How do I Change Trailer Leaf Springs?

How do I Change Trailer Leaf Springs?
Leaf springs are designed to attach to the body of a trailer by means of a shackle. Extending under, and mounted to, the axle, leaf springs provide tension against the axle that is necessary to haul heavy loads. Comprised of three or more separate pieces of metal that are banded together, leaf springs are bent in a slight U shape to provide resistance to heavy loads. Replacing leaf springs may need to be done periodically due to normal wear and tear.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Jack
  • Stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket wrench with socket
  • Breaker bar
  • Leaf spring replacement
Step 1
Loosen the lug nuts on the trailer wheel with a lug wrench. Typically you will turn the lug nuts to the left to loosen them. Do not completely remove the lug nuts, only loosen them for now.
Step 2
Place a jack under one side of the trailer in a secure location. Raise the trailer with the jack until the tire is 2 or 3 inches off the ground. Place a jack stand on either side of the tire so that they contact the frame of the trailer. Adjust the height of the jack stand until they contact and support the trailer.
Step 3
Remove the lug nuts from the threaded wheel bolts and place them aside for use later. Pull the wheel and tire assembly from the trailer and lay it on the ground.
Step 4
Look under the axle and find the four nuts attached to U bolts that hold the spring assembly to the axle. Remove the nuts with a socket and socket wrench and place them to the side for use later. Remove the metal plate from below the leaf spring and pull the U bolts up and away from the leaf spring and axle.
Step 5
Locate the leaf spring shackle on either side of the axle. The shackle will attach the leaf spring to the trailer and will feature two bolts. The lower bolt attaches to the leaf spring and the upper bolt to the trailer. Loosen and remove the lower nut. Push the bolt through and out of the shackle and leaf spring.
Step 6
Repeat the process to remove the lower bolt from the opposite side of the leaf spring so that the spring can be completely separated from the trailer.
Step 7
Install a new leaf spring in the reverse order that the old one was removed. Secure one side of the spring to the lower shackle and bolt in place using the bolt and nut that was removed. Raise the leaf spring and attach the opposite end to the other shackle. Tighten the nuts on both shackles securely.
Step 8
Assemble the U bolts back around the axle and new leaf spring. Place the metal plate over the four ends of the U bolts and secure tightly with the nuts that were removed. Check all nuts and bolts that they are tight and reinstall the tire.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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