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  #1  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:40 PM
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Leaf spring sliders?

More Ideas that I am curious about. Has anyone here use sliders instead of shackles on their leaf sprung rig? Do they hold up? Do they ride/handle well? I have done a bunch of reading over at Pirate and there is a good deal of info there but as usual I thought I would see what you all had to say about the Idea. I've never been a huge fan of shackles, if they are short and stable they stop travel and articulation, if they are long for travel they are unstable (laterally) and are prone to hanging/hitting obstacles.

For those wondering "what the hell is he talking about?"...



^^This if from Liquid Iron's website.^^

And to show how they are used (from xjTOny @ Pirate)



I have lots of thoughts in mind for an expedition rig style build and this is just one of them. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanx
Jaysin
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:53 PM
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Things that make ya go .. mmmmmmm...


I think it's a great idea. Although I don't think the Delrin sliders will work well long term... I would probably change to a sealed bearing type ..


I have other thoughts, but that's probably my main one ..


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Old 11-03-2011, 11:34 PM
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yes, very interesting! is there a bushing in the slider? it seems they would limit articulation. If they had a flex joint front and rear it would be very stable side to side and still allow articulation. Am I thinking right here? I also agree with FrogDog that the design could use improvement but has potential!
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:21 AM
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as much as I luvs me some Delrin, I'm with FrogDog, not the place to use it from a longevity standpoint. Definitely a creative design tho!
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:40 AM
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Speedway Motors has HD bearing type sliders......... Look good, used on circle track and such......great idea with the roller bearings.

www.speedwaymotors.com
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:11 AM
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Dirt, grit, itty bitty rocks all = bound up suspension.

In my opinion I would only want moderate travel in an expedition rig. I would stick with moderate shackles and leave the sliders to competition rigs who travel 100 miles in their lifetime, and are pressure washed every day.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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I like them for the reasons you mentioned. You can put a skid plate under them so they move smoothly over rocks. I've seen both solid bearing (like the delrin versions pictures) and roller bearing (sealed ball) designs. I have the opposite opinion of FrogDog; I would think the solid/simple bearing design would be more reliable in a muddy, gritty environments.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:20 PM
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I do not think I would choose the slider for a high mileage and low maintenance, high reliability application. For a trail toy sure ExPo not my first choice.
The shackle is tried and true. You are likely not going to get huge Flex in a EXPO rig, the design must be developed to give enough but be kept reasonable.
If the concern is the Floppy attribute on a shackle I would choose to do three things to the shackle design.
First I would clamp the front half of the spring fairly tight and I would use 3 clamps maybe with a quarter inch of gap on the clamps I would then run 2 clamps but with ¾-inch gap between the main leaf and the pinch bolt. The logic goes that you are making the front half of the spring function more like a link and forcing that segment of the spring resist the side to side movement.
Second, I would make the shackle wider then “Normal” and I would use UHMW between the insides of the shackles and the frame and spring. When the shackle tries to twist side to the side it would come to bare on the UHMW which would stop that movement and being ‘slippery’ still let the shackle move front to back.
Third I would run a polyurethane bushing in the front (fixed pivot) and a rubber bushing in the rear, here again I am locking down the front half of the spring and letting the spring & shackle have the most movement.
There is the option of a Panhard link or similar and then problem solved.
Finally I would pay attention to the length of the shackle in that I would build it the right length which likely you can not buy and I would absolutely nail the spring inclination.


E
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:31 PM
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I've been reading more and haven't found a lot on the life span of the UHMW sliders but have read that the bearings come apart when the springs are side loaded. I have used UHMW in the construction of conveyor belts for moving dirt and it sure seems to hold up there. I am kind of leaning toward the UHMW for the reason that Clint stated, keep it simple stupid. I may try to find a cam follower bearings and then size the UHMW blocks to that so that I could try both and see which one lives the longest. I have a little while before I need to start on this project so I will continue to research.

And here is the Pirate Thread that got me thinking about this setup.

Keep the Ideas coming. Thanx.
Jaysin
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:54 PM
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E~ We were posting at the same time so I hadn't seen what you posted while I was typing. I agree with the tried and true aspect of the shackles, it has been done since the beginning of time. The one thing that is a problem with the shackle that I didn't mention is the desire to keep the rig as low as possible and going with a longer shackle for correct shackle angle and spring travel is a bit counter productive to staying low. I may try to figure out how to build them and make them removable and if they don't work long term then maybe it's back to shackles. S#!t, I don't really know at this point. Thanx for the input here even if it sounds like I am being counter to your argument.

Jaysin

P.S. You mention Spring Inclination, what exactly are you referring to?
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysinSpaceman View Post
E~ We were posting at the same time so I hadn't seen what you posted while I was typing. I agree with the tried and true aspect of the shackles, it has been done since the beginning of time. The one thing that is a problem with the shackle that I didn't mention is the desire to keep the rig as low as possible and going with a longer shackle for correct shackle angle and spring travel is a bit counter productive to staying low. I may try to figure out how to build them and make them removable and if they don't work long term then maybe it's back to shackles. S#!t, I don't really know at this point. Thanx for the input here even if it sounds like I am being counter to your argument.

Jaysin

P.S. You mention Spring Inclination, what exactly are you referring to?
Move the pivot up on the frame.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:15 PM
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Upper shackle pivot?
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:17 PM
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upper shackle pivot?
10-4
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:28 PM
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I will look into moving the upper pivot within the frame rail.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:35 PM
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I looked at the frame where the upper shackle goes through and I would say that, while it would be a lot of work to move, I could move it up about 1" (maybe 1.25") higher then it sits now. Any higher and it would be out the top of the frame and into the floor of the cab. This would give me a 4.5" eye to eye shackle without getting into any lift.

I think I should note that this whole Idea is only for the front springs where I don't have much room for long shackles, on the rear I have plenty of room for whatever shackle I need.

Thanx for everybody's help.
Jaysin
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:49 PM
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Just more info. In my ongoing research about this I found a cool chart for thermoplastics like hdpe, uhmw, etc... Here.

I know one of the concerns with the sliders is that there wont be enough ability to twist as the suspension articulates (doing away with the shackle does away with one rubber bushing) but in looking at the stock leaf spring on the truck the front fixed eye of the spring uses the same rubber bushing as the shackled end does and it seems to articulate enough with only one rubber bushing. I am thinking that I might try this little project but in such a way that if it fails/wears too fast I can go back to a standard shackle design, in other words, bolt it all together. But keep the Ideas and criticisms coming. I don't know for sure if it will work or not but I think it will be worth trying if for nothing else then to learn about a different way of doing things. Like ol' Edison said... "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work"

Jaysin
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:06 PM
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I'm excited to see you try it. Seems very low risk to me.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:10 PM
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This is really intriguing and I'm kind of tempted to try it in the rear of my rig. Kind of want to go 4 link too, but we'll see. I'm fairly happy with how the rear end is, but my shackles are less then ideal.

Not sure how hard it is to do, but if you are really concerned about the spring twisting you could consider an Orbit Eye on one end of the spring. Definitely more expensive, but a good remedy. I know Alcan makes springs with them pressed in. They don't sell them to do yourself, but I imagine that it is difficult but doable to add them to an existing set of springs. They are a bit scarier, but I've also seen guys have a shackle mount that pivots, and you could probably figure something out along those lines. Can't wait to see how this goes for you.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysinSpaceman View Post
You mention Spring Inclination, what exactly are you referring to?
Sorry Missed this.
The straight line drawn between the two spring eyes.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haku View Post
This is really intriguing and I'm kind of tempted to try it in the rear of my rig. Kind of want to go 4 link too, but we'll see. I'm fairly happy with how the rear end is, but my shackles are less then ideal.

Not sure how hard it is to do, but if you are really concerned about the spring twisting you could consider an Orbit Eye on one end of the spring. Definitely more expensive, but a good remedy. I know Alcan makes springs with them pressed in. They don't sell them to do yourself, but I imagine that it is difficult but doable to add them to an existing set of springs. They are a bit scarier, but I've also seen guys have a shackle mount that pivots, and you could probably figure something out along those lines. Can't wait to see how this goes for you.
you have to think of the geometry of every thing as the axle articulates. the same reason the slider makes the leaf spring setup more stable would also make it bind quicker while articulating. It is my understanding these were originally used on drag cars with leaf rear ends that didn't want to or couldn't run a panhard bar. For a truck used off road you want articulation, as one side of the axle goes up in relation to the other side the spring and bushings must twist. On a shackle set up part of this twist is translated into the shackle flexing to the side, this is why longer shackles flex better but also why they are less stable. because the slider removes any side to side motion of the leaf spring all the twist must be done by the spring and bushings. So for an off road rig to use these the best would be an orbit eye at both ends of the spring. It would still be very stable because as stated the spring cant move side to side, only up and down and twist.

If I am wrong please let me know but I don't think I am.
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