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How to ID a metric ton?

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So, the 86 I picked up last night has 4wd, 2.8 v6 [missing], 5 speed, and it has 5 leaves in the rear spring pack.


Is there a way to tell with the VIN what the trim level or package of the vehicle is, or is it the plate under the hood? I can no longer find the link how to decipher the underhood plate.


Please advise.

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What rear axle? If it's got the 5 leaves and the AMC 20, you've got yourself a MT. I know there were several different MT leaf packs made though, and not everything with the beefier rear (AMC 20/D44) was a MT.

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Counting leaf springs is not a good way to identify the truck's load capacity. (Guess it is a good way to eliminate the HD option). First thing I would look for is the part number tag on the FRONT coil springs. Anybody can change the rear leaf springs. But a real factory BigTon Truck will have different front springs.


My truck has 7 leaf springs on each side. Two extra leafs were added by the previous owner who hauled drywall in the truck. At one time he also had air shocks on it to cope with the loads he carried. First thing to check is for a Dana 44 rear axle or an AMC 20, it can not be a factory MetricTon/BigTon package.


My truck is a factory Big Ton package (called "Metric Ton" in earlier years). I have a Dana 44 and the original factory window sticker: Also the factory AutoTrans, HD Radiator, Factory Transcooler, Power steering, power brakes, extra wide rear drum brakes, factory larger tires all around and the factory tire sticker in the glovebox.


Lots more to the factory Metric ton package than just rear springs. Front springs were bigger also. And the Big Ton/Metric Ton package required a long bed truck - no short bed option EVER.


When I converted my 1969 Corvair to the full factory F-41 H.D. suspension kit - I swapped the springs at each corner, all 4 shocks, the steering arms and the steering box. I even installed the factory Springs specifically for the A/C version of the suspension.

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