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Thread: Our friend the leaf spring

  1. #1
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    Our friend the leaf spring

    I was driving behind the Hummers and noticed they have the good old leaf springs on the back.

    It seams that this "old technology" is still the way to go in 2006.

    Any ideas on why this is the case?

    Also, if you look under the Buick SUV, the rear lower "A" arms are unfinsihed aluminium. This seams weird, plus then whole assembly rides 6" off the surface of the road.

    I thought you bought a SUV for clearance?

  2. #2
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    Re: Our friend the leaf spring

    Dear Tommy,I think the A arms on Corvettes has been aluminum for some time.I thought anyone that bought that Buick suv just wanted to be seen in the UGLIEST thing on the road.diz

  3. #3

    Re: Our friend the leaf spring

    Quote:
    I was driving behind the Hummers and noticed they have the good old leaf springs on the back.

    It seams that this "old technology" is still the way to go in 2006.

    Any ideas on why this is the case?

    Also, if you look under the Buick SUV, the rear lower "A" arms are unfinsihed aluminium. This seams weird, plus then whole assembly rides 6" off the surface of the road.

    I thought you bought a SUV for clearance?


    If you consider leaf springs to be "old technology", then so is just about everything inside the engine--pistons on connecting rods hooked to a crankshaft--that dates back nearly as far as leaf springs!

    Seriously, for a true SUV such as a Hummer, leaf springs out back are virtually bullet-proof on their own, plus they don't require any complicated linkages to hold the rear axle in alignment. If you think of it, in any expected severe usage, the more links and pivots there are in a suspension setup, the more chances for things to bend, break, or just wear out.

    Art
    Old cars are fun, even in miniature!!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrpushbutton's Avatar
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    Re: Our friend the leaf spring

    Dale, my vote for UGLY is the Pontiac Aztec and the Chevy Avalanche. Styling by HVAC duct contractor.
    John

    The real pity in America is that the people who really know how to run the country are all tending bar and cutting hair--George Burns

  5. #5
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    Re: Our friend the leaf spring

    leaf-springs go way way back to the horse and carriage days... Coil springs will usually give you a much softer ride!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Matt Harwood's Avatar
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    Re: Our friend the leaf spring

    I thought the Hummer had coils all around, but maybe that's just the H1. The H2 is based on the Suburban's platform--does the Suburban still use leaf springs? And I'm certain the H3 uses leaf springs because it's a Chevy Colorado mini pickup underneath...

    Regardless, I think for heavy-duty situations, it's still hard to beat the leaf spring for carrying capacity. Check out the next 18-wheeler you pass and see if there aren't still some leaf springs at least on the front axle of the tractor, and probably on the drive wheels, too. And as someone wisely pointed out, they're virtually indestructible, so they're a good choice for severe service situations.

    I also think they are better in applications where the load is highly variable, such as in my 3/4 ton pickup truck. It has primary springs which are massive and designed for carrying big loads, but when the truck is empty, those springs are pretty much out of the picture and a lighter secondary spring does most of the suspension work, making for a (relatively) smoother ride. Although, I'll admit, my 2500 Dodge rides like a locomotive that's come off its rails when it's empty but like a Cadillac when it's full. I shudder (literally) to think about what it would be like if those secondary "comfort oriented" springs weren't there. I don't know that coil springs could be tuned for such diverse load and ride comfort situations.

    Of course, Hummer designers could probably use coil springs without any adverse effects--except, of course, they'd have to admit that most Hummer buyers don't cross anything rougher than a set of railroad tracks on the way home from the mall or carry anything heavier than a baby stroller...
    Matt Harwood (BCA #38767, AACA #987226, CLC #26668, CCCA)
    My driver:
    1929 Cadillac 341B 5-Passenger Sedan
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    1941 Buick Century Sedanette
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