getting rid of the whole 8 pack would be a step in the right direction. replace with new (@$100 a pop) springs from your local yokal, have them do the measuring and guess the wgt of your rear half. maybe if you buy the springs fro them they will install for cheap.
or even cheaper.
you can just remove one at a time till you get the ride hgt right and see if you can live with the stiffness, or lack thereof. i think i'd take out the three shortest ones off the bottom for a start, unless you have to keep the very bottom one because of a peg or something.
hangers or shackles are an easy fix too.
this guys post might be of some help too: Rebuilding suspension from scratch, need help!