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  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 08:38 PM
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Leaf spring retainers/clamps/ whatever

The truck is a 97 F150 4x4 off road 4.6l ext. cab with tow package.

So i have searched and haven't really come to a solid answer. The clips that keep your leaves from spreading out sideways are finally gone on my truck and i would like to replace them.

I have had no luck finding factory replacement clips which is what i would really like to find, so does anyone have any idea where i can find these? (fordparts.com lists the little plastic pieces but not the clips themselves)

If i cant find these, then i want to put something on there anyway and what i have found are the u-bolt with a steel plate that clamps tight to the springs. Personally i dont like the look of these because for them to work you have to clamp them tight to the leaves which is not how the factory did it.

so if i cant find the factory style clips is there any danger with using the aftermarket style ones?

Thanks for any input and your help on this
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97 f150
5.4 triton,
4x4 off road
regular cab
Flow Master SIDO
Towing Mirrors
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2013, 10:13 PM
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Bump... for same questions and issues here on my '98.

In the meantime... anyone see anything wrong with just knocking the wandering leaves back in line? I can't see the harm but maybe it would twist or bind up something else?

I seem to recall reading recently while looking that the clips are factory riveted in. Anyone know if that's true? Though that might have been for a different (newer) year.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2013, 10:29 PM
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I don't think it is a separate item. It looks to be part of the leaf spring itself. Best bet would be aftermarket, if even that is available.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2013, 11:28 AM
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http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...mString=search

The clamps in the link above are the only ones i have been able to find. If this is all that is available I will use them. However, I am concerned that they don't only limit side to side movement, but they also don't allow the leaves to separate in an extended position where the axle would drop lower from the truck.
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2013, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
Bump... for same questions and issues here on my '98.

In the meantime... anyone see anything wrong with just knocking the wandering leaves back in line? I can't see the harm but maybe it would twist or bind up something else?

I seem to recall reading recently while looking that the clips are factory riveted in. Anyone know if that's true? Though that might have been for a different (newer) year.

From what I have read, a board on the springs to prevent damage and a BFH should help and be ok. I have thought about doing this and maybe jacking up on my hitch to reduce the weight on the springs. I may also loosen the U-bolts before hand.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2013, 05:54 PM
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kingfish51, yeah, looks like it will only be as part of a spring set, I've found a couple aftermarket suppliers, though the Canadian one pops up a "not in stock, but we can help you find it..." message that isn't exactly encouraging.

The other option might be a low mileage salvage... in which case I could add some slip sleeves between the leaves, since everything would be apart (or nearly so) anyway. Anyone have experience with that? Supposed to smooth things out but I've heard it can reduce spring life.

fordf150farmer, yep, figured it sounded like time to apply the "Don't force it, get a bigger hammer!" maxim

I haven't taken a close look yet (will winter never end?!) but I'm wondering how difficult it would be to fab something? I think the only tricky bit would be getting it attached to the rivet point. The rest looks like simple brake bending or beating metal over an anvil.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:51 AM
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Well I went ahead and installed the after market clamp on style retainers. The ones that are a u-bolt with a flat piece of steel on the other side and they just bolt around the spring pack.

The install is just as easy as you would expect, slide the u-bolt up from the bottom of the spring pack, add the flat steel, washers and tighten up the nuts. then if you are feeling froggy like i was you cut off the excess bolt.

Installing these on my truck took some extra steps to get the spring packs re aligned. I removed the tire on one side and then supported the axle with a jack stand as low as it would go. I then jacked the body up by the hitch to remove the weight from the springs (removing the tire allows you to get enough travel with jacking up the hitch to take pressure off of the springs) Then loosen the u-bolts on the axle and tap the leaves into place with your persuader of choice. Once this is done and you are satisfied, lower the truck and tighten the u-bolts torquing them to I believe 85 ft lbs. (then repeat for side two)

Once this is done the clamps go right on. I noticed my truck does have a stiffer ride now with this style of clamp, but a small price to pay for safety.


Hopefully this will help someone who needs to do this to their truck but is unsure. Definitely do it, its easy and is a safety issue.

I will try to get a picture here this weekend of the finished product to help those who may have a question about placement. I just put mine where the factory retainers were ( i could see the outline of where they had been)

Last edited by fordf150farmer; 05-18-2013 at 09:54 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2013, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for the update fordf150farmer. I should definitely get on that asap. Adding a trip to the parts store to my to-do today.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:30 AM


 
 
 
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