REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 and 21971 Models
- Raise the vehicle with a jack under the axle and place a jackstand under the frame side rail. Then lower the axle jack so that the load is relieved from the spring and the wheels rest on the floor.
- Remove the nuts which secure the spring clip bolts. Remove the spring plate and clip bolts. Free the spring from the axle by raising the axle jack.
- Remove the pivot bolt nut and drive out the pivot bolt. Disconnect the shackle either by removing the lower nuts and bolts on the rubber bushed shackles, or by removing the threaded bushings on the U-shackles.
- To replace, first install the pivot bolt. Then, connect the shackle using the following procedures.
- On bronze bushed pivot bolts, install the bolt and nut and tighten the nut. Then back it off two cotter pin slots and install the cotter pin. The nut must be drawn up tightly but must be sufficiently loose to allow the spring to pivot freely. Otherwise the spring might break.
- On rubber bushed pivot bolts and locknuts (or lockwasher and nut) only tighten the bolt enough to hold the bushings in position until the vehicle is lowered from the jack.
- Connect the shackle. On rubber bushed shackles install the bolts as in step 6 above. For U-shackles, insert the shackle through the frame bracket and eye of the spring. Holding the U-shackle tightly against the frame, start the upper bushing on the shackle, taking care that when it enters the thread in the frame it does not crossthread. Screw the bushing on the shackle tightly against the spring eye, and thread the bushing in approximately half way. Then, alternately from top bushing to lower bushing, turn them in until the head of the bushing is snug against the frame bracket and the bushing in the spring eye is 1 / 32 in. (0.8mm) away from the spring as measured from the inside of the hexagon head in the spring. Lubricate the bushing and then try the flex of the shackle, which must be free. If a shackle is tight, rethread the bushings on the shackle.
- Move the axle into position on the spring by lowering or raising the axle jack. Install the spring clip bolts, spring plate, lockwashers, and nuts. Torque the nuts to 50-55 ft. lbs. Avoid overtightening. Be sure the spring is free to move at both ends.
- Remove both jacks. On rubber bushed shackles and pivot bolts, allow the weight of the vehicle to seat the bushings in their operating positions. Then torque the nuts to 27-30 ft. lbs.
- Raise the vehicle with a jack under the axle. Place a jackstand under the frame side rail. Then lower the axle jack so the load is relieved from the spring and the wheels just touch the floor.
- Disconnect the shock absorber from the spring clip plate. On models through 1986, disconnect the stabilizer bar.
- Remove the nuts which secure the spring clips (U-bolts). Remove the spring plate and spring clips. Free the spring from the axle by raising the axle.
- Remove the pivot bolt nut and drive out the pivot bolt. Disconnect the shackle.
- With the spring removed, the spring shackle and/or shackle plate may be removed from the spring.
- Inspect the bushings in the eye of the main spring leaf and the bushings of the spring shackle for excessive wear. Replace if necessary.
- The spring can be disassembled for replacing an individual spring leaf, by removing the clips and the center bolts.
- To install the spring on the vehicle, with the bushings in place and the spring shackle attached to the springs, position the spring in the pivot hanger and install the pivot bolt and lock nut. Only tighten the lock nut enough to hold the bushings in position until the vehicle is lowered from the jack.
- Position the spring and install the shackle, shackle bolts, shackle plate if applicable, lockwasher, and nut. Only finger tighten the nuts at this time.
- Move the axle into position on the spring by lowering the axle jack. Place the spring center bolt in the axle saddle hole. Install the spring clips, spring plate, lockwashers and nuts. Torque the 7 / 16 in. nuts to 36-42 ft. lbs. and the 1 / 2 in. nuts to 45-65 ft. lbs. and the 9 / 16 in. nuts to 100 ft. lbs.
Be sure that the center bolt is properly centered in the axle saddle.
- Connect the shock absorber.
- Remove the jack and allow the weight of the vehicle to seat the bushings in their operating positions. On models through 1976, torque the 11 / 16 in. spring pivot bolt nuts and spring shackle nuts to 35-50 ft. lbs. Torque the 5 / 8 in. shackle nuts 55-75 ft. lbs. On 1977 and later models, tighten pivot bolts to 100 ft. lbs., and shackle nuts to 24 ft. lbs.