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propane evangelist
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798 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone running elliptical or semi-elliptical leaf springs?

I'm toying with the idea of going with a semi-elliptical leaf (buggy leaf) to add some more articulation to my four leaf sprung buggy. Advantages, drawbacks, something better/cheaper?
 

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(513) 891-8372
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12,024 Posts
Used to be the cool thing to do, but not anymore.

I have seen some bad mojo happen to them on the rocks. Seems they flex good but get wheel hop something fierce and that bends and breaks stuff.
 

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Covered in mud...
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17,915 Posts
Just about everyone running leaf springs is running semi-elliptical, since that means a normal leaf spring.

You mean 3/4 elliptical, i.e. a buggy leaf. They lfex well, but unload on decents, and can cause some issues with hop. Still, I know many people who run them very successfully.

On a buggy, I think if you inboard the springs, you can achieve all the flex you need.
 

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poser wheeler
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78 Posts
just like rollover shackles, they work for one, and only one thing, looking cool on the RTI ramp..
 

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Covered in mud...
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17,915 Posts
just like rollover shackles, they work for one, and only one thing, looking cool on the RTI ramp..
Hmm, not quite...they aren't the be-all end-all savior for leaf springs, but their aren't worthless on the trail, either.
 

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I am the law.
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29,823 Posts
Hmm, not quite...they aren't the be-all end-all savior for leaf springs, but their aren't worthless on the trail, either.
What are your thoughts on Nth Degree's old ZigZag? I picked up one a while back out of curiosity that had been installed, but never ran. Figured I'd throw it on my CJ-7 and see what it would do.
 

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Covered in mud...
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Dunno, I don't really like a lot of their stuff, in general.

That one seemed too gimmicky.
 

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propane evangelist
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798 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just about everyone running leaf springs is running semi-elliptical, since that means a normal leaf spring.

You mean 3/4 elliptical, i.e. a buggy leaf. They lfex well, but unload on decents, and can cause some issues with hop. Still, I know many people who run them very successfully.

On a buggy, I think if you inboard the springs, you can achieve all the flex you need.
could you explain "inboarding" the springs?
 

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Simplify...
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8,163 Posts
could you explain "inboarding" the springs?
Moving the spring/shackle hangers further inside the frame to allow for more articulation. I inboarded the springs on the CJ-10a in my avatar. Originally, the rear springs were outboarded on the frame (like a full-size Jeep).

Craig
 

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Covered in mud...
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17,915 Posts
exactly.

The side-to-side spacing of the springs doesnt' affect ride height, but affects leverage placed on them by articulation.

In the old days (in jeep terms, thats pre 76), truck frames were usually straight rails, like a ladder. But in the quest for more stable vehicles with less sway, the OEMs widened the frames and put the springs further apart. This makes them stable, but hurts articulation.

Think of it like this: (overly simplified)

If an axle was 60" wide and the springs are 30" apart/ Assuming you were twisting the suspension (so the pivot point is at the vehicle centerline), then for every one inch of spring travel, you'll get 2" of wheel travel.

If your springs were 45" apart, then to get the same 2" of wheel travel, you'd need 1.5" of spring travel.
 

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propane evangelist
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798 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting concept... my buggy frame is a shortened J truck frame, and the leafs are on the outside of the frame. I think I'll consider the inboarding first. What's it do for stability? Seems like it might make the vehicle sort of tippy...
 
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