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Old 05-10-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
ATXCharlie
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Broken Leaf Spring - 2011 26SAB Fifth Wheel

How do I find the correct part # (or description to give trailer repair co) for the front axle leaf spring on my Couger? 4,400lb Dexter axle. It broke, I’m boondocking in the forest, and I need to figure out if I can drive 50 miles, find a spring and if I can replace it myself.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:26 AM   #2
travelin texans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXCharlie View Post
How do I find the correct part # (or description to give trailer repair co) for the front axle leaf spring on my Couger? 4,400lb Dexter axle. It broke, I’m boondocking in the forest, and I need to figure out if I can drive 50 miles, find a spring and if I can replace it myself.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks!
In the bottom picture lower left corner you can see the corner of the tag on the axle, the numbers you need should be on that tag.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:48 AM   #3
Hblick48
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I've had 2 different springs break like that on 2 different occasions. Both times I was able to drive (tow) to a repair shop. Both trips were about 50 miles. Took it slow and easy and made it just fine.
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Old 05-10-2021, 11:31 AM   #4
JRTJH
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If nothing else, you can buy two "square U bolts" with flat backers and a short piece of "spring stock"... Jack the affected axle, align the broken spring and use the U bolts and backers to 'patch the extension plate" over the broken spring, securing it at both ends. Then "drive carefully to the nearest repair facility"....

Any spring shop will have or can order a replacement leaf to get your spring stack back in commission.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:39 PM   #5
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Just get under there with a tape measure and measure the center of bolt to the center of the bolt on the other end. The springs are probably 1 3/4” wide, and with the eye to eye length and the axle weight rating, you should have not problem getting a new spring. It probably would be good to tell them how many leaves are in the spring pack. I had a broken spring some years ago and just brought it to the trailer parts store and they had no problem providing me with a new one. At the very least, you will need a Jack for under the axle, maybe a couple of blocks to run the other tire up on to lift the trailer, sockets and wrenches and a torque wrench set at 70 ft lbs for torquing the u-bolt nuts. I can’t tell if the bolts and bushings are for wet bolts, but if they are, you will need a couple of bronze bushings for the new spring pack, because they only come with plastic bushings. It will definitely help to remove the wheel before attempting the repair.
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:48 AM   #6
ATXCharlie
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

The local rancher happened by on the way to check his cows and said “you can fix it, ain’t no big deal…”. I was not able to fix it - not able to get enough torque to move any of the bolts I tried.

The rancher sent his ranch hand the next day. He showed up with an exactly matching used spring and got it done. He pointed out that all of my springs had “flattened.” He also pointed out that the tire had almost worn all the way through the flooring above it.

The next day I had a trailer shop replace all the springs and all the related hardware. Went from 4 leaf to 5 leaf. $400 parts and labor.

Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but if there is I at least got to watch the whole process at the shop, so it’s just a matter of having the right tools.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ATXCharlie View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.
...
Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but if there is I at least got to watch the whole process at the shop, so it’s just a matter of having the right tools.
Yep. When you think about it, not much has changed, suspension wise, from the horse drawn buckboards and prairie schooners that headed west to settle the "wild frontier"... RV suspension is not "terribly sophisticated" and fairly easy to work on "if you have the right tools".....
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXCharlie View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

The local rancher happened by on the way to check his cows and said “you can fix it, ain’t no big deal…”. I was not able to fix it - not able to get enough torque to move any of the bolts I tried.

The rancher sent his ranch hand the next day. He showed up with an exactly matching used spring and got it done. He pointed out that all of my springs had “flattened.” He also pointed out that the tire had almost worn all the way through the flooring above it.

The next day I had a trailer shop replace all the springs and all the related hardware. Went from 4 leaf to 5 leaf. $400 parts and labor.

Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but if there is I at least got to watch the whole process at the shop, so it’s just a matter of having the right tools.


Lots of good ranchers out there. Out 4x4ing one holiday weekend (Memorial Day) way back in the boonies in the mountains. Blew a tire; had just had them rotated and balanced before the trip. 3 of the 6 lug nuts were cross threaded and the bolts sheared trying to get them off. Walked about 8 miles before some nice folks picked DW and I up and took us to our friends place. They were having a big holiday party up in the middle of nowhere. My friend took me to a rancher that was there and we described our predicament. He got his ranch hand to take care of us. Young guy, nice as could be, fresh pressed white shirt and pressed jeans - decked out for the shindig.

We got the wheel/tire off (it was ruined) and put the spare on. On the way out hit a root sticking out into the road and POP went another tire. We took and went to the ranch where they had an old tire machine in the shop. Found an old tire (gave it to me), put it on the rim, drove back up in the mountains, jury rigged some bolts for lug bolts and put it on so I could drive the 73 miles to town (at about 35mph) and get a set of new tires. That young man's clothes were totally ruined; covered in black from the tires and dirt from working on the ground. I felt absolutely terrible. I offered him $100 bill so he could get a new shirt and pants - the young man would have nothing of it no matter how hard I tried. Said it was HIS pleasure to be able to help us! (and he missed most of the shindig...it was getting dark).

I can tell you about tools too but suffice it to say, take anything you might need - even for an axle/spring replacement. You never know and you don't want to be sitting in the middle of a road, in the dark, with the trailer out of commission (axle) depending on "that guy" 1/2 mile back down the road for tools. BTDT
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