Saggy springs
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Thread: Saggy springs

  1. #1
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Saggy springs

    Here's a question for all the leaf spring lizards out there.

    My Suzuki Sierra paddock ute has leaf springs on all four corners, and they are saggy. The thing is practically riding on its bump stops. What are the alternatives? I imagine I could buy a set of new springs, but that seems overkill for a paddock vehicle. I could buy a set of second hand springs from a wrecker, but would they be saggy too? I have heard of people who re-curve or re-temper or re-something leaf springs, but I don't know anything about it. All I know is that I need to do something. But what is the best option?

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    Suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Roger

  2. #2
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    chop the bump stops in 1/2
    3 x '78 604 SL

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  3. #3
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    Default Retemper them after heat and reset.

    Long time since I have done basic blacksmithing Roger - heat to red heat and bend to suitable profile, then heat to a dull red heat and quench in oil, and withdraw and observe colour (use a file on surface) and when metal shows a straw colour quench again in the oil.

    might be some trial and error in this as it is a long time ago - should be books that describe the process on the internet. Don't cool too quickly as that will make the steel brittle rather than resilient as it is all in the heating and cooling to get the right temper, and a lot depends upon the type of spring steel

    The other thing is to fit some booster springing, clamped to the original springs.

    I am sure others will have ideas

    Ken

  4. #4
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    mistareno's Avatar
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    http://www.startlocal.com.au/auto/re...d_1511894.html


    I have used browns spring works before for getting coil springs lowered and re tempered and have found them reliable and affordable.

    They are pretty low tech and I don't think they have a website, but they have been around a long time and are always busy (2 good signs) and can do anything spring related.

    11 Lipton Dr, Thomastown, VIC, 3074
    (03) 94608622

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! racing405's Avatar
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    If all you want to do is raise the ride height, make yourself some longer shackels - the parallel plates that retain one end of the spring and allow for the change in length between spring eyes as they deflect. Take some care, if the shackels are too long, you will change the geometry of the drive shafts as you rotate the diff housings.

    If the springs are on the top of the diff housing (like Hilux) you could put spacers between axle housing and spring and secure on longer "U" bolts too. Difficult if springs are under axle housing (conventional).

    Tempering springs is a specialised science, you're bound to git wrong at least once before you get it right, and I can guarantee the results won't be uniform.

    Pump up shocks is another cheap way to get some lift back in your suspension.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Roger,

    I would not attempt to try any form of heat treating - this is a specialised science best left to the practitioners of esoteric arts. (Sorry, Ken).

    The most common form of reshaping springs is to press bend them by pushing above between two spaced contacts until the desired curvature is achieved. However, this method soon allows the springs to relax back to their previous setting.

    The best method is to place the main spring leaf lower surface on an anvil and belt the pisser out of the upper surface with a 4 Lb hammer, starting about 3" away from the centre bolt hole and working outwards towards the spring eyes. Bash evenly across the face, moving out an inch or so every four to six thumps. and note the curvature change against a chalked floor diagram of the spring before treating, or against the other spring mainleaf. Once the desired shape has been achieved thump the lesser leaves to match the main leaf.

    The reason why the spring will retain this setting when bashed instead of the easier pressing method is to do with compaction of the metal's granular structure not achieved by merely changing the curvature of the spring leaf. Grab an old spring and practice - you will be surprised how much difference a few thumps will achieve.

    However, if you are as old as me then organise a fit and younger Blacksmith's Striker to spend a day swinging a hammer (short handle, 4 Lb). My daughter can handle this job well, so I have no doubt that you will be able to organise this aspect.

    Regards,

    fento

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Default Cart springs...

    Fento I do love the 'hit it with a hammer' method, I'll dig up my Grandfather for this one. Problem he died in 1956 but would of been a worthy hammer wielder as he spent his working life as a Railway ganger.
    Roger check out local truck repairers as they know who's local to 're-set' the springs, main leaf is the most important and it then follows next one down.
    Have you thought about going Citroen, got to be a set of sphere's lurking in the shed and fabricate a mount for the pump and away you go!
    p.s. Hard to find a 4lb Mash hammer nowadays, use a 2kg instead as it comes with a bit extra hit.

  8. #8
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks gents.

    fento, I like the hammer idea as it is suitably low-tech and farmy. I do have a forge but I see the point about stuffing up the job. I doubt I can stuff up whacking the springs with a hammer. I have a big anvil and a hammer that is as heavy as I can swing with one hand. Labour availability round here is poor: it's me and that's it. The old man is too old now and there are no youngsters about.

    Good idea about the truck repairers, too, bluey. There's a handy mob of truck wreckers nearby.

    racing, I need to re-shape the springs. There are only three leaves on the rear. The main and second leaves are thin and supposed to be curved, while the third leaf is thick and flat. The curve has gone out of the top two leaves and they are bearing on the third leaf along their whole length. The front springs are not much better, and there is only a couple of leaves in them.

    Roger

  9. #9
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    Sorry Fento

    Didn't realise Blacksmithing 1 andII had become science ! Must be where I got my love of science along with two years of towards a diploma of metallurgy they called it then.

    Can't shake that old farm school of necessity attitude. The hammer method is the way they worked and tempered swords for the Samurais, probably a science now too!!

    Roger I'd do the Mistarenno's browns fix, and see what they do!!

    Ken

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! sideways_505's Avatar
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    I've got a suzuki LJ81 that I'm restoring, complete with 2 stroke engine and all! I have the same sagged spring problem as you.

    Easiest option by far is to ask on here if anyone has some standard height springs they want to sell after getting lifted ones. Other (cheap) options are, extended shackles that make your car drive like poo with out castor correction, dogdey spring over axle conversion which is quite scary, especially on narrow track Sierras, also 1970s Corolla or mazda 323 wagon springs, lot of fiddly work to fit those though.

    Hammer method is awesome too.

    BTW, if your is a LWB it's probably worth a few $$$$.

    Sagged springs FTW!


  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Ken,

    Mate,

    In no way do I try to underestimate your competence, but to inform a non-trade qualified person to attempt heat treating metallurgy in reseting springs is likely to end with tears!

    The bash the top face of a spring on a flat and true surface such as a decent anvil will achieve a much safer end result, if so much cruder (and noisier).

    Mate, skills such as we learned as young tradies are now no longer being taught!

    Remember Paul Keating saying that our future lies in the service industries - our kids are to be servants to tourists!

    Roger, grab an old spring leaf and flog the pisser out of it - then form your own opinion.

    Regards,

    fento

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideways_505 View Post
    I've got a suzuki LJ81 that I'm restoring, complete with 2 stroke engine and all! I have the same sagged spring problem as you.

    Easiest option by far is to ask on here if anyone has some standard height springs they want to sell after getting lifted ones. Other (cheap) options are, extended shackles that make your car drive like poo with out castor correction, dogdey spring over axle conversion which is quite scary, especially on narrow track Sierras, also 1970s Corolla or mazda 323 wagon springs, lot of fiddly work to fit those though.

    Hammer method is awesome too.

    BTW, if your is a LWB it's probably worth a few $$$$.

    Sagged springs FTW!

    If you look on the bright side ..... If they droop much more ..... You'll be able to turn each leaf upside down and regain your curvature in the correct direction

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  13. #13
    Member MikeHolt's Avatar
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    Default Saggy

    are there damper struts that could be replaced with pump ups ?

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