Q:

How do you repair a broken leaf spring?

A:

Quick Answer

Repair sagging leaf springs by removing the assembly from the vehicle, taking it apart and using a hydraulic press to restore the proper shape to each leaf. Have a shop fabricate new replacement leaves for broken ones from spring steel. Reassemble the leaves to form the spring and reattach it to the vehicle.

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Full Answer

Leaf springs are commonly found on older vehicles with straight or live-action rear axles. Because it takes a lot of force to support a vehicle for years, over time the leaves begin to lose their curve and some may actually break. The sagging springs lower the height of the vehicle and reduce clearance. Repairing the springs offers a less expensive option than replacing them.

Removing the springs from the vehicle is often challenging. The nuts and bolts that hold them in place are exposed to the elements and rust over time, making them difficult to remove. A better option may be to cut the old support brackets and replace them with new ones.

Vehicle owners who want extra lift can accomplish this by increasing the curve of the spring unit. However, it is important to limit the amount of lift to a few inches, which prevents steering and handling problems. Once the springs are reinstalled, the vehicle should provide a smoother ride.

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