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Author: Subject: Leaf Spring Help for Nomad 'geoffff', in San Felipe?
David K
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 09:35 AM


Well, he will read this when he gets into San Felipe and has Internet...
A correction, it is the top leaf that broke, next to the axle mount.




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 09:38 AM


Cant see In picture David is it the main leaf with mounts or not.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 09:43 AM


Hi Larry, I am just relating what he texts me, says it is the top leaf. He has wrapped it to the rest and says the #2 leaf is holding the van up ok.

Sounds like he is heading into San Felipe and can read your posts there.




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geoffff
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 11:45 AM


Hi, thank you all so much for the ideas and advice, and to DavidK for posting last night while I was out of internet range!!!

I'm now sitting on a small undeveloped stretch of beach about 6.5 km south of SF. Not a bad place to be "stuck"!

The front spring I broke is the top leaf of a custom 4x4 front end built by Sportsmobile in 2004. Yes, I agree it's lame they don't stock spare parts for older models.

The top leaf is broken just ahead of the axle. It is about 50" long from bolt to bolt (not sure how leaf springs are measured).

The 2nd spring under that is "partial military wrap", so it is doing OK holding everything in place (not sliding out) even with the top spring broken.

I also re-clamped the broken end of the top spring down by using some clamps and a jack to lower the broken end back into place, and then wrapping that broken end tight with the lower leaves with three ratchet straps.

This has held up so far on some bumpies, so I think I can trust it driving around. I don't trust it or any other hack job if I go driving deep into the backcountry, especially as I travel alone.

See photos. They show my field fix on the driver side broken spring, and some close ups of the passenger side (intact) setup.

IMG_20180313_110212.jpg - 92kB
this is my field repair

IMG_20180313_110235.jpg - 77kB
front of "good" side leaf springs

IMG_20180313_110243.jpg - 75kB
rear of "good" side leaf springs

IMG_20180313_110250.jpg - 89kB
wider pick showing front of "good" leaf springs

[Edited on 3-13-2018 by geoffff]




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geoffff
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 11:54 AM


What I'm looking for is a mechanic to drop in on to discuss options in person. Preferably someone with OK English as my Spanish isn't great (basic survival Spanish).

I don't really expect to fix this here worthy of backroad solo adventuring, but just in case I don't mind hanging out in beautiful SF :) for a day or so investigating options. Welding, etc.

Sportsmobile told me I need to get a new spring from someone like Deaver Springs in the USA, which I can order after I drive back home to Seattle if that's the route I go.




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 11:57 AM



IMG_20180312_122949.jpg - 122kB
Here is the broken end (on the right) as seen before I did my field repair.

-- Geoff




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 12:14 PM


Let us know how we can help more!

Here is the recommendations from Facebook South Campos Amigos:

:light: Efrain (686) 577-1791 his mechanics shop is north of the traffic circle ... call him he will get it done.

:light: Try the big yellow building on the way south out of town. They’re on a corner. They fixed my broken leaf spring on Christmas Eve a few years ago

:light: There’s a shop in town Gabinos that does brakes/suspension work on Calle Puerto Mansanillo

:light: In San Felipe for suspension Gabinos is top notch

...he is up the street by the Oxxo just East of the Arches. The road across from Arturo Yee's lumber/hardware store.

:light: There is a shop next to DJ market they are very good . Racers have knowhow been good to me.




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 12:25 PM


What about ordering a new spring and having it fed exed to calexico?
Once its there it should not be too tough to get it a few hours down the road to san felipe.
There are some pretty decent looking offroad mechanic shops in san felipe but finding one with strong english might be tough.
If you had the parts it would not take much explaining.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 12:46 PM


Quote: Originally posted by tobias  
What about ordering a new spring and having it fed exed to calexico?
Once its there it should not be too tough to get it a few hours down the road to san felipe.
There are some pretty decent looking offroad mechanic shops in san felipe but finding one with strong english might be tough.
If you had the parts it would not take much explaining.


Yes that would be easier, but even with fast turnaround I'd be hitting the limits of my vacation time down here, and the last time I worked with Deaver Springs to get my rear springs, it too some weeks.




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 01:27 PM


Gotcha, this can be the problem when things are too far from stock configurations. I have a buddy with a subaru engine in his VW, no quick fixes when things fail. That Sportsmobile looks pretty sweet though.
Hope you can salvage your vacation.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 02:18 PM


I would never weld a spring. The risk of changing the metal structure just makes me nervous.

How about 3/8 (maybe 1/4) plate top and bottom and (4) grade 8 bolts to sandwich the broken spring. I'm thinking like the u-bolts that hold the spring pack to the axle only just top and bottom of the spring. That should be easy material to find in SF.




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 02:40 PM


Well, I tracked down Gambino's suspension shop. The guy (Gambino himself?) said that because it's the top leaf I wouldn't have luck finding a replacement in San Felipe. Mexicali maybe. He seemed to think my trail fix was good enough for highway driving.

Oh well. I'm going back to the beach and am going to check out for the rest of the day. Again, not a bad place to end up. Maybe I'll do some near-pavement exploring in the area before heading home.

-- Geoff




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 02:53 PM


I had springs break...

why don't you just weld the spring and weld a strap around the entire thing

take the cloth strap off

you'll need to replace both sides when you return home




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 02:56 PM


Ok so by the pictures it is Main leaf so my fix no go. Most all 4x4 vans use custom short leafs on front axle. There are many places that make custom replacement leafs in the US. That wont help as most take weeks to build them. Your trail fix good take it real easy you already know that. Good Luck. Another note when having custom leafs made always best drop of sample.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 03:44 PM


Easy short term fix is a u-bolt with plate on the bottom to hold the spring in lace. Much better than welding.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 03:57 PM


welding is stronger...

both sides need to be replaced...
the springs have crystalized

the other side is just a bump away from breaking too




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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 05:53 PM


For those that think welding a spring is just fine....This from a spring manufacturer.

https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/never-weld-springs-instea...

or from a welding site

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?33140-Welding-leaf-spri...
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 08:00 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Bob and Susan  
I had springs break...

why don't you just weld the spring and weld a strap around the entire thing

take the cloth strap off

you'll need to replace both sides when you return home
Sorry but you never weld a leaf spring not even for 1min.
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[*] posted on 3-13-2018 at 10:16 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bajatrailrider  
Quote: Originally posted by Bob and Susan  
I had springs break...

why don't you just weld the spring and weld a strap around the entire thing

take the cloth strap off

you'll need to replace both sides when you return home
Sorry but you never weld a leaf spring not even for 1min.


I would normally agree...but Susan's one hell of a welder;)
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[*] posted on 3-14-2018 at 06:01 AM


weld it...reinforce it...strap it

then

replace it when you get back
both sides




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