How to Properly Check Your U Bolts
Many vehicle-towing owners and heavy machine operators concern themselves with maintaining proper suspension—as they should!
Supplementing your truck, van, SUV, or recreational vehicle with the proper suspension system will make all the difference in prolonging the life of your vehicle. You can have a great-looking vehicle with a monster engine, but if you don’t have the right kind of suspension system installed, your vehicle could flatten out making every bump in the road an uncomfortable one. It could also cause a greater liability for any fragile goods that might be transporting.
Without the proper suspension system, the chassis of your vehicle will wear out quickly rendering it inoperable. That is why leaf springs are such a crucial part of a vehicle’s suspension system. What is equally as important, yet often overlooked, are the U-Bolts.
What are U-Bolts?
A U-Bolt is the part that connects the leaf springs to your chassis. It is considered the bolt that secures everything together. Leaf springs are thick, so it takes more than a regular type of bolt to install it. The U-Bolt basically serves as an industrial type of clamp that is sturdy enough to endure oversized loads as well as tough terrain, but also is easily removed when needed.
How Do You Know When to Replace U-Bolts?
Just as leaf springs need replaced, so do U-Bolts. Leaf springs endure an immense amount of pressure. They are only able to do this by staying in place, and U-Bolts contribute to this. However, there is only so much pressure a U-Bolt can take after a certain amount of strain.
As weight is placed on the leaf spring, the U-Bolt also absorbs the energy from that weight. When the leaf springs flatten out and then springs back into its original form, the U-Bolt keeps it in place preventing them from ‘springing’ out of place. This amount of pressure can wear on U-Bolts and may sometimes need replaced before the leaf springs.
Depending on what kind of task your vehicle has, you might need to check to see if your U-Bolts are in good condition. Here’s what you need to do:
- Check your U-Bolts every 24,000 miles or 6 months.
- Make sure that they are secured tightly. If they are loose, tighten them immediately.
- Check the bend of the U-Bolt to see if it’s cracked. If any part of the U-Bolt is cracked, replace it immediately.
- Verify that the minimum inside radius is satisfactory. For example, the minimum requirement for a 1” U-Bolt should be no less than ¾”.
Consult General Spring for Your Suspension Needs
If you need assistance in checking your U-Bolts, call the professional experts at General Spring in New Century, KS. We are a full service shop that has been shipping out standard and custom leaf suspensi online form right now.
If you have a question regarding your U-Bolt or any part of your suspension system, call us today at 913-829-0619. If you are not near the New Century area, call us toll free at 1-888-829-0619 and our mechanics will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also contact us through our online form right now.