Nissan NV3500 HD Suspension Leaf Spring Replacement Cost
How Much Does a Suspension Leaf Spring Replacement Cost?
Suspension Leaf Spring Replacement Service and Cost
Leaf springs allow the vehicle to absorb bumps, and keep the passenger comfortable up to a certain weight rating. Leaf springs hold the weight of the vehicle, and payload, and allow the wheels to travel vertically when the wheels encounter an obstacle.
The ends of a leaf spring are located underneath a spring perch, which is a fancy name for a very strong spot for the spring to hold the vehicle's weight. The lower spring is rests on top of the rear axle, which contains an assembly that holds the wheels. Since the vehicle is on the springs, and the axle is under the spring, the spring is able to reduce the amount of discomfort to passengers when the vehicle hits debris or road imperfections. Since this system is used mostly on heavy duty trucks, the leaf springs for larger vehicles may be a stack of several leaf springs bolted together.
It is very evident if a spring breaks or wears out. Aside from one or more corners of the vehicle sagging lower than the rest, the handling characteristics of the vehicle will be completely wrong. The vehicle may even feel as though it teeters going down the road, or it may become extremely bouncy. When turning, the vehicle may roll very excessively, and drive wheels with bad springs will likely have traction issues at random. Rattling, extremely uncomfortable ride, and excessive tire wear may also signal that a spring needs replacement. The leaf spring or shackles and U-bolts may show excessive wear, contact patterns, cracks, or may even be missing.
A vehicle with broken or cracked leaf springs can be driven, but the ride quality will be diminished, and, more importantly, the vehicle's handling will be compromised. A car's ability to remain level while turning, with traction spread between all four wheels, is dependent on springs distributing weight. As the condition of the springs and shocks worsens, the ability of the suspension to perform properly, especially in an emergency situation, also worsens. Loss of control and vehicle rollover may be the result of severely cracked, or broken leaf springs. If a spring is broken (rather than cracked), the vehicle should not be driven until the spring is replaced.
Leaf springs fail slightly more often than coil springs, which hardly ever fail. Most vehicles will never have their springs replaced, and of the vehicles that do, customization , rather than failure, is the reasoning. When springs do fail, a collision or severe suspension damage is to blame, or the weight limit of the vehicle has been exceeded. Overloading the suspension is very common, and will result in cracks, and warped springs. Lastly, when leaf springs sustain damage due to overloading, the vehicle's axle will probably sustain damage as well.
Suspension Leaf Spring Replacement Repair Information
Diagnosing a spring as faulty is simple is the spring is cracked, broken, or if the vehicle is leaning to one side, however, if the vehicle has excessive body roll, but the vehicle sits level, the ride height at all four wheels, the spring height on all four springs, and the tire pressure will all be recorded. This information will be compared to factory specifications, and the diagnosis will recommend those outside of allowable tolerance should be replaced. If the U-bolts, or other mounting hardware for the leaf spring or axle is damaged, it will be replaced as well.
Replacing leaf springs is much more simple than replacing coil springs, but does involve quite a bit of work. The springs must unbolt from the axle, and the leaf spring shackles. Then, the leaf spring shackles, U-bolts, washers and nuts should be inspected, and replaced with the new leaf springs if needed.
The original springs for any vehicle were designed specifically for that vehicle, and have many properties besides their weight capacity and physical dimensions. Replacing springs with different properties will dramatically alter the driving feel of the vehicle, and handling characteristics. Before changing springs, we recommend consulting a professional technician to ensure the proper springs are selected. Cutting, heating, or removing springs to alter the vehicle's ride height is never recommended, and will create unpredictable, often uncontrollable driving conditions. When springs are altered, the characteristics of each spring will vary, producing undesirable conditions.
Leaf springs of most sizes are interchangeable, and will increase the amount of weight the vehicle can carry, but the payload capacity of the axle cannot be exceeded. Overloading the rear axle with weight may ruin the wheel bearings, axle shafts, axle shaft housing, differential, drive shaft, transmission or engine.
The leaf springs can be replaced at home if the entire process, and all safety measures are understood. It is critical to understand coil springs are under tremendous tension, and releasing a compressed spring can result in injury, or death. If coil springs and the rear axle assembly are not completely understood, as well as safety measures for disassembly, a professional technician should complete the repair.
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