Reasons For U-Bolt Failure And Replacement

Automotive Blog

If you own a large vehicle, such as an older sedan, pickup truck, or van, then you likely have a leaf spring suspension system with U-bolts. Though they seem unimportant, U-bolts are critical components of your vehicle's suspension. When something is wrong with them, your car, truck, or van could become difficult to drive. Therefore, it's important to know the signs of a broken U-bolt and the reasons why it became broken.

What Do U-Bolts Do?

The U-bolt is a U-shaped bolt with a nut on each end. In automotive situations, they are primarily used to hold up the rear suspension leaf springs. The springs are threaded through the bolt, and the bolts are screwed down on the axle. Above the leaf spring and the axle are the coil springs that cushion and support the body of your vehicle. All three components work together to stabilize the entire rear chassis.

How Do U-Bolts Fail?

The most common ways U-bolts fail is when they come loose or break. Usually, they are well-designed to be extremely durable, but they are not invincible. If you overload your vehicle, then you will not only damage your springs, but could even break those bolts. If you have a well-used vehicle, then there's a chance of that the bolts could be corroded. Fortunately, U-bolts are easy to replace by an experienced mechanic.

What Are the Symptoms of Failing U-Bolts?

If you have a broken bolt, then you will hear rattling in the rear of the vehicle. Also, the leaf spring will no longer support the vehicle. This puts extra pressure on your coil spring and could cause that spring to break. Your vehicle will bounce and lean heavily to the side, and it will bottom out more often. You may also find your vehicle much harder to handle.

What Are Other Reasons to Replace U-Bolts?

Even if your U-bolts are fine, there are reasons why you may need to remove them. One reason is if you are making repairs or changes to your leaf springs or axles. If you need to remove your original U-bolts for any reason, then you must replace them with new ones. This is because their threads are rolled instead of cut like traditional bolts. Therefore, once you loosen them, they should be entirely replaced.

When you replace your vehicle's U-bolts, whether they've failed or not, then make sure you replace them with quality, brand-new U-bolts. If you need U-bolts, reach out to a U-bolt supplier for more information. They can advise you on the different types and sizes of U-bolt products available to fit your car, truck, or van's leaf spring suspension system.

To learn more about U-bolts, contact a company in your area like Gitt's Spring Company.


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