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Leaf Springs Vs Coil Springs

Both coil springs and lead springs play a vital role in a car or truck’s vehicle suspension system. Both can help to increase comfort, improve steering, improve traction and handling.

The vast majority of modern vehicles use coil springs, while vehicles of an older vintage tend to be fitted with leaf springs. Despite the fact that leaf and coil springs perform a similar function, there are pros and cons to using each in your vehicle.

What are leaf springs?

Leaf springs are made up of metal sheets in numerous sizes which are stacked upon each other. They are typically found in vehicles dating up to the mid to late 70s and were even used in horse-drawn carriages before that too.

Leaf springs work by spreading the weight of a car over a bigger area, which means they are sometimes still used in bigger vehicles like heavy-duty pickups, vans, and trucks at present.

How exactly do leaf springs work?

As mentioned above, they work by spreading the vehicle’s weight over a wider area. In order to do this, they flatten out when a force is encountered, This enables them to mute bumps and jolts for a smoother ride.

The meatal leaves that give leaf springs their name are arranged perpendicularly and curve towards the road, allowing them to flex when pressure is applied, and also making them ideal for carrying heavy loads. They are attracted to the vehicle by leaf spring shackles which hang free and enable the springs to modify their length as they adjust to varying road conditions.

What are the pros and cons of leaf springs?

Although coil springs are more commonly used right now, there are still some benefits to using leaf springs. Their strength and simple construction, combined with their reliability make them ideal for large commercial vehicles and 4x4s, and other off-road vehicles, but of course, they do have their drawbacks too…

Pros

  • Extremely reliable

  • Able to haul heavier loads

  • Simple design

Cons

  • Axle wrap is common

  • Shackle inversion

  • Reduction is departure and approach angles

What are coil springs?

Coil springs are used in most modern vehicles’ suspension construction. The coils are pretty much just giant springs that have been wrapped around struts and shocks. Coil spring suspension systems work with a wide range of shock absorbers, control arms, and linkages to contribute suspension to each and every wheel of the vehicle.

How exactly do coil springs work?

In the vast majority of coil aspiring suspension setups, there is a central coil that does the bulk of the work when it comes to dampening force. There are also a number of arms branching off from the suspension that connects to the wheel and enables it to flex. Since each wheel is able to adjust to road conditions on an individual basis, it makes for a much smoother ride.

What are the pros and cons of coil springs?

Coil springs are most commonly used today because there are many benefits, including better flexibility and increased comfort, but there are also a few cons that you should consider too - they aren’t perfect.

Pros

  • Improved flexibility and comfort

  • Excellent off-road capability

  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • Not great for supporting heavy vehicles

  • Tend to be far more expensive than leaf springs

Leaf Springs Vs Coil Springs which are best?

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both leaf springs and coil springs, and which are best will depend on the type of vehicle you are fitting them in and your available budget more than anything else.

For instance, if you are looking for springs to fit in a heavy-duty pickup or truck that will be handling a heavy load, leaf springs are the sensible choice, and in some cases, the only choice that will be suitable.

If, on the other hand, you’re fitting the coils to a 4-wheel drive, you might be drawn by the greater flexibility that coil springs offer in that situation.

For many vehicles, both leaf and coil springs can work well, but you need to consider the additional cost of coil springs, especially if you’re getting a custom build, and you have other build considerations to take into account when working out your budget.

Get in touch with Dixie 4 Wheel Drive

Still not sure about the whole leaf springs Vs coil springs thing? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the knowledgeable team here at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive - The Premier Auto Shop in Moab - we are always on hand to help and advise our customers so that they can get the perfect build for their needs.


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