Leaf spring install help - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Leaf spring install help

I'm in the middle of changing my leaf springs, which i have done before, but cant seem to remember which you connect fist when installing the new ones? Is it the back of the car, the front (after it's attached to the mounting plate, or the rear? I've tried playing with them for an hour and can't seem to get them to align right.

If I hook up the front then I can't get them to align onto the plate on the rear and if I do that first they are too short to align up to the front.

I had the back and the front on but then couldn't get them to sit right on the plate that hold them to the rear (the bump did not align with the pads)

any help would be appreciated... i can't believe I'm having this much trouble!!!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 03:31 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Bolt the front spring eye into the pockets and then the pockets into the car with the 3 bolts and tighten everything. Jack the rear end up and bolt the springs to the spring perchs if they are not already attached. Now use the floor jack to raise the rear up and install the spring eye and shackles. If you have the shackle bolts in properly (one in each half of the shackle) it should all go together without problems. Raise or lower the jack to position the spring...

...Dennis

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Thanks. I just bolted on the front... everything else is disconnected. When you say jack up the back of the car, where exactly should I do that?

Ed
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 03:58 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Not the car, the rear end... The car should already be on stands (on the frame rail real close to spring pocket's but not in the way is where I support the car) and with the front of the springs attached to the car you want to attach the rear end (axel housing) to the springs. Jack the pumpkin up and position it so you can lift a spring into place and bolt it up.

...Dennis

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 04:07 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

The springs should already be fully attached to the rear end first.
I set my rear end center section on the floor jack after I put the springs on it, rolled it under the car, jacked the whole thing up to attach the fronts first, then jacked some more to attach them at the shackles.
Just make sure the car isn't too high so that you run out of jacking height, and be careful the jack doesn't start to lift the car off the jackstands! If it does, just be careful under there.

*---------------------------------*


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Yes, the car is on stands. If I lift the rear (pumpkin) it make it worse as this separates the perch from the springs (I have a stock 68).

I could bolt it up to the perch but the bump does not align at all with the rubber piece on the perch... I guess because it's new the spring has a lot of arch to it and I need the car to come all the way down but if I do that I can't move the spring... it's weird... I must be doing something wrong.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf spring install help

so just to make it clear, you are saying i should attache the springs to the perch first? then do the fronts, then the shackles?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 07:34 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

If the springs are not attached to the rear end go ahead and hang the front of the springs. Next attach the springs to the axle by bolting them to the spring perches. (If you want, you can just put the axle housing in place and on tall stands but I like having the springs bolted to it.) If attached you jack the axle up to get the springs to hit the frame rail and if you jack it up more the rear spring eye should move toward the rear bushing pocket so you can bolt up the rear. If you don't have the springs bolted to the perches then you put the floor jack under the spring and do the same thing by jacking up on the spring and do them one at a time.

...Dennis

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 08:18 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

I did mine, new bushes, both sides
Similar to Dennis but had the car on a 4 poster sitting on the body rails
Attach the front plates do not bolt bush up tight,
put the trans hydrolic jack under the spring and jackup under the spring under the diff till the rear hanger (top aready attached to the body) goes thru the spring hole, put nuts on but dont tighten
Lower the diff onto the spring, and line up...put U bolts thru and do up nuts
connect shocks, drop car to the floor, jump the car up and down, even drive over a small curb or pothole....then torque up the rear shackles and front spring bush.

Its a bitch of a job if you try to do it with shocks attached and/or the fuel tank in.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 09, 09:18 PM
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Re: Leaf spring install help


Steve

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I drove it for the first time in 1972 when I was 15.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 09, 06:23 AM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

However you do it, don't tighten any of the bolts through the bushings, front or back, until EVERYTHING is bolted up in place. Let the car down on the ground and bounce it a few times. Then you can torque the bushing bolts.

*---------------------------------*


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 09, 06:40 AM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Joe's right on it for the rear shackle bushings because there is a double pivot at the shackle and you can bind them in the wrong position if you tighten them with the rear axle hanging. The front spring bushing bolt needs to be tightened before you mount the pocket to the car not after though as you won't be able to get wrenchs on the bolt once the pockets are bolted in place.

...Dennis

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 09, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Thanks guys, I ran out of time last night so it will have to wait till the weekend.

It's really strange because I did this about 2 years ago and it was not too bad. I even tired putting the old one back on last night to see if it was the new spring or me... well it was me because I could not get the old one to line up either... if I attached the front first, I could not get the bump on the leaf to align into the perch plate and if I attached the leaf to the perch plate first I could not seem to get the front to slip into the pocket... it was about 2 inches short.

I'm so damn frustrated because while I know this is not the easiest job, it should not be this hard.

I'll keep you posted on saturday.

Ed
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 09, 07:42 AM
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Re: Leaf spring install help

You may have another problem if you can't get the spring aligned in the perch properly... As for the spring, due to it's arch it's going to be too short to just bolt up front and rear. That's why you have to bolt up the front then put a jack under the spring and jack up on it which will flatten out the spring making it longer so you can attach the shackles.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 09, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf spring install help

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
You may have another problem if you can't get the spring aligned in the perch properly... As for the spring, due to it's arch it's going to be too short to just bolt up front and rear. That's why you have to bolt up the front then put a jack under the spring and jack up on it which will flatten out the spring making it longer so you can attach the shackles.
Thanks. If I bolt up the front 1st, should I use a jack to flatten out the spring to attach the back (shackles) before the perch? I did not try this method. The reason I ask is because if I attach the front and then try to attach them to the perch, where would I put the jack on the spring without it being in the way?

Thanks for your patience!!!
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