I was considering the Downey 3" rears too, but I insist on a smooth ride. My stock springs with blocks ride nice but axle wrap is unbelievable! I've had it with rough bouncy rears though, and that's the crapshoot with springs - darn few "manufacturers" engineer them for ride, they are just pieces of steel that hold up the rear and that's about it... If I can't eliminate the axle wrap with lift springs that also ride well I'd just do traction bars with what I have.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamedx4
Did using your stock overload leaf with the Downey's make them ride stiffer as well?

I did use my stock overload spring, and the ride is still unbelieveably different. Now, i dont' know how soft it is by your standards, but my old set up was as follows. Stock springs (original so they were like 17 years old) plus add a leafs. Felt like it might as well be riding with the axle welded to the frame. With the downey's, they are MUCH MUCH better. Now, the 4runner is going to be a bit heavier than your pick up in the rear, so not sure how that will affect them. I like them alot, but i haven't tried anything else either. I personally would do all i could to get rid of those blocks though, axle wrap is kinda scary to me. Hope i helped.
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:28 AM   #8
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yesss indeedy, axle wrap is awful. I once had AALs on an 85 4Runner and they were awful. Stiff and bouncy. I'd never go that route again although there are many today that appear to be much improved from the "old days."

I had read that the Downey rears were excellent for smooth ride and flex without the overload leaf, but the leaf makes them stiffer. Seems to me leaving out the leaf would allow axle wrap again though. For the price it seems worth trying. Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-26-2005, 05:04 PM   #9
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Yeah, you could try it w/out the overload, and see, and just hang onto it. If you are wrapping still, throw it in.
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:49 PM   #10
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ok, i'm putting downey 3" leafs onto my pickup right now and im trying to decide if i should put on the overload or not. what are the pros/cons and risks if any of running without the stock overload leaf? like will i see any problems if i didnt use it, or would reusing it have no affect on my flex or performance?
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:32 PM   #11
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It will ride better without the overload, but i have no idea what the risks are. You could get some axlewrap. Try it without, and put it in later if you have problems
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Old 07-29-2005, 03:59 PM   #12
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A couple points to be made about the downey 3" pack.

1. On 4runners you are supposed to take a leaf out of the stock pack and ad it in to the downey's if you truly want 3" of lift. Sounds like most of us haven't done that. Without it I got about 2" of lift. I figure the extra leaf will stiffen the ride. For trucks you just put em in as is.

2. The stock overload is thick and aggressive. When you bottom out, you BOTOM OUT. As suggested per Downey, I used thier prerunner Add a Leaf in place of the stock overload. This made the ride way more progressive. Instead of hard bottoming, it seemed to absorb hits a little smoother. Without the extra stock leaf, I was always resting on the overload which may have stiffened the ride, but not as much as the stock overload would have. On a truck, this would probably not touch the regular pack.

I woudl definitely consider the prerunner AAL, it's cheap and definitely makes a good addition to the pack.
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:40 AM   #13
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Okay, I had Downey 4" springs on the back of my 1987 toy, rode nice all the way to Moab. Our 1st trail in Moab was Fins and Things. Took us about 4 hrs and when I got done with the trail my truck sat 6 inches lower in the rear. The Downey springs completly failed. They were basically upside down and riding on the bumpstops. I would not ever use Downey again. Spoke with the owner and argued about getting my money back on them. He finally gave in and sent me my money. The next day after the springs failed had to drive into Grand Junction and buy a pair of Alcan springs. Love them. Drove back and did Hells Revenge without a problem.
If you have ever been to Moab and did Fins and things you would know that it is an easy trail and that the Downey Springs should have been able to handle them just as the stock springs on my friends Chevy Blazer ZR7 or what ever the heck it is.
Alcan treated me fine. Good Luck
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:40 AM
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