View Full Version : Trailer Lift Springs
04-25-2011, 12:21 PM
I have a 91 PS 190. The trailer still has the original springs. Does anyone know if the springs should be replaced after a certain age or will the springs pretty much last as long as the trailer? I don't want to get caught with a broken trailer spring at some point in the future.
04-25-2011, 01:08 PM
There is no set replacement time for leaf springs. Like anything made from metal, fatigue is hard to factor in over time. Miles on the trailer are only part of the factor. Road conditions and load in the boat while trailering weighs in. Ride height measurement from new would be a fair gauge as to the condition of the springs, but who has that?
If it were me, I would look at how long you plan to keep the trailer. The cost of new springs isn't too much if you plan on keeping the boat for more than a few years, especially if you put some miles on it during the season.
04-25-2011, 01:59 PM
Where do you buy the springs? How do you know the load capacity required by each spring?
04-25-2011, 02:08 PM
I used to work for a truck shop that sold leaf springs of all shapes and sizes. I would find a local shop of the same sort. They can measure the springs and if your trailer capacity tag is still legible, they can get the capacity right off there. A shop like this is usually a good place to get them installed as they will have all the right hardware and equipment to get the job done. If you want to do the job yourself, they can supply you with all the necessary parts.
04-25-2011, 02:32 PM
Here are a couple of good websites to look at for parts for your trailer.
04-25-2011, 03:45 PM
I have a '90 Prostar and had a leaf spring break last year. I have 1000 hours on the boat and usually have a short 5 mile trip to the lake. The trailer dropped so the wheel well was riding on the top of the tire, and then started to crab sideways a bit so it was no longer centered behind the truck. This is what told me there was an issue. Luckily there was no real damage to the tire or wheel well since I noticed it quickly. I had to find a temporary spring that was too long from an auto parts store to get it swapped out and so I could get it back home. The required size for the trailer they only had at trailer store which I had to order. They were not very expensive and pretty easy to replace once it was in the garage. I suggest if you are doing long trips or loading the boat up with a lot of equipment (i.e. weight), like for a camping trip, you may want to make a preemptive strike and add new ones.
04-26-2011, 10:54 AM
Thanks for all of the input. I think I will go ahead and see about getting mine replaced. Are they difficult to replace on your own?
04-26-2011, 11:06 AM
Sometimes getting the bolts free can be a chore. No big deal if you have an impact. Other than that, jack stands and a good floor jack make the job easier. Just do one side at a time and make sure to use all new hardware.
Any local trailer manufacturer would be able to order a leaf spring for you. That is what I did when I ran over a pot hole last year and my leaf spring snapped. I noticed black smoke in my rear view mirror because the vendor was rubbing my tire. Just take measurements from eye to eye on your existing spring and give them a weight estimate of the boat and trailer and they should be able to hook you up. I'd also recommend more than one jack if you find yourself working underneath the trailer trying to get the bolts off just in case. Can't be too careful!
04-26-2011, 12:38 PM
I would definitely do something. A leaf spring on my '88 prostar trailer broke last year on a bumpy highway at 65mph. Not a good feeling to look in the rearview mirror and see the boat leaning to one side. After removing, you could see how brittle the metal looked. I got all my trailer parts from eastern marine in Newark, DE. I replaced all the hardware- shackles, bolts ,hubs,springs, etc. I started to do the job myself, jack up one side at a time- very difficult- I had to cut the old bolts off. I ended up taking it to a trailer place to do all the labor with supplied parts- $300.00 for piece of mind-and if something happens, the wife can't blame me:cool:
04-26-2011, 01:09 PM
I had one snap on my '83 S&S trailer several years back ... went to local NAPA store with measurements eye to eye & number of leafs, they had to order, so I had them order both sides (since one snapped, the other might any day). Purchased all new h/w and did one side at a time using heavy floor jack & jack stands for safety. Air impact is the only route to go! if you don't have a compressor & necessary tools, it would be best to take to a shop to do the replacement or find a friend with needed tools/compressor and a 12 pack :D.
I was probably 15 miles out, so I jacked up the trailer frame off the tire, inserted a 4x4 wooden block between axle & frame, a couple of big hose clamps to hold it to the axle and took it very slowly on in to town.
a little idea to have a tool box in tow vehicle dedicated to odd little quick fix it stuff (the old duct tape & bailing wire theory on steroids :rolleyes: trick). but I grew up (and still do) working farm/ranch equipment where spare hose clamps, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. and the like come in very handy.
04-26-2011, 01:11 PM
U-bolts are easy to cut. Just use a sawzall with a good metal cutting blade or a high speed grinder. Just takes a few seconds.