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2002 Ody LX; 109K miles; hitch

I intend to replace my rear shocks with Monroe Sensatrac Load-Adjusting Shocks. My question is: do I also replace the suspension coil springs?

The vehicle does not necessarily handle badly, other than sometimes porpoising on the interstate when fully loaded and the back of the van a little low when i hitch the boat.

Do the suspension coil springs have a life span?

Finally, I'm assuming that the rear shocks are an easy replacement. Is that what others have experienced? What about the coil springs, are those easily replaced as well?
 

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Coil springs don't have a predictable lifetime because it depends a lot on the loads they carry. Generally, over time they compress more under the same load as they lose their strength. This causes rear end sag and also poor handling.

Also the tongue load of a trailer is far back of the rear axle centreline. So 100 pounds on the trailer hitch adds more load to the rear springs than 100 pounds behind the middle seats. So trailering shortens the life of the rear coil springs.

Both rear shocks and springs are easy to replace.

Another option is to replace the coil springs with air bags. Then you can adjust the pressure in the air bags to match the load in the van. So the van always rides level and secure.
 

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I might be wrong, but I thought the air bags actually get installed inside the coil springs, and do not act as a replacement for them.

There are several descriptions of their install around here somewhere.
 

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I bought the Monroe Sensa-Trac Load Adjusting shock absorbers, and was intending to replace the rear coils while installing them on my 2003 EX-L.

These shocks have a coil spring around the shock body, and they actually cured the minor sag I was experiencing. As well, the roll stiffness was improved, too.

In short, I did not replace the rear coil springs. The Monroe's fixed the sag, and revitalized the handling.

OF
 

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SuperDad said:
I might be wrong, but I thought the air bags actually get installed inside the coil springs, and do not act as a replacement for them.

There are several descriptions of their install around here somewhere.
SuperDad, you are correct - the air bags go inside the coil spring.

Here is a good writeup of air bag installation challenges and options.
 

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I need to get started on replacing all the bushings in the front end and I was curious if I had to worry about the coil spring. I haven't actually looked at the front suspension yet to get an idea of where to start, so I'm asking this in advance. I'm just unsure of how the a-arm bushings and ball joints are going to be installed with the spring on there.

My dad says if I just jack the car up on the frame, the spring won't be under any compression and I'll be free to dissamble. I find this hard to believe from some of the previous posts I've read on the front springs...I may just rent a spring compressor from Auto Zone today.

_______________________
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2003 Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3 4X4 - The wife's ride.
1998 GMC 3500 Dually
Suspension & Chassis - Daily Driver
1996 GMC Suburban 2500 454 4x4 - Boat Hauler (Sold to Dad)
 

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Get a spring compresser, it just might save your life. Those springs hold a lot of energy and if one is extended or compressed and then lets lose, it is basically, a projectile.
 

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jhnharvy773, Your dad is mostly correct. The force of the spring is contained within the strut assembly when the strut assembly is fully extended. There is spring force, but not on any of the suspension components. So with the strut fully extended, you would be free to disconnect the ball joint and the A-arm.
 
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