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Old 02-14-2018, 11:09 AM   #1
Fred n' Ethel
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Question 54 3100 leaf springs

Howdy folks.
I have a 54, 3100.
The assumingly stock leaf springs are very nearly flat on the front and only slightly arched in the rear. (I'm thinking someone earlier on may have DE-arched them). ? ?
Looking at the truck head-on, the drivers side is about 1-1/2" lower than the left.
Similar when viewing from the rear, but slightly less.
The frame looks to be straight and the cab/bed mounting looks good.
Spring bumpers to the frame rails does vary as suspected by the direction of the lean.
I want to pull and re-arch the springs but need to know:
Can anyone tell me what the original runningboard, bumper... (or other ref.) height was for this model ?
Or, If anyone has an "as original" and could tell me how much arch is in the springs as the truck is setting with no payload.
Mine is just setting a bit crooked and a bit lower that I'd like (I think).
Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:09 PM   #2
Cuttin up
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

My 54 is untouched as far as originality is concerned, mother nature has touched it alot. haha. I do have the front clip off so you can see the front springs plain as day. It sits pretty level in the front. I can get a picture of the front springs if you would like but it may be a day or so by the time i have enough daylight to get it. This work nonsense gets in the way of cool stuff.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #3
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuttin up View Post
My 54 is untouched as far as originality is concerned, mother nature has touched it alot. haha. I do have the front clip off so you can see the front springs plain as day. It sits pretty level in the front. I can get a picture of the front springs if you would like but it may be a day or so by the time i have enough daylight to get it. This work nonsense gets in the way of cool stuff.
A pic (or 2) would be much appreciated, thanks.
Also, would you consider parting with the springs ?

Fantastic job there on that 54-S10 ! Awful cool.

Thanks again,
Fred
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Thanks! Progress on my truck has slowed way down with life getting in the way, but hopefully I'll be back on it sooner than later. I'm really only gonna use the cab at this point since the original frame is rotted in all the wrong places in the rear. So letting parts or the whole frame go will probably happen. PM me and we can work something out.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Sagging leaf spring (s) on the driver's side is pretty normal on these trucks as usually then went most of their miles with just the driver in them.

Had a Sheriff's Deputy pull me over in my truck one afternoon more to just look at the truck than anything else and he commented that it leaned to the left a bit, I said "fat driver" meaning myself and he didn't think that was the least bit funny.

If the springs are in otherwise good shape and the eyes aren't worn through because the bushings wore out a long time ago you can take them to a spring shop and have them re-arched. A guy can do it himself with a sledge hammer and an anvil but you soon learn why the spring shop charges to do it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:48 PM   #6
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

I have re-arched a few sets in the past. I made a saddle fixture for the hyd press. Takes a while to get it right, but well worth the savings by diy.
I'm a machinist/fabricator by trade so it went well.

Measuring up from a perfectly flat carport floor, there is only 1-5/8" difference at the turn signals.
Amazing how so little looks so far out.
Thanks Gents,
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:51 PM   #7
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Hi folks.
I've found illustrations of the shackle end of the springs but don't see a clear view of the fixed end. Looks like mine may be badly worn. The spring looks to be nearly to the bolt. Is there a bushing in there that could be worn through 1 side ?
Looking for a clear illustration.
Thanks
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:08 PM   #8
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

There is a Brass/bronze bushing and the pins wear pretty bad if they aren't greased right an often. These trucks were supposed to be greased ever 1000 miles when they were new and that may be pushing it.

It should be the top one on this Rock Auto page. You can probably put the AC Delco number in a search and find them locally but Rock Auto seems to hand out a woopin when it comes to beating others on chassis parts prices most of the time. http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/c...ing+bolt,10353

A bit of poking around on Rock auto will find all the spring bolts and new front shackles. bolts an bushings.

This page has the front shackes, bolts and bushings http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/c...g+shackle,7484

That puts it at about 60 $$ plus shipping for all the bolts bushings and new shackles.
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My ongoing truck projects:
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71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Last edited by mr48chev; 02-15-2018 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:42 PM   #9
Jesse Z
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

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Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Sagging leaf spring (s) on the driver's side is pretty normal on these trucks as usually then went most of their miles with just the driver in them.
So normal that it even has a name: Chevy Lean.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:40 AM   #10
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

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Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
So normal that it even has a name: Chevy Lean.
All makes perfect sense .... there's also a spare tire hangin' off of that same side.
Thanks !

These have been greased VERY well, but probably WAY too late.
Great gobs of grease plastered around the joint. Will dig into it and see what I've got.

I got a pile of material, and a machine shop. Bet I can beat rocks $.

Thanks again folks.

Last edited by Fred n' Ethel; 02-16-2018 at 01:48 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:54 AM   #11
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/c...ing+bolt,10353

A bit of poking around on Rock auto will find all the spring bolts and new front shackles. bolts an bushings.

This page has the front shackes, bolts and bushings http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/c...g+shackle,7484

That puts it at about 60 $$ plus shipping for all the bolts bushings and new shackles.
On second thought, I'd be better of with your suggestion and spend my time making parts for customers instead.
Thanks a bunch.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:07 PM   #12
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

Had a great day out n' about with the wife Sunday. Went to visit a new friend .. Cuttin up. Brought back some goodies too. Thanks go to Cuttin up and his tractor driver.

Anyway, my 3100 has 8 leaves front and back, just like in the attached spec.
The front are, as mentioned earlier, nearly flat, barely an arch. My truck also sits lower in the front than in the back. The front of the bed is about 2-1/2" lower than the rear.

The 3100 I just got has 8 on the back and 10 on the front. I took the front springs off, cleaned them up and they are arched about 3-1/2" which would level my truck (bed) pretty well. I think that would look better. More like original ? ?

Did these trucks set level when new ? (the bed, front to back)
Is it common to put the extra leaves under the front ?
Maybe the original 8 wasn't quite adequate for a farm truck ? but fine on the highway ? just wonderin'.

The 10 leaf stack is specified for the 3/4 ton.

If I put the 10 leaf stack in mine and it levels it up nicely, will it affect the ride/handling to any dramatic extent ?

What do you think I should expect ?

Thanks again folks,
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:29 PM   #13
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

... also meant to mention, both trucks measure 38'' front springs and 54" rear so they are apparently both 1/2 ton chassis.
Thanks
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:33 PM   #14
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

It was great to meet y’all. My tractor driver may be small but she shook me down for her cut. Haha.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:53 PM   #15
Fred n' Ethel
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Re: 54 3100 leaf springs

The replacement springs looked really good. A little rusty, but all the pins and bushings are in great condition. Good enough to reuse.
(can't say so much about the old ones .... jeeesh, nearly cut through)

And, it took the large majority of the lean out. You can see near the axle, there's just a slight lean now, might be able to correct that with the rear springs ... maybe.

BTW, I miscounted, there are 9 leaves in the front, not 8 ... or 10. Must be a custom job.

Oh, and the truck is more level front to rear as well. Looks much better, (to me).
Thanks guys.
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