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Thread: Leaf Springs

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    Aspen and Volare Member SpeedBanana1977's Avatar
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    Leaf Springs

    The leaf springs on my 1980 Volare wagon are shot--rusted through at the front/oval eye. New springs and bolts etc. are on their way. Does anyone have any tips or recommendations for swapping these out? Thanks in advance.

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member klb6469's Avatar
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    Make sure you have everything you need. New U-Bolts, Iso- Cushions, Spring shackles, and so on. Hope the shock plate and Iso-clamp are in good shape. Mount the springs to the car first and then the axle to the springs. It will go alot easier. Trust me.

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    Aspen and Volare Member SpeedBanana1977's Avatar
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    Thanks! I think I've gathered all of the parts needed. One question: the service manual says the front spring hanger has to be taken off the frame. Appears this is necessary to get the front eye bolt out. It seems like that hanger should have four bolts--does that seem right?

    Also, any magic working back to front or front to back (once the axle is lifted out of the way)?

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    I think the hanger has 4 studs made on to it IIRC. I would spray them with rust buster a few times.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Yes, there are 4 studs with nuts. Ideally you could heat them up with a torch (if badly rusted). If one does break off, not the end of the world. You can punch the stud out and use a bolt, tack welded to the hanger. Also, if you have a larger well stocked Ace Hardware near by, you may find replacement studs there. If your springs are rusted through, you might have a time getting the eye bolt out due to rust. They tend to get rusted to the metal sleeve inside the bushing.

    If I remember correctly, hooking the rear shackles up is a bitch. It'll almost seem like the springs are too short. It helps to have the front hanger nuts only on a thread or two, gives you a little extra length. Tighten them afterwards.
    Last edited by aspen79; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:45 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member klb6469's Avatar
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    If you have 4 jack stands and 2 floor jacks that you can use, there's no need to snake the axle out of the way. Just lift it up far enough to get the springs installed and then drop the axle back into place.

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    Aspen and Volare Member SpeedBanana1977's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I just picked up another set of jackstands. Soaked everything up with penetrating oil a couple times this week. Sounds like the eye bolts will be a lot of fun. Hoping to give it a shot this weekend.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    Fill us in on how is goes.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Hopefully it won't come to this but in some cases I've had to cut the bolts on each side of the spring eye and then use new bolts for reassembly. If you do, be sure to get the right grade bolts (grade 8 or better).

    You mentioned penetrating oil. The very best I've ever used is Aero-Kroil. That stuff is amazing, and it smells good too, lol. It used to be like $20 a can when it was on shelves in local stores, but they sell it direct, two 16.5 oz cans for $14.50 + shipping. Trying to find it locally anymore is about impossible (not sure why that is). I ended up ordering it right from the company (Kano Labs).

    This stuff: http://www.kanolabs.com/google/?gcli...SAAEgLVyfD_BwE
    Last edited by aspen79; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:22 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    7T8 Custom (2 Weeks Ago)

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    Aspen and Volare Member SpeedBanana1977's Avatar
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    I was able to finish this project yesterday. Weather was nice: 55 degrees in Chicago in December! It was definitely a spring day.


    Removing the old springs wasn't too bad although after I got one of the eight u-bolt nuts off with the impact driver, the next one wouldn't budge so I cut it off. I started with the angle grinder but ended up using a Dremel because the space is tight. That worked well so I gave up on the impact driver and just cut the rest of the u-bolts off.

    The bracket and shackle nuts came off pretty easily thanks to the advance sprays of PB Blaster and more than anything, the generous layer of undercoating from long ago. I'm going to have to try the Kroil next chance I get. Once I got the front hanger bracket down I cut off the eye bolt with the angle grinder because otherwise that thing wasn't gonna budge. Had to drive the bolt out with a hammer.


    On the install, hooking up the front bracket by just a turn or two to start was definitely helpful so thanks for that tip! It totally made the rear shackles easier to connect. Getting the iso-clamp boxes back into place proved to be the biggest challenge. Since the u-bolts were extra long, I had to use a pass-through socket with an extension to get the nuts up high enough.

    Overall, the job was pretty simple although it took me all day. The ride height went up about 2 inches in the back, which is nice (see "after" picture below). A picture of the old springs with what should be an oval eye end is also below. Thanks again to everyone who provided tips!

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    Last edited by SpeedBanana1977; 1 Week Ago at 05:28 PM.

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