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Old 11-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Sagging spring

Folks, I have a problem. The driver's corner of my truck sags. The alighment shop said the frame is straight and the problem is in the leaf springs, e.g. they are worn out. Anyway, they blocked the left front 1", which straightened the cab about 3" because it's a very visible sag.

Now the cab sits square and they aligned the front end, of course but the problem now is the truck feels funny to drive. It's because it gives a little wiggle/shimmy over expansion cracks, which it didn't do previously. I'm not happy.

Anyway, Lynn dug though the truck records recently (past invoices). She put them into a spreadsheet. One of them is from August 2010 (basically 2 years ago) showing the truck went in with a clicking noise in the front spring and Freightliner of Orlando billed for replacing both front leaf springs, shakles, etc. It was a hefty bill too. The thing is, they record the mileage on all these invoices and that was all of 2000 miles ago because the truck sat the last few years as the seller's business went into the toilet.

So I took the truck to Orlando Freightliner (the dealer who did the work) and they did a song and dance about if it had been reported inside a year, yada, yada.

Anyway, I wondered out loud if perhaps the wrong springs had been installed on the truck (chatting with the shop foreman) and then the song and dance became about how they were slammed with work right now and maybe I could come back next week (but call us first so I can assemble the properly qualified folks to measure and see if everything is in order on the truck). Anyway, I agreed and plan to return next week.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering about the proper front leaf springs for the truck, which is a Century S/T Expediter. The wheelbase (I measured it) is about 298 inches, which I suspect is rather longer than a conventional dual drive-axle truck with 5th wheel. Anyway . . .

The last six of the VIN # are G23436 (I'm always asked for just the last 6 when buying parts) and the part number on both front leaf springs is A16-15657-000.

Does anyone have a clue what might be going on?
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Not much help im afraid - other than i had some worn rear leaf spring bushings (dry rotting) that were throwing out my alignment - i got it sorted out and surprisingly it wasnt a huge amount of money for the parts labor and alignment....beats wearing out 500 dollar tires.

personally id call that dealer back and make an appointment & get on the schedule for next week or when even....he's giving you the brush off IMO "come back later" <my ass> !
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
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Sorry i cant help solve the issue but dont be surprised if the leaf spring bushings are shot..

If they ran the truck for a few hundred miles with one front tire very low on air it would shake the truck and kill the bushing..Most paid drivers that get a paycheck will drive until the truck wont move, then report the issue to the mech when they get back to the shop..

You could have a blown bushing thats binding the spring at the shackle..

Also see if your invoice says complete new spring packs or just new leafs..If they reused the old main leafs then added new smaller support leafs you could have a sag as you describe.

You could measure from your frame or bumpstop t the top of the leaf pack in a few different spots..Compare side to side with the truck on level ground..
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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I would look around and take it to a spring/suspension specialty shop and get a second opinion from them, typically they will be a shop that makes their living just working on suspensions and building and rebuilding springs
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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Could it be a weight and balance problem? On my W900 I removed the front drive axle to single it out. At the same time I deceided to remove the drivers side fuel tank to make room for the generator. I figure one 150 gal tank will provide all the range I need anyway. With the one tank almost full and the generator not installed the truck had a very noticeable lean to the passenger side. Once I installed the generator and mounting hardware (total 750 lbs) the truck is back to level. I was a little surprised the tank removal had that much affect. Just a thought. MMM
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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if they put both springs in i would think they were the same. i would of though the spring shop should have checked weight balance from side to side. adding a spacer block wouldn't have been our repair for a weak spring. i would weigh both front tires separate. you may have to replace assembly and add a extra leaf to drivers spring. did they aline rear axle also? they also sometimes make a heavier spring in the same length. did height change gradual or all at once?
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