Rear Leaf Suspension replacement - flat springs

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by N&K, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. N&K

    N&K

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    Hi

    I would like to replace our MH rear leaf suspension as the current springs are flat or even slightly inverted and resting on the stoppers on both sides, it was like this when i bought it but didnt spot it due to inexperience. Has anyone done this before or got any good supplier/fitter suggestions? (no air suspension thanks)

    I have a few quotes, one for heavy duty 3 leaf springs and one for 2 leaf + Aux Leaf (what ever that is?)

    Thanks in advance

    N&K
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    My next door neighbour is having his old Talbot springs re-worked next month. A local firm is sending them to Sheffield for heat treatment. He's away now so can't ask the price.
     
  3. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    I have a feeling reworking them could be 2-300 :( ...
     
  4. N&K

    N&K

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    Hi

    Up to now, the cheapest is £420 for a new set with extra leaf.

    N&K
     
  5. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    I dont know how old your van is N&K but maybe you could get some similar springs off a commercial vehicle, used and from a slightly heavier chassis ?

    as long as you know the spring length and other dimensions, and the back axle weight, you could be halfway there?

    leafspring suspenion is pretty agricultural, and rear exle comfort / or chassis handling, can't be a high priority really ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  6. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    what you need it 1) check your load weights at a public weighbridge sounds like you are over weight and 2) spring assistors, just bolt onto existing springs. A firm in Portsmouth usesd to make and market them. "McKinalley's" I think; they also repair and make new springs. Looks like they changed their name to

    Leaf Spring Manufacture & Repair Services | Hampshire, ML (UK)

    give them a ring and enquire about rebuild and/or spring assistors:thumb::thumb:
     
  7. N&K

    N&K

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    Hi

    Thanks for the replies, heres some pictures of my "suspension" if you can call it that still :Eek!: not sure the next MOT will be a breeze.

    Empty Motorhome and flat Springs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll call the Spring Assist place, thanks.
     
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    don't look like they have seen grease in a while, spring assisters will sort that out.
     
  9. andyman

    andyman Read Only Funster

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    Got to ask why not air suspension. I had the same problem on my Autotrail and fitted air bags, problem sorted plus you can adjust the presure to suit the load. I opted for the simple set up of no on board compressor. Cost is around £330.

    Andy
     
  10. N&K

    N&K

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    Hi Andyman

    no problem......I read a few bad reports on the airbags, as the springs are dead, adding an airbag will make all the MH weight concentrated on one single point in the chassis (where the air bag is) instead of being spread across two points (either end of the leaf spring, a metre or more apart).

    With all the weight concentrated on one single point the chassis can (very worst case scenario) bend or buckle which could damage the MH, i.e. panel buckle. The price difference between replacing the springs or getting air isn’t massive so decided on springs.

    I'm sure this response might ignite an opinion divide but I have decided to replace what is broken instead of putting a plaster on it.

    Cheers

    N&K
     
  11. Andy 01424

    Andy 01424 Read Only Funster

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  12. walburga

    walburga Funster

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    I had the same pproblem, 'inverted springs' on my old Elddis 320. I fitted a set (2 each side) of helical springs from Grayston Engineering (Ithink that's where they were from, it was 5 years ago !).
    That saw the rear of the van rise by about 1 1/2 inches, the springs weren't inverted anymore, and no more swaying round corners. Wish my merc was as stable round bends !

    The job took me a couple of hours. No drilling involved, just a bit of brute force especially when fitting the springs. Definetly needed spring compressors to make job easy.

    regards
    Allen
     
  13. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi, i would change your springs .there is a place in nottingham makes new ones. i just changed mine on my trailer got them from peak trailers near alcester. having worked on trucks n travelled alot fit new springs they can be bodge repaired any where even if only to keep the wheels turning .air can be expensive. by the look of photos your are past their sell by date. google leaf springs i, sure you will find something. .cheers alan.
     
  14. N&K

    N&K

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  15. Uncle-Steve

    Uncle-Steve Read Only Funster

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    One of the posts above mentioned the loading on the chassis. Most air assist kits pay little attention to the extra strain on the chassis, however the Dunlop kits do have different brackets, as theirs are designed to fit over and along the chassis to spread the load. With regards to the Ducato/Boxer vehicles, most, well all the ones I saw at the NEC were already resting on the bump stops, so no real room for the leaf springs to work. Unfortunately this quite often results in the bump stop literally falling apart!

    Looking at the cost of replacement or reworked springs, it is cheaper to fit an air assist kit and then enjoy a softer more comfortable ride with better stability. Obviously its no good fitting any sort of spring assistance if the bushes in your existing set-up is past its sell by date.

    Any respectable retailer will sell you a spring assistance kit (air or steel) and offer to give you a FULL refund if your not satisfied with the result, so do ask when your purchasing your spring assistance kit.

    Both steel spring assister's and air assistance will restore the ride height of your vehicle and give it a firmer ride, but when air assistance is used, you do also gain a better ride comfort and also make the van quieter.
     
  16. MAUBRI

    MAUBRI Funster

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    Hi There,

    Just to add my two penny worth, When I had my 1996 Hymer with garage I to noticed the sag to the rear leaf spring. It was Fiat based so I removed both sides and took them to a firm in an industrial Site off the Ringwood road in Upper Parkstone,Poole, Dorset and had two extra leaves put in( I could drive there, but I am afraid I cant remember the name). This did make the ride firmer but increased the stability and it LOOKED RIGHT which helps if you err on the wrong side of the loading. This was back in 2006 and it cost me £200 in total.

    All the best in making your decission

    Brian
     
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