Busted !!! A Leaf In A Spring, That Is !!

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by themanfromvan, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Some of you may have read my post trip report from yesterday where I told how I discovered I had a broken leaf in one of my springs when I left the campground yesterday.

    I have done a search on this site for "Broken Leaf Spring" and it seems like it's a fairly common occurrence, judging by the number of posts. However, no one ever follows up with the "AFTER" story concerning their suspension problems.

    So......... my question is - have you ever busted a leaf in a spring? If so - did you fix it yourself? How difficult was it? If you took it to an RV dealer to get it fixed, how much did it cost? Did you replace the leaves on both sides?

    Your replies are appreciated.
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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  3. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Yes sir, Ray. Talking to these RV dealers, they make it sound like you have to have a PhD to figure out the right spring, etc.
     
  4. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    I busted a leaf spring (the main one!) on my previous p'up while tooling down the pike between 65 and 70 mph! Camper body dropped down of the wheel and locked that wheel up right there and then! This is when you find out about your tow vehicle's tow capacity and how it will handle in a tight spot!

    As it turned out Dexter axle replaced the spring ... said it was defective. In fact, replaced the one on the other side as well (at no cost) as they said when you replace a leaf spring on one side you should always replace the other side, too.

    Changing out the spring(s) is certainly not rocket science. A bottle jack and a couple of jack stands and the right sized sockets.
     
  5. barb_dave

    barb_dave Active Member

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    Changing leaf springs or a main leaf isn't overly difficult. Flyfisherman is correct on what you would need to get the job done.

    The U bolts are fine thread so penetrating oil such as PB blaster will help. Support the camper by using jack stands on the frame. You'll also need to support the axle for when you remove the u bolts. A floor jack works well for this as you can adjust the axle up or down as needed.
     
  6. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I think the hardest thing would be getting the correct spring so your Pup stays level. I agree that the best thing to do is replace them equally on both sides. FWIW, I used to work in a suspension/ front end shop many years ago.
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    How wide is the spring? 1 3/4 inches? How many leaves? 3 or 4? Does it have a eye at both ends? And how long is it eye to eye? Do you have a 2000 or 3500 axle? Many questions, but all very easy to answer.
     
  8. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Replace both springs, they are not that expensive and they are easy to replace
     
  9. ogeer3

    ogeer3 New Member

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    Last year while on vacation in the mountains of Colorado I broke the main leaf of the spring on the curb side of my camper. When it broke that end of the axle swung back about 8" and the camper frame went down and settled on the tire. I was going up a dirt road looking for a place to camp when this happened so luckily I was going slow. I jacked up the camper and pushed the axle back in place and wedged a piece of 2X4 in between the axle and the frame to hold the frame up. This was just about the right spacing. We limped up the road as slow as I could go to a place we could camp for a few days. The next day I took both ends of the old sparing off and discovered that the helper leaf was already broken and had been for some time. (only a 2 leaf set up) I took the old spring pieces in to town, about 60 miles away and located an RV dealer and ordered a new pair of 3 leaf springs. To order the new ones we needed length, width and load rating. This happened just before the 4th of July so we were hoping the new springs would come in before the 4th, if not that would add 3-4 days. I got the springs on the 3rd and spent the 4th putting the new replacement spring back on. I replaced the other spring when we got home.
    The 2 new springs were only about $100 but being broke down in the middle of nowhere was PRICELESS. 1000 miles from home and 40 miles from the nearest town, Creede, Colorado.
    I hope this never happens to any of you.
     
  10. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Well, guys.... I took the PUP to Ray Wakely RV sales in North East, PA to get this spring situation taken care of. This place came highly recommended both in person and on line.

    However....... I presented a few questions to the service department and one of them was concerning the use of a BAL single tire leveler. There's been a great debate on here lately as to how high you can safely lift to get level and whether or not they place a strain on the suspension.

    The guy in the service department had no idea what a BAL leveler was. I described it to him and he insisted he'd never seen one. Wish me luck. That kind of put a dent in my faith in this place. We'll see, I guess.
     

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