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Composite leaf springs?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ryan22re, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    I have seen a few advertisements for composite leaf springs, both for aftermarket lift springs/kits and for OEM replacements. The ad for oe replacement springs put the weight of a 63" chevy spring against the weight of the composite spring. The oe spring was 69 lbs, and the replacement composite was 31 lbs.

    Here's the website of the manufacturer:

    http://www.liteflexllc.com/arvinmeritor.html

    They say that the fatigue life is 3 1/2 times greater than steel, but I wonder if they considered max compression and droop in that equation. What does everyone think of these?
     
  2. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I think rocks would eat them alive, I can't find one in a junkyard, and redrilling them is out of the question. I don't think they'd live long if pushed into reverse arch but that's pure speculation. Also, if you do break one, there's no patching it back together to get to the trailer. Fatigue life is great but how often do people actually kill springs without bending the piss out of them from extreme compression or extension.

    Cool idea, but if you're after weight reduction that much, there are a lot easier places to lighten stuff up first....like skinning out all the body panels or going on a diet. :p:
     
  3. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, that's what I was expecting, would probably be killer in a mud truck, provided the rules allowed monoleaf suspensions. Or you used a multiple leaf composite spring.

    But I have seen aftermarket lift springs that are composite from teraflex and they look just like the springs from liteflex.
     
  4. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]

    interesting
     
  5. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Spring steel will always have it's place on my vehicles. ;) :p:
     
  6. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    BTW, good call on going on a diet....need to drop a couple of pounds....
     
  7. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    the springs i see bent are eigther smashed against a rock or ledge and are forced against it. Then also massive droop and compression bends the ends...

    Just cant beat how cheap regular springs are and easily modified to get off the trail.
     
  8. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You said that six months ago. :haha:
     
  9. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    So where do you get em???
     
  10. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    I dunno. Probably can't call them up and just order a set. Probably has to be a middle man in there somewhere. My guess is that they are pretty expensive too.
     
  11. savagek5diesel

    savagek5diesel 1/2 ton status

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    i think they may have a place in drag racing, but on the trails......... no. Do they also advertise that you get 5-10% better gas milage too?!:haha:
     
  12. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    Now I don't know nothing from nothing about composite leaf springs, Just reading this thread and it reminds me of compound bow limbs. Some of them are composite and seem to bend quite a ways alot of times repeatedly. Could be similar engineering involved.

    I would agree, rocks would probably tear them apart though.
     
  13. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    Both of my rear springs are bent (assumably) from axle wrap. These composite springs might resist that. Luckily my springs are BDS so I shouldn't have anything to worry about :D
     
  14. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Seems very interesting to me. It's certainly not like they are some new fangled showy piece of equipment. I think it might be out of place to dismiss their abilities in the rocks too. Composites are used in a lot of areas, as they mention (bullet proof vests) that stand up to harsh use. Sporting equipment of all types, I know of bicycle frames that make cro moly look like cooked spaghetti when cycled on stress machines. And with safety regs as they are you can't just throw them on a production vehicle without them having proved themselves. I'd like to know more myself...
     
  15. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Weight is a big factor in racing and hauling freight. When it comes to hauling freight the lighter you can make the truck the more freight(money) you can load into it. 240 lbs lighter then an air suspension is a big deal to companies running a lot of trucks. If you install these on 170 trucks you eliminate a whole truck. thats a driver you don't have to pay, no fuel to buy, no maintenance.

    I don't see a future in the rock crawling industry for composite springs.
     
  16. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    I wonder if extreme cold makes them brittle???? Not a factor to some people, but it gets to -20s here, and lower for days.:confused:
     
  17. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I think most of those composites are impervious to any weather changes. Who knows!
     
  18. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    Cool... Now my truck can have a Bowflex body.

    I wonder how well it handles lateral loads and what axle wrap would do to it...
     
  19. ryan22re

    ryan22re 1/2 ton status

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    So who is willing to buy a set and try em out?

    :D
     
  20. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Composite or fiberglass leafs are not new. GM used them on the Astro/Safari Vans for a while. At least in the case of those, they did not emilinate spring wrap. (found that out in a rental van and an "accendential" neutral drop from 4,000 rpm)

    Fiberglass springs have been used on the car side in the aftermarket too. Vette Brakes sells kits to convert older vettes to transverse fiberglass leafs front and rear like the c4's had. Plus they sell kits for Camaro's too.

    Not sure how they would handle the stress of extreme articulation plus wieght of the heavy axles and bashing into rocks.

    I will say this though. The springs on that poor rental astro wrapped up hard enough to allow the tire to rub on the front of the wheel opening (almost 2" of forward movement) and made the loudest bang I've ever heard in a vehicle without breaking anything.
     

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