Here is a great example of a sheared shock mount. This aftermarket hoop was welded to the
Sheared Shock Mounts
What They Do: Shock mounts support shocks and coilovers, providing a solid foundation for the suspension.
Symptoms: Depending on the type of suspension setup, a broken shock mount can be a serious problem or just a headache. Broken shock mounts can cause noises over bumps, handling problems, and affect ride quality.
Why They Go Bad: The most common reason we see shock mount failure is because of poorly welded mounts that cannot support the loads generated by the shock. Other common reasons for shock mount failure are the use of improper length shocks, improper hardware, lack of limit straps, or missing bumpstops.
How To Fix: A qualified welder should re-weld any broken shock mounts, and any secondary problem should be addressed.
Leaking Shock Seals
What They Do: Seals separate the nasty outside world from the clean inside of your shocks.
Symptoms: Oil on the shock body is the easiest way to discover a leaky shock seal, although shocks with leaky seals can also cause vehicle lean and a floaty ride.
Why They Go Bad: Seals can go bad for a number of reasons, such as a shaft that is pitted from exposure to rocks and gravel. Once a shaft is pitted, rust can take hold and then it severely shortens the life of the shock. Wheeling in muddy or salty terrain can also compromise the integrity of the seal, as can overheating the shock, which can melt the seal completely or alter its shape.
How To Fix: Just as with a bent shock shaft, some shocks can be rebuilt, and others just need to be replaced.
This leaf spring was damaged when the owner removed too many of the support leaves in sear
Broken Leaf Spring
What They Do: Leaf springs are a design of spring that both carries weight and sets ride height of a vehicle. They also locate the axle without the need for additional control arms.
Symptoms: You know you have an issue when you see an individual leaf sticking out of the pack. Other symptoms can be noise, lean, or an axle that is not centered.
Why They Go Bad: Leaves may be one of the most durable components on any 4x4, but metal fatigue, overloading, and overextension or compression of the suspension can all contribute to broken leaf packs. Other things to consider are a lack of maintenance or substandard spring material.
How To Fix: As a general rule, leaf springs can be rebuilt, but sometimes a new spring pack is the answer. Whether your pack is new or rebuilt, it should be manufactured with quality materials and parts and should be pulled apart from time to time and inspected. This ensures small problems are caught before they turn in to big problems.
U-bolts are an often forgotten, but play a critical role in any leaf-sprung suspension.
What They Do: U-bolts secure the leaf spring pack to the axle.
Symptoms: If your U-bolts are going bad, you may notice that your spring pack is “walking” or that the axle has shifted. Bad U-bolts can also cause your pinion angle to change, resulting in driveshaft vibrations. Other areas of concern are clunks and noises as well as a loss of ride height.
Why They Go Bad: U-bolts, like any other suspension-related component, need to be maintained. Regular inspection of the often-forgotten U-bolt can catch stretching or corrosion issues. Adding significantly more power or weight to your rig without upsizing the U-bolts can also cause breakage, as U-bolts are not a one-size-fits-all component.
How To Fix: The easy answer is new U-bolt hardware. If you live in an area where corrosion is an issue, coated U-bolts are available for increased durability. Regular inspection and re-torquing can also catch problems early. U-bolts should never be reused and should always be replaced whenever the spring is removed.