Leaf springs last how long?

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16,673
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NH
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Doah! Took my 20 year old car in for inspection, expecting it to fail (it didn't--yay!), took my 10 year old truck in and it fails... Broken leaf. Considering how little I've used it, I'm kinda miffed. Should I be? I mean, it's rust country, and it's a Toyota. But anything and everything can fail, right? I tried to keep fluid film on it, but apparently to no avail. The shop said the other side was on its way out too.

brokenleaf.jpg
 
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A little surface rust has nothing to do with that one way or the other. If the same leaf in both packs is failing there must be a problem. Some searching will tell you. Springs aren't very expensive and it's a simple fix. A quicky search finds lots of reference to broken Tundra springs.....
 

Kestas

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The Motor City
My 17 year old 1957 Chevrolet had multiple fractures on the leaf springs. Corrosion is a nasty fact of life in the rust belt. A corrosion pit forms, bores below the shot penned surface, and provides a toe-hold for fracture from high cycle fatigue. I've seen it a number of times on springs examined in the lab. The same happens with coil springs. The difference is coil spring surfaces have a coating that doesn't get rubbed off from fretting against the adjacent leaf springs.
 
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NH
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Haven't had a chance to research yet, got the diagnosis and had to go to work. Shop gave an estimate of $890 to do both sides.
 
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ROCHESTER, NY
The Firebird in my signature still has the OE leaf springs. ATMOF, the car still has all OE suspension parts except shocks. Granted, it's a summer only car w/45K mi.
 
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19,679
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Sunny Florida
I have run service vans 200k plus miles on all original springs despite the fact they were about 9000 pounds every mile driven. Leaf springs do not break often in my experience. I even took them out of a truck I drove to shows to be re-arched to rake the body a bit. Just not a typical failure at all IMO...
 
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Location
Cincinnati, USA
Yes that was too short a service life, bad metal or defect. Then again salt. You could've been driving through piles of it every day, but I would have expected the nearby areas in the pic to be swollen up from rust scale if the primary cause was salt.
 
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544
Location
SE Alabama
Originally Posted by supton
I'm kinda miffed. Should I be?
I would be. I've never had a single leaf or coil spring break in my life, and that includes some pretty severe loads and rough backroads. A quick search shows that in addition to all the frame rust issues, Toyota pickups also have an issue with breaking springs. There was even a recall on some models/years, so it seems to be a pretty common problem.
 
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10,000
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by supton
Shop gave an estimate of $890 to do both sides.
Have some shipped up from a wrecking yard in AZ/NM/TX/OK - they'll be rust-free
Originally Posted by SteveSRT8
I have run service vans 200k plus miles on all original springs despite the fact they were about 9000 pounds every mile driven. Leaf springs do not break often in my experience. ........ Just not a typical failure at all IMO...
Agree 100%
 
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Marshfield , MA
You could see a 50s-60s 10yr old Ford from a mile away at night by the angle of the head lights. 10 yrs was about what it took for the rears to lose temper. grin2
 
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the canyons
In a highly corrosive environment, anything can rust/corrode and fail, if sufficiently neglected. Here's a 10 year old Explorer. It was all so bad it ended up being scrapped. [Linked Image] $890.00 is fairly steep. If you can source some new springs and install yourself it would be much cheaper. Of course then you're doing the work, too.
 
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16,673
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NH
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Hrm. Time to fix and flip I guess. Bummer as I liked the truck, but all good things come to an end.
Originally Posted by Linctex
Have some shipped up from a wrecking yard in AZ/NM/TX/OK - they'll be rust-free
Meh, they'll just be as failure prone I'm guessing.
 
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NH
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Originally Posted by 02SE
$890.00 is fairly steep. If you can source some new springs and install yourself it would be much cheaper. Of course then you're doing the work, too.
I don't think it will fit in my garage, and at my new house I don't have a good spot to do the work (and if I did, it'd be covered in snow). And it's a "do it now" repair, I don't have time on my side.
 
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South Central PA (Fulton Co)
Second gen Tacoma's had this exact issue and they even made it a recall. They installed new leaf springs on my truck before I bought it in April. Wonder if they did a recall for those gen Tundra's?
 
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Guilford, CT
Originally Posted by 02SE
In a highly corrosive environment, anything can rust/corrode and fail, if sufficiently neglected. Here's a 10 year old Explorer. It was all so bad it ended up being scrapped. [Linked Image] $890.00 is fairly steep. If you can source some new springs and install yourself it would be much cheaper. Of course then you're doing the work, too.
A rotted spring shackle is a lot different than a broken spring. Ford trucks from the 80s and 90s are notorious for rotted shackles. It's not that big of a deal. $30 at the local parts store gets you a new shackle and it takes about an hour to replace. My mom had to get the shackles replaced on her 94 Explorer, and my Bronco had its shackles replaced before I bought it.
 
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21,301
Location
Apple Valley, California
My 87 F250 has had a broken spring for a few years now. I have had it's replacement for a year or more sitting in my yard. We don't get rust here. All I can think of is the rough roads killed it. Also had a front main spring break on my last truck.
 
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