Most of the time, finding the right parts for your car is as easy as putting the make, model, and part into a search engine. When you have a custom suspension system, though, finding parts can be more of a challenge. Instead of letting the internet do the work for you, you have to match your current parts to brand-new parts to ensure a perfect fit. U-bolts, in particular, are fairly generic and are often sold by size, shape, and diameter. If your suspension system needs new U-bolts, pay attention to the following measurements when searching through generic U-bolts online or in an auto parts store.
U-bolts come in three main shapes: round, square, and semi-round. These shape designations refer to the bend in the bolt. Although the shapes may look very similar, choosing the right shape is essential because the U-bolt has to sit perfectly flush against the suspension parts it holds together, especially the leaf spring assembly. If you need a round U-bolt but install a square one, the gaps in the corners of the U-bolt could create weak points in the suspension system or prevent the U-bolt from being tightened enough to hold the system together.
In order to ensure that the U-bolt stays secure in the suspension system, leaf spring assemblies and suspension plates are designed with holes and divots. U-bolts fit securely in these holes and divots, without much if any room for movement. If you choose a U-bolt with a diameter that is too small for your system, it could slip out of place on a bumpy road or become damaged due to extra wear and tear from rattling. If you choose one with a diameter that is too large, it simply won't fit your system. Typically, U-bolt rod sizes range from 7/16 of an inch to 11/16 of an inch.
All U-bolts are measured in the same way to help mechanics and drivers find the right U-bolts for their suspension system. Typically, the size number is calculated by multiplying the rod diameter by the distance between the two ends of the bolt and then multiplying that number by the length from the bottom of a bolt end to the bottom of the bend. Simply apply this formula to your current bolts and use the number you calculate to choose the appropriately sized U-bolt for your suspension system.
To learn more about U-bolts, contact custom automotive suspension manufacturers in your area. You might try visiting a site like Gitt's Spring Company to learn more.