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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Worktruck/Daily Driver: 2015 SV KC 4x2 6-sp equipped w/ Firestone RideRite air bags

W/ 35k on my odometer I can see my right-sided leaf spring has a mild 'W' shape. Due to my Frontier's bed regularly carrying 600-650 lbs (which includes ARE bedshell), I know I'm taxing the rear suspension. The cargo weight is evenly spread.

The installation of RideRites in early '16 was a big help, but nevertheless I'll be looking into beefing things up for the long haul.
~ Was told that RideRite's perform roughly 20% of the suspension 'work' back there.

My wants are to add NO lift to my Frontier while also ideally maintaining ride quality.
~ I don't want my bed/cargo any higher, nor do I want to have to address the front suspension for leveling purposes. Is this 'too much' to ask?


I called a well known custom leaf spring company and it was suggested that Nissan used lower quality/weaker Asian steel. While I can understand that manufacturers are constantly cutting costs, it didn't make much sense to me that the heavy/bulky leaf springs would be imported over using a domestic steel product. True or not?

~ Was quoted ~$630 for custom spring packs. Sounds high? Maybe not??
~ ~ Then add shipping + installation cost which I'll guesstimate at $300-$400 combined.
~ ~ ~ How long can I expect custom leaf packs to last before needing replaced?


I'm expecting to get new shocks at all four corners around 50k miles...so, replacing OEMs Winter '18-'19.


This is shaping up to be my Winter research project, so any input is very much appreciated. TIA!
 

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2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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I had custom heavy duty rear lift springs made at a shop and it was around $1k installed I believe, so your price seems high as things are usually much cheaper south of the arctic divide. Is there not a shop that can make the springs and install them for you? I drove 3 hours round trip to go to the shop I chose. BTW - with my beefy springs and air bags, I am liking the ride very much.
 

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A custom set of Deavers are about a grand without installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had custom heavy duty rear lift springs made at a shop and it was around $1k installed I believe, so your price seems high as things are usually much cheaper south of the arctic divide. Is there not a shop that can make the springs and install them for you? I drove 3 hours round trip to go to the shop I chose. BTW - with my beefy springs and air bags, I am liking the ride very much.
Yes, I found a local place that can likely make me a custom set. Their advertised HD springs will (I'm told) result in 1.5" of rear lift and would be ~$800 installed. Guessing these would settle some? Also guessing a custom pack would run a bit more money as well. Will call them next week.

Question: I seem to recall that the right side leaf spring is more susceptible to warpage due to rear axle movement from acceleration? Are there other ways to address this to help preserve new leaf springs? My right foot is kinda twitchy... :)

My main goal is to address this for the long haul. It will be money well spent.
 

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Were your airbags installed the whole time? I would consider just getting replacement OEM springs (you may see a brief or small rear ride height increase sine they will be new) which you can find online for about $150 per side since you have the airbags now. I think if your airbags are inflated to the right pressure to match the load that new OEM springs will last for quite a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Were your airbags installed the whole time? I would consider just getting replacement OEM springs (you may see a brief or small rear ride height increase sine they will be new) which you can find online for about $150 per side since you have the airbags now. I think if your airbags are inflated to the right pressure to match the load that new OEM springs will last for quite a while.
Truck brand new May '15. RideRites installed around the ~11k mile mark ~Feb/March '16. Truck now is nearing 36k miles.

Was told bags are doing ~20% of the work, so leaf springs must be doing the rest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't warped my springs from hitting the skinny pedal.
Zed, are you referring to your HD leaf springs? How many miles on them? How did your OEMs look when you made this upgrade? Tow or haul much? Lifted?
~ Hearing you like your quality of ride w/ your HD setup + RideRites is good/soothing news to my ears. The last thing I want is to regret getting the wrong setup and wind up w/ an ultra~stiff ride quality.

My 600-650 lbs of cargo is approaching 41%-44% of cargo capacity (1471 lbs).

The well known leaf spring company tech rep I spoke with suggested getting springs rated for 1/2 to 2/3 of my cargo weight and using the RideRites to 'take up the slack'. This seems like a decent compromise for retaining some ride quality when I'm unloaded. Thoughts?
 

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2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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If you always have that much weight in the back, I would get appropriate springs made. I usually have 300lbs in the back, add 200lbs right now with winter. I have my bags at 15psi all the time and only pump them up more when I am fully loaded or towing.

My stock springs were going flat almost right away, I added the 2" Deaver AAL and they went flat pretty quick as well, hence the custom springs. When I pulled off my old leaves with the AAL in them, the guy at the shop flipped them upside down, dropped them to the ground, and they flattened out and stayed there. :laugh:

Buy something that is right and that you will like. I do not like to go cheap on: suspension, brakes, or good tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you always have that much weight in the back, I would get appropriate springs made. I usually have 300lbs in the back, add 200lbs right now with winter. I have my bags at 15psi all the time and only pump them up more when I am fully loaded or towing.

My stock springs were going flat almost right away, I added the 2" Deaver AAL and they went flat pretty quick as well, hence the custom springs. When I pulled off my old leaves with the AAL in them, the guy at the shop flipped them upside down, dropped them to the ground, and they flattened out and stayed there. :laugh:

Buy something that is right and that you will like. I do not like to go cheap on: suspension, brakes, or good tires.
Thanks. Agree on spending the money and doing this right for my application. Fronty is my DD as well.
My gal prefers to ride/vacay in it as opposed to her Honda Fit/commuter car. Really, that Fit is NOT a hwy cruiser. The thing is wound up tight and doing ~4K rpms at interstate speeds. BZZZZZ

My timeline to have this leaf springrear suspension upgrade done by early March. I like to research!
 

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Here is another companyhttps://www.generalspringkc.com/product_p/69-285hd.htm
It's a 4/1 leaf setup and according to the sales rep, it add 500 lbs capacity and lifts only 1-1.5 inches. I don't think it's possible to add weight capacity without adding lift. The more capacity, the more leafs are required.
I just purchased a set. I'll let you know how they are once installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's a 4/1 leaf setup and according to the sales rep, it add 500 lbs capacity and lifts only 1-1.5 inches. I don't think it's possible to add weight capacity without adding lift. The more capacity, the more leafs are required.
I just purchased a set. I'll let you know how they are once installed.
What is your timeline? Very interested in your impressions.
~ Is this mod install to suit your truck's purposes...IE hauling &/or towing?

So far, I've gotten the impression that there are 'custom' leaf packs w/ no lift and more capacity. BUT, there are more mod-minded folks who would rather lift their truck WHILE increasing their capacity. Makes sense for functional offroad wheeling/overlanding.

I inquired at my Nissan dealer how much they'd want just to install new leaf packs that I bring in. They quoted 4 hrs labor = $460 + tax, so a bit over $500. Yeah, kinda pricey.
 

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What is your timeline? Very interested in your impressions.
~ Is this mod install to suit your truck's purposes...IE hauling &/or towing?
My truck is just a DD, I don't tow or haul much and barely ever off-road this truck (bought a KTM for that) and the stock suspension with 75k is wore out. I Chose the General Spring pack for a few reasons. My main intent with this pack is to have a more reliable pack that wont go flat as easily as the stocker without breaking the bank with a custom. I am also doing a mild lift of 1.5" up front with the OME MD spring/strut combo so if it's true that this leaf pack lifts 1", it should look pretty balanced. Some may say the OME MD leaf for the rear would be the way to go, however I have read that the OME pack will give more rake than stock (which I do not want) and it has 6 leafs causing a much stiffer ride. The General, has 5 leafs and "should" ride better then the OME. It will still be stiffer than the stock pack but I like the ride to lean towards the stiffer side. I am hoping to have it installed this week, but by next week at the latest, so you should have my review before Christmas.

For $500 in labor, If you don't own them already, you could easily buy the tools needed to replace the leaf springs yourself. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, I would suggest finding a cheaper shop. Replacing leaf springs isn't a complicated job, so many mechanics should be able to do them and most likely at a cheaper labor rate than the over priced dealers.
If you go with the General Spring, they gave me $50 off by price matching their competitor SDtrucksprings.com
 

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What is your timeline? Very interested in your impressions.
~ Is this mod install to suit your truck's purposes...IE hauling &/or towing?
Just installed them on Wednesday. I have a little experience with suspensions but not much however I found replacing the leaf springs and shocks very easy and straight forward. Only took me 3- 3.5 hours. I don't know your skill level for working on vehicles but if you are mechanically inclined, I would recommend doing it yourself.

My purpose for these leaf springs is not hauling, towing, or even off roading. My truck is a DD commuter. I just was after a leaf spring that was more durable than stock with an increase on load capacity and gave a little lift. I've only driven 90 miles with them so I can't give a full review yet, however I have to say I am really impressed so far. I complemented them with Bil 5100s in the rear. The ride is very comfortable to me. It's slightly firmer and solid then what I remember stock feeling like 75k miles ago. The truck used to squat an obvious amount with a 250 lbs person on the tailgate, now it doesn't move nearly as much. Also I got a little lift from it. As it sits there is more forward rake than I would like so the OME should balance it out great I don't want to give too much information on them yet since I am waiting on my OME MD front set up to come in the mail. What I will say is, in my opinion, the Frontier should have been built with this pack instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
New HD springs going on next Tue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HD springs installed ($800 parts+labor+tax). The ride quality is just a bit more firm...really pleased overall.
With ~200 lb topper, empty bed & no air/PSI in RideRites => currently sitting at 36" in back and 34" up front.
 

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New HD springs going on next Tue.
HD springs installed ($800 parts+labor+tax). The ride quality is just a bit more firm...really pleased overall.
With ~200 lb topper, empty bed & no air/PSI in RideRites => currently sitting at 36" in back and 34" up front.
Which brand of springs did you end up getting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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if I opted for the general springs units would they be DIY installable ? I've seen youtube
videos of add-a-leaf self installed etc but asking if generally leaf springs can easily be
done at home. don't they just assemble a leaf at a time, clamped and then reattached
to the rear axle ? saving money but want to do this safely and properly
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
raymond~, not sure what you're asking exactly. I had my OEM leaf springs replaced w/ General Springs' Heavy Duty units. In retrospect, I wish I had done this when my '15 truck was new so I could have sold the OEM leaf springs to lessen the overall expenditure. But, that's just hindsight-speak.

I believe the main issue(s) in leaf spring replacement is/are whether or how easily all the old OEM hardware will come off/apart. Frozen nuts on bolts, etc... Because HD springs are thicker, new/longer U-bolts were required. New bushings might be needed as well. These guys sell all that stuff, so give em a call. I found them very knowledgable and easy to work with.
_____

Loaded my truck bed w/ an additional 475 lbs today (RideRite airbags with zero air/PSI)...rear end dropped only 1"...to 35" from garage floor. Will air up to 10 PSI tomorrow and remeasure as well as compare the quality of ride.

Because airbags literally take the place of the OEM rubber bump stops, there should always be 5-10 PSI in them as a level of safety. These few days of zero PSI are purely experimental.

REALLY, I fully expected the ride to tend toward jittery and rough. Instead, it is comfortable...nearly like stock leaf springs w/ airbags pumped to 10 PSI. Fwiw, I'm at 38k miles and still on original OEM SV shocks.
 
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