Leaf spring replace: DIY or shop?

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jscott

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getting ready for my undercarriage phase of my car and want to replace the original leaf springs.   Looking at youtube it seems pretty simple but I am working with just jack stands, etc.  Is it something I should tackle or have a shop do it?

 

turtle5353

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Pretty easy and straight forward.  It’s easier if you have another set of hands but can be done with floor jack and some good jack stands.  Just make sure to support the car well and be safe.  

 
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I just did mine last week. I did it on 2 - 6 ton jack stands placed just forward of the spring eyes and then a 3 ton floor jack under the pumpkin. I did post on this in my thread. These videos should help. Work on one side at a time. Undo your shocks and sway bar link if you have one. TAKE a pic for reference if you're not sure how to put it back together. Indo the U bolt nuts with axle supported. Undo the shackle nuts top and bottom, remove the shackle and lower the spring. The with a 3/4" long socket you can get at the Eye Bolt through the frame. With a 3/4" wrench undo the nut. This is a deformed lock nut, so it will be stiff getting it off. Installing is the reverse, BUT make sure the locate spring pin is fitting into the hole on the axle plate. It may take a bit of wriggling to line it up. Once in, place the U Bolts and loosely tighten the nuts, reconnect the shackle and tighten the nuts. Use new nuts if you're using your old shackles. Oh, I forgot to mention to install the new rubbers (or Urethane )  A little WD40 will make that easier. You will need to adjust the height of the axle as you do this by the way.  Replace the shocks and sway bar. One side done, repeat on the other. Once the car is under full weight, tighten the U Bolt nuts to 45 ft/lbs Took me all of 2 hours. Then go drive for 40-50 miles and retorque all the nuts.

For springs, please do not buy Grab-A-Track, I was not happy with the ride height unless you want the rear end way up in the air.

I highly suggest using Eaton springs and as I said, I found the Boss 351 153lb just about perfect for the Mach 1. Also look into larger sway bar and better oil shocks.




 
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thanks for the info
Good luck, I was a bit hesitant myself to pull and replace the rear axle and springs, but once I got into it, it really was not that bad. Just make sure your safe under there. Without a hoist, crawling around on the ground is getting hard on my/our aging bones (and fake hip)

 

jscott

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yeah, I have a ceramic hip also and a knee screwed together as well

 
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yeah, I have a ceramic hip also and a knee screwed together as well
Mine is titanium and "plastic" socket. I got the "sports model" that should last me 30 years. I said to my surgeon "I'll only be 101 when I need a replacement" Well see I guess. I bicycle ride about 1600+miles a year to keep fit.

OK we're way off topic now, but.......

 

jscott

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Here is why I got mine, head on in '81 hip had to remain just screwed together because they did not have a prosthesis that would work with my fracture until 2004.

cutlass2.jpg

cutlass1.jpg

 

Hemikiller

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getting ready for my undercarriage phase of my car and want to replace the original leaf springs.   Looking at youtube it seems pretty simple but I am working with just jack stands, etc.  Is it something I should tackle or have a shop do it?
The hardest part is usually the front spring eye bolt. If they are original, there's a chance they could be rusted into the front eye bushing inner sleeve. The simplest way to fix that is a top quality blade on a Sawzall and cut the bolt on each side next to the hanger. Worst case is you end up dissecting the spring, the bushing and then cutting the bolt. You just don't know until you take the nut off and attempt to drive out the bolt. 

 
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The hardest part is usually the front spring eye bolt. If they are original, there's a chance they could be rusted into the front eye bushing inner sleeve. The simplest way to fix that is a top quality blade on a Sawzall and cut the bolt on each side next to the hanger. Worst case is you end up dissecting the spring, the bushing and then cutting the bolt. You just don't know until you take the nut off and attempt to drive out the bolt. 
Good point on the eye bolt.

I guess I'm spoiled on mine as there was no such thing as a rusted bolt or nut anywhere.

Also perhaps use anti-seize on the bolts going back in.

 
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kcmash

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Good point on the eye bolt.

I guess I'm spoiled on mine as there was no such thing as a rusted bolt or nut anywhere.

Also perhaps use anti-seize on the bolts going back in.
I suggest you take it to a shop.

My front bolt was one with the eyelet and bushing.  I was only 33 at the time and the job totally sucked.  Luckily I was tearing mine down, because by the time I was through cutting on it and realized I still couldn't get it apart, there was no way to make it drivable again.  I had my bodyman clean up my mess.

I think an Acetylene torch is mandatory for that bolt.

kcmash

 

Don C

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One of the biggest problems is the limited space available to swing the big hammer. I have C clamp that is even older than me that is super heavy duty and the throat of it is just 6 or 8 inches, and it uses a hex wrench to turn it. An appropriately sized socket over the bolt head and after letting a good dose of panther piss soak on it it will press just about anything apart. I did have to resort to a Sawzall once on a '64 F100 I used to have, though.

 
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It could well turn out to be a PITA, but everyone is assuming the Eye bolts will be rusted in. Perhaps jscott can take a look at them and get back to us. It might not be too bad to do.............. or not!

 

jscott

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well I have nothing but time on my hands.  I am about to put the car up on my homemade lift boxes (2 x 4s, see pic example) to clean up the undercarriage, exhaust, etc.  So I will hose down the bolts to the springs and test the waters soon after to see if they want to come out.  If I feel it is getting a bit difficult I will farm it out to a shop.

car on 2 x 4.jpg

 
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well I have nothing but time on my hands.  I am about to put the car up on my homemade lift boxes (2 x 4s, see pic example) to clean up the undercarriage, exhaust, etc.  So I will hose down the bolts to the springs and test the waters soon after to see if they want to come out.  If I feel it is getting a bit difficult I will farm it out to a shop.

View attachment 45369
................... That's not a mustang!!!  Like your lift boxes though. 

 

MKSpeedlab

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Its definately something that you can DIY. I did mine a month or so ago and everything people here said in terms of the steps is correct. Most of the bolts came off without any problem except for 1 of the eye bolts. The drivers side eye bolt needed to be cut. As long as you have a good blade for a recip saw it is short work. I personally recommend the Milwaukee Carbide Torch blade, it cut through the bolt in no time. Start to finish, both sides is likely a few hours and just start with one side at a time. A good jack, some jack stands, and the appropriate sockets and its pretty easy. 

 
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