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Trailer Leaf Spring Questions

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by steve o 77, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Jul 14, 2010 at 10:51 PM
    #1
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    So I've been building a trailer for our jet skis for the past few weeks and I have a few questions on the suspension since I used the old leafs off my truck.

    First of all, the springs ended up being way too soft for the weight so I got some helper springs from autozone to see if they would do anything. Just putting one on each side did almost nothing so I doubled them up and put them above the overload leaf. The springs are nice and stiff now but do you guys see any problems with this in the long run?

    Here's some pics of the setup. There are 2 of these helpers per spring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also you can see the custom shackles in the first pic. I just have the top bolt going through the 1/8" steel tube with no sleeving. Do you guys think I should get some round tubing and sleeve that hole so it doesn't get elongated from the bolt pivoting on it?

    Thanks, I've been learning a lot on this project lol.
     
  2. Jul 14, 2010 at 10:58 PM
    #2
    cntstan

    cntstan Well-Known Member

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    I would sleeve that hole. I know it's a pain but it will help you not to worry when you're towing that trailer down the highway. Also, how are your rear shackle angles when the trailer is under load? Do you still have room for them to move as the leaf springs settle and stretch out?
     
  3. Jul 14, 2010 at 11:05 PM
    #3
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    They (the ends of the leaf springs) get about 1/4" from hitting the frame when bottomed out so they're good. When I had the running boards for the skis mocked up and the skis on the trailer, I could bottom them out pretty easily with my hands. Now I can't even get them close with the helpers.

    And yeah, I was thinking the same thing about sleeving. It will be a pain but oh well, I want it to be safe.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2010 at 8:58 AM
    #4
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    bump for more opinions.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2010 at 9:04 AM
    #5
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Staff Member

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    Cool project! Definitely sleeve those holes.

    Have you considered running wet bolts to keep everything lubricated? Having zerks to grease the pivot points could be handy for something that gets dunked in the water whenever it's used.

    http://www.etrailer.com/p-126B2.html

    That front hanger looks like a solid design as long as the square tubes are more than tack welded to each other. I'm assuming what's in the picture is not the only spot it's welded, and that the finished product will have some nice beads run to keep everything in place. :)
     
  6. Jul 15, 2010 at 9:07 AM
    #6
    Beefed Taco

    Beefed Taco Taco Vending Machine Vendor

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    I'd say you're good to go. I don't think shackles move too much when compressing either. You could try removing the helper leafs you bought and turning the overloads upside down and maybe trimming them down on the ends a bit, but if this is working to your liking may as well leave it. The sleeves for the the top of the shackles are probably a good idea since over time the holes probably will elongate since the contact area isn't much and it is mild steel. Sleeving that would be easy with 1/2" i.d. DOM..

    Captured 2004-1-15 00019.jpg
    Captured 2004-1-15 00023.jpg
     
  7. Jul 15, 2010 at 9:10 AM
    #7
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into those bolts. Also the tubes are welded pretty good right now but Im probably going to hit them a little more. I just don't want to warp the steel by welding too much on one side of it. Also the only reason the front hangers are bolted on is so the axle can be moved easily if needed. Right now with the skis on, there is about 50 lbs of tounge weight. Once I get a toolbox and fuel tanks on the front that will go up a bit.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    Beefed Taco">
    Cool, thanks. I think I'll leave the helper spring the way they are. I just wasn't sure if they were going to cause damage being setup like that.
     
  9. Jul 23, 2010 at 9:54 AM
    #9
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 [OP] braaap

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    205k+ miles, 265/75/16 BFG A/T's, OME 881's, Wheelers 5 leaf pack, 5100's, Home Made Sliders
    Okay well I did end up sleeving those holes and it came out great. We took it out this weekend to the lake (300 mile round trip) and it did pretty good. Only problem was one of the autozone helpers is bent now and the drivers side is sagging a bit. Im going to need to rethink the suspension. It does ride like a cloud though lol.

    I still need to finish painting the front box, just didn't have time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    back home, you can see how much that side is sagging.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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