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Old 02-03-2019, 07:40 PM   #1
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GM Truck Leaf Spring Shackle Broke

The leaf spring shackle on my Avalanche 2500 broke because it was so rusty. Looking at replacements I found the one that fits my truck fits a lot of other GM trucks. Most 99-13 1500 pickups, 2500 Suburbans and Avalanches and some early 1500HD/2500HD pickups. I would suggest checking yours if you own one especially if you live in the rust belt like me.

I was lucky it happened while the truck was empty and not loaded and towing. The leaf spring came up at hit the underside of the bed. It made a huge noise the truck jerked and the corner sagged. I thought I blew a tire, didn't really know what it was at first. Here is a few pics of what they looked like broke on the truck, off next to new and the other side started rotting though the middle. I had to destroy the top to get it off.

The other part of this story is I ran into a cracked leaf spring eye when starting to replace. The crack is right where it hit the bed, cause or coincidence I dont know for sure, but I will be buying new leaf springs now.
20190106_175001.jpg20190128_194051.jpg20190131_211734.jpg
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:22 PM   #2
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Yikes, I’ve lost suspension parts on a boat trailer (twice) and that was exciting enough.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:56 AM   #3
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Very common up here in Maine on the Chevys the parts stores keep them in stock. With the pickups it tends to drive the spring end through the bed!
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:19 PM   #4
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Very common up here in Maine on the Chevys the parts stores keep them in stock. With the pickups it tends to drive the spring end through the bed!
I got lucky it hit the bed floor crossbrace instead of just the sheet metal.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:34 PM   #5
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An update to my cracked leaf spring eye, turns out it wasn't related to it hitting the bed. Inspecting the spring after removing it from the truck, the rust marks show the crack/defect was there a while and my pounding to get the bushing shell out just finished it off.

Also related my leaf spring u bolts lost over an 1/8" in diameter due to rust. Dirt/mud built up in the lower spring plate and caused them to corrode.

Just a couple things to look out for when buying or maintaining an older truck.20190205_211023.jpg20190207_201742.jpg
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:39 PM   #6
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Pictures for sure tell a story.

For sure glad the shackle broke while at home where you could deal with it. Having a spring or shackle break on the road while towing does not leave a whole lot of options for a quick fix to get you home.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:52 AM   #7
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I would check your frame tubes. GM used tubing between the left and right frame to join them together they had a tendency to fill with dirt and salt and rot out. They are a bit hidden but I have seen quite a few that were rotted right through. Toyota got all the publity for rotted frames some how Ford and GM dodged the bullet we see all the rest of them with frame rot just as bad as the Toyotas the big difference Toyota replaced them. There was a spell of Fords where the entire rear of the frame broke off and the only thing holding it together was the springs! I use a product called Fluid Film and do my frame every fall it gets pressure wash and new FF sprayed on everything from brake backing plates to nuts and bolts it's 8 years old now and the frame is still black.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
I would check your frame tubes.
I was looking at them the other day, they are looking ok. I cleaned and sprayed them with paint a couple years ago, when I coated the frame. The whole frame needs redone, it's all flaking off, different problem, I am going to redo since I have both tanks out again to replace the leaf springs.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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Wow Ben! You definitely lucked out in how it went down.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:51 AM   #10
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Had a coworker ask me if I could help him figure out why his truck was making a noise well it was a broken shackle and the spring was still lodged firmly through the bed and he had been driving it around for over a week! Bet he would not been as lucky if he had the weight of a camper on the hitch!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Spring Brackets

Hi BenB: I have a 2002 Silverato with 126,000 miles and have had to replace rear spring brackets all the brake lines, Calipers, fuel lines from the tank to the throttle body, emergency brake cable and transmission lines. All this in the last 2 1/2 years. I am not going to discuss the body rust. Just love up state NY. My truck is nick named RUSTY. If you have not made any of these repairs, better check them out. Frank
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:10 PM   #12
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It took GM a long time for their heads to come up and decide that it maybe a good ideal to try to prevent some of these corrosion issues.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:07 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Irishman;147393If you have not made any of these repairs, better check them out. Frank[/QUOTE]

Frank, my 2002 Avalanche has only 87k miles now, had 70k miles when I bought it 5 years ago. Brake line blew 2 days after buying. I have replaced all the fuel, brake, transmission, power steering, and oil cooler lines now, even one of the A/C lines. I thought all I had left was the body rust to take care of.

Unfortunately it's not limited to just GM trucks, I have replaced brake lines on an Expedition, Jeep, Sunfire, and my Jimmy's. My 99 Jimmy actually made it over 200k with the original lines. It's all the fun salt and stuff they put on the roads, everytime I replace another rusty part I swear I am moving south.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:31 PM   #14
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I think the solution is called being a snow bird. Frank
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:14 PM   #15
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Rear brake lines on jeep & excursion replaced here...
Would almost prefer to drive snow covered roads then submit my vehicles to the salt torture.
But manufacturers can do things to help, I have a 200,000mi Mitsubishi with little to no visible corrosion anywhere but some nuts/bolts
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:39 AM   #16
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I spent 38 years in the automotive biz granted mostly in the mid atlantic but until the 90's I never saw really rusty stuff sure some rusty fenders but not rotted frames brake lines etc. ME and NH use great quantities of salt but I don't think that is something new. Very seldom if ever did I see European and Asian vehicles with rotted brake lines etc.they were either plated or covered with something. Toyota had some frame issues but at least the stood up to the plate and fixed them. I believe corporate was saving money buying inferior materials and hopefully it came back to bit them.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:39 AM   #17
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I think this series of posts only underlines how IMPORTANT it is to check over your tow vehicle & TT frequently. I'm older now and can't afford any break-down on the highway especially when towing, Even though I have the Auto Club.
Call it over kill but I am constantly checking my 2003 Ford Explorer under the hood and under the chassis. It's bad enough that too many newer vehicles are being recalled for one reason or another, hence is why I stick with tried, tested and true, be it my Explorer or any other vehicle. I've been a stickler with safety and performance ever since I can remember. NOTE Performance means running the way it should

If you're NOT mechanically inclined (like my brother-in-law LOL) then you need to listen to your vehicle as it gets older. Any minor squeaks or rattles you should be able to identify and write them off as simply a nuisance or is it something deeper? Strange sounds under the hood could be alternator bearing, worn water pump, or idler pulleys. How's that serpentine belt really look? 2 years ago I found a noisy idler pulley so I replaced all 5 of them and also the serpentine (one more worry off my list)

TT tires, bearing and brakes are one of my biggest bug-a-boo's
Looking for cracked tires or that funky wear on you tires. Not only greasing those bearings but remove the bearings and check them for bluing (heat) or mini-cracks. If you have brakes on the TT make sure your bearing dust-seals are not leaking. Check all you lighting and wires. ya those silly rodents.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:13 PM   #18
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I can tell you a trick on wheel bearings wipe them clean with a rag if there is even one flack of shiny metal on the rag they are no good.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I can tell you a trick on wheel bearings wipe them clean with a rag if there is even one flack of shiny metal on the rag they are no good.
Very true and it's equally as important to check the bearing races while you're there
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:43 AM   #20
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If there is any metal the race is no good either they should be replaced as a set any way.
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