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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1991 Dakota 4x4. The rear drivers side of the truck sits 1/2" lower than the passenger side. When I put the truck on the hoist the rear driver's tire sits higher than the passenger side. I thought that helper springs would work. I put a helper spring on both sides. Passenger side just tight enough for it not to come loose. The driver's side I tightened to the max. The helper spring I used is suppose to increase load by 500lbs. After this, the driver's side still sat 1/2" lower. Is it possible the shock is limiting that side of the truck since the truck sits lower on that side but when lifted in the air the tire sits higher.

My next test is to remove the rear driver's side shock but I don't always have access to a hoist.

I have owned the truck since new. It has never been in an accident or went off roading to the point the frame is twisted. The truck sits on the hoist perfectly.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Kind of an odd one, but not sure how a shock would interfere with the difference unless it is bottomed out to begin with. Shocks absorb shock while driving, and dampen its intensity. Even gas shocks do this, they just have a pressure in them to start with but function the same. I would check the air pressure, but mostly I would check the spring bushings to ensure they aren't worn, basically oval shaped which can allow more compression at the pivot point to make one side sit lower than the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I have a good understanding of shocks, I just don't know the inside workings of them. I run Fox air shocks on my mountain bikes and sleds. Evol R's on my sleds where I adjust compression, rebound, air pressure in the main for ride height and air pressure in the Evol for bottoming out resistance. If they fail I can't fix them.

The worn bushing makes sense and that it moves within an oval because sometimes when my gas tank is empty the truck will sit flat. Since my truck is going to be 22 years old soon, I should just change the whole spring pack and put everything new. I don't have the tools to change a bushing. So if I'm paying the labor to remove my springs and change the bushing, I should just go new.(tough to find parts for a 22 year old dakota but not impossible.)

Thanks for the advice.
(ps love to go for a ride in your charger)
 

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Standard shocks won't affect ride height, pressurized shocks a little. After 22 years I suspect that spring sag has occurred and that there has been a difference between left and right sag/wear rates. Also check your bed-to-frame mounts for collapsed/missing rubber bushings.
Check with a local vehicle spring service in your yellow pages/online. They can usually supply new leaf springs and installation for vehicles going back to the 1930's and the prices are reasonable.
This is an example of a local supplier that made me a rear pair for the '66 Imperial: http://www.thruwayspring.com/leafsprings.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What would be considered a reasonable price for new springs, bushings on springs and bushings in the spring mounts. I live near a small city and it only has one shop that specializes in springs.(most of their work is commercial trucks) They want a $1 000.00. If that is not reasonable, I do have family in Calgary and Winnipeg where I can call those shops for pricing if that I not reasonable. That just seemed steep to me but my truck really doesn't owe my anything after 22 years so spending $1 000.00 now and again isn't bad. Truck has no rust, front end has been rebuilt, transmission has been rebuilt over the years.
 

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It was about $700 in Rochester, NY. about 8 years ago and they had to make them. A Dakota may be an on-the-shelf item for the larger spring shops. The more estimates you have, the more price options you have.
If you remove the helper from the high side, does the height even out? Make sure that it is the springs first. Uneven front spring height will affect rear heights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It makes no difference in the 1/2" height difference with or without the helper. The helper wasn't a waist though as I put a snowmobile in the back of the truck and pull two snowmobiles on a trailer.
 

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That no change with the ride height with the helper springs pushes my thought to the bushings. The bushings are actually pretty easy to replace, look up how a jack screw works. Basically, a sleeve that is a tiny bit smaller than the bushing itself and another sleeve that fits outside the bushing, long bolt and nut that is tightened to push the bushing out of the leaf spring. Since springs are not as tight on the end, the leaf end wraps around the bushing and slotted not welded, it can be done with hand tools and you don't need a press or power tools. As a matter of fact, the poly bushings are actually greased and pushed in with your fingers in most cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well it will be next week before I get to look at it now. Back to work. Thanks for your input for now.
I have had to put this small problem on the back burner. I lost a piston out of my daughter's snowmobile and the timing belt went on my wifes car. I just named my truck old reliable. It's the oldest motor vehicle I have and cost me the least to run and has never left me stranded in the 22 years I've owned it. I will post what the problem was when I get to it. Well off to buy a new car for the wife.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Finally got around to fixing my truck after taking it several times on 10-14 hr trips to the mountains pulling my sleds. Like I said it's old realiable. I simply changed the rear leafs on both sides, along with the shackles (as they had to be distroyed to take out), along with my factory original shocks all around, along with my factory original front wheel bearings, along with my factory original front drive shafts(no more grease in the joints), along with new brakes.

Why the helper springs didn't work by tightening up only one side, I do not know. It was the helper spring that only bolts up to one side of the axel.

Anyhow it should be good to last me another few years.

Thanks for everyones input.
 
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