Fix them noisy slipper springs

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Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby mjcook » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:58 pm

Presumably, many of you who went the route of buying a trailer kit for your build ended up with the common but often less favoured slipper springs, instead of the double eye springs. Slipper springs are cheaper, (barely) lighter, and help keep your frame a couple inches closer to the ground, but the slip side of the spring normally rides metal on metal, and has a lot of slop between the top plate and the bolt that keeps it in place; resulting in a squeaky, rattling trailer.

If your rattling springs bother you (like it does me) you can replace them with a double eye system, like this clever fellow details on tventuring.com:
Image
https://tventuring.com/trailerforum/thread-216.html

But if you want to do it on the cheap, you can try using some UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) under your springs like I did.
151141

UHMW is a super durable, dense plastic, that works well as a bearing in metal-on-metal situations. Have you ever seen those white plastic plates they put on 5th wheel hitches in lieu of grease? That's UHMW. In this application, the UHMW serves 2 purposes: To provide a slick surface for the spring to slide on, and to fill in some of that excessive gap between the top plate and the bolt that keeps it in place. My springs had 3/16" extra gap, so a few pieces of 1/8" UHMW about the size of credit cards was all I needed. (You can get way more than you need of this stuff for less than $10 online, like here on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ILLNIY/ref=biss_dp_t_asn)

UHMW doesn't respond well to almost any form of adhesive, so mechanical means of mounting (e.g. bolts) is the best way to go. I drilled 3 holes through one side of the UHMW and through the trailer frame, and bolted it up so that the other side sat directly where the slipper spring made contact with the frame.
151142

I wasn't sure if there was going to be enough clearance when I bolted it up, but I think there's just enough room to avoid binding. If you try this and find that the clearances are too tight, just take a file to the bolt holes to drop the bolt down a little lower.

Just a clever little trick I thought some of you might be interested in. :thumbsup:
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby Wildfire » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:09 pm

Great idea with the UHMW. I towed mine the other day for the first time and I was wondering what all the racket was coming from the trailer. Have to give this a try.
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby dmdc411 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:12 pm

I put some UHMW between my sippers, one piece broke and fell out right away. Towed her maybe 800 miles with it missing. I was surprised at the amount of wear that occurred. So I spent an afternoon removing the spring to put a new piece in there. Can't see frame lasting that long with all the wear that occurred so quickly!

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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby mjcook » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:58 pm

dmdc411 wrote:I put some UHMW between my sippers, one piece broke and fell out right away. Towed her maybe 800 miles with it missing. I was surprised at the amount of wear that occurred. So I spent an afternoon removing the spring to put a new piece in there. Can't see frame lasting that long with all the wear that occurred so quickly!

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Interesting, I can totally see UHMW breaking like that, but not that fast...
How much weight did you have on your trailer, and what thickness UHMW did you use? Did you mount the slips like I did, with bolts? Also, did you clean off the springs so it was a nice, shiny smooth surface that would slide on the UHMW?

I haven't traveled too far since inserting my UHMW slips, but I have a cross-country haul coming up, so I'll keep an eye on 'em. If the bolts can't keep the UHMW from being pulled out, maybe putting some sort of a stop at both ends of the UHMW instead, to keep it from sliding back and forth?
:thinking:
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby Philip » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:36 am

This material is a lower strength plastic. Melt temps for making it into parts is in the 350 degree range. It isn't made for apps where impact and wear type of jobs. This is the same material that larger trash cans are made of. It doesn't machine or hold threads very good.

I would look at a denser type of plastic for what your needing it to do.

The Noryl type is rated for wear and impact. It can also be found with a 30% fiberglass fill. This plastic has a melt range in the 550 degree heat range. Its listed under PPO in plastic class. It can be machined and will hold threads for securing if needed.

Another good plastic is PEEK. It is very wear resistant. High melt temp. Hard to machine and holds threads very well.

All plastic has a 3 or 4 letter class rating listed with it. Those classes can be researched to find properities for the class. The higher the melt temps. The denser the plastic will be. Than means better wear and impact ratings most of the time.
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby mjcook » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:24 am

I think the idea is sound, however the material used may require some experimentation to find the ideal type.
Here's a chart I found that will help with deciding what material is optimum:
Image

Based off this, I'd still go with UHMW, or probably Noryl...
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby KennethW » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:42 pm

If it is noise that you want to stop just put a piece of 1/2 Pex or other pipe over the slipper bolt. Worked for me.
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby dancam » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:41 pm

Philip wrote:This material is a lower strength plastic. Melt temps for making it into parts is in the 350 degree range. It isn't made for apps where impact and wear type of jobs. This is the same material that larger trash cans are made of. It doesn't machine or hold threads very good.

I would look at a denser type of plastic for what your needing it to do.

The Noryl type is rated for wear and impact. It can also be found with a 30% fiberglass fill. This plastic has a melt range in the 550 degree heat range. Its listed under PPO in plastic class. It can be machined and will hold threads for securing if needed.

Another good plastic is PEEK. It is very wear resistant. High melt temp. Hard to machine and holds threads very well.

All plastic has a 3 or 4 letter class rating listed with it. Those classes can be researched to find properities for the class. The higher the melt temps. The denser the plastic will be. Than means better wear and impact ratings most of the time.

UHMW machines beautifully, its amazing stuff to cut on a cnc router or mill, we machine it all the time.
I wouldnt imagine it would make a great wear pad either however that is what a lot of the pieces we machine are-wear pads.
If the slipper part of the spring isnt perfectly smooth, painted and greased i dont forsee uhmw lasting long but i really dont know.

What about teflon?
I personally would just switch to double eye with bronze bushings and grease fittings but not everyone can/wants to.

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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby dmdc411 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:40 pm

I've used UHMW for parts in food packaging. While it is somewhat soft, it machines pretty well, but does have its limits. I expected it to work for the slipper end of the spring. The pic shows how I used it. I don't want to bend the keepers much more. Afraid they could break. Then I'm up a creek!!Image

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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby mjcook » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:40 pm

dmdc411 wrote:I've used UHMW for parts in food packaging. While it is somewhat soft, it machines pretty well, but does have its limits. I expected it to work for the slipper end of the spring. The pic shows how I used it. I don't want to bend the keepers much more. Afraid they could break. Then I'm up a creek!!Image

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Let us know how that works out for you long-term. It looks to me like you have found an ideal method of holding that stuff in place! :thumbsup:
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Re: Fix them noisy slipper springs

Postby mjcook » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:42 pm

Update:

I've put 2,000 miles on my springs so far (some of it on rough 2 lane highway) and the UHMW is holding. :thumbsup:
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