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Tinster
02-11-2008, 05:58 PM
This non-mechanic guy needs a little guidance again.
I think the part in my photo is called a leaf spring.
I have two and they are getting rusty real fast from
being dipped in ocean water. I hose them with fresh
water every time they get salt water wet.

My question is several parts.

1. Is this thing under tremendous compression like the
coil springs in my TR6? If so, how do I decompress it?

2. The very rusty bolts, indicated with blue arrows, are
1/2" SAE grade #5. Can I replace them with stainless steel?

3. Do the leaf springs come apart into layers? If so,
should I heavy grease coat the individual slabs of steel?
or paint them with Eastwood rust compound? Or both techniques?

Many thanks--- no fishing for me until the rust problem is
properly refurbished.

dale /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wall.gif

https://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q101/TinsterTR6/leafSpring.jpg

SilentUnicorn
02-11-2008, 06:39 PM
....

My question is several parts.

1. Is this thing under tremendous compression like the
coil springs in my TR6? If so, how do I decompress it?

they are under pressure but not like a coil spring. common sense disassemble and caution are advised. Jack up trailer and let springs hang. (this is where the might as wells come in) drop the hole unit, axle and all. and proceed to finish disassembly and rust preventative the whole she-bang.



2. The very rusty bolts, indicated with blue arrows, are
1/2" SAE grade #5. Can I replace them with stainless steel?

Yes you can , stainless is not as strong, but i doubt it would make a difference.



3. Do the leaf springs come apart into layers? If so,
should I heavy grease coat the individual slabs of steel?
or paint them with Eastwood rust compound? Or both techniques?

Yes they do. there is a center bolt that runs up the middle and holds the center together (available at most good parts stores in a variety of sizes). undo (or most likely cut off) and the springs will fall apart. Usually there are some mild steel tabs that bend around the layers and keep them from twisting out of alignment. I don't see these on this spring, and they really cant go anywhere because the u bolts prevent them from twisting. Grease them , paint them, powdercaot them, whatever floats your boat....hehe




Many thanks--- no fishing for me until the rust problem is
properly refurbished.

dale /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wall.gif

https://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q101/TinsterTR6/leafSpring.jpg

TR6oldtimer
02-11-2008, 07:14 PM
Dale, put the trailer on jack stands under the frame, not the axle. Once you do this you will (should)see it is no longer compressed. You can pull the whole thing as previously suggested, or do one side at a time.

If it were mine, I wouldn't be concerned as it looks to be in great shape for a boat trailer.

I would not go with stainless steel on those hinge bolts as they act as the pin for the hinge and as such, I assume a harder steel is preferred.

Tinster
02-11-2008, 08:08 PM
Thanks for the advice. I
The first thing I did was put the buggy on jackstands.
I put the car jack under the leaf spring to keep it from
moving downward.

I do not fully understand how this thing works. For example:
Does the leaf spring straighten out when I pull the thru-
bolts on either end? If so, how do I get the steel back
into the existing bow shape for the re-install?

Do the slabs of steel move or rub back and forth when I hit
bumps? Is grease or paint better between the steel slabs
for rust prevention?

BTW: I was once fishing with a chap who poorly maintained
his trailer. It collapsed (with boat on it) half way up
the boat ramp. It was well after sunset. The marine police
were not amused. Neither was I !!

Thanks again-
BLARGH!! Getting a root canal tomorrow.

d

SilentUnicorn
02-12-2008, 07:23 AM
Dale,

the springs will not flatten out, if anything they will arch a little bit more when you release the tension on them. Putting them back on shouldn't be a big deal, the shackles (where you have the 1/2 bolts) should have enough play to let you re install. Tip; leave the boat on the trailer, its weight will help you should you need to jack the spring slightly from underneath.

The springs do rub a little on each other when you hit a bump. Some people will put plastic shims between them, to keep them quiet (not much of a problem on a boat trailer) The shims do help separate the leaves a little and if you are habitually rinsing them off this might not be a bad thing. It would let you get some clean water between them.

a far as what to use to prevent rust..anything is better than nothing. Tr6oldtimer is right that trailer looks to be in pretty good shape. If it were me i would disassemble the whole axle and springs, get new bolts (u bolts too) clean it all up good, prep them and use a good quality paint. Reassemble and float the boat. from the looks of that pic i certainly would not let that trailer keep me from fishing, unless this is your off season. Keep those fishing pics coming I enjoy them.

mark

mark

Tinster
02-12-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks Mark-

I've got a week of too-windy-to-fish so I'm doing
preventive maintenance. Rewired the same side of the
trailer with waterproof connectors. I've now got functional lights all around.

thanks for the advice.

Should I author a "How to" for saltwater trailer suspension
rebuilding? /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

d

Don_Neff
02-12-2008, 12:38 PM
Dale,

As others mentioned here, your trailer suspension is better than it looks. Every time you do a fresh water flush, let the springs dry out and then squirt lots of oil between the leaves.

I'm be more concerned about the wheel bearings. They get flooded inspite of how good the seals are. I'd take them apart and examine them often. I always urge my fishing friends around here to carry spare wheel bearings and the tools to install them. The bearings always fail on the road, never in your home drive.

Don

Tinster
02-12-2008, 04:41 PM
Thanks Don-

I spray the suspension components with CRC 6-56, marine
anti-corrosion lubricant immediately after I have put
the boat in the water. (while water is still dripping)

I was very surprised at the degree of rusting on the
leaf springs and other non-stainless steel pieces, given
how diligent and careful I am to flush the salt away.

I jiggled around with two jacks this afternoon and managed
to pull one thru-bolt without anything suddenly expanding
or blowing apart. I'll install stainless thru-bolts and
Eastwood rust paint the leaves.

Thanks all-

Dale

Tinster
02-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks everyone-

I completed the refurbish of one side of the boat trailer
this afternoon. Holey Moley !! It took 160 pounds on a 2
foot ratchet extension to spin off the old SAE #5 bolts,
after being drenched three days in penetrating oil.

Ground out all the rust, applied Eastwood Rust Inhibitor,
installed new stainless steel thru-bolts. Black grease
inside the bolt sleeves.

The wheel bearings looked fine and dandy.

Now: rewire and refurbish the other side and I should
be good for another year of saltwater fishing.

Thanks all,

d

https://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q101/TinsterTR6/LeafRenewed.jpg

vping
02-13-2008, 05:04 PM
Looks good. Can't wait to see how it holds up after the first year. Nice job.