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Are old Lwt leaf springs any use to anyone?


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I am having the leaf springs changed on my Lwt, but I wonder if the old Lwt leaf springs any use to anyone? They are the originals from 1980 but are a bit flat so the vehicle doesn't ride quite level and this was mentioned on the MOT.

Edited by LarryH57
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3 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

I am having the leaf springs changed on my Lwt, but I wonder if the old Lwt leaf springs any use to anyone? They are the originals from 1980 but area bit flat so the vehicle doesn't ride quite level and this was mentioned on the MOT.

You probably don't have anywhere dry to store them & in any case no wish.    They do have their uses,  being 7 leaf HD  the leaves are thicker  IIRC 7mm ,  the springs will still have some curvature & probably some leaves little rust wastage.   The leaves can be re-set cold if not too bad, shortened if required to replace broken leaves.  These HD leaves are good to slip a extra 'helper' into sad regular springs.

The main leaf & 2nd (wrap around, also called a military leaf)  , you don't see the poser usage now. often on a 109"  SW a front & rear main & 2nd were bolted on the front bumper using the shackles , as if for a Sahara trip.    The clips can be re-forged to modify as the superior early bolted clip type.    The centre bolt (special dowel bolt)  , they do occasionally snap - keep as spares (x4 worth at least  £10).

I suppose for max. recycling if you are a green and doing a riverbank reinforcement (self)  -  then what is left - you embed within concrete , along with the odd  (chopped up - the chromed steel mesh is super stuff ) Lidl  / CooP trolley that is beached following a flood tide.

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I could keep the old leafers under the double bed. The Mrs would not mind! 

The reason I asked is that if I take something off the Lwt that is repairable I like to repair it and have as a spare or even re fit it to keep the originality. Obviously some items just wear out but others like my speedo were repaired and kept.

I suppose in 100 years someone might be grateful for these springs but my great grandchildren won't appreciate storing such 'tat'

Edited by LarryH57
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There are a few specialists that will reset the springs for a reasonable price, they will be as new.

I had the chevy rear springs done, much cheaper than buying from mil surplus or LMC truck. They are not as obtainable or reasonably priced as Landy bits though..

 

I used Owen springs in 2014,they were  £240 including carriage from Aberdeenshire.

Edited by Mk3iain
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WARNING  -  dismantling , such springs can have  "stored energy"  that releases when dismantled - something you can hardly believe until you witness the leaves fly for yards in every direction.   I clamp up using very strong 4" & 5"  G clamps  (£ costly  forged steel ones) and carefully release then - hammering the leaves as I go.

Salvage - it depends on the amount of rust wastage.  I used to put then through a conveyor shot-blast plant.   Chalk the correct camber on the concrete floor and quite simply  - set some sheet metal rolls and pass the leaves through cold.  Then butter them with graphite  or MoS2 grease.

Hammering the clips clear , you don't want to loosen the rivets , I used to wrap plumbers mats around the spring & get torch heat in quick.

The clips (forged) are the PITA  ,  if I do any more then I would always convert the clips to bolt & tube.  This makes future grease up very easy.  However the grease hardly lasts , you can use a wedge expander.   I now find the best way is every 6 months of regular use , lay cardboard under springs and use a aerosol  3 in 1 spray can ,  first having jacked up the chassis to hang the axle & spread the leaves.   You probably now have some suspension for the first time - keep it  !

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For my own benefit or for other Lightweight Landrover owners, the following is a list of parts, with part numbers I have to have the leaf springs replaced including having new shock absorbers fitted at the same time. The list is specific to the Lwt only. Is there anything else I need for the job?

My Lwt is right hand drive for UK roads. If you have a left hand drive Lwt I guess the front springs are swapped over?

Lightweight Land Rover – Leaf spring replacement

4 Leaf springs

·         562627 - Front Drivers side leaf spring

·         562628 - Front Passenger side leaf spring

·         562631 - Rear Drivers side leaf spring

·         562632 - Rear Passenger side leaf spring

12 Bolts

·         537740 – six bolts

·         537741 – six bolts

8 U Bolts & Nuts  

·         NRC5002 -three U bolts & nuts

·         NRC5007 -one U Bolt & nut (drivers side)

·         562635 - Four U Bolts & nuts

Nuts

·         252165 - One Pack of 10 nuts (those with plastic inserts)

Bushes

·         548205 - Spring Eye Bush – 10 bushes

·         569746 Bush – 2 bushes

Shock Absorbers

·         RTC 4483G – 2 front shocks

·         RTC4235 – 2 Rear shocks

 

Edited by LarryH57
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For starters  -  something  WRONG

562635  =  early  IMPERIAL threads     7/16" UNF  , no wrong BSF , because if I have to bray to undo - I use a Snap-on  18mm deep impact socket.

NRC  prefix U bolts are  12mm metric

The spring bottom holes are early/late drilled for imperial or metric - this is the decider (assuming some PO has never enlarged).

 

Remind me of your  VRM   --XX--  and I will check out  ,,    when in doubt  - test with a 19mm spanner/socket  or a 18mm  spanner/socket.

You probably don't have BS/Whit. kit

 

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Larry,

Regrettably it is considerably more complicated than that.  You need a copy of the Parts Catalogue for the Series 3 88” ½ ton military vehicle (Air Portable – Lightweight) 12v and 24V Part Number RTC9968FA of June 1993.  I offered to send you one in a PM, but I didn't hear back.

I won’t quote everything as there is too much for one shortish post, but starting with springs:

Driver’s side front either 562623 to Contract No WV11367 or 562627 from Contract No WV11367

Passenger’s side will be 562624 or 562628 respectively

Rear springs are relatively straightforward:  Driver’s side 562631 and passenger’s side 562632 

Bottom Spring Plate Front Left Hand 559636 (note 1) or 624077 (note 2) or NRC3696 (note 6)

Bottom Spring Plante Front Right Hand 559843 (note 1) or 624078 (note 2) or NRC3695 (note 6)

Front U Bolts (3 of each) then go: 562640 (note 1) 562641 (note 2) 624030 (note 5) NRC5002 (note 6)

Front U Bolts 1 of each) 562636 (note 1) 562637 (note 2) 624036 (note 5) NRC5007 (note 6)

Nuts for the above: 251323 7/16BSF (note 4) 8 required or NY1120416 M12 (note 7)

And so it goes on with the notes reading;

Note 1 12V from contract no WV10787 to WV11367 item 1 inclusive

Note 2 12V & 24V from contract WV11367 item 2 to contract no FVE22A/115 inclusive

Note 3 24V from contract WV10775 to WV11430 inclusive

Note 4 Applicable to U Bolts 562636/7 & 562640/1

Note 5 12V from contract no WV11367 item 2 to FVE/115 inclusive & 24V contract no WV11701 to FVE22A/95 inclusive

Note 6 Vehicles built 1980 starting with front axle serial no RHD – 2010654E and LHD 20410264E

Note 7 applicable to U Bolt 624030/6 & NRC5002/7

 

So there is quite a lot to it.  You must, though, refer to the original rather than what I have just written as it is perfectly feasible I have written the odd number down incorrectly or transposed the odd figure as I was flipping between applications on my computer as I copied from the parts catalogue.  But, although it is complicated, it is "doable" provided, as you restore your vehicle, you know what you are starting with and you can actually find all the numbers you need on the vehicle beneath the crud.  The ERM (mil reg no) is only a guide now, as these vehicles have been so long in private hands many will no longer be on their original running gear, so you have to check everything - a pain, but, as I say, doable and, it is great when you get there.

Good luck with your restoration and, if you want a copy of the IPC on a CD, PM me.

 10 68

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Dear 10 68,

Sorry I never replied to your PM - I have the parts Catalogue for the Series 3 88” ½ ton military vehicle (Air Portable – Lightweight) 12v and 24V Part Number RTC9968FA of June 1993 on a pdf.

My Lwt is a 1980 12v GS from the 47HG37 to 51HG26 registration sequence, apparently built in October 1980 give or take a month and census code of 1620-0778 according to Mark Cook's book

Edited by LarryH57
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That's OK, I'm glad you have that catalogue as it is so much better than the Brooklands copy of the earlier MOD one.  If yours is like mine, though, you have to turn the computer sideways to read it!

If your Lightweight is from that batch then, providing the running gear is original, you are from Contract no FVE22A/115 a batch of 390 RHD GSs. Mine is from the previous large contract of 300 placed in 78 and delivered into 1979. - so tax-free now - which is nice!

Let me know if you want any of the other catalogues, if you don't already have them.  

10 68

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OK  ,  you are in real luck because I have  48HG31  and 50HG75  from that batch  FVE22A/115   most important is that your truck is  FVE22A/115/Item 4   BUILT  May to Sept. 1980 , so I have the factory build up sheets dated June 1980.

This is the contract where many axle ./ brake changes as progressive towards fitting of 'rationalized axles' .  

Your axles are in fact 'Half-way house'  , I call them hybrids ,  you have the oil catchers and other changes -  BUT are NOT to fully 'rationalized spec. regarding half-shafts , hub end caps etc.   However you still have 10" front brake drums BUT with later (expensive top $ )  stub-axles that incorporate the oil seal collar (runner)  ,  they use the later twin lip hub oil seal.  The earlier stub-hubs are better because the collars are £ cheap and easily replaced when worn - such is progress.

It details the  LHD  &  RHD  axle Serial numbers ,  I doubt if you have a note of.

However - it seems you need  16  qty.  Nylock nuts  M16    originally Pt. No. 810502 (subject of supercession - so shop around the number(s)).

--------------------

Front axle  U bolts

1  qty.  NRC5002

3 qty.  NRC5007

---------------------

Rear axle U bolts

4 qty.  NRC3886

===================================

I have always fitted 'genuine' U bolts , because there is /was lots of aftermarket rubbish out there. I keep a small stock so last purchased prior to Y2K.

What you don't want is machine threaded U bolts (the clue is normally the bright steel of the threads).    You need rolled threads , the clue the thread outer dia. will be a bit larger than the shank.  The threads will probably be oxide finished - same as shank.  I think you will find the BRITPART  U bolts will be rolled & probably identical in all respects to those provided by a franchise LR dealer  @ a fraction of the £.  I have been meaning to buy a BRITPART  U bolts as a sample to check this for future ref.  

I intend soon to change the springs on a KB  L'wt ,  almost certainly I am opting for Std. shocks & springs (civvy basic) ,  will use the BRITPART ones claimed as the Superior made in Spain & was  OEM to Santana.  I have used these before  - good, and the ends of the leaves are curled over (I hope still) - this is to stop dig-in wear to the adj. leaf..

I was going to try a full set of pro-comp 2000 shocks with all parabolic by Santana , however decided I wanted the rear (helper) leaves .  I could have got them for £40 early this year but UK importer has ceased business.  My fault - I should have got them with the kit.  This is not a rivet-counter project - it's getting a 5mb  2286 diesel engine + other thingies.

 

 

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The work is being done today (not by me) and the only thing wrong in my list was the rear U Bolts  562635 

These don't fit my 'seven leaf' springs, so I guess they will use  four NRC3886 instead

I will find out tomorrow if I have wasted £1.23 on each U bolt

Thanks for your help on this all

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Then the answer - place them on Ebay - something like  :-

RARE  (very)  'genuine' rear-axle  'U' bolts  NEW  ,  early 7/16" BSF  imperial threaded - suitable for Rover 1  (S2A)  Lightweight and early Series 3 only.

Only 4 qty remaining -  BIN   -   £5.55  each  & P&P  £4.22  ,  multiple purchase shipping discount available..

------

also  -   Lightweight Series 3 ,,  full  vehicle set  (8 qty)  of used but serviceable   METRIC   'U' bolts  -  £10 + £10  P&P.

also  Lightweight Front & Rear springs ,  minor rust tarnish & remaining serviceable  -  £20  (collection only)..

 

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The springs and shock absorbers have been changed.

Interestingly the garage used the 562635  U bolts on the rear after saying they did not fit. I never got to speak with the mechanic though, but the U bots look tight enough to me and are bolted through the square plate underneath.

I got all the stuff removed returned to me.

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23 minutes ago, LarryH57 said:

The springs and shock absorbers have been changed.

Interestingly the garage used the 562635  U bolts on the rear after saying they did not fit. I never got to speak with the mechanic though, but the U bots look tight enough to me and are bolted through the square plate underneath.

I got all the stuff removed returned to me.

All good news!  How do the new springs feel?  let us know. I was reading something the other day - can't remember what or where, but it said that, if the vehicle is not fully laden then the tyre pressures on the rear can be lowered from 30psi to 25 to make it more comfortable.  I haven't tried that yet, but I can quite imagine that there would be some improvement.  I have new springs which have seen very little use and are pretty hard. 

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39 minutes ago, LarryH57 said:

The springs and shock absorbers have been changed.

Interestingly the garage used the 562635  U bolts on the rear after saying they did not fit. I never got to speak with the mechanic though, but the U bots look tight enough to me and are bolted through the square plate underneath.

I got all the stuff removed returned to me.

Well =  it goes like this -  if you look at a Series 3 Civvy parts book RTC9841CE  dated June 1998 - it gives the early part numbers and the later metric part numbers.  There are more complications that I will not go into, basically the late Lightweight was only the same as a late S3 civvy regarding axles - when the rationalized axles were fitted.  It did not go through the "hybrdid stage(s)".  The S3 Civvy as basic never had reinforced axle casings like the L'wt (prior to rationalized).

However the later S3 Civvy used the metric spring bottom plates  (rear) LH  =  NRC3898  &   (rear) RH  NRC3897.  

---------------------

Microfiche  RTC9968FA  JUNE  1993

Is the parts list specific for S3   LIGHTWEIGHT  (I know it is not perfect)

What it states is that   NRC3898 +  NRC3897   are used , Ref. to footnote 3 ,  this states  APPLICABLE  to vehicles built from1980  commencing  REAR axle serial number  20412996.

==========

I  have additional Solihull detailed info.  this states  Fitted from  Axle No.  20412996  up to  20414204 (this would be the last of the L'wt axle prior to fitting of the rationalized axle).

--------------------------------------------

You can't fit a 12mm U bolt into a Imperial bottom plate because it has a hole too small, the hole dia. difference being  1/32"+    You can convert the bottom plates by drilling / reaming the holes out.

IMHO - what you have is small dia.  U bolts in BIG holes ,  that is not good, especially if you off-road.

As I said a few days ago - the practical examination.  Use a socket/spanner , wire brush and if no heavy rust  TEST  -  if a 18mm is a good fit on hex. nuts - then imperial  7/16"  BSF  ,   if a 19mm is very sloppy this further confirms.  If you defo. can't get a 18mm on - then this confirms the U bolts are 12mm.

================

If it were my truck - then I would want it correct ,  it could be that in a past life it had a earlier rear axle / U bolts & bottom plates fitted & that possibility is not so slim.    I actually purchased direct Ex-MOD  a  --KC--  & it came with a early front axle having 10" brake drums , instead of the rationalized  11" drums , the idiot(s) hadn't even fitted the correct dia. rear slave cylinders to get the braking balance correct (as well as other things).

I hope the garage settled the springs , drove it around the block with spring bolts slightly loose , then loaded the tub with about 1/2 load  300 lbs / 2 persons  /  paving slabs/bags of cement as ballast ,  drove it around the block again and then finally torqued up.

-----------

U bolts coming loose has always been a problem, the bottom plates also end up with worn/elongated holes.  S2A days  hex. nut locker plates were used/ U bolts drilled for pins & slotted nuts.  Early S3 first used a all metal self-locking nut , Aerotight style but deeper (more threads the better) , then Nylocks.    The  7/16" BSF thread is the better, the 12mm  U bolts  IIRC are in fact M12 (course) to enable cheap Nylocks to be used.

 

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Correction! They used the existing U bolts on the rear axle as they are in good order and returned the new ones. I measured the thickness of the bolts on the Lwt and they were about 12mm (not 18mm?) So I guess they are no better or worse than before.  As for off road I dont do any apart from round the arena at WPR or occasionally drive up an unmade up farm track. As for testing with a load, guess I will load her up with some ammo boxes full of tools and test the nuts for tightness afterwards.

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1 minute ago, LarryH57 said:

Correction! They used the existing U bolts on the rear axle as they are in good order and returned the new ones. I measured the thickness of the bolts on the Lwt and they were about 12mm (not 18mm?) So I guess they are no better or worse than before.  As for off road I dont do any apart from round the arena at WPR or occasionally drive up an unmade up farm track. As for testing with a load, guess I will load her up with some ammo boxes full of tools and test the nuts for tightness afterwards.

The 18mm  TEST  is quite good to confirm if 7/16" BSF ,   if you CAN'T  get a 18mm spanner/socket on  (other than a few 18mm , 6 point of wall drive type) - then they must be 12mm (that is 19mm spanner size).   Like I said - your time-line the factory @ Solihull had changed to 12mm..

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The  approx.  1/2 PAYLOAD , is not to check the fixings for tightness , it is to get any pre-loading on the rubber bushes at the optimum setting - to prevent damage to the rubber bushes.  This is all in the Operation Maintenance Manuals , they actually suggest a daft way using a trolley jack and chain around the chassis  LoL.

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A very rough quick measurement of the Rear U bolts was actually nearer to 7/16 inch.

Also 10FM68 the ride is much better. Before its most recent service and change of springs, the Lwt used to bounce all over the road such that if I saw any oncoming traffic I had to slow right down to ensure I never bounced in to them. Since the work has been done the ride is much firmer and much nicer to drive, and it seems that I'm not always moving the steering wheel so much (like the do in the old 1930s B&W films!)

 

Edited by LarryH57
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2 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

A very rough quick measurement of the Rear U bolts was actually nearer to 7/16 inch.

Also 10FM68 the ride is much better. Before its most recent service and change of springs, the Lwt used to bounce all over the road such that if I saw any oncoming traffic I had to slow right down to ensure I never bounced in to them. Since the work has been done the ride is much firmer and much nicer to drive, and it seems that I'm not always moving the steering wheel so much (like the do in the old 1930s B&W films!)

 

When leaf springs stick solid  with rust , you may as well have a RSJ for a spring.  The first set of springs I changed , I raxed up as left them dry due to listening to people that knew , they claimed oil/grease attracted abrasive dirt.  These were sheep hill farmers regular on rough tracks from the valley floor, as well as my uncle a estate joiner on same terrain + grouse beat gun-bus,  he had his lordships cast - so their springs were always working well.  Irregular off-road - the best investment is a can of aerosol  3 in 1 every few months.

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