how can you tell if leaf springs are shot? - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 02, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23
Question

How do you tell if leaf springs are bad?

Here is my situation:
Have a 68 camaro with monoleafs. One of the previous owners installed air shocks in the rear. In addition to the consensus on this forum that air shocks are generally not a good idea,they leak (not badly though).

I have two guesses as to why the previous owner installed the air shocks:
- to provide clearance for the tires (255/60-15s)

- possibly as a quick fix for another suspension problem (sagging leafs?)

I am definitely replacing the rear shocks, but my fear is that there will then not be enough clearance for the tires if the monoleafs are shot. How do you tell if the leaf springs are "good" or not by visual inspection?
nasadude is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 02, 12:56 PM
Senior Tech
Gene
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,659
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You should be able to tell by the car's ride height. The specs are in the front of the factory assembly manual. I don't have mine handy here at work, so I don't know what the specs are. I'm sure someone else can tell you.

Also, you can replace the shocks and take the car out for a short drive on a bumpy road. If the rear suspension bottoms out frequently, you need new springs. It's pretty easy to tell when it bottoms out because there will be a big "boom" when you do.
gheatly is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 02, 06:18 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Amherst, New Hampshire
Posts: 551
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Plan on replacing them anyway. Compared to the cost of other things, rebuilding the back end isn't too bad.

However,I just did mine and already I think I did it wrong.

Rebuilt the entire rear end including a new gas tank, sender, cripes, everything. What I did was, I went with SS, 5 leaf springs, new sway bar, energy suspension poly/graphite, KYB gas-a-just.

Since my car is a custom vs numbers matching, I wish I had gone with Z28, 4 leaf springs, a softer spring to help the under steer problem. Other than that, I'm a happy camper.

Rick-O
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