Tweaking Technology to Eliminate Twisted Springs
Leaf springs lead a tough life. They are faced with the dual responsibility of both locating and suspending axles. Over thousands of cycles, leaf springs eventually fatigue and either sag or break. Whether on a high-speed desert-runner or creepy-crawly trail rig, leaf packs are subjected to stress sufficient to send springs curled up and whimpering to the proverbial corner.
Advanced Off-Road Research of Grand Junction, Colorado, hit a winning chord with the invention of new technology to eliminate the age-old problem of twisted, fatigued leaf springs. Dubbed the Orbit-Eye, this spherical bearing is similar to the Heim joints that make linkage suspensions long on both performance and durability. Orbit-Eyes were designed specifically to stand up to the stress experienced by spring eye bushings.
The Orbit Eye works to alleviate the problems that arise with today's rigs and the greater wheel articulation that they offer. When the spherical bearings twist instead of the leaf springs, the result is a leaf pack that lives longer and can move more freely. Since the springs are free to stuff and droop without twisting laterally, inter-leaf friction is reduced and suspension action becomes smoother. Since traditional leaf packs inherently act as antisway bars, Orbit-Eye springs may be ordered with a traditional urethane bushing in one of the ends for a great combination of street stability and off-road suspension flex.
We took an '85 Toyota pickup that was already trial-worthy and kicked up the performance factor several notches.