New leaf spring - Help!

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Autoquest, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    Last week I noticed one of my leaf springs had snapped right across on the rear hangar bush. I have just replaced this spring with a new one (cost £200) So far so good.

    Having just got the van on to a level hangar floor I noticed that the rear right corner is some 10cm higher than the rear left, looking underneath I can see the new spring (on the right) has a fine, powerful curve in it but the three year old rear left is more or less flat as a pancake...

    Fortunately I have airide fitted but even then, to get the two sides level, I have to inflate the left side to 55psi and the right side to only 8psi... with these pressures, both springs have the same amount of 'curve' and the van is within 1cm ride height at the corners but the ass end is jacked up somewhat...

    Is it OK to drive around with these unequal airide pressures until I can get around to replacing the other spring?
     
  2. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I've always replaced springs etc as pairs for this reason.

    Leaf springs always "tire" with use and age...and drop somewhat.Even coil springs have the same trait.

    Personally I wouldn't be comfortable compensating with an air ride unit at that low a pressure.

    I would imagine it would cause a few handling and imbalance problems with possible...damage to the air spring.My units say don't run at that low pressure.I am not sure what units you have fitted.

    You say It snapped.Was it multi leaf or a single leaf unit?Why did it snap?

    Maybe someone else will comment with more advice/experience?
     
  3. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    What is the safest configuration for the next few days do you reckon?
     
  4. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Can you get hold of another new spring?

    Personally I'd seek advice from the air unit manufacturer/supplier and keep any intended mileage to a minimum until it's changed.

    Does the van feel like it's handling/riding differently around bends etc?

    Did the original spring crack due to Mounting failure or metal fatigue?

    BTW How old is the van/spring?

    I don't want to appear to be a scare-monger....Just err on the side of safety.:thumb:

    10cm is a fair difference between Old and New.

    I have heard of springs being re tempered
     
  5. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    The van is three years old as is/was the replaced spring which on inspection looks like it might have snapped years ago. On the way in to work tonight with unequal ride heights the van drove OK but felt as though the back kind of wanted to overtake the front (like a powered oversteer) a bit of an exageration perhaps but there was definitely some wafting or drift down the back end.

    The crack looks as though it has sheared or been pulled apart in a straight line from side to side, the mounting bush is fine.

    I'm a bit annoyed really cos I knew I should have replaced them both but went cheap...
     
  6. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Must say I agree with American Dream on this matter. I have also always been instructed to change both at the same time, to stop handling problems.

    I feel sure I have heard of this happening before can't remember on which forum I read it, it may have been this one but can't find on search.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  7. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    When I trained many years ago it was always drummed into me Brake pads /shoes/ drums /discs /calipers / cylinders / shock absorbers / springs /airbags etc etc should always be replaced in axle sets because whilst you may be able to get away with it 99.99% of the time when the system is under extreme load - emergency braking /swerving etc the slightest imbalance can be the difference between life and death - if not yours someone elses
     
  8. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Like the others have said-----never a single corner.
    I would suggest you buy the other side spring from the same supplier, then you should get a matched pair.
    I think you are unlucky to have one break so soon!!---But I see a lot of Euro cars are getting front coil springs fail early, maybe the later steel is not so good !!!!!
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  9. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Good luck guys.

    As a Get-you-home I guess only you can make that decision.

    Take it easy and stay safe

    I would seriously look at why a spring that new failed?
     
  10. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    It was a poster way back who mentioned his spring went after 300 miles and posted a picture (which I can't find) I checked a few times a year but this was hidden right behind the towing eye and was on top of the bush...
     
  11. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hmm Was this the same Model?

    For a spring to break with that few miles on the clock there has to be a reason....

    Personally I'd take it up with the manufacturer.

    This might just be a rogue case or two but could have serious safety issues for owners if it's more widespread.

    I certainly wouldn't drive as is especially with the family on board and loaded up.

    Good Luck with the replacement for the other side.

    Did you fit it yourself or was it a Garage job?

    Steve.

    BTW Oscar's rotating nicely....:thumb:
     
  12. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    I'm out of warranty now so no luck there - Quite a few x250 owners are having these problems and I suspect it is the lighter vans that use a 70mm spring instead of the beefier 80mm. My very nice mechanic has a new spring on order....

    I drove it home last night with the unequal airide pressure and it seemed OK, but I shan't use it again until the other side is sorted.
     
  13. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Nice One...You'll feel a lot happier when it's replaced...:Cool:

    BTW are the 2 spring types interchangeable?

    They should suffer a lot less from "spring sag" with assistance from the air bags.
     
  14. Autoquest

    Autoquest Read Only Funster

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    I think they are interchangeable as my very nice mechanic used exactly the same part number for the second spring.
     
  15. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Good luck hope all goes well and this is the end of your problems.


    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
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