u-bolt plate question

u-bolt plate question

Postby doogaloo [OP] » August 16th 2019, 12:32pm

Planning on replacing leaf springs with HD leaf this week end. Using U-bolts and plate for mounting as in picture. Was wondering if there is a concern with plate hitting frame. I have a 2" lift on van. Thanks in advance for response.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby Coaster » August 16th 2019, 2:18pm

with 2" lift and 1195HD its possible but not likely in normal daily driver use. off roading yes. you could fabricate an additional bump stop or raise your existing ones if you are concerned.

i have a 2" lift and the 1195HD but still use the clamshells. the leafs are fairly stout, i think you would have to get pretty wild to hit the frame but you could do it.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby doogaloo [OP] » August 19th 2019, 5:47pm

Has anyone else used the clam shells with 3+1HD leaf springs?
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » August 19th 2019, 5:50pm

I have the 1195HDs on my Van with clam shells they don't sit flush but you can use fender shims if you want. I have ran mine for years with no problems.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby tungtide » August 19th 2019, 8:14pm

just put new HD S-10 spring on my 1999. At first the clam shells would not close. Then I got tough and fired up my big compressor and my air tools. I figured they were either going to close or break. I have spare sets so no issue if it broke. The air tools brought them down nicely. I have not yet been on the road and wont be for quite some time, but it all looks well. I weigh over two hundred pounds and could not do it with 1/2 inch breaker bar and a cheater. Not to mention I did not want to pull the rig off the lift. The u bolts you have pictured look GREAT. I'm fairly certain you will never bottom them out. If you can raise the bumpstops
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby doogaloo [OP] » August 20th 2019, 1:18pm

HAs anyone else used the top plate? Getting this done today. Please let me know if there are issues!
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby MiniAlt » August 22nd 2019, 6:45pm

I converted mine using the HD springs. I haven’t really gotten on it to know whether it’s going to hit or not. But I did put 2” spaces under the bump stops. My buddy’s an amazing welder, if it does hit he offered to notch the frame. I don’t wanna [img][img][/img][/img]go higher or else I’d use journeys adjustable shackles to accommodate. In this pic nothing’s torqued or loaded. When loaded there’s about 3” between top plate and frame.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby 97cargocrawler » August 22nd 2019, 8:32pm

MiniAlt wrote:I converted mine using the HD springs. ...


Is there something sandwiched between the overload spring and the spring perch?

Hit all that with some paint when you're done.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby MiniAlt » August 22nd 2019, 9:14pm

97cargocrawler wrote:
MiniAlt wrote:I converted mine using the HD springs. ...


Is there something sandwiched between the overload spring and the spring perch?

Hit all that with some paint when you're done.



Yes. I installed the poly isolators on the top and bottom. Following this picture I also sandblasted all the rust off and coated with rust reformer and bed liner. The ubolts and top plate I clear coated. Here’s a pic...I couldn’t find it before. Loaded, torqued and excess ubolt cut. Pretty satisfied with the results.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby doogaloo [OP] » August 23rd 2019, 10:55am

Leaf springs are replaced with HD leaf, double U-bolt and top plate. Regained 2" in lift. It now sits level with everything in it. Also a better "firm" ride.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby dit » August 29th 2019, 11:04pm

The clamshell hits on my 98 so a top plate would be bad for off road in my experience. I ended up using two down facing square u bolts and put in a second cradle. Allows for maximum articulation.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby SportsBoy » August 30th 2019, 12:57am

dit wrote:The clamshell hits on my 98 so a top plate would be bad for off road in my experience. I ended up using two down facing square u bolts and put in a second cradle. Allows for maximum articulation.
IMG_0892.jpg

Now that looks like a solution I could get behind! What did you use above the springs for the ubolts to sit on, and what did you use underneath the axle housing the bolt the ubolts onto?
Did you just leave parts of the clamshells?
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby MiniAlt » August 30th 2019, 1:57am

That reverse square ubolt setup is off the chain. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. Either way, both very clean alternatives to the clamshells.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby dit » August 30th 2019, 2:10am

Bought two pairs of ubolts from Amazon for $25 total (had to cut them down). Got a second pair of stock Astro, under axle saddles from jy. The u bolt nuts come up tight against those. Trimmed the old clamshells to use for the top plate (Astro on the half shell?). Re-drilled the cradle on the axle so that the bolts would sit flush to the perch and springs. The ubolts are at the most, 1/8" more proud to the inside than the old clamshells.

In hindsight, it could have made things easier if I had tracked down some one piece under axle saddles that would fit....

I also made a bushing of sorts so that the spring index bolt is now tight in the perch (the OEM fit is rather loose). Been running this now for 4 years and it works well. When I lifted my van originally I opted to not change any of the stops to maximize the suspensions full articulation capability. The rearend has been at full articulation many times (tire rub in upper/inner fender well, rubber stop bottomed out), all clear.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby SportsBoy » August 31st 2019, 12:32am

dit wrote:Bought two pairs of ubolts from Amazon for $25 total (had to cut them down). Got a second pair of stock Astro, under axle saddles from jy. The u bolt nuts come up tight against those. Trimmed the old clamshells to use for the top plate (Astro on the half shell?). Re-drilled the cradle on the axle so that the bolts would sit flush to the perch and springs. The ubolts are at the most, 1/8" more proud to the inside than the old clamshells.

In hindsight, it could have made things easier if I had tracked down some one piece under axle saddles that would fit....

I also made a bushing of sorts so that the spring index bolt is now tight in the perch (the OEM fit is rather loose). Been running this now for 4 years and it works well. When I lifted my van originally I opted to not change any of the stops to maximize the suspensions full articulation capability. The rearend has been at full articulation many times (tire rub in upper/inner fender well, rubber stop bottomed out), all clear.
Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 5.48.33 PM.png
IMG_0897.jpg


Thanks dit - this is awesome info!

I did a bit of google searching, but I'm not sure what you mean by "one piece under axle saddles" - do you just mean buying something like a ubolt plate to go underneath so you didn't have to go to the jy to get another set of clams?
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby dit » September 5th 2019, 12:36am

No, still a jy item. There are some vehicles that use an under axle cradle, they look like this.

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 4.33.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 4.33.12 PM.png (129.4 KiB) Viewed 1512 times


It's just a single cradle rather than doubling up on the stock Astro units. No difference really I suppose.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby markmitchmarkmitch is online! » September 5th 2019, 3:01am

wow couldn't you use them on both top and bottom?
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby dit » September 5th 2019, 3:53am

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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby dit » September 5th 2019, 4:00am

markmitch wrote:wow couldn't you use them on both top and bottom?


They are designed to wrap around an axle tube so probably not so good on top unless you have a flipped axle on top of the leaf springs.
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Re: u-bolt plate question

Postby markmitchmarkmitch is online! » September 5th 2019, 4:50am

ok didn't think about that, My van has a factory rear sway bar so I would have to do some extra thinking on how I could make a few parts to make it work with the plates /u bolts & brackets i have now. Sorry for jumping in on this but it made me think so I had questions and now I have more ideas running around in my head lol. Thanks for the answers. Mark
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