Leaf springs should be examined periodically for broken or shifted leaves, loose or missing clips, angle of the spring shackles, and position of the springs on the saddles. Springs with shifted leaves do not retain their normal strength. Missing clips may permit the spring leaves to fan out or break on rebound. Broken leaves may make the vehicle hard to handle or permit the axle to shift out of line. Weakened springs may break, causing difficulty in steering. Spring attaching clips or bolts must be tight. It is suggested that they be checked at each vehicle inspection.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Spring Mounted Below the Axle
See Figures 1 through 9
- 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 rest slightly on the floor.
- Disconnect the shock absorber from the spring clip plate (except on the Wagoneer and Cherokee).
- 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 from the shackle bracelet by removing the locknut, locknut and bolt or nut, or lockwasher and bolt.
- With the spring removed, the spring shackle and/or shackle plate may be removed from the spring by removing the locknut, or locknut and shackle bolt or nut, or lockwasher and shackle bolt.
- 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.
- 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 locknut. Only tighten the locknut 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. lb. and the 1 / 2 in. nuts to 45-65 ft. lb.
Be sure that the center bolt is properly centered in the axle saddle.
- Connect the shock absorber as necessary.
- Remove the axle and allow the weight of the vehicle to seat the bushings in their operating positions. Then torque the 7 / 16 in. spring pivot bolt nuts and spring shackle nuts to 25-40 ft. lb. Torque the 5 / 8 in. shackle nuts to 55-75 ft. lb.
Spring Mounted Above the Axle
See Figures 10 and 11
- Remove the spring clip nuts, lockwashers, spring clips, and clip plate.
- Raise the vehicle and place a stand under the frame side rail. Adjust the stand so that the load is released from the spring with the wheel resting on the floor and the spring center bolt is clear of the spring saddle.
- Remove the lubrication fittings on models so equipped. Remove the self-locking nuts and flat washers from the spring hangers.
- Remove the spring evenly off the spring hangers.
- With the spring removed, the spring shackle can be removed from the spring by removing the locknut, flat washer and spring shackle bolt.
- Inspect the bushings in the eye of the main leaf and the bushings of the spring shackle for excessive wear and replace them if necessary.
- The spring can be disassembled for the purpose of replacing individual spring leaves by removing the rebound clips and the center bolt.
- With the bushings in place, spring shackle attached to the springs and the shackle bolt torqued to 55-75 ft. lb., slide the spring into position on the spring hangers.
- Raise the vehicle slightly with a jack at the frame side rail. Remove the stand and lower the vehicle so that the spring rests on the spring saddle and the center bolt aligns properly with the guide hole in the spring saddle.
- Install the spring clips (U-bolts), spring clip plate, lockwashers and spring clip nuts. Torque the 7 / 16 in. nuts to 36-42 ft. lb. and the 1 / 2 in. nuts to 45-65 ft. lb.