Astro, Safari 1997-2005

Leaf Springs

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Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Support the rear axle.
    NOTE
    When supporting the rear of the vehicle, support the axle and the body separately to relieve the load on the rear spring.

  6.  
  7. Remove rear wheel and tire assemblies.
  8.  
  9. Remove axle bumper and retainer, if necessary for access to the lower spring plate front nut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower shock absorber mounting bolt.
  12.  
  13. Remove nuts securing the U-bolt and lower plate (attaching the spring to the axle at the center of the spring). If the vehicle is equipped with a stabilizer bar it will be necessary to remove the lower nuts, washers and clamps, then swing the stabilizer bar down to obtain clearance when lowering the axle assembly.
  14.  
  15. Remove U-bolt, lower plate and anchor plate, then CAREFULLY lower the axle away from the spring.
    WARNING
    DO NOT let the axle hang by the brake hose at any point during the procedure or the hose may be severely damaged.

  16.  
  17. Remove shackle nut and bolt, then disengage the spring from the shackle, at the rear of the fiberglass spring.
  18.  
  19. Remove hanger nut and bolt, then the spring from the hanger, at the front of the fiberglass spring.
  20.  

To install:


NOTE
To assure proper seating and attachment of the anchor plate over the spring end and the axle, the installation procedure must be followed closely.

  1. Install spring to the hanger, then loosely install the retaining nut and bolt.
  2.  
  3. Install spring to the shackle, then loosely install the retaining nut and bolt.
  4.  
  5. CAREFULLY raise the axle until it contacts the spring.
  6.  
  7. Apply rubber lubricant to the isolator on the spring in order to aid installation of the anchor plate, then install the anchor plate to the top of the spring.
  8.  
  9. Install lower plate and U-bolt around the axle and through the anchor plate. If your van is equipped with a stabilizer bar it will be necessary to install the clamps, washers and nuts.
  10.  
  11. Install nuts to the lower plate and U-bolts. Starting with the inner (lower plate side) nuts, gradually tighten the 4 nuts so the anchor plate moves uniformly, side-to-side, over the spring. Tighten the nuts to 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
    NOTE
    After tightening the fasteners to specification, there should be no gap between the anchor plate, axle tube bracket and the lower plate. A metal-to-metal contact should exist.

  12.  
  13. Install the lower shock absorber mounting bolt.
  14.  
  15. Raise the axle so the vehicle's weight is supported by the spring. The rear suspension height should be approximately 5.3-5.7 in. (135-145mm). With the suspension at normal ride height, tighten the shackle and hanger retainers to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Measuring the rear suspension trim height

  16.  
  17. Install axle bumper and tighten the nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm), if removed.
  18.  
  19. Install tire and wheel assemblies.
  20.  

 
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