Springs and Shackles Information

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01 Nov 2012 11:47 #1 by dandjcr
dandjcr created the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Forum Home > OKA Maintenance > Springs and Shackles Information

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Posted by STB OKA Qld:

Well 244 has arrived at Alltrac.

It is sitting on its front bumps stops and has a lean. Major work required include handbrakes, bushes etc etc.
September 21, 2010 at 5:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Joseph Baz:

Hand brake bushes aren't that much, new front springs and bushes $1500+ 500 for labour,what else is wrong with it?

Cheers
Joe
September 21, 2010 at 5:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by ABE Tony:

My last front set cost $750.00 and I fitted them myself. Bushes I made out of another kit and they cost about $70.

One thing that a lot of people run into with road worthy (and I have to go over the pits every year due to passenger bus laws) is that the weight on the OKA is about 75% on the right hand side and that always makes them sit down on the right hand side due to the uneven weight distribution. My last roadworthy six weeks ago, they put on the sheet that it sat down on the left hand side and when I measured it, it was 10 mm out so I put in a bit more air and they went OH!!!!! That is why I fitted the air bag system on all four corners, to remove that issue as you then can level to a set height just off the springs. It also gives me better traction in sand, as one (with air bags) removes the ability to axle hop, which increases traction hence forward motion.

Unfortunately if one has to pay for work to be done on OKAs then it will cost a $ to fix most problems, that is the nature of the good beast.

Most bushes for the OKAs are easy to obtain and cheap.

Good luck in your endeavour
ABE Tony
September 21, 2010 at 5:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Joseph Baz:

Tony ,those prices will be the very worst case scenario. If he goes to Westralia Springs direct he can get much better deal.

Cheers, Joe
September 21, 2010 at 5:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Peter_n_Margaret:

Unless they are worn, the springs could be set and tempered.

I did this to mine recently (Industrial Springs in Adelaide), but replaced the top leaves with new 10mm (based on the experiences of Wilderness Challenge) and installed 20mm pins at the same time.

Cheers,
Peter
September 21, 2010 at 6:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by STB OKA Qld:

Thanks for the heads up Peter. Did your mechanic pull them out etc? Or did you do all yourself?

Industrial Springs have qouted around $1K, the 20mm pins and bushes are around $1K, then to fit it around $500. That would make the total job around $2.5K.
September 21, 2010 at 6:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Peter_n_Margaret:

The spring packs were rebuilt with the new top leaves by Industrial Springs (talk to Pedro, around the back).

I had the springs removed and re-fitted fitted by Laser Alignment (Regency Park) at the same time as other front end work. I also rotated the front axle back a bit with some wedges to align the drive shaft better.

Originally I had new springs fitted all around by my mechanic at St Marys in 2004 at the same time as the re-build 150K ago. My mechanic and I did the 20mm pins and bushes conversion together.

Cheers,
Peter
September 21, 2010 at 6:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by OKA NT Sales:

Hi all,

Factory currently have NEW six x front and six x rear, 10mm main leaf springs available that are suitable for XT and LT OKA. These are $200 each 10mm leaf plus GST plus freight. Give myself or Angelika a call on 08 9434 1300 or shoot me an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 10mm main (with eyelet) leaf spring is manufactured to full OKA Engineering approvals - 100% compliance and therefore genuine from our factory , not aftermarket. These are top quality.

Also available are :-

Spring Shackle and Pin Kit Upgrade
Spring shackles have been modified to accept new pins for both front and rear leaf spring sets. These are now professionally machined and hardened specifically for OKA. These pins are harder, stronger and have a much greater contact surface area pin to bush, to reduce the amount of play in the spring eye, reducing strain and wear. Available for XT & LT & NT models. Retail Price - $1,451 (inc GST).

This is everything - pins, bushings, washers and shackles for both front and rear and pins and bushings done to 25.4mm. I do have pictures if required of both items.

Markus
September 21, 2010 at 6:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Joseph Baz:

I did this conversion to mine, it's well recommended.

Cheers
Joe
September 21, 2010 at 6:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Alister McBride:

Gday Markus,

Could you do a BOM (Bill Of Materials) for the kit inclusions so we can compare your kit versus other kits on the market?

For example, Dave Hallandal does a strong set for $900 (you can see the link on this website) and we can see the inclusions etc, could you do the same so we can compare apples with apples...?

Cheers
Alister
September 21, 2010 at 6:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by OKA NT Sales:

Alister,

Very quickly a NEW Spring Shackle and Pin Kit Upgrade contains:-

FIXED END CHASSIS WELD PLATE KIT
2 x collar - lock - fixed end
2 x plate - fixed end - front
2 x collar - lock - 45 centres
2 x plate - fixed end - 45 centres

1 x pin fitting tool

FRONT SHACKLE KIT
2 x front shackle assembly
4 x pin 25mm long - leaf spring mount
8 x washer - shackle to spring assembly
4 x washer M17 x 45 flat
4 x nut M16 nyloc (thin)
4 x grease nipple - 1/4 UNF - straight

FIXED END KIT
4 x pin 25mm short - leaf spring mount
4 x washer M17 x 45 flat
4 x nut M16 nyloc (thin)
8 x washer - leaf spring to chassis
4 x grease nipple - 1/4 UNF - straight

REAR SHACKLE KIT
2 x rear shackle assembly
4 x pin 25mm short - leaf spring mount
8 x washer - leaf spring to chassis
4 x nut M16 nyloc
4 x washer M17 x 45 flat
4 x grease nipple - 1/4 UNF - straight

All parts in this kit a professionally made, not a bolt that is drilled out, with greater hardness, are stronger and much greater contact surface area pin to bush, than other aftermarket kits available. This is a genuine OKA kit which is being used on the NT model and is engineering approved and being used already on the new Wilderness Challenge vehicles in Cape York with success.

Markus
September 21, 2010 at 6:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Alister McBride:

Gday Markus,

Thanks for the quick reply!

So from what i'm reading, the 1" (25.4mm) shackle pins taper to an M16 thread at the nut end (or that's what i'm assuming having M16 nuts in the kit)? So the shackles and fixed hangers would have a 1" hole on one side, and a 16mm, or is it 1", hole on the other??

Cheers,
Alister
September 21, 2010 at 6:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Joseph Baz:

Hi Al,

You will have to drill 1" all the way through. The pins have a set length for all load-bearing surfaces, and the 16mm begins at the outer edge of the hanger, so there is no load bearing on the 16mm. It's only a lateral restraint, you do away with floating bushes as the pins work on the spring bush reducing additional play. Hope this helps.

Joe
September 21, 2010 at 6:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by STB OKA Qld:

The OKA factory shackle kit will not fit an XT. The shackles and the mounting point on the chassis is different.
September 21, 2010 at 6:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Posted by Joseph Baz:

STB, the actual length of the shackle at the front is different, the bushes in the chassis are the same, so if you want to upgrade to the new pins you just have to drill 1" and weld the keeper plates to both shackles and chassis.

Cheers
Joe
September 21, 2010 at 6:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Peter_n_Margaret
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Posts: 198
I thought that the original OKA design concept of simple parts that can be purchased anywhere was one of the great strengths of the product.
They seem to have forgotten that with these pins.

And what is this mix of imperial and metric all about?

Cheers,
Peter
--
Cheers Peter, OKA196 Motorhome. www.oka4wd.com/xt196.htm



September 22, 2010 at 7:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

joseph baz
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Posts: 331
AAHHH,I think is just human nature,for years we complaint about the poxi 16mm and now with the upgrade we still complaining,the reason for the mixture is to retain the std bushes(which were allways 1" even thou some people say just use a mitsubishi poly bush in it),the blend of metric/imperial is not new as the OKA is a truly international truck lol
Joe
September 22, 2010 at 10:36 AM

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13 May 2013 00:18 #2 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
I am back in Africa and the usual maintenance is due. Biggest thing will be to change the rear end crankshaft oil seal. However during the last 1000km I do hear a "metal klonck noise" which is constantly increasing.

I do only hear the noise when I am steering left and right. It sounds as if a solid metal piece is moving agains another metal piece. First I thought maybe the steering links have a slag. Then I though maybe the drive shafts are slightly sliding. My closest guess now is that the leaf springs are sliding on the bushings and hitting against the leaf spring mounting. I did not investigate further and could probably only test this if I lift the OKA frame and take the weight off the drive train. I assume this is the only way to find out if there is anything sliding there.

Any advice where the sound might come from and how to check it?

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
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13 May 2013 03:56 #3 by Russ Phelan
Russ Phelan replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Sounds like front springs moving within the hangers. Have someone turn the steering lock to lock while you look at the spring eyes at the front. Any sideways movement will result in clunk noise. Can be fixed by jacking vehicle up from chassis removing weight from front axle, knocking out shackle pins and putting in shims/washers either side (or just one side) of the spring. Put pin back in lower and test again.

Instgram @okaruss #okatruck

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13 May 2013 06:05 - 13 May 2013 13:35 #4 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
OiA, I agree with Russ, sliding front springs in the hangers at the front is the most likely cause for clonks when turning. Other possible causes are worn tie rod ends or loose U bolts. I've also had a hole in the steering arm which was worn oval and clonked, even though the tie rod end was tight. I fixed that with some shims in the hole.

Shim/thrust washers can be used to reduce the sliding spring problem. In an emergency (ie away from home), I used some tent pegs bent in a U shape and inserted either side of the spring and wired in, or a thick washer with a slot cut out to do the same thing. Bush mechanics they maybe, but they worked and there's no need to remove the suspension pin.



I should add that I've subsequently replaced all suspension pins with 20mm pins with urethane bushes and no-gap thrust washers, fitted all new springs and airbag suspension all round. Suspension problems have now largely retreated expensively into history.

David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
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13 May 2013 13:11 - 13 May 2013 13:15 #5 by Rick Whitworth
Rick Whitworth replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Agree with above.
#149 made very load knocking noises turning lock to lock after I replaced front shackle pins and bushes
OKA experts kept telling me just to put in spacers (similar to David's tent peg) despite my protestations that this could not be it because the bushes and pins were cut to the right length. The noise was so load it sounded like the wheels were going to fall off and I was conviced it was terminal, probably in the steering box.

Finally I fashioned four thin tapered plates, each with a slot to go around the shackle pin, knocked them in between the end of the bush and the hangers front and back rotating them by tapping them around till the slot faced downwards. Sound disappeared completely and no sign of them moving since depite many rough corregated tracks and creek crossings.

Rick

Rick Whitworth: OKA XT 149.
Last Edit: 13 May 2013 13:15 by Rick Whitworth.

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13 May 2013 14:31 #6 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Thanks very much for your input. Since tie rod ends or steering arm seems to be ok the problem is most likely the spring moving on the pin hitting the bracket. I will have to do the tests mentioned to reassure.

I am just wondering why this sound is increasing? Are there standard shim washers installed which broke and fell off? Does the noise mean that the bushings are broken and need to be replaced?

My most favourable solution would be to get some plastic washers and install them in the gap which would be the correct way of fixing the problem (I guess).

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-pu...47-oka-327-in-africa

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13 May 2013 16:05 - 13 May 2013 16:13 #7 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
OiA, in my case it was a combination of wear on all the the metal components of the original Oka spring fixing: the insides of the hanger (worn by the hardened thrust washers), the 2 piece metal bush, the 16mm pin, the steel cylinders in the spring eye (which were crushed), and hole in the hangers wearing oval. Even with greaseable pins, as soon as there is some wear, grease will follow the line of least resistance and not go to the points of metal to metal contact where it's needed most. This accelerates wear.

Also the leaves of the springs can slide laterally over each other since only the top eye leaf controls the lateral load, if the clamps are not a tight fit or the leaves are weak.

Clonking only happened (to me) on the front of the front springs and it was unnerving, but it's unlikely anything is broken, just wearing, and packing things only puts off the inevitable. The only complete cure is to replace the entire shackle system and I think 20mm pins (or the new 25mm(??) NT suspension pins) with urethane bushes would be the way to go, especially if the hanger holes are oval. Both need a fair degree of drilling and welding work on the hangers but it does make a tighter, stronger system which is more resistant to wear.

There are a lot of parts in the original Oka spring system, this is the rear of the front spring.


David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
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15 May 2013 06:31 #8 by Peter and Sandra OKA 374
Peter and Sandra OKA 374 replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Personally I would be reluctatnt to fir polyurethane bushes for a couple of reasons.
I fitted several sets to different Landcruisers over the years and also poly bushed a sedan that we had and despite the vendors assuring me that they wouldn't affect the ride they all did to the extent that it was too hard despite the latest "softer" bushes being used.
The other affect was that they all wore the steel components excessively which led to having to replace shackle plates and pins as well as the worn bushes despite the poly bushes being fitted with grease nipples and regular greasing.
A return to standard (factory) rubber bushes in all cases solved the hard ride and wear problems, never mind the squeaks with poly bushes!

OKA 374 LT Van, converted to camper/motorhome,
400ah Lithiums, 680w solar, diesel cooking heating and HWS,
Cummins 6BT, Allison 6 speed auto, Nissan transfer.

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15 May 2013 12:53 #9 by OKABloke
OKABloke replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
These are worth looking at

For Sale:
XT and LT Parts and Service Manuals Available on CD. $150.00 Delivered
### OKA Manuals Now Available as a Download ###.

20mm Spring Hanger Pin Upgrade Kits.

David
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15 May 2013 12:54 #10 by OKABloke
OKABloke replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
These are worth looking at




David

For Sale:
XT and LT Parts and Service Manuals Available on CD. $150.00 Delivered
### OKA Manuals Now Available as a Download ###.

20mm Spring Hanger Pin Upgrade Kits.

David
Attachments:

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15 May 2013 17:24 - 15 May 2013 17:33 #11 by Peter_n_Margaret
Peter_n_Margaret replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Shameless advertisement :)

I developed the above kit primarily for my own use after breaking a pin in a remote spot in the Kimberley.
They seem to last very well. No one, including me, has worn out a part yet since 2009.

The pins are made from standard "off the shelf" M20 HT bolts, so can be purchased almost anywhere if required.
The urethane bushes are likewise as simple as possible and could be made by anyone from a variety of materials in an emergency. All thrust components are hardened steel.
Trying to maintain the original OKA philosophy of simplicity and availability.

Shims are laser cut from spring steel shim followed by hardening. Hex head locators are also laser cut (from 6mm mild steel).

Complete conversion kits are $900 (as shown above) plus post (just under 10kg) and David has them in stock, so contact him if you need one.

Cheers, Peter.
OKA196 tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
Mob.0428171214
Last Edit: 15 May 2013 17:33 by Peter_n_Margaret.

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15 May 2013 19:01 - 15 May 2013 19:03 #12 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
My 20mm suspension system (as above) has been in use for 4 years with no problems. Still tight and effective. No squeaking or wear.

I also fitted them after breaking several bolts, including one in the Kimberley on the Mitchell Falls Road.

(Shameless testimonial)

David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
Oka148 profile here.
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Last Edit: 15 May 2013 19:03 by dandjcr.

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16 May 2013 18:24 #13 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
I have been lifting the OKA frame to check the spring system. Although I was not able to lift the whole OKA, but only front and back I was able to relief the pressure on the springs. The hangars are moving slightly and I think I was able to reproduce a similar clock noise by pushing the shackles with a big wheel leaver.

My conclusion is that there is a slight wear of the bushing washers which is causing the noise at certain maneuvers. I did read a bit about the conversion to a thicker diameter pin set. However I am not sure if I really need it and I am hope to get the standard bushing set locally. Tho you know what I have to look/ask for at the shops? Is the original bushing set just made for the OKA? Is it a Dana bushing set?

Thanks for all the input and pictures.

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-pu...47-oka-327-in-africa

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31 May 2013 17:52 - 31 May 2013 17:55 #14 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
Hello,

after a (so far sucessful change of the oil seal of the rear end crankshaft and the change of the front diff pinion oil seal (CR18891 worked fine and even has the protective lip like the original National seal) I have cleaned evaluated the spring shackels. The seam in very good condition apart from the washers between bracket and springs. There seems to be a gap and I assume that this is were the noise originates from.

Therefore I would only need nylon washers of the correct thickness or a set of steel washers of different thickness to "replace" the gap.

A question regarding the upgrade kit mentioned above. I cannot see any of these big washers in the kit, or are these the ones called "thrust washers"? Since the Thrust washers in the kit have a certain thickness they might not "replace" the gap and I would still need additional shim washers, correct? Maybe I am missing something here?

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-pu...47-oka-327-in-africa
Last Edit: 31 May 2013 17:55 by OKA in Africa.

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01 Jun 2013 07:12 #15 by OKABloke
OKABloke replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
The Shim and Thrust Washers all you will need in the Kit above. See the top of the 2 Photos Pre Assembled.

For Sale:
XT and LT Parts and Service Manuals Available on CD. $150.00 Delivered
### OKA Manuals Now Available as a Download ###.

20mm Spring Hanger Pin Upgrade Kits.

David

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01 Jun 2013 07:26 #16 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
OiA, yes the big thrust washers carry the lateral load directly from the spring eye to the hangers.

I wouldn't recommend nylon washers, they will get crushed and torn by the combined pressure and rotation of the spring eye. I did use stepped bushes once and this was the result.



The thrust washers should preferably be hardened steel but I've cut washers from various thickness of mild steel plate quite successfully, depending on the gap you need to fill (springs/hangers can vary in width). They don't have to be round of course (except the hole), rectangular washers are easier to make.

David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
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01 Jun 2013 08:29 - 01 Jun 2013 08:32 #17 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information

OKA in Africa wrote: Tho you know what I have to look/ask for at the shops? Is the original bushing set just made for the OKA? Is it a Dana bushing set?


OiA your bushing set probably looks like this (plus a steel cylinder liner inside the spring eye):



It's all metal on metal, so grease won't easily reach the contact points, and the bolts are too short and can/did break where the threads end.

I don't think the spring bushes are a Dana part, the Oka p/n is 006330 which looks like an Oka special.

You'd be lucky to find them locally and I would suggest changing the metal bushes to fairly hard urethane bushes which should be available locally (even if you have to shorten them or remove the lip on a bench grinder) and fit longer greaseable bolts (standard bolts can be drilled). While the bolts are out, check the hanger holes for oval wear. They can be welded up and re-drilled and/or thick plates welded over the holes and drilled.

Either way, don't over-tighten the nyloc nuts, they are only there to hold everything together and some movement is necessary.


David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
Oka148 profile here.
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Last Edit: 01 Jun 2013 08:32 by dandjcr.

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02 Nov 2016 15:40 - 04 Nov 2016 07:05 #18 by dandjcr
dandjcr replied the topic: Springs and Shackles Information
I upgraded 10 of our 12 spring bolts to Peter's 20mm pin system in 2009 and had no more problems with those.

For years earlier I'd had a continuous woes with springs and suspension pins breaking, and/or the shackle holes wearing ragged, mostly on the front pins of the rear springs, which do most of the work. For those 2 locations I'd had some bespoke plates and screw-in bushes fitted for 16mm pins a year earlier.



Those 2 remaining 16mm pins still only lasted a few more years so belatedly I also upgraded them to 20mm. This one had obviously been broken for some time and was protruding 50mm (hidden behind a gas bottle) but surprisingly both halves were still in place.



However, the screw-in bush hole was 21mm diameter so I couldn't drill them out for 20mm pins. So instead I drilled them out to 25mm and fabricated some bushes to fit from the original Oka steel shackle bushes (of which I now had dozens). This would be a useful mod for any ragged shackle pin holes and I've also used them to replace the flimsy pin arrangement on our rear spare wheel gate which now has 16mm hinge pins.



These (top right) have an OD of 25mm and ID of 16mm which can easily be drilled out to 20mm and cut to the required length. Some were worn and/or damaged so I made several and selected the best fitting ones.

The end result is 20mm pins but with the load spread over a much larger surface area, and with replaceable bushes.

I used socket head bolts because they were the only types I could get at the time which were long enough (with the extra width of plates fitted), and of the strength I wanted (Grade 12.9). Hex heads would have been better. I've subsequently fitted anti-rotation devices fabricated from a section of large Allen key welded to a bracket and bolted to the spring mount).



Since doing this mod, we've done 2 more outback trips (25,000km total, including the GSD crossing), with no more suspension pin problems.

There are a few more details on our our blog entry here .

David

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Last Edit: 04 Nov 2016 07:05 by dandjcr.

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