• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Leaf spring bracket

gw33gp

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS Banner 2010-2011
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
235
Points
63
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
I need to replace a leaf spring bracket for the front of my right side leaf spring. It is riveted to the frame with large rivets. It looks like grinding the head off of the rivets is the best way to remove the bracket. I considered drilling them out, but there is a risk of damaging the frame hole if I don't drill perfectly centered. Does anyone have any tricks that would make it easier to remove the bracket?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: BD8D9A3814E19D Expires July 5th, 2022

fastpakr

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
U.S. Military - Veteran
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
7,112
Reaction score
1,952
Points
113
Location
Roanoke, VA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
285/75-16
It takes a bit of work, but it wasn't particularly complicated to grind those rivets out on my 99. You can definitely do it without damaging the frame.
 

sgtsandman

Aircraft Fuel Tank Diver
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Active
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Ham Radio Operator
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
5,717
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa, PA
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift
Tire Size
31X10.5R15
The method I used was to grind the heads down to the frame and then drill out the centers of the rivets to relive the tension. They should knock right out after that. You don't have to drill the full width of the rivet. Just enough to thin the walls so they pop out. You also don't have to drill all the way through. Just past the frame width. That way you have something for the punch to hit against.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
9,491
Reaction score
6,960
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
I found you have to grid the rivet flush to the frame... Then just a quick burp with the air chisel sends them out.

I know we replace them here due to rust. Is that your case too?
 

PetroleumJunkie412

2.9 Mafia
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
7,304
Reaction score
5,705
Points
113
Location
Dirtman's Basement
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Size
2.9l Trinity
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Give 'yer balls a tug. Fight me.
I did the rears with a set of torches.

Can't be stuck if its a liquid.
 

gw33gp

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS Banner 2010-2011
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
235
Points
63
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
I was thinking I could just grind flush to the bracket and just knock the rivet out of the bracket and frame from there. I didn't think about expansion of the rivets when they were bucked. I like the idea of drilling the rivet after grinding to help relieve stress to make it easier to pound out. I don't have an air chisel.

I am afraid of turning part of the frame into liquid too when using a torch. I think I will stick with the grind and drill method.

My bracket has zero rust on it, but it is bent pretty good. My right rear tire hit a boulder at about 35 mph when off-road. I had about 50 ft to make an avoidance maneuver. I swerved to save my differentials and oil pan. The boulder lightly brushed the inside of my right tire and the lower control arm but had a direct impact on the right rear tire. There was no damage to the tire or wheel but the truck dog walks. The wheel still runs true so the axle must still be straight. I can't see any damage to the axle housing or frame but once I get the bracket replaced, the truck will go in for a frame and alignment check.

The rear went very air born and the left side of my rear cab window broke. Nothing impacted the window, but the stress from the frame flexing must have cause it to fracture. The window was still in place but totally crazed.
 

19Walt93

Well-Known Member
Ford Technician
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
3,219
Reaction score
2,454
Points
113
Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
My front ones were fine but I replaced both rears since the box was off the frame. I drilled through the rivets, starting with a 1/8 drill and going up to 5/16 or so, thy cut them off with my air chisel. I had a bunch of grade 8, 7/16 fine thread 302 flex plate bolts so that's what I used to attach the new brackets. Grade 8 is no doubt overkill, using what I had instead of spending money warmed my Yankee heart.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
9,491
Reaction score
6,960
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
I was thinking I could just grind flush to the bracket and just knock the rivet out of the bracket and frame from there. I didn't think about expansion of the rivets when they were bucked. I like the idea of drilling the rivet after grinding to help relieve stress to make it easier to pound out. I don't have an air chisel.

I am afraid of turning part of the frame into liquid too when using a torch. I think I will stick with the grind and drill method.

My bracket has zero rust on it, but it is bent pretty good. My right rear tire hit a boulder at about 35 mph when off-road. I had about 50 ft to make an avoidance maneuver. I swerved to save my differentials and oil pan. The boulder lightly brushed the inside of my right tire and the lower control arm but had a direct impact on the right rear tire. There was no damage to the tire or wheel but the truck dog walks. The wheel still runs true so the axle must still be straight. I can't see any damage to the axle housing or frame but once I get the bracket replaced, the truck will go in for a frame and alignment check.

The rear went very air born and the left side of my rear cab window broke. Nothing impacted the window, but the stress from the frame flexing must have cause it to fracture. The window was still in place but totally crazed.
In my experience taking the rivet flush to the frame is the way to go. Even without an air chisel I think a couple good wraps with a hammer an punch would pop them right out.

If a torch would have been available I probably would have used it on the rear hangers. Maybe even front passenger... not so sure about the front driver though.

I'm glad to hear you're OK and damage to the truck isn't as bad as it could have been.

Stay safe out there and good luck getting it fixed back up.
 

gw33gp

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS Banner 2010-2011
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
235
Points
63
Location
Costa Mesa, CA
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
I was planning to give the rivets a good whack after grinding flush to see they would move. It is nice though to have an option if they don't budge.

Here is something interesting about grade 8 bolts. Through my over 30 years of racing in SCCA, I was told by more than one expert, not to use grade 8 in suspension areas. Yes, they are strong but tend to break instead of give when impacted. A lower grade is not as strong but will bend or stretch when impacted, which leaves the suspension intact and still functional even if it is damaged. A tweaked suspension is preferred when going fast vs. the suspension falling off or being only partially intact. I think grade 8 is still an good choice for the leaf spring bracket because the leaf spring dampens most impacts.
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Technical Advisor
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
22,145
Reaction score
2,664
Points
113
Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
I was planning to give the rivets a good whack after grinding flush to see they would move. It is nice though to have an option if they don't budge.

Here is something interesting about grade 8 bolts. Through my over 30 years of racing in SCCA, I was told by more than one expert, not to use grade 8 in suspension areas. Yes, they are strong but tend to break instead of give when impacted. A lower grade is not as strong but will bend or stretch when impacted, which leaves the suspension intact and still functional even if it is damaged. A tweaked suspension is preferred when going fast vs. the suspension falling off or being only partially intact. I think grade 8 is still an good choice for the leaf spring bracket because the leaf spring dampens most impacts.
Depending on what other brackets are on the other side....do one at a time and run a bolt through as you drive them out to prevent trapping the rivot in the other bracket with it all floppy.

In Cali likely not an issue.

My experience with Cali vehicles, it probably is not an issue.


Bet you can do it in half an hour once you have some experience with it.....the gas tank will suck though
 

pjtoledo

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
3,785
Reaction score
1,279
Points
113
Location
Toledo Ohio
Vehicle Year
20002005199
Make / Model
Fords
Engine Size
3.0 2.3
My credo
get outta my way, I'm falling!
be careful drilling. when the rivets are smushed the heads don't always stay lined up with the shaft.
drilling the center of the head doesn't always end up in the center of the shaft.
just because our rangers were made by "blue oval" doesn't mean you want oval holes in the frame. :icon_thumby:

speaking of smushing, when you grind down to where the ring first appears the rivet may be tapered out there and won't push thru easily.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
11,776
Reaction score
2,695
Points
113
Location
Calgary, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '80, '06
Make / Model
Ford, GMC,Dodge
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,5.7
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I ground flush then pounded them out with a punch an 2 or 3# hammer. Like Bobby says, do one at a time then I drilled oversize to 1/2". That takes care of misaligned holes. I use a step drill, its easier. Using a half inch bolt with the shank long enough to shoulder both the bracket and frame. Use washers to take up any extra shank length, you want to make sure the nut is tightening on the frame and bracket not the bolt shank.
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Technical Advisor
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
22,145
Reaction score
2,664
Points
113
Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
If lil bob can do it....



 

snoranger

Forum Stuff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
ASE Certified Tech
TRS Event Participant
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
11,260
Reaction score
9,461
Points
113
Location
Jackson, NJ
Vehicle Year
'79,'94,'02,'20
Make / Model
All Fords
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
I didn't ask for your life story, just answer the question!
I was planning to give the rivets a good whack after grinding flush to see they would move. It is nice though to have an option if they don't budge.

Here is something interesting about grade 8 bolts. Through my over 30 years of racing in SCCA, I was told by more than one expert, not to use grade 8 in suspension areas. Yes, they are strong but tend to break instead of give when impacted. A lower grade is not as strong but will bend or stretch when impacted, which leaves the suspension intact and still functional even if it is damaged. A tweaked suspension is preferred when going fast vs. the suspension falling off or being only partially intact. I think grade 8 is still an good choice for the leaf spring bracket because the leaf spring dampens most impacts.
That old wives tale... it’s BS. (According to minimum specs to be rated as grade 5 or grade 8) A grade 5 bolt will break at a lower force than a grade 8 bolt will bend. (I’ve looked up the numbers before, I should have saved that chart.) We dealt with it on our plows one season when one of the guys swore that grade 5 bolts would deform but not break. We tried it on a dozen or so 11’ Gledhill plows... the grade 5s didn’t last one snow storm!! The grade 8 bolts bent and broke in the same application.
 

19Walt93

Well-Known Member
Ford Technician
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
3,219
Reaction score
2,454
Points
113
Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
be careful drilling. when the rivets are smushed the heads don't always stay lined up with the shaft.
drilling the center of the head doesn't always end up in the center of the shaft.
just because our rangers were made by "blue oval" doesn't mean you want oval holes in the frame. :icon_thumby:

speaking of smushing, when you grind down to where the ring first appears the rivet may be tapered out there and won't push thru easily.
If the holes end up oval, drill them a little bigger and use bigger bolts. If they're stronger than you needed you'll never know. Grinding throws hot metal particles and sparks, I assume you're working under a quarter panel that's painted and you don't want tiny rust freckles on it.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top