View Full Version : Leaf Springs
01-27-2009, 09:38 PM
Been MIA for a little while but I'm about to start doing my winter projects for the boat. My main concern is changing out the leaf springs that have the most horrific squeak you could image. I've emailed Boatmate several times and have never received any type of reply. Here's the question. I've found replacement springs that have a rating of 2500 lbs each (26" 5 leaf). Does this rating sound about right? Boat is a 2001 Outback LS DD.
Call Hytech Marine in Panama City, they can help you with any and all trailer needs. They help me keep my saltwater boat trailer on the road as well as everyone else in this town. I actually have to replace the leafs on my offshore boat, they don't squeak, they are 1/2 gone!
01-28-2009, 12:05 AM
squeaking is not a replacement issue, it is likely a lube issue - and probably NOT the springs IMHO
Unless you are hauling a LOT (with the sacks full?) I cannot see replacement being necessary.
Have to be careful here, Monty lives close to salt water and possibly he has put that trailer in the salt water in the past. This stuff eats metal and can cause all kind of funky issues. All the boat stores down here (boatersworld, west marine, etc) stock trailer springs of all sorts (not expensive either), I mean they come from China to begin with and does anyone have a COC on that metal?
And once I did have a MASTER CRAFT trailer leaf break right in half for no apparent reason. I was wondering what that rectangular chunk of metal was at my mailbox just after we got home. We were so lucky because I just got off the interstate a few minutes earlier!!! The whole shackle was now loose and there were no corrosion on the spring!!!
That is why I love the new torsion axles on the newer boats!!!
01-28-2009, 08:19 AM
If you ever heard these springs, replacement IS an issue. They have been soaked in oil. I have even taken the eye bolts out, coated them with grease to no avail. It is well worth the some $45 to $50 per side.
01-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Monty, glad to see your stilll with us. guys i have heard this trailer-going over a the smallest bump does cause a very LOUD squeaking sound. It is a metal on metal kind of sound, But are there bushing's in the spring eyes or the shakle that need replaced? Seeing his trailer i dont think its been dunked in salt or brakish water.
01-28-2009, 09:30 AM
I'm still trolling around the boards. You are right Stacy, that trailer has never seen salt water since I've had it and I know that the previous owner (Waterboy) never did either. I've thought about replacing the bushings in the eye bolts as they are fairly inexpensive, however, after taking out the bolts and coating them with bearing grease it made no difference. You can see a little rust coming out of the leafs so I'm fairly sure that is where the problem is. Do you all think the 2500# per side is the right weight bearing load?
01-28-2009, 09:40 AM
Looks like boat and trailer are 3400lb dry so that should be more than enough. Have you looked into the torsion axles? very nice upgrade if it can be done but its something a trailer place would have to do and will cost a bunch more.
01-28-2009, 01:18 PM
Glad you're back from MIA bro. Those sound like the right springs.
I would think they should be fine. You can also measure the width and the number of leafs (did I spell that right?) and if they are the same you should be good to go.
01-28-2009, 02:17 PM
ok, so why would squeaking be an indicator of impending structural failure?
If you swap them and it works I’d like to hear about it. I cannot think of a metal load issue where squeaking is used as an indicator. Lots of lube situations but not many fatigue.
Not saying that it is, but if the metal is fatigued (spelling?) and the spring rate is now less than what it is supposed to be maybe they leafs are sliding across each other more now than they used to? Or it could be that it is something that is driving the owner crazy and they are ready to spend a couple hundred bucks to get rid of it.
01-28-2009, 03:06 PM
I don't think the springs are about to give way and collapse. It is more like Z says and it is about to drive me nuts. Daze, Ed, and KB can tell you this has worried me since the Atlanta Jam. I'm sure they remember hearing that baby coming through the campground long before you could see it.
01-28-2009, 03:20 PM
Monty, i never asked but can you reproduce the squeak sound by just pushing down on the trailer-say if your standing at the rear of the boat and push down on the swim platform to kinda "bounce" the trailer?
01-28-2009, 03:43 PM
You can. Even just stepping on the fender to get into the boat makes it holler. I'll be ordering some more within the next few days and hope to get them changed out shortly after.
01-28-2009, 05:12 PM
If you find anything interesting, please take a second and grab a photo to post. It would be very interesting. Hope you guys are doing well.
01-28-2009, 10:12 PM
I think its sabotage :)
01-29-2009, 07:37 PM
Here is the result of a spring failure on the interstate at 70mph.
02-01-2009, 10:36 AM
If I remember correctly, Boatmate had an issue with the springs on the late 90's and early 2000 single axle trailers. I actually contacted Boatmate and I think they offered to send me replacement springs. Someone actually had failure and posted it here, (I've had my Outback since '02, so it would have been around then), and that's how I got involved.
But of course I never followed up on it and could be trailering on borrowed time.
I'm gonna search and see if I can find the thread.
02-01-2009, 10:38 AM
Here it is:
02-01-2009, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the info. I just wish Boatmate would have responded. I sent I know 3 emails with no reply and there's no number listed on their site. I've just decided to go ahead and replace them with a good quality spring from my guys at Bumper to Bumper.
02-01-2009, 05:44 PM
Monty, did you get the new spring's on?
02-01-2009, 07:00 PM
I was going to order them this week (they should be in the next day). Then when I get a day when my "little helper" is doing something else (way too dangerous for him to be around then) I'll change them out.
Wow! You guys were lucky that was all the damage, unless there is more that we can't see!!!!
What amazes me is how much that trailer looks just like our 1975 trailer MasterCraft trailer.
We were lucky that the spring broke right at the MrsZ parents lake house, BUT, I did'nt know it broke until about an hour after we arrived and after we had launched the boat. I walked outside and not 100ft from where I parked the boat trailer I noticed a piece of metal about 2 inches wide and 5 inches long. I picked it up out of the road in front of the house so that no one would run over it and get a flat tire. Then I started to wonder what it was and after 5 minutes of looking at it I realized it was a piece of a leaf spring. Thats when I walked back to the boat trailer and found out where it came from! It was still painted white and hand NO rust on it at all, it just broke off cleanly. I could move the axle back and forth a couple of inches as the U-bolt was now loose!
02-02-2009, 01:00 AM
I was very lucky. We were coming from San Diego to Pensacola on a move when it happened. My wife was following in her car and watched the whole thing. The truck/trailer hit a bump in the road and the left side spring broke. The right side rebounded and bounce (apparently about 2-3' in the air) and the left side had nothing. On the landing the left side had all of the drag (friction) and the right side bounced again. The trailer swung into the left lane as the truck was in the right lane. Fortunately, there was no one in the left lane at the time. I was taken for quite a ride in the Avalanche. It is a great thing that the truck has so much weigth or else it could have gotten bad as the tail wagging the dog. no damage to the boat, the trailer skidded on the metal supports that protect the rudder and prop. I got the trailer repaired.
Lesson learned, always strap your boat down to the trailer. Normally I don't, but on this trip I did. I truely believe that the boat would have left the trailer if it had not been strapped down at the back.
02-02-2009, 04:11 PM
Wow, can you imagine what it would have looked like if the boat left the trailer! As bad as that sounds I would have liked to have seen those pics, I bet the destruction would have been just horific.
04-27-2009, 01:44 PM
Finally put the springs on this AM and man nothing beats the sound of silence. I've had the new ones for a while but never got around to putting them on. Not much more than an hour job.
04-27-2009, 09:18 PM
Isn't that typical, get everything together and then it takes an act of congress to get you to complete the project. I know the feeling:)
04-30-2009, 01:55 PM
Yea. I still have pop up cleats in the box from last fall. To paraphrase the movie "48 Hours" (when the guy goes to pick up the car from the parking garage and the ticket shows it's been sitting there for 3 years and the attendant asks him what he's been doing for 3 years - he had been in prison- and the response): "I been BUSY!"
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