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Broken Leaf Spring?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by jrich44, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Oct 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    #1
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    I was under my truck today, jacking it up to take the rear wheel off to paint them, when I noticed the driver's side leaf spring had a leaf that didn't extend all the way to the front. It looks like it is the middle leaf and it broke just after the U bolts. I took some pictures, if I could get your input that would be appreciated.

    Broken Leaf Spring on Driver's Side:

    2011-10-15_12-52-39_630.jpg
    2011-10-15_12-52-45_582.jpg
    2011-10-15_12-52-54_910.jpg

    View of the front of that broken spring:

    2011-10-15_12-53-20_558.jpg

    Passenger's Side View (Not Broken):

    2011-10-15_12-53-27_0.jpg

    I am assuming it will have to be replaced real soon, which upsets me because both leaf spring were just replaced a few years ago by the previous owner. I don't know if they were of bad quality or what. Could too much weight in the truck break a leaf spring, I thought it would just hit the bumpstops.

    So now I guess I just need to figure out whether to buy new OEM springs or lift it while I'm buying new springs.
     
  2. Oct 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM
    #2
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen this before on Tracy's truck. She has been driving on it for a while now and still continues to do so. Nothing has happened but I wouldn't drive on it.

    Posted via :sandwich:
     
  3. Oct 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM
    #3
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    The truck has been in Minnesota, so I'm sure that could have caused the rust on the springs to develop so quickly.

    The only concern I have with lifting it would be replacing the shocks. I just bought those Bilsteins brand new for about $350 / set. Does anyone know if they will still work with a certain size lift, they are the recommended replacement model from factory shocks.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2011 at 12:08 PM
    #4
    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

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    Toytec Coilovers, Old Man Emu Leaf Pack, 5100s, Light Bar with Hella 700ffs, Chopped Exhaust, Herculined Rocker Panels, Trail Gear rear bumper, tinted windows
    What bilstein shocks are they? Pics? The 5100s and 5150s are supposed to be able to work with trucks lifted 0-3". I would definitely get a new aftermarket leaf pack though.
     
  5. Oct 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM
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    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    I believe they are the 4600 series Bilsteins
     
  6. Oct 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM
    #6
    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Your leafs are SHOT! Strongly recommend new ones. You can get replacements that will give you stock height, or a bit of a lift. Call the experts at Wheeler's Off-Road...
     
  7. Oct 15, 2011 at 12:42 PM
    #7
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    Ok, will do. I'll give Wheelers a call about a new leaf pack after I call Bilstein and figure out how much further those shocks I have can extend. What about the front coils, do you guys think that it would be smart to replace them as well, considering the condition of the rear springs.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2011 at 2:03 PM
    #8
    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    No. Leaf springs are supposed to "smile". You should consider replacement if they're flat or "frowning".

    You might try DownSouth Motorsports for your shock questions. Both DSM and Wheelers offer TW member discounts and know their business very well.
     
  9. Oct 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM
    #9
    S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

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    No, they are bad. Mine look the same, just no money to fix them right now.
     
  10. Oct 15, 2011 at 3:16 PM
    #10
    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Lift numbers are normally quoted based on the adjustment you can expect from stock. Since your leafs are sagging, you'll likely get more than 1.5" from where you currently sit. As a point of reference, I went with Wheeler's 5-Leaf Spring Set, which is designed to provide 1.5" of lift, and I got about 2" of lift (as referenced from my truck's pre-upgrade height).
     
  11. Oct 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM
    #11
    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Unfortunately, the answer is "it depends." You probably don't NEED an extended brake line, but it's a good idea. You can re-use U-bolts, only if they're in good shape. Bushings will almost certainly need to be replaced, and a brake proportioning bracket would also be required.

    Recommend contacting the experts at Wheeler's. They can provide you the best advice for your specific situation.
     
  12. Oct 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM
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    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    Back to my original posting... does anyone have any recommendations for new leaf packs at stock height? I would rather keep my current shocks, so I think I'll just be replacing the leaf springs. I have done some searching and haven't found too many manufacturers that offer the stock height. I don't really wan't another set from Toyota, considering they have failed twice now. Another thing I was thinking of was having a set made by a local shop, does anyone have any experience with this, or know of a manufacturer that makes a decent set?
     
  13. Oct 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM
    #13
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    No problem, thanks for your help
     
  14. Oct 15, 2011 at 8:34 PM
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    boatswain

    boatswain Well-Known Member

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    started breaking springs on my "95" reg cab. seemed like when I'd get one fixed another one would break. finally the spring shop suggested to add an extra leaf on each side. that seemed to stop the problem. should have just replaced the whole pack with new ones,but didn't expect more to break like they did. had single broken leafs replaced on other vehicles and didn't run into this. usually one and done.
     
  15. Oct 15, 2011 at 8:59 PM
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    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Coil replacement probably makes sense, given your truck's age and the springs' natural tendency to compress over time. Wheeler's can help with this as well. Normally, I'd suggest OME 880/881 coils, but I'm not sure what they offer at a stock height. Another option to consider are Bilstein 5100 shocks paired with your existing coils. They can be set for stock height or to pre-load the springs. (This provides moderate "lift", returning older springs to their original height.) Note that DownSouth Motorsports has the best deal on 5100s.

    I apologize for not being more specific in my previous recommendation to call Wheeler's. :eek: They carry a 4-Leaf Spring Set that's designed to provide stock height.
     
  16. Oct 16, 2011 at 9:21 AM
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    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    I have looked around a little more, and from what I have read, the Wheelers leaf packs have been known to break after a year or so and Wheelers says it's normal. If that's the case I will definitely not buy from them. So I looked for other options and came across Skyjacker and their lifetime warranty, much better than Wheeler's 1-year warranty. The problem with the Skyjackers is they offer a couple inches of lift, will these work with the factory length shocks I have (Bilstein 4600 Series), I couldn't find any specific length information for them yet. Or if that wouldn't work, could I take out a leaf of the Skyjackers pack? Any suggestions, basically I would like a solution that doesn't involve new shocks.
     
  17. Oct 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM
    #17
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    I'm sure the majority of their products are fine, but I have read multiple threads now saying they broke leaves after a year or so. Also, a one year warranty on leaf springs doesn't say much about Wheelers' confidence in what they sell.
     
  18. Oct 16, 2011 at 9:45 AM
    #18
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    Here is one of the cases I found, it's from the Toyota Nation forum:

    "I'd suggest you return them while you still can. Apparently, a lot of people have good luck with Wheeler's, but if things go wrong (and they do) you're SOL.

    I bought a set of leaf springs to replace the broken set on my '00 Tacoma. Eighteen, 100% on-road, light load months later, the Wheeler's set is broken, and out of warranty (one year). I called to express my dissatisfaction, and was told that an 18 month life expectancy is not out of the ordinary, because the design is poor (a near-direct quote from Jason).

    At this point, a replacement would hardly be satisfactory, since replacing Toyota springs in New England means torching apart and replacing all the hardware as well, so I'd be out a day's labor and $100 bucks out of pocket, at best.

    My mistake, I guess, I didn't realize "Wheeler's Off Road" meant my truck would be off the road soon. Maybe I'm nuts, I just think a set of "upgraded" leaf springs should last longer than a loaf of Wonder bread."
     
  19. Oct 16, 2011 at 10:42 AM
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    Norton

    Norton Senior TW Member

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    Interesting find, jrich44. Having done a bit of my own "looking around," however, the thread from you quoted is the only one I found describing the problem you allege. As I understand the archive in which I found it (because it's over two years old), one person had a problem. Care to provide links/specific on the the "multiple threads" you've read, preferably something newer than the middle of 2009?

    Don't go crazy yet, Nathan. I just PMd the Wheeler's staff to get their take on this. In the meantime, I can tell you there are quite a few TW members running Wheeler's 4- & 5-leaf spring sets, both of which are made by Alcan. I have yet to hear of one who's dissatisfied.
     
  20. Oct 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM
    #20
    jrich44

    jrich44 [OP] Active Member

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    I think you guys are right, that thread I found must just have been a fluke with Wheelers' leaf packs. So I think my best bet is to go with them, now I just need to choose between the 4-spring pack or the 5-spring pack. The 4-leaf pack wouldn't give any lift, therefore I would have no need to replace shocks. On the other hand, the 5-leaf pack would be nice because I'm sure it would last longer until the springs sag as well as being able to handle a little more weight because of the extra spring, but it is listed as providing 1.5" of lift. Could anyone give me any advice to whether or not that would be too much lift for my shocks to travel, again they are stock replacement, meaning same length I believe, Bilstein 4600 Series, brand new.
     
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