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HoustonAttorney
08-13-2007, 06:33 PM
At highway speeds my trailer bounces noticeably on the port side.

It feels like the leaf springs have more play on this side. As a result, I am getting uneven tire wear on this side.

Starboard side is perfectly stable.

I checked the leaf springs and see no cracks or other obvious damage.

Tire pressure is ok and same as other tire.

What else can I check? :confused:

Trailer is MC trailer that came with my 1991 PS 190.

Thanks a million for any comments.

TMCNo1
08-13-2007, 07:30 PM
At highway speeds my trailer bounces noticeably on the port side.

It feels like the leaf springs have more play on this side. As a result, I am getting uneven tire wear on this side.

Starboard side is perfectly stable.

I checked the leaf springs and see no cracks or other obvious damage.

Tire pressure is ok and same as other tire.

What else can I check? :confused:

Trailer is MC trailer that came with my 1991 PS 190.

Thanks a million for any comments.



Short of buying a new set of springs, you can take them off and if no problem, cracks or broken springs are found, a spring shop can re-arch/heat treat them and they will be good as new for years to come. They will also replace any problematic leafs.

JKTX21
08-13-2007, 08:51 PM
Probably not a bad idea to balance your trailer tires as well.

uawaterskier
08-13-2007, 10:17 PM
At highway speeds my trailer bounces noticeably on the port side.

It feels like the leaf springs have more play on this side. As a result, I am getting uneven tire wear on this side.

Starboard side is perfectly stable.

I checked the leaf springs and see no cracks or other obvious damage.

Tire pressure is ok and same as other tire.

What else can I check? :confused:

Trailer is MC trailer that came with my 1991 PS 190.

Thanks a million for any comments.what do you mean by more play? The travel more or they have move more when you yank around on them. If they are moving when your pulling around on them, the bushings could be worn out. If they travel more, they could need to be re-arched

TMCNo1
08-13-2007, 11:01 PM
Better yet, tow the trailer to a spring shop and let then ride with you while towing it around the block, and fix all that may be wrong with the suspension including alignment.

HoustonAttorney
08-14-2007, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the thoughts. When I say play, I mean the one side moves (bounces) up and down while the other doesn't. The tire on that side has a couple of badly worn spots (almost slick) althought the tire is probably only 2 years old with less than 5,000 miles on it. Would a tire in that bad a shape possibly cause it? I am buying a new tire today anyway so I guess I will find out.

HoustonAttorney
08-14-2007, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the thoughts. When I say play, I mean the one side moves (bounces) up and down while the other doesn't. The tire on that side has a couple of badly worn spots (almost slick) althought the tire is probably only 2 years old with less than 5,000 miles on it. Would a tire in that bad a shape possibly cause it? I am buying a new tire today anyway so I guess I will find out.

Kevin 89MC
08-14-2007, 11:23 AM
If the new tire doesn't fix it, I'd try switching springs from left to right. If the problem switches sides, replace your springs. If not, I'd look into an alignment issue.
Good luck,
Kevin

jkski
08-14-2007, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the thoughts. When I say play, I mean the one side moves (bounces) up and down while the other doesn't. The tire on that side has a couple of badly worn spots (almost slick) althought the tire is probably only 2 years old with less than 5,000 miles on it. Would a tire in that bad a shape possibly cause it? I am buying a new tire today anyway so I guess I will find out.

I had a bad tire that did this very same thing. One of the belts inside the tire had snapped, allowing the tire to become out-of-round. It was hard to tell when it was on the trailer, however, once it was pulled off and I rolled it down the drive, I could see it rise and fall.
Good luck and if you get a new tire, be sure to get the proper load range.

HoustonAttorney
08-14-2007, 03:29 PM
A dumb question perhaps but, how many shackles should I have on the leaf springs? I am assuming 2 per spring -- 1 fore and 1 aft of the axle?

I only have one on the bouncy side. Could this be it? Can I drive safely without it?

TMCNo1
08-14-2007, 05:34 PM
A dumb question perhaps but, how many shackles should I have on the leaf springs? I am assuming 2 per spring -- 1 fore and 1 aft of the axle?

I only have one on the bouncy side. Could this be it? Can I drive safely without it?

A shackle will be a flat plate about 1/4" thick with a hole on each end, about 4" long.
One pair (2) shackles aft (1) each side of the main spring of the axle at the end. The shackles bolt to the main spring, and the other end bolts to the trailer "U" bracket. The front of the springs are bolted directly to the trailer to another "U" bracket, so it will not shift back and forth. The shackle does no more than allow movement of the rear portion of the spring when the spring de-arches under load.

Is this a vibration or a slow spongy bouncing of that side of the trailer?
A video of what is going on when towing would be helpful, if possible.

Jack the problem side of the trailer up so the tire can spin freely. Take a vegetable can and place it near, but not touching the tire. Place a screwdriver, lay it flat on top of the can, just barely touching the tire, holding the screwdriver tightly and slowly spin the tire/wheel and it will tell you if the tire is out of round due to a broke belt in the tire. If the tread is narrow in one area and the tire is egg shaped a belt has broken, but the tire has not blown.

HoustonAttorney
08-14-2007, 06:04 PM
Ta-freakin-da!

So I go to Discount Tire and get two new trailer tires after some negotiating, for $150. While my trailer is jacked up and the old tires off, I get under there for a closer inspection. Yes, I am missing a shackle (thanks for the detailed analysis TMCNo1).

But, the leaves in the spring looked different on both sides. So I got out my measuring tape and ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, they are different lengths on each side.

I did have the leaf springs changed on one side a couple of years ago and now I know they put a slighly smaller set on. I just called that company, and they are out of business. No surprise there.

I can handle buying a new leaf spring set up. I will make sure I get the right size this time.

I am so relieved to have solved the problem. Thanks to all who offered some advice. It is truly helpful.

Now I can enjoy my trip to the Trinity River tomorrow and not worry about the 75 mile drive.

TMCNo1
08-14-2007, 07:30 PM
Ta-freakin-da!

So I go to Discount Tire and get two new trailer tires after some negotiating, for $150. While my trailer is jacked up and the old tires off, I get under there for a closer inspection. Yes, I am missing a shackle (thanks for the detailed analysis TMCNo1).

But, the leaves in the spring looked different on both sides. So I got out my measuring tape and ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, they are different lengths on each side.

I did have the leaf springs changed on one side a couple of years ago and now I know they put a slighly smaller set on. I just called that company, and they are out of business. No surprise there.

I can handle buying a new leaf spring set up. I will make sure I get the right size this time.

I am so relieved to have solved the problem. Thanks to all who offered some advice. It is truly helpful.

Now I can enjoy my trip to the Trinity River tomorrow and not worry about the 75 mile drive.


It might be in your best interest to go ahead and get new properly sized and load rated spring sets for both sides just to be on the safe side and get this behind you.

HoustonAttorney
08-14-2007, 11:24 PM
Agreed.

Many, many, many thanks!