Do you hear squeaks near your rear axle or wheels while driving at low speeds? Have you felt a vibration when you travel at high speeds? If so, these could be indicators of worn-out U-bolts. A properly working suspension system is all about safety. Unfortunately, when any part of this system fails, it can become difficult to handle your vehicle.
Regular maintenance on your leaf spring U-bolts ensures that you spot problems before they become major issues. That said, let’s explore the importance of these small, yet crucial parts of your vehicle.
What are U-Bolts?
When you are driving over hills and hitting rough terrain, you have to be able to trust your vehicle’s suspension. U-bolts are one of the many unsung heroes of any leaf spring suspension upgrade. The U-bolt keeps the leaf spring secure to the axle, ensuring proper axle position and maintaining the right suspension geometry and driveline angles. Besides their ability to absorb shock, they’re also used to keep the spring at optimal stiffness. When describing what a U-bolt is, one can just look at the shape. The bolt features a U-shape design with two threaded arms.
Why Shouldn’t U-Bolts Be Reused?
U-bolts wear out over time. But it’s essential to replace them with new ones whenever they are removed. It isn’t worth the risk to reinstall the old ones because they can become warped or stripped. Here are a few additional reasons why U-bolts should not be reused:
- Used U-bolts don’t tighten the same as new U-bolts
- The original U-bolts are typically too short for aftermarket leaf springs
- It’s not worth the risk to stretch an old U-bolt past its limit
- Old U-bolts can become rusty or bend out of shape
When Should U-Bolts Be Replaced?
Although U-bolts have a very important job, it’s easy to overlook the need to replace or upgrade the leaf spring U-bolts in your suspension system. The main reason to check your U-bolts is to ensure you catch potential problems before they cause damage to your vehicle. It’s important to remember that your U-bolts are what hold your axle onto your vehicle. Having an axle come loose can not only be very damaging and expensive to repair, but it can also be very dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. U-bolts should be replaced whenever the existing ones are removed for maintenance.
The new U-bolts should equally measure the old ones. But choosing the right U-bolt for your vehicle can be confusing at times. Fortunately, if you need help choosing a U-bolt for your vehicle, or can’t find the kit you’re looking for, we can help.
Choose VanAxle for All Your Suspension System Needs
Since 1959, Vancouver Axle & Frame has strived to be the #1 alignment and suspension specialist in the Fraser Valley. We’re proud of our enduring history of quality and professional services for our customers. Our knowledgeable, friendly and experienced team of mechanics will go the extra mile for every client that we serve.
VanAxle will always supply you with the correct U-bolt for your vehicle. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified technicians. Or order your custom u-bolts on our website.