Leaf Spring Plate
Your vehicle's leaf spring suspension relies on several amaller components in order to function properly. One of these parts is the leaf spring plate, a amall piece of metal that anchors the leaf spring's U-bolts. Once this plate wears out, the U-bolts won't properly align with each other especially since this plate is designed to perfectly fit over the U-bolts. In a worst-case scenario, U-bolts with a busted plate will have a tendency to get pulled up out of alignment. And when this happens, the bolts can slide off and damage the leaf springs. A properly installed and functioning leaf spring plate also ensures that the spring tightly comes in contact with the pad to prevent movement and premature wear and tear.
Tips to keep leaf spring plates in top condition
1. Don't over-tighten the U-bolts.
When installing a new spring plate, make sure to bolt it in place by following the manufacturer's torque specifications. Keep in mind that if the U-bolts are over-tightened, the plate and other linked suspension components can prematurely wear because of too much pressure. To avoid over- or under-tightening the bolts, use a torque wrench instead of an impact wrench. The former provides you with a more precise control over the amount of torque you put on the bolts.
2. Regularly check for signs of corrosion and other forms of damage.
Just like any piece of metal attached underneath your vehicle, this plate gets regular exposure to plenty of road salt, dust, and moisture. Over time, the plate will eventually give in and corrode. And once rusty patches invade, the plate won't be strong enough to hold the U-bolts and leaf spring in place. So when doing a routine inspection on your car's suspension system, don't forget to take a closer look at the spring plates. Aside from corrosion, you should also look for other signs of damage such as warping, dents, cracks or holes, and misalignment. Keep in mind that some types of damaged can't be repaired. If this is the case, you'll have to replace the worn-out plate.
3. Fix corroded patches ASAP.
When you do see signs of rusty patches on the surface of a spring plate, it's time to get your hands on a wire wheel and an angle grinder. These tools are quite handy when trying to remove stubborn rusty pits. With enough elbow grease, you should be able to get rid of those corroded spots. Unleas of course, if the plate is severely corroded that rust goes through the plate, resulting in holes. In this case, it's time to get aenew leaf spring plate.
4. Coat the plate with a primer.
Several coats of rust-inhibiting primer every now and then can help keep the spring plate in top condition for many years. This product is designed to protect metal surfaces from corrosion even when under severe conditions. To effectively protect the plate, apply just the right amount of primer and let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
By following the tips above, your car's leaf spring plate will be able to help provide you and your passengers with many years of amooth driving.