I am curious if there is a part that the leaf spring clamps play with regards to the function of a rear leaf spring? Is there a difference for instance on how many clamps are placed on a five leaf set up as opposed to a four leaf, and are the locations of the clamps for these two applications different? Does it matter how tight the clamps are installed?
Thank you – Randy
Great question. Many think that the purpose of the clips are to keep the leaves from fanning out. While they do stop the the fanning, their main function is to hold the leaves together during rebound.
In fact the correct name of them is “rebound clips” A spring does not break when it is being compressed, it breaks on rebound. When a spring is being compressed each leaf is provided support by both the leaf below it and the leaf above it. When a spring is in rebound the leaves would separate and have any support unless there are clips holding them as a pack.
A correctly designed spring would have between 30 and 50% of the leaves between the clips. The longer the spring, the more clips. Typically the 1st 2 or 3 leaves are held together by one clip then further out 4, 5 or 6 leaves are held together with another clip. Many springs will have 2 clips to the front and 2 to 3 clips to the rear. But the number of clips, the number of leaves held by the clips are determined by the size of and the length of the spring.
As for tightness, the clips needs to be loose enough for the leaves to flex and move length wise. Too tight and the leaves would become bound and break. – Mike