Replacing the Worn Leaf Springs on Your GMC Sierra
As the backbone
of your truck suspension, your leaf springs take the brunt of the punishment
that rough roads and heavy loads inflict. When you go over bumps or potholes it
is the leaf springs that stretch and contract to absorb the shocks so that your
ride remains smooth. With all of this stretching and contracting, it is no
wonder that the steel of these springs can eventually wear out.
How Can I Tell If a Leaf Spring Needs a Replacement?
It is easy to
tell if your suspension is in trouble even if you are not hearing the axle
bottom out on every bump and pothole. The best way to inspect your suspension
is to park your truck on an even surface and look at the front and back of the
vehicle to see if its level. If the truck is sitting unevenly, then your leaf
springs may be damaged, worn, or broken.
If this is the
case, you need to remove the wheel and inspect the leaf springs. Use a wire
brush to remove any dirt and grime so that you can look closely at the
condition of the leaf springs and its attachments. If clips have come loose
then you can tighten them and move the leaves back into place, but if you find
that the leaves are worn, cracked or damaged you will likely need to replace
them with new parts.
Physical damage isn't the only indicator of suspension problems. Here's an at-a-glance look at some of the most common symptoms of a worn-out leaf spring on a GMC Sierra:
- Tilting or leaning to one side: If one side of your Sierra rides higher than the other, a worn out leaf spring is likely the culprit.
- Bouncing or bottoming out: If you find yourself bottoming out or bouncing when going over bumps in the road, one or both of your leaf springs isn't doing its job and may require replacement.
- Uneven wear: Alignment issues caused by worn leaf springs can also lead to irregular tire wear — if you notice the inside and outside of your tires wearing out at different rates, check your leaf springs, along with other suspension components.
Difficulty carrying a load is another sign of leaf spring problems — if your truck sags too much when loaded or hitched, it may be time to replace or upgrade your leaf springs.
What is Available for the GMC Sierra?
Since the GMC
Sierra is available in a
, it is important to purchase the right leaf
springs for your particular model of truck. In addition, the model year is
important since the leaf springs have changed with the advances in models and
the improved capacities required for trucks since 1936 when the first GMC
trucks came out. Before you call the professionals at General Spring, be sure
to know both the model and year of your truck in order to make an accurate
We sell both standard and heavy-duty leaf springs for all GMC Sierra models, including the ½ ton 1500, the ¾ ton 2500 and the 1-ton 3500. For most applications, replacing your leaf springs with a standard-duty aftermarket product will save you money compared to buying OEM, while delivering a comparable level of performance. If you frequently haul heavy loads, go off-road or take on other demanding tasks, upgrading to a heavy-duty spring will provide better performance and longer service life.
The GMC Sierra has always shared a platform with Chevrolet's trucks and SUVs — first, the C/K series and later the Silverado. As a result, leaf springs are often interchangeable between marques. However, it's always best to check with a representative.
How to Replace the Leaf Springs on a GMC Sierra
Replacing the leaf springs on a GMC Sierra is a straightforward job that's within the capabilities of many DIY home mechanics. However, some special tools are required. Here's a brief overview of how to proceed:
- Loosen the existing springs and suspension by rubbing oil around the leaf spring's nuts, bolts and brackets. This will reduce corrosion and make it easier to remove the worn-out parts.
- Lift the truck, either on a hoist or by chocking the front wheels and raising the rear with a jack. Then, remove the rear wheels — loosen the lug nuts before you lift.
- Remove the old leaf spring, first by taking off the shock absorbers, then the base plate. Raise the axle and take the pack out from the center pin. Then, remove the spring's forward mount, outer plate and shackle, in that order.
- Install the new shackle and attach the leaf spring to it, making sure the spring is aligned. Secure the spring with new fasteners, but leave some slack for later adjustments.
- Complete the installation by securing the spring, installing the U-bolts and torquing all fasteners. Reapply the shock absorbers. After seven days, recheck all bolts and re-tighten as necessary.
For detailed instructions and more tips for replacing the leaf springs on your GMC Sierra, check out our blog post, How to Replace Leaf Springs: A Step-by-Step Guide.
Where is the Best Place for Suspension Products?
automotive leaf spring and suspension authority since 1965, the team at General
Spring has learned a lot about what is needed to make a suspension work
properly. As a full service shop, the people you talk to on the phone to ask
about suspension products are the same technicians that install our products
every day. You can be sure that you’re working with someone who knows what
they’re doing from start to finish.
need to replace old, worn, cracked or broken springs, or need a heavy-duty
option, you can be confident that
will have exactly what you need.
If you are
local to New Century, KS call us at 913-829-0619, and national customers can
call us toll free at 1-888-829-0619. You can also
online. For quality products, fast shipping,
low prices and items in stock, look no further than General Spring of Kansas
General Spring of Kansas City is your source for quality products, fast shipping and low prices, whether you replace the leaf springs on a GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado or other GM truck. We have an extensive inventory of items in-stock and ready to ship to you — shop online and place your order today for fast delivery anywhere in the country.