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Well hopefully keeping them washed and clean will help prolong or even better, prevent this from happening


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Living and working in sunny, dry S. California for decades, I may have been unaware of just how common broken front coil suspension springs actually are.

A few minutes search reveals dozens of photos of broken front springs on BMW, Chevrolet, Citroen, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Nissan, Peugeot, Saab, and Smart vehicles, and articles in auto service magazines discussing the frequency of coil spring fractures in Rust Belt areas.

Here's a brief writeup from a Senior Metallurgist at the Institute of Spring Technology, discussing automotive suspension spring failures. Looks like the biggest factor is stress corrosion cracking (SCC).

"However, SCC is by far the most common failure mechanism for suspension springs on all makes of car, and in all countries where salt is used on the roads. This risk is ever present, particularly in winter, once the protective paint finish on the spring has been penetrated. "

"Putting a car away in a nice warm garage after a day out on salty roads has been known to cause suspension springs to go bang in the night due to SCC, and next morning the driver notices immediately because the jagged fracture surface of the spring punctures a tire."

www.springexpert.co.uk/images/WFTI 11 Stress Corrosion Cracking.pdf

For those who like to get into the detail of a formal Failure Analysis and enjoy electron microscope images of fracture surfaces, see:
https://ac.els-cdn.com/S2452321616303869/1-s2.0-S2452321616303869-main.pdf?_tid=00a31a66-d4e2-41fb-b3c8-2698273f4b3f&acdnat=1523917228_f40048ca51d4d919e66c8fc34a0920fc
That makes a lot of sense. Thats what i was noticing by seeing the pics posted by the guys having the cracked springs, they all had rust. Same here no issues with my TTUE trd springs here in SoCal.

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I’m going to gather the spring between the 2014 TTUE and 2014 TT (Canadian version) are identical?
 

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That makes a lot of sense. Thats what i was noticing by seeing the pics posted by the guys having the cracked springs, they all had rust. Same here no issues with my TTUE trd springs here in SoCal.

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Rust or no rust the extremely premature failure in standard conditions on these is unacceptable especially from a brand such as Toyota.
 

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Coilover covers.......coilover covers.......coilover covers
I think that coil over covers would likely just make things much worse in the Rust Belt.

They are useful in dry conditions to prevent gravel from nicking the strut’s piston rod.

Any type of “boot” needs to be vented to allow air to pump in and out as the spring compresses and extends during suspension movement. In a dry, dusty environment this results in dust being sucked into the interior of the cover.

In the Rust Belt, this would result in everything inside the cover becoming contaminated with salty water. You couldn’t easily rinse everything with fresh water, and everything inside the cover wouldn’t dry as quickly as it could without the cover, extending the time that there would be a high-humidity, highly-corrosive environment isround the spring.
 

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I think that coil over covers would likely just make things much worse in the Rust Belt.

They are useful in dry conditions to prevent gravel from nicking the strut’s piston rod.

Any type of “boot” needs to be vented to allow air to pump in and out as the spring compresses and extends during suspension movement. In a dry, dusty environment this results in dust being sucked into the interior of the cover.

In the Rust Belt, this would result in everything inside the cover becoming contaminated with salty water. You couldn’t easily rinse everything with fresh water, and everything inside the cover wouldn’t dry as quickly as it could without the cover, extending the time that there would be a high-humidity, highly-corrosive environment isround the spring.
They work beautifully in 'rust belt' conditions.

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/suspension-steering-tech/283418-coilover-covers-doing-there-job-update.html

The ICON covers are neoprene and the fit nice and snug. It would take a lot for moisture to pass through the neoprene and actually get to the coilover. I pressure wash my wheel wells at least once a week to rinse the winter road grime out - never has water passed through the cover ( I don't shoot the wand at them point blank)

The Neoprene also breathes quite well to help vent (sneeze as I like to say) when the spring compress and rebounds.


It has been a while since I have pulled the covers off for another round of pics - once the weather smartens up I will do so.
 

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I called Toyota today and the representative was very friendly to talk to but the result was EXTREMELY disappointing from Toyota.

I was upfront and informed them from the very start that I had purchased the suspension as a takeoff from the 2014 TTUE and installed it on my 2011. I simply wanted to know if the coils had changed in any way that would prevent this cracking before I drop $100+ per coil to replace them. She had to reach out the the "technical specialists" and she called me back a while later stating there was no TSB and no record of other failures for this suspension so there was to be assumed that no changes were made. I then asked if there was any way to get the details about the coil so I could look at alternatives. She again had to consult the specialists. The response this time was that because I had a 2011 and the suspension was only ever made for the 2014 that it was a modification and Toyota would not provide me any information regarding that suspension, any updates to the materials, or anything else as I own a 2011. That was the end of it. They then asked if there was anything else I needed and ended the call.


Based on this I won't be purchasing the "TRD" coils as replacements. I have zero confidence that anything has changed in the coils. I will look into a different source for coils. I know there is some information about the coils on other forums for the 4runner but does anyone know the relaxed size of the coil and/or the spring rate on the PTR13-35140-AA coils that came on the FJ?
 

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I called Toyota today and the representative was very friendly to talk to but the result was EXTREMELY disappointing from Toyota.

I was upfront and informed them from the very start that I had purchased the suspension as a takeoff from the 2014 TTUE and installed it on my 2011. I simply wanted to know if the coils had changed in any way that would prevent this cracking before I drop $100+ per coil to replace them. She had to reach out the the "technical specialists" and she called me back a while later stating there was no TSB and no record of other failures for this suspension so there was to be assumed that no changes were made. I then asked if there was any way to get the details about the coil so I could look at alternatives. She again had to consult the specialists. The response this time was that because I had a 2011 and the suspension was only ever made for the 2014 that it was a modification and Toyota would not provide me any information regarding that suspension, any updates to the materials, or anything else as I own a 2011. That was the end of it. They then asked if there was anything else I needed and ended the call.


Based on this I won't be purchasing the "TRD" coils as replacements. I have zero confidence that anything has changed in the coils. I will look into a different source for coils. I know there is some information about the coils on other forums for the 4runner but does anyone know the relaxed size of the coil and/or the spring rate on the PTR13-35140-AA coils that came on the FJ?
650lb spring rate. 14" long. 3" diameter

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I just found a 4" piece off the bottom coil, drivers side, on my garage floor. I called local dealer and left a message but no return yet, it's Saturday. I've got 42,200 on it and I'm second owner, will Toyota do anything or do I eat the cost?
 

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After reading through this thread much has been said about rust. I will say with certainty that rust is not the cause, it is a manufacturing problem, either heat treatment or weakened when formed. I am 66 years old and have had many vehicles and never a broken spring. I am also retired from the Army Research Lab where we studied broken/failed parts and I've had courses in metallurgy. Any old mechanic from the rust belt will have seen springs badly pitted without breaking while mine still have paint on them. Toyota should be ashamed for not owning up to this.
 

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Another submission of a 2014 TTUE with a broken spring.
Front passenger side.
Broke at the top.
30k miles on the FJ.
Live in the Northeast.
Offroad once a year on easy trails.

 

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Irony is unlike these Bilstein/Eibach coils the stock coils are most likely made by Toyo Japan are unaffected.
 

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I was putting on my winter tires today and found that I have a broken drivers side front spring on my TTUE. After a quick search, I found this thread. It has not seen any real off-roading and has about 19K miles. It seems I will be calling the Toyota dealer Monday morning. I purchased a 7 year Toyota warranty so it should be covered. From this thread, it sounds like there is a design/manufacturing problem with the TTUE springs.

Does anyone have any data regarding the reliability of the replacement springs? Has any of them failed? Also, I'm thinking that both springs should be replaced.... any thoughts?

Thanks
 

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I was putting on my winter tires today and found that I have a broken drivers side front spring on my TTUE. After a quick search, I found this thread. It has not seen any real off-roading and has about 19K miles. It seems I will be calling the Toyota dealer Monday morning. I purchased a 7 year Toyota warranty so it should be covered. From this thread, it sounds like there is a design/manufacturing problem with the TTUE springs.

Does anyone have any data regarding the reliability of the replacement springs? Has any of them failed? Also, I'm thinking that both springs should be replaced.... any thoughts?

Thanks
They only seem to be failing in regions that snow where rust is prevalent . Various members in snowy regions have been having this issue on their TTUE.


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After reading through this thread much has been said about rust. I will say with certainty that rust is not the cause (snip)
(An older post, but needs clarification.)

This is not a true statement. 20 seconds of Googling will bring up tons of information on automotive coil spring failures. "Rust" (corrosion) is the direct cause of the majority of automotive coil spring fracture failures.

Coil spring breakage in the Rust Belt of the US, and in many areas or Europe, is a relatively common suspension failure. In the US, in 2012 AAA reported 11,000 service calls related to suspension failures that were due to broken coil springs.

The majority of coil spring fractures occur in areas where the roads are de-iced with sodium chloride or potassium chloride, both extremely corrosive to ferrous metals.

Suspension coil springs are highly stressed, and are very susceptible to fracture caused by external stress risers such as nicks, gouges, or corrosion pits. These stress risers become the initiation points for a tiny crack. Over hundreds of thousands of spring compression cycles, and continuing exposure to moisture, the crack slowly grows until the spring fails catastrophically. In areas where roads are salted, it occasionally occurs that someone parks their car in a warm garage, and finds a flat front tire in the morning caused by the spring fracturing during the night and puncturing the tire.

During manufacture, suspension coil springs are typically treated with a zinc-phosphate anti-corrosion film, but this is very thin. They then are powder-coated, and this provides a good, generally long-lasting anti-corrosion protection as long as the powder-coat is intact. But suspension springs are constantly being impacted by gravel, (or contact with another part of the spring at the ends of the coil) that erodes or chips away at the powder-coat. As soon as spring metal is exposed, it starts corroding, and that corrosion rate is greatly accelerated if there is exposure to moisture and road salt.

One very detailed analysis of an automotive coil spring failure was conducted by the University of Rijeka in Croatia and presented at the 21st European Conference on Fracture.

This report covers metallurgical analysis of the spring material, visual and microscopic analysis of the fracture surfaces, stress analysis, and final conclusion of corrosion-induced fatigue failure. (Scroll through the YouTube vid to get to each new slide; the vid itself is a capture of the live presentation.)

On YouTube:

Online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305623860_Failure_analysis_of_a_motor_vehicle_coil_spring
 

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(An older post, but needs clarification.)

This is not a true statement. 20 seconds of Googling will bring up tons of information on automotive coil spring failures. "Rust" (corrosion) is the direct cause of the majority of automotive coil spring fracture failures.

Coil spring breakage in the Rust Belt of the US, and in many areas or Europe, is a relatively common suspension failure. In the US, in 2012 AAA reported 11,000 service calls related to suspension failures that were due to broken coil springs.

The majority of coil spring fractures occur in areas where the roads are de-iced with sodium chloride or potassium chloride, both extremely corrosive to ferrous metals.

Suspension coil springs are highly stressed, and are very susceptible to fracture caused by external stress risers such as nicks, gouges, or corrosion pits. These stress risers become the initiation points for a tiny crack. Over hundreds of thousands of spring compression cycles, and continuing exposure to moisture, the crack slowly grows until the spring fails catastrophically. In areas where roads are salted, it occasionally occurs that someone parks their car in a warm garage, and finds a flat front tire in the morning caused by the spring fracturing during the night and puncturing the tire.

During manufacture, suspension coil springs are typically treated with a zinc-phosphate anti-corrosion film, but this is very thin. They then are powder-coated, and this provides a good, generally long-lasting anti-corrosion protection as long as the powder-coat is intact. But suspension springs are constantly being impacted by gravel, (or contact with another part of the spring at the ends of the coil) that erodes or chips away at the powder-coat. As soon as spring metal is exposed, it starts corroding, and that corrosion rate is greatly accelerated if there is exposure to moisture and road salt.

One very detailed analysis of an automotive coil spring failure was conducted by the University of Rijeka in Croatia and presented at the 21st European Conference on Fracture.

This report covers metallurgical analysis of the spring material, visual and microscopic analysis of the fracture surfaces, stress analysis, and final conclusion of corrosion-induced fatigue failure. (Forgive the slightly fractured English ...)

On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z40vnBt1_TY

Online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305623860_Failure_analysis_of_a_motor_vehicle_coil_spring
Aha that confirms what I have been saying . That these fractures on the ttue springs have been only occurring in the rust prone state... Good info , thanks for sharing

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I will state again that the only rust on my spring was where it had cracked and if you look at pictures on here these are not badly rusted springs. Manufacturing error! It's not a problem with the non TTUE Cruisers.
 

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(An older post, but needs clarification.)

During manufacture, suspension coil springs are typically treated with a zinc-phosphate anti-corrosion film, but this is very thin. They then are powder-coated, and this provides a good, generally long-lasting anti-corrosion protection as long as the powder-coat is intact. But suspension springs are constantly being impacted by gravel, (or contact with another part of the spring at the ends of the coil) that erodes or chips away at the powder-coat. As soon as spring metal is exposed, it starts corroding, and that corrosion rate is greatly accelerated if there is exposure to moisture and road salt.
Use to be an engineer at a top global OE spring manufacturer. I can share on this. Not too long ago a certain Manufacturer had to recall springs due to this exact issue. Their springs had durability issues in rust belt states. The powder coating specified was not durable enough for these states and led to a high rate of failures. Martensitic steel is not impact resistant and there's a low amount corrosion inhibiting alloying metals in spring steels. Once the coating gets chipped, its only a matter of time for crack propagation to break the spring.
The TTUE springs looks like a single layer epoxy resin due to the smooth surface finish. Newer coils now have a dual layer coating. The base layer is zinc infused epoxy. The top coating is an impact resistant epoxy resin. The surface looks rough and bumpy due to the microscopic air pockets inside.



I will state again that the only rust on my spring was where it had cracked and if you look at pictures on here these are not badly rusted springs. Manufacturing error! It's not a problem with the non TTUE Cruisers.
Your entire spring doesn't need to be rusted. A pinhole sized exposed surface is all it takes. Honestly, Eibach is a custom performance spring maker with a tiny market share. Since the TTUE volume was so low, they were probably the only ones who would take the business. The stock OE springs were probably made by NHK, one of the top global spring manufacturers. Their durability/quality is far superior to Eibach in my opinion.
Looking the photos, most of the cracks are happening where the ground end stops. The angles aren't typical of a torsional failure. It looks a weak point at the ground ends. The TTUE springs are closed end and ground. Typically manufacturers don't use ground ends. It's costly machining process with no real added benefit. Typically a contoured coil seat is used to keep the spring aligned. If you look at the regular black springs, the lower seat is contoured and not ground. Most likely these TTUE spring failures are from a combination of high localized stress at the ground end and corrosion.
 
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