Leaf springs addition on a MB508D?


New Overlander
Mar 26, 2024
Hi all, my first post here so greetings to everyone. I have recently bought my first Mercedes Benz van - a 508D, T2 from 1977. The engine is lovely, little rust, just a few preparation jobs to do and a rebuild of the inside to make it comfortable and off we go - will keep it simple.

My question is about leaf springs - I see some people get them upgraded in Morocco on their way further into Africa. But how does one establish whether that is really necessary? I'd say I like to keep everything standard as far as possible to keep costs down and maintenance and spare part acquisition simple, but of course at 47 years old (they are probably original) the springs may be a bit weak. She does swing a bit on the corners (no roof-rack, no high top roof), but then perhaps uprated shock absorbers may improve this?

1. Is there a simple test for leaf springs whilst still on the vehicle?
2. What shock absorbers would people recommend - I probably can't/won't afford top of the range ones as I'd rather use the money for travelling, but presumably there are reasonably priced good performers are there out there?

Thanks for any help,

PS I'm a Brit located in Sweden (EU).