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Thread: Spring U bolt replacement

  1. #1
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    Spring U bolt replacement

    Dumb question:
    I bought all new springs, hangers, U Bolts etc. for my Top Kick. I didn't get them installed right away. Now that they are on, inspection station says they are too short.

    I contacted the place I bought them. They say "tough shi*"

    I found a new source, bought new U bolts. I hoped I could jack it up enough to take the weight off the tires & change one u bolt at a time. I'm several revolutions backed off on the first U bolt, it's still very tight. How are these things done without losing your head?
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    The bolt on the other side of the spring will pull the plate as you loosen the first side. I always back them both off equally. Also did you left the wheels of the ground, if so you have to support the axles weight, if you only raised the side you are working on the other side will be putting stress on the side you are working on.
    Mike

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  4. #3
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by leightrepairs View Post
    The bolt on the other side of the spring will pull the plate as you loosen the first side. I always back them both off equally. Also did you left the wheels of the ground, if so you have to support the axles weight, if you only raised the side you are working on the other side will be putting stress on the side you are working on.
    Jack both sides of the frame not quite enough to lift the wheels? All 4 nuts?
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  5. #4
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Axle is under the spring, right. If so yes loosen all four nuts.
    Mike

  6. #5
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    I almost always just cut them off.... they're gonna break anyways, the road salt just kills em' Although it sounds as if yours haven't been on long enough to seize up??? maybe-- it don't take long...

    Less than an hour ago I was trying to save some ubolts under our dump trailer, had a slipper spring break at the holding loop... and we had an extra new spring in the shop!!! but no hardware... I got one off without breaking it but the threads were so galled up it won't be going back on... the other broke about 6 turns out 7/16ths X 3 X 7 inch ubolts.
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    Last edited by ronsii; 09-15-2020 at 08:51 PM.

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  8. #6
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    I haven't done nearly as many as you guys, but I've never got one off without breaking or galling.

    Torch or angle grinder for me....
    Dave J.

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  10. #7
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I haven't done nearly as many as you guys, but I've never got one off without breaking or galling.

    Torch or angle grinder for me....
    I credit a lot of it to the fine threads... they are *way* more prone to galling, crossthreading, seizing than coarse... especially when you add in the deicer on the roads This is probably the first time I have ever got a ubolt off without having to cut it or have it snap off!!! although it did gall the threads up beyond repair but I spent a lot of time hitting it with oil(pbblaster) and running it on/off just trying to make do with what I had... or should I say didn't have and in the end I failed miserably

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  12. #8
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    These are new, installed 2 months ago. The U bolts were made from 40" 7/8 stock. The nuts are 1-1/2" long, but maybe 3 fine threads can be seen. Inspection station failed me for that & a dozen other flaws. I doubt they are rusted, but they remain tight as though it is them compressing the springs. These are 22000 lb rears. I wonder if the center bolts are broken?
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  13. #9
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    wire wheel or fiber disk the bolt first up to nut. then heat just enough to melt bees wax or candle wax. remove nut till almost stops and retighten the nuts width. reheat, propane torch will work, candle wax and loosen. repeat as many times as necessary. don't let nut get too hot. works for me when saving spring u-bolts and nuts. other alternative, heat wrench.
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  14. #10
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    If spring is on top, jack and support axle not the frame. You want the weight of the vehicle to work with you not against you.

  15. #11
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    I credit a lot of it to the fine threads... they are *way* more prone to galling, crossthreading, seizing than coarse... especially when you add in the deicer on the roads This is probably the first time I have ever got a ubolt off without having to cut it or have it snap off!!! although it did gall the threads up beyond repair but I spent a lot of time hitting it with oil(pbblaster) and running it on/off just trying to make do with what I had... or should I say didn't have and in the end I failed miserably
    I've never saved U bolts. Cut 'em off, and throw them in the trash. Not supposed to reuse them anyways.

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  17. #12
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    These are new, installed 2 months ago. The U bolts were made from 40" 7/8 stock. The nuts are 1-1/2" long, but maybe 3 fine threads can be seen. Inspection station failed me for that & a dozen other flaws. I doubt they are rusted, but they remain tight as though it is them compressing the springs. These are 22000 lb rears. I wonder if the center bolts are broken?
    U bolts, when properly torqued are really stretched quite a bit. It's the way they're designed to be. The torque spec'd stretches them so they stay tight during service. This is the reason they're not reusable.

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  19. #13
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    I took it to Rico. I told him I'm getting discouraged with it. I might die of old age before the thing is fully legal.
    He texted late day yesterday he had made a 7:00 AM appointment for today to get it inspected. He would take it, to answer to any questions. Fussy stuff like wiper arm going past the edge of the windshield have reportedly been addressed.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  21. #14
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    I had been told that the nut on the U-bolts were distorted thread, and weren't supposed to be re-used. I've always gotten new ones with the U-bolts.

    Medium-Strength Steel Top-Lock Distorted-Thread Locknuts—Grade 5

    These locknuts have an irregularly shaped thread at the top of the nut that grips the bolt for a stronger hold than nylon-insert locknuts. They thread on from the bottom of the nut, allowing more threads to engage the bolt before tightening for easier installation than center-lock distorted thread locknuts. The strength of the bolt should match the strength of the nut to prevent damaging threads. They're not reusable. Made from Grade 5 steel, they're suitable for fastening most machinery and equipment



    in 5/8" size its $8.00 for a bag of 10


    Good luck with the inspection.
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  22. #15
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Industry standard is 2 full threads protrusion.

    https://www.engineersedge.com/hardwa...0blind%20hole.

  23. #16
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Here I always thought they wanted the length of protruding threads equal to the diameter of the ubolt rod....

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  25. #17
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    In Rico's hands they got replaced. He took it & got inspection. Truck is legal!
    Nonetheless, the windshield washer wouldn't work on the way home. A mile later it started squirting by itself. Whether it ran out of fluid, or stopped on its own, I don't yet know.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  26. #18
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    As long as threads protrude from the nut it should be legal. Things like this is why I took a cmv inspection class. I got tired of places pulling crap like that
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  28. #19
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    What Ive done for my U-bolts is when I put em back I smear emreal good with some anti-sieze i picked up that looks like grease, i believe its got teflon in it. It stays on through all the mud and rain snow whatever I put my rig through. Never had an issue gettin those bolts off or any other bolt for that matter when i use this stuff. When i get home tonite I will look and see who makes it. Im thinkin Permatex

    I put 5 more leafs in my truck on both sides when i built the truck, last spring i busted a main leaf on the driver side and those bolts came right off 3 years after I put em on.

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  30. #20
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Popeye an old miner View Post
    What Ive done for my U-bolts is when I put em back I smear emreal good with some anti-sieze i picked up that looks like grease, i believe its got teflon in it. It stays on through all the mud and rain snow whatever I put my rig through. Never had an issue gettin those bolts off or any other bolt for that matter when i use this stuff. When i get home tonite I will look and see who makes it. Im thinkin Permatex

    I put 5 more leafs in my truck on both sides when i built the truck, last spring i busted a main leaf on the driver side and those bolts came right off 3 years after I put em on.
    I pretty much put antisieze on everything I assemble anymore, as far as I know that axle was replaced by me a couple years ago and would have had A/S on all the threads... but ya' never know every once in a while things get done by others.... I know this time I did it and there was a nice coating brushed on every square inch of all threads I screwed with Mostly I use the grey bottle from NAPA.. grey colored aluminum based stuff I think but I also have Cat copper based and a few other copper colored bottles of different brands.

  31. #21
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Funny, I've put new springs in three trucks in the last year. I usually do these things myself, but these I had others do. This truck was whipping my as$. I needed to shorten the frame, move the axle forward, which made it necessary to move every rivet behind the cab. These rivets were impossible to remove. They must be put in hot and squashed in a hydraulic machine. The shaft is not cylindrical, they are barrel shaped & TIGHT! I'd drill the heads off, all the beating with a hammer & punch was only going to bend the frame. I developed a technique, I'd go progressively larger with the drill bit & most of the length of the rivet. Few holes were dead center, but when it was thin enough on one side, it'd collapse enough to drive it out. 8 hours, I removed 28 rivets. I got discouraged. Bought a plasma cutter, but it seemed the acetylene torch worked as well.

    I finally asked Rico to take it on. Equipped with a Mag drill, and more experience, it was still a big job for him also.
    The whole project was a much bigger thing than I thought it was.
    It was time to replace my 1976 C65, and every dump truck I found was either many thousands more, or rusted out. I hate rust! The fire truck was low mileage. It read 31,000 but I then figured out pumping was driving the odometer also. Probably highway miles were much lower.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  33. #22
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    Re: Spring U bolt replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Popeye an old miner View Post
    What Ive done for my U-bolts is when I put em back I smear emreal good with some anti-sieze i picked up that looks like grease, i believe its got teflon in it. It stays on through all the mud and rain snow whatever I put my rig through. Never had an issue gettin those bolts off or any other bolt for that matter when i use this stuff. When i get home tonite I will look and see who makes it. Im thinkin Permatex

    I put 5 more leafs in my truck on both sides when i built the truck, last spring i busted a main leaf on the driver side and those bolts came right off 3 years after I put em on.
    Permatex did make this stuff, where i got it who knows but it works for me

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