How do I measure a U-Bolt?
U-bolts come in all different dimensions, widths and length’s and many are custom bent, so getting your measurements correct is key.
Step 1: Type of Bend
The typical U-bolt is rounded just like the letter “U”. Yet there are a number of different of U-bolt types. The three primary types of bends are round, square and semi-round. Your vehicle's suspension style and the shape of its parts will determine which type of bend is necessary. We do stock other types like Forged Bend, but they are not as common.
Step 2: Rod Diameter
After you determine the bend you need, measure the rod diameter (A). The diameter can easily be measured with a wrench.
The socket sizes below will help to determine your rod size.
- 11/16 socket = 7/16” diameter rod
- 3/4 socket = 1/2” diameter rod
- 13/16, 7/8 or 22mm socket = 9/16” diameter rod
- 15/16 socket = 5/8” diameter rod
- 1-1/16 or 1-1/8 socket = 3/4” diameter rod
- 1-5/16 socket = 7/8” diameter rod
Step 3: Length and Width
Measure the inside width (B) and the length (C) of the U-bolt legs as well. With this information in-hand, you will be well on your way to a quick and easy U-bolt installation.
What is a U-Bolt and what does it do?
If you haven't heard of a U-bolt, you are not alone. Most people have no idea what type of function this little part plays in the average truck's operation. U-bolts are used within vehicle suspension to connect leaf springs. They offer the force that is necessary to clamp the leaf spring along with its related components to one another, providing a lasting attachment to the axle.
A firm U-bolt connection allows vehicles to maintain their ride height as well as their handling. The horizontal pressure placed on the center bolt is significantly offset when the spring is firmly connected to the axle seat. This allows for the preservation of the center bolt for extended operational purposes. When installed just right, U-bolts will help eliminate spring flexing.
Tight U-bolts will help in the prevention of
leaf spring breaks.
You can do your truck an enormous favor by having its U-bolts checked during your next maintenance session.
Why U-Bolts Must be Replaced
As time progresses, U-Bolts rust and lose their shape, making the leaf springs fail to properly contact with other components. Or, they can simply loosen over time. U-bolts should also be replaced due to the fact that they wear throughout the course of the vehicle's operation. Stretching occurs with each drive and time takes its toll on all parts, including the leaf spring, U-bolt and beyond.
Truck owners should also know that U-bolt threads are damaged as their threads stretch when connecting to Hi-Nuts. Though it is not seen with the naked eye, this contact really does cause damage. Replacing them ensures that they will provide adequate clamping force that safeguards against spring failure and other harm to the suspension. Vehicle owners are not encouraged to reuse their U-bolts beyond the initial use. U-bolts lose their effectiveness in a gradual manner as their threads stretch when coming into contact with Hi-Nuts with each successive use of the truck. There is no getting around the fact that every truck owner should change his vehicle's U-bolts when replacing leaf springs to prevent damage and prevent a potentially bigger and more expensive problem from arising down the road.
Most at home mechanics can replace u-bolts without any troubles. We have a few tips to help you along the way. Read more.
We stock forged top ubolts, square u bolts, round ubolts, and semi-round u-bolts for heavy duty truck and trailer applications. made of the finest grade 5 and grade 8 steel. Can't find the ubolts that meet your requirements? Call us at 1-800-358-4751. We can custom bend u-bolts to your specifications, and in most cases, ship the same day.