Shock Absorber Welder: Good or Bad?

Posted on Jan 29, 2021

springs in general have a bad tendency to break in the HAZ after welding. Although heating a larger area will solve this, it also takes the temper out of the spring so that it loses its elasticity. There have been known cases where attempted spring welding led to the springs bent and not able to return to the normal state. This is often attributed to the lack of consistency or tracking of the exact weld data to determine how probable the process is.

Should You Use a Shock Absorber Welder?

When it comes to welding different materials, some are easy to work on and some aren't. As a novice welder, it is imperative that you understand what kind of things you can weld and what precautions you need to take relative to each of these materials to be welded. Now, this is a question that we hear too often, "Can I weld my shock absorber springs?" And the answer is no, you should never do that even if you somehow get your hands on one of "supposedly" the shock absorber welding machines

As a matter of fact, springs, in general, are considered one of the trickiest materials to weld. But if you absolutely need to tackle something like this, there are things you need to know. So let's take a look.
 

Why Is It Bad to Weld Coil Springs?

Before we go any further down, it is important we understand why it is never recommended to weld any type of springs, especially leaf springs. In fact, you should not even weld anywhere near the springs. This is because springs don't tolerate heat very well, which causes the steel to decarbonize and lose tensile strength, and can make the area around the weld real brittle. This is why many who have attempted the welding of steel coil springs often end up with a snapped spring as if they've just broken a cheap pencil. And whenever weld splatter gets on a coil spring (or leaf spring), it will create the so-called "stress riser", which as the name implies, creates stress that causes weakness in the steel. A stress riser is often the defining reason why your springs snap so easily when you try to weld them. 

Furthermore, springs in general have a bad tendency to break in the HAZ after welding. Although heating a larger area will solve this, it also takes the temper out of the spring so that it loses its elasticity. There have been known cases where attempted spring welding led to the springs bent and not able to return to the normal state. This is often attributed to the lack of consistency or tracking of the exact weld data to determine how probable the process is.

With the above said, your spring's construction is directly associated with the well-being of your shock absorber and car suspension system as a whole, not to mention that your safety, friends, family, or anybody within reach of your vehicle is at stake here. As a reminder, the suspension, which contains leaf springs and coil springs, connects the wheels and axle to the vehicle. So it is never wise to do anything that can potentially compromise the well-being of the suspension.
 

Other Potential Challenges

Unfortunately, the problems don't just end with what we described above. Cooling off the springs also takes just as much skill as heating them up. You need to pay very careful attention during the cooling because it is easy to mess it up. For instance, if you are cooling it down too fast, the spring becomes brittle, and if too slow, the spring becomes too soft. This is especially prone to happen if you are not doing it under controlled environments. You might need a certain degree of knowledge in metallurgy to be able to weld a spring without compromising the desired properties. That said, we advise against undertaking such tasks in a DIY manner as a professional can handle spring welding better. If possible, simply replacing the shock absorber spring may be a better option.
 

:: Read More: Safety Tips for Fuel Tank Welding

What if Your Spring Breaks?

This is another common question posed by many who's welded springs. How exactly do you fix a broken spring? We'd like to enlighten you with the fact that the steps are all more or less the same, whether you have a coil, torsion, or leaf spring. 

The first thing you need to do about a broken spring is to assess the damage. Generally speaking, in the instance of a leaf spring in the suspension, it should look semi-elliptical. If your spring isn't too old or looks flattened out, it is possible to try to bend it back unless it's already lost its properties during the preceding welding process. But again doing this yourself is advised against because a professional will better tell how much pressure you need to apply to bend the spring back.

If your spring is completely broken, it is not advisable to weld the broken pieces back together. We recommend that you get a new one because it is the safer option. Now, this is the tricky part: the cost of replacing a broken coil or leaf spring, successfully repairing the spring, or failing to repair the spring can differ. You need to evaluate your budget as to which method may yield the highest return while keeping potential costs at the minimum. On a note, the cost of replacing a broken leaf spring can span from $450 to $750, if you hire a professional!

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