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Discussion Starter #1
I am replacing the rear leafs on my 68 and have a few questions.

1. Everything I have read says to loosen the front bolt before dropping the front spring perch. I'm having a hard time getting any leverage, is this really necessary?

2. I am replacing the bushings with poly, the replacement springs came with rubber bushings installed. Is this the front of the spring? Is there a way to tell front from rear on these springs?

3. How can I tell if I have all the pressure off the spring before I unbolt the front spring perch?

4. Remove shock, loosen front bolt, remove front spring perch, remove shock plate so diff is free of the spring, remove rear shackle bolt - is this the correct order?

5. Are there any specific torques on anything or is it all just gutentight when I get it back on the ground?

I'm sure I'll have more questions but this will get me going for now. Thanks in advance for any responses.
 

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1. You loosen the big eye bolt under the car b/c it is cinched down in it's mount and can't move as you use a wrench or if you can use a breaker bar/socket is all like it would if the spring was just laying on the ground.

2. The rubber bushing goes towards the front. You have to remove the new rubber bushing and can. I burnt mine out. Some drill them out.

3. Drop the rears first and remove them from the rearend and they will be unloaded and loose.

4. I would remove the shocks and shock plates first by supporting the rearend up using a couple of jackstands. Ten remove the rears. Then lossen the front bolts and finally remove the three front mount bolts on each side AND you just may have to cut the heads of them off using a torch or a 4.5" angle grinder IF the cage-nut straps break and they spin!!

5. There are torque spec's, but I used good old guttentight on mine!! 1/2" breaker-bar and all....

And btw, everything should be tightened w/ the car on the ground b/c you can pinch everything and that will hold it up or lop-sided or whatever!!!!

Good luck AND make darn sure you have her cribbed up SAFELY b/c it can fall on you and can KILL YOU!!!! I always leave my front wheels on the ground to help steady her and then crib her up using extra jackstands and floorjacks since my great big old mounted L-60's are up on the shelf now!!

pdq67

PS., a long ratcheting box-end wrench will allow you to undo the shackles w/ the gas tank still in her! It's tight but I did it w/ just a long box-end......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks pdq!

Just so I am clear, shocks are off now I need to remove the shock plates, then the rear mounts and the front mounts will be last?

I only have one set of jack stands so I put them just forward of the front spring brackets. I have my floor jack under the diff to hold that up. I'm trying to do one side at a time, will that be OK? I'm leaving the wheel on the side I'm not working on for a safety catch of sorts. I don't have the car very far off the ground, just enough to get the jack stands under the frame. And the front tires are on the ground and chocked. My main fear is that I have too much lift on the diff and as soon as I disconnect the shock plates I don't want it to "pop" up on me.

I got lucky with the rubber bushings, they came out really easy with just a little persuasion from my friend Mr. Ball Peen. I have PB Blaster all over everything, I'll give the front eye bolt another try in the morning. Just break it loose or get it really loose?

Again, thanks for the quick response.
 

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Buzz0,

Be damn careful and crib her up under her middle using I don't care what to be SAFE here B/C you can get KILLED if she fall's on you!!!

pdq67!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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The "easiest way to do this it to simply leave the rear wheels and tires installed and ON THE GROUND.

With the shocks disconnected at the bottom, and the rear axle hanging, adjust the height of your jackstands so the rear tires are "almost but not quite" lifted off the ground.

At this point the springs will be unloaded.

Do one spring at a time. The other will help keep the diff from moving around and destroying the brake line.

Somewhere on here (do a search) there is a post I did when I did my rear suspension a month or 2 ago, search for posts started by me in brakes and suspension, you'll find it. It has details and pics on a tool I made up from "hardware store junk" which made easy work of removing and replacing the front spring eye bushings.
 

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Jim's right-on here but I just wanted mine up a bit higher is all to do this!!!

You can "feel" the floorjack under the center section as you go up for when the springs unload..

Yes, It'a another onna those pdq67 "feelie" things..

He, He!!

Have a good time and as always, work SAFE!!

Been there done it a couple a/3 times through the years...

pdq67
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks pdq, thanks Jim.
I've made a little bit of progress today. I started on the shock plate and it let me know real quick that the spring was still loaded up a little bit. When I loosening the last nut, the spring popped up a little bit but not too bad. I was really glad I put the wheel back on! Now I am fighting the shackle nut, about 39 years of rust to get through! I wish now I had broke that loose before taking the shock plate off - the dang spring keeps bending when I try to crank on the nut.
While waiting for the PB to work in the back I went ahead and tried to break the front eye bolt loose. Not much luck there. I also tried the 3 bolts holding the front mount in and - big surprise - 2 of them are just spinning away. I think I can get one of them cut pretty easy but the one that is aft of the spring eye and kind of tucked up under the frame is going to be a real joy. Its times like this I wish I had paid somebody to do the work for me. Of course when I get it done I'll be glad I did it myself.
 

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A 4" or 4.5" angle grinder will zip them right out, but you gotta get your head COMPLETELY under her so you can see what you are doing.

AND wear good safety glasses as well as a dust mask b/c of all the grinding dust!!!

You sure the heck, DON'T want to have to go to an Eye Dr. and get a piece of steel dug out!! Just ask me how I know!! My Buddy Doc dug my last sliver out years ago for me!!

pdq67
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK I'm having a brain fart - again - about my springs. I have the left side in and loosely bolted up front and rear. Now I have about a 6-8 inch gap between the spring and the differential tube mount. I left the tires on as suggested and that felt a lot safer to me. First I tried putting a jack under the mounting plate and bringing it, and the spring, up to the diff. There was no way that was going to work, I just have too much stuff to get aligned and the floor jack was in the way. Also the spring is about 1/4" out of alignment side to side. Next I tried jacking the diff up and pulling the tire so the rear end could settle down into the spring. Everything was going fine until I noticed that the floor jack wasn't centered under the rear end any more. Scared the crap out of me so I ran it back up real quick and threw the tire back on. I guess having a tire and everything bolted up on one side and dropping the rear end so low on the other isn't the smartest thing to do. So what now guys? Do I pull both wheels off and drop the whole thing or try to run the spring up into the spring perch with a bottle jack? Sorry to be so stupid about all of this - pdq has me not wanting to drop the car on my head. My wife agrees.
 

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Do the other side and drop the rearend down onto them and carefully move it forward/backward/side to side until it lines up and you are good!

You want the bottom tit/nut in the bottom plate and the top head in the housings mounts if you have bolt-heads up top.

I say it this way b/c mono's only have bottom tits and 3-leaf mono replacements, nuts! Multi's have bolt-head tops and nuts bottom..

pdq67

PS., almost forgot!! DON'T tighten anything downTIGHT until it's on the ground and you have bounced her up and down a few times!! this is b/c the bushings can get bound up if tightened up in the air so that maybe your car won't sit level is all!!! Bound up bushings have been known to actually hold a car up in the air is why...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again guys. I think a clue to the gap is the originals had helper springs on them and air shocks. That rear end was sagging like pants on a gangster. I guarantee the springs are original cause the hardware definitely was. I can't believe it took this long to get just one side done but I did have 39 years of rust to fight. I can't wait to see how she sits with the new springs and poly bushings.
 

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Everything came out good for me. I am also in the process of replacing everything. The new Dana 60 got a coat of POR 15 and the wheel wells got a good scraping of 39 years of road debris. I had to cut the exhaust back since the shop that put it on before bent it into the drivers side quarter. Good luck with your progress. All I can remeber was pdq67 saying "patience". Many curse words and the the word patience came to mind.
 

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BuzzO, use some Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster on the threads to help remove some of the 40 yrs of rust.

Also, the LW will help lube the nut over the bolt rust and make it easier to remove. You don't need to jam the nut on the bolt and making the job harder than what it already is. you may want ot use anti-seize compound on the threads for reassembly. You'll appreciate it later in life.

As said, use your head smartly. Apparently, your wife would like to have you around for quite some time. Life's good.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I pulled the wheels off tonight and put jack stands under the axles. With the right wheel not holding everything up the gap is about an inch and as soon as I get the right spring unbolted I'll be able to finesse everything in place just fine. Of course the kids decided to start running in and out of the garage so it was time to quit. I need to take a week of vacation and get this car done...it's getting warm and sunny out there!
 
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