Leaf Springs - Car, Truck, & RVS

What Is A Leaf Spring?

A leaf spring is singular steel slates that are bolted together, are curved and have the ability to flex. Leaf springs mount in-between the axle and the frame and provide the vehicle with carrying capacity, ride height, axle location and tire alignment. Leaf springs are also responsible for absorbing road shock and delivering a smooth ride. Leaf springs can be found on all different makes and models of cars, trucks, SUVs, RVS and trailers.

How To Tell If Leaf Springs Are Worn

There are a few different ways to tell if your leaf spring are worn. For instance cracked, broken, crooked or twisted spring is a sign of needing replacement. Another sign that a leaf spring may be worn is sagging. Leaning or sagging in the front or rear of the truck or SUV should be further diagnosed for spring failure. Other components in the leaf spring can also wear causing pre mature failure of the leaf spring. For instance the leaf spring bushings. The leaf spring eye bolt can wear through the bushing then into the spring eye causing damage. Also the spring tip inserts if those wear they can cause the spring on top of another to wear into the one below. So it is just as important to inspect your leaf springs annually along with the bushings and tip inserts too.

What Causes Leaf Springs To Wear?

The most common reason leaf springs fail is overloading. Some people may overload their vehicle not knowing how much weight that they are hauling. Overloading leaf springs can cause them to flatten or break. Corrosion is another common cause of wear. Harsh elements can rust the spring which will greatly decrease the life span of the spring. Another common way suspension leaf springs wear is just age. Leaf springs can last for decades but after time will eventually need to be replaced. Expect a vehicle with 30-40 years or more of age to need leaf springs in the near future especially if towing and hauling was something that was frequently done.

The Difference Between Heavy Duty And OEM Leaf Springs

Some trucks and cars have two options of leaf springs that you can use, original equipment (OEM) and heavy duty. We will start with original equipment leaf springs. A OEM replacement leaf spring is going to be a exact replica of the leaf spring that was first installed on the vehicle from the manufacture. This replica will either come from the original manufacture (Ford, GMC, Toyota) or a aftermarket leaf spring production company. This option is typically for people who don't want any change in how the vehicle feels or performs. Heavy duty leaf springs on the other hand will have a increased carrying capacity of as little as 300-400 pounds and as much as 1,500 pounds. Heavy duty leaf springs are typically for people who have work trucks, or carry heavy loads frequently. One down side is unloaded due to the increase in capacity the spring will be stiffer and the vehicle will ride rougher.

When Replacing Leaf Springs What Else Should Be Replaced?

When doing a leaf spring replacement there are connecting parts that are recommend to be replaced at the same time.

  • Leaf Spring U-bolts - The U-bolts hold together the leaf springs and the axle housing. As a rule of thumb U-bolts should always be replaced if they are removed.
  • Leaf Spring Eye And Frame Bushings - Leaf spring eye bushings, frame bushings and shackle bushings are the insulators. Reusing bushings is not recommended due to the inexpensive cost of most bushings and the short amount of time half bushing bushings take to install.
  • Leaf Spring Shackles - The leaf spring shackle is the pivot point for the leaf spring. The shackle will have to be removed while replacing your leaf spring anyways so to save on time we recommend the shackle being replaced.

How To Measure A Leaf Spring

A diagram is shown below of how to measure a leaf spring. You will need to know the eye to center bolt measurements (A and B) which must be taken along the surface of the leaf spring. Arch height (C) which is measured by creating a line from the spring eye to spring eye and then another from the top of the spiring to the middle of the first line. Last, the leaf spring stack height (D) which is the measurement from the top of the leaf spring to the bottom. With those four measurements you should be able to find a leaf spring replacement.

Leaf spring measurement diagram.

Sorry, there are no products in this collection