Do you want to improve the suspension system on your vehicle? Changing from leaf springs to coil springs may be a smart move in this situation. Coil springs are more common in modern vehicles than leaf springs because they provide a more comfortable ride.
If you have a vehicle with leaf springs and want to convert to coil springs, you can do so without having to replace the whole chassis suspension. But the conversion is not a simple exchange of components, and it requires a lot of work to make sure the new suspension system works properly and safely.
This article will explain how to change over from using leaf springs to coil springs, including what you’ll need to get started and what safety measures you should take.
This guide will provide you with valuable insights into the conversion process, whether you are a DIY mechanic or a professional looking to expand your knowledge. We’ll also discuss how to choose the best coil springs for your car and the benefits of making the transition.
By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of how to convert leaf springs to coil springs and the benefits of doing so. Let’s get rolling and check out how to enhance your car’s suspension for a more relaxed drive.
Introduction With Leaf Springs & Coil Springs
Leaf springs and coil springs are two of the most common suspension systems used in vehicles today.
Leaf spring suspension was the first type of suspension used in automobiles. It is a simple design consisting of several thin metal leaves stacked on top of one another. These leaves flex as the vehicle experiences a bump in the road, absorbing the shock and providing a smooth ride.
Coil spring suspension is a newer, more advanced design. Instead of metal leaves, it uses a series of coil springs to absorb the shock. Coil spring suspension is more durable and provides better handling than leaf springs.
Both suspension systems have their pros and cons, but understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed decision when choosing a vehicle or upgrading your suspension.
Why do you Convert Leaf Springs To Coil Springs?
We already discussed above that leaf springs and coil springs are two different types of suspension systems used in vehicles. Leaf springs are typically used in older or heavier vehicles, while coil springs are more commonly used in modern cars.
There are several reasons why someone might want to convert their vehicle from leaf springs to coil springs.
One reason is that coil springs are generally considered to be more comfortable and provide a smoother ride than leaf springs. Coil springs also have more options for customization, allowing for greater control over the suspension system.
Another reason to convert from leaf springs to coil springs is to improve the handling and performance of the vehicle. Coil springs offer better-handling characteristics, allowing for better cornering and stability. They also provide more consistent suspension performance, making it easier to tune the suspension to specific driving conditions.
Converting from leaf springs to coil springs can also result in weight savings, which can improve fuel efficiency and overall performance. Leaf springs can be quite heavy, while coil springs are typically much lighter.
Overall, converting from leaf springs to coil springs can offer several benefits in terms of comfort, performance, and weight savings. However, it is important to consult with a qualified mechanic or suspension specialist to ensure that the conversion is done properly and safely.
How to convert leaf springs to coil springs
Converting from leaf springs to coil springs can be a complex process that requires specialized knowledge and tools. It is generally recommended that this type of conversion be performed by a qualified mechanic or suspension specialist.
Tools and Materials Needed
Before beginning the conversion process, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Jack and Jack stands
- Socket set and ratchet
- Wrench set
- Pry bar
- Torque wrench
- Coil springs
- Spring perches
- Spring compressor
- Safety glasses and gloves
The process of converting from leaf springs to coil springs is complex and time-consuming, necessitating the services of a professional. Given this data, the following are the necessary steps:
Research and planning
The conversion procedure should be well-researched and planned out before any work is started. Expert mechanics or suspension technicians may need to be consulted to ensure the conversion can be done safely.
Remove the old suspension components
The first step is to get rid of the old suspension parts. This includes the leaf springs, shackles, U-bolts, and any other hardware that came with them.
Design and fabricate new suspension components
Until the chassis body design is changed, the leaf spring cannot be replaced by a coil spring. Actually, changing from leaf springs to coil springs necessitates a redesign of the suspension system. The frame and chassis need to be modified to suit the new suspension in addition to designing and fabricating new mounts for the coil springs and a new control arm and steering linkage system.
Choose the right coil springs
Coil springs are available in a variety of sizes and spring rates; pick the ones that are most suited to your vehicle’s weight and intended use. To do this, you may need to use a spring rate and length calculator or speak with a suspension expert.
Install the new suspension system
Once all of the new parts have been planned and built, it is time to install the new suspension system. This entails affixing the replacement control arm and steering linkage system, installing the new coil spring mounts, and securing all hardware per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
kingpin in wheel alignment
A kingpin is a pivoting joint that connects the wheel spindle to the axle beam in some suspension systems. It helps control how the wheel moves and holds up the weight of the car. When going from leaf springs to coil springs, a kingpin may be needed to give the new suspension parts a stable place to be mounted.
Test and adjust the new suspension
After the new suspension system has been installed, it must be tested and adjusted to ensure that it is functioning properly. To achieve this goal, modifications to the vehicle’s spring rate, wheel alignment, and other parts may be necessary.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Convert Leaf Springs To Coil Springs
Converting from leaf springs to coil springs in a vehicle can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the main ones:
- Improved comfort: Coil springs are generally considered to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride than leaf springs.
- Better handling: Coil springs offer better-handling characteristics, providing more precise and consistent suspension performance.
- Customization: Coil springs offer more options for customization, allowing for greater control over the suspension system.
- Weight savings: Coil springs are typically lighter than leaf springs, which can improve fuel efficiency and overall performance.
- Cost: Converting from leaf springs to coil springs can be expensive, as it may require significant modifications to the suspension system.
- Installation: The installation process can be complex and require specialized knowledge and tools, making it difficult for the average person to do it themselves.
- Lower ground clearance: Coil springs typically result in lower ground clearance than leaf springs, which can be a disadvantage for off-road or heavy-duty use.
- Reduced load capacity: Leaf springs are generally better suited for carrying heavy loads, so converting to coil springs may result in a reduced load capacity for the vehicle.
Are coil springs better than leaf springs?
Coil springs are generally considered to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride than leaf springs. They also offer better-handling characteristics and more options for customization. However, leaf springs are typically better suited for carrying heavy loads and may be more durable in certain situations. The decision of which type of suspension system is better will depend on the specific needs and priorities of the vehicle owner.
How much does a coil conversion cost?
The cost of a leaf spring to coil spring conversion will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the specific coil conversion kit being used.
Generally, the cost of a coil conversion kit can range from $500 to $1500, while the cost of labor can range from $500 to $1500 as well. This means that the total cost of the conversion can range from $1000 to $3000.
To ensure that you’re fully aware of the costs involved, it’s important to obtain a detailed quote from a trusted mechanic or shop, especially for more complex conversions that require significant modifications to the suspension system.
Is coil better than springs?
Coil springs and leaf springs are both types of suspension systems that offer different advantages and disadvantages.
Coil springs are generally considered to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, better handling characteristics, and more options for customization.
Leaf springs, on the other hand, are typically better suited for carrying heavy loads and may be more durable in certain situations. The decision of which type of suspension system is better will depend on the specific needs and priorities of the vehicle owner.
While the benefits of coil springs, such as improved ride quality and enhanced handling, may seem enticing, it is important to approach this process with caution. Converting from leaf to coil springs can be a complex process that requires proper planning, research, and expertise. Before making the switch, take into consideration the specific needs and requirements of your vehicle. It is also advisable to seek the guidance of a professional mechanic or suspension specialist.
With careful planning and proper installation, converting your leaf springs to coil springs can transform your vehicle’s performance and give you a more enjoyable driving experience.