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Replacing leaf springs tomorrow

Paisano

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92' Ford Ranger XLT with 2.9 V6. I want to replace my rear leaf springs and shackles tomorrow.
The parts came pre-installed with bushings. I already did some reading on this. Can you just sum up the order in which I disconnect the parts?

Also In the photo, look at the lower leaf spring bushing bolt. When I try to remove that bolt, it will run into the frame. Will that shackle pivot downward, moving the bolt away from the frame?

P_20221125_105701_1.jpg
 


don4331

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Start by applying penetrating oil a week or two before starting,
Alternate buy replacement bolts and just take sawzall to existing ones,​

When you jack the frame up, there should be just enough space to get the bolt out.

Order isn't really critical - getting the bolts out of the bushings is the hard part so I usually start there to get it out of the way.
 

RonD

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I would take the bed off, 6 bolts(in bed, torx) and 3 screws(on filler), unplug bed taillights wiring harness, two guys can easily lift and move it

Jack up the frame, on both sides, just so tires are barely touching the ground, block tires on both sides
Cut off the old u-bolts holding axle to leafs, always use new u-bolts, they are cheap, axle will now be separate, but stay in correct position

Get out the grinder and grind the heads off the 4 rivets on each hanger
Old leafs should come out WITHOUT having to remove the bushing bolts(careful around the brake lines) because they WILL NOT come out, you can try, but I never got more than 1 out just by pounding on it, have to torch it off, and this is when having the bed off really helps, if you do need to use heat, RUN WATER IN THE BED above the heat point or paint will blister

With the bed off it just makes it a quicker easier job
 

SenorNoob

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I couldn't get a sawzall to do anything to those bolts. Ended up taking all mounts off the frame and replacing them. Although at the time I didn't consider trying a grinder with guard removed and an extra large cut-off wheel.
 

Paisano

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I soaked the area 3 times with PB Blaster. I just want to make sure you guys understand. I am replacing the leaf springs and shackles. Not the brackets on the frame.
The new leaf springs and shackle kits come with the bushings already pressed in. And I have all new nuts and bolts too.

Are you saying I should cut off the rivets on both front and rear spring hanger/bracket and pull out spring, bolts,and hangers from the frame....as one piece? Because again, I don't want to replace front hangar and rear bracket. And what would I use to fasten the hangars back to the frame?
 

SenorNoob

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So if you can get the bolts in the hangers cut, you should be good. I'd say a sawzall with and appropriate blade would be perfect.

In which case you are as prepared as you can be...

Edit:

The bolt in your picture isn't even necessary to remove if your change shackles too. Just put a new one in the new parts.
 

scotts90ranger

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If you are replacing the springs and shackles don't worry about taking that bolt out that will hit the frame, just take the one out that goes into the frame bracket...
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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If you have a problem getting the bolts out (and ypu will...) you can cut the head of the bolt off. Then stack washers under the nut and crank down. Keep stacking washers under the nut as needed as the bolt shank comes out. Pain in the ass but it works. Use lots of neversieze on the threads. If you can find a different nut that helps because the stock one is a locknut.
 

don4331

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I soaked the area 3 times with PB Blaster. I just want to make sure you guys understand. I am replacing the leaf springs and shackles. Not the brackets on the frame.
The new leaf springs and shackle kits come with the bushings already pressed in. And I have all new nuts and bolts too.

Are you saying I should cut off the rivets on both front and rear spring hanger/bracket and pull out spring, bolts,and hangers from the frame....as one piece? Because again, I don't want to replace front hangar and rear bracket. And what would I use to fasten the hangars back to the frame?
The problem is the bolt will be seized to the bushing and the inner sleeve will just tear free from the rubber and spin when you try to remove.
Bed bolts on trucks I have repaired have been in just as bad or worse to remove than spring bolts, so I can recommend that.​

The wimps way out is to remove hangers, so you can get it to where you can really beat on it. 😇
The rear hangers already are held in place with 2 bolts, so you would just be replacing the 2 rivets with 2 bolts.​
I believe the Ford repair manual recommends grade 8 bolts.​

I like @alwaysFlOoReD 's idea; but how do you stop the bolt from spinning without head to hold it?

Lots of never seize on the bolt shank too.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Well, if the metal sleeve starts spinning then it's time to get the grinder out with a zip disc. Be very careful to use leather gloves and a full facemask. Then cut between the shackle and the spring.
 

Paisano

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Ok. I'm getting everything in place now. I own the power tools you all mentioned and I have a MAPP gas kit also.
If I am understanding correctly........if I can't remove with heat......cut the bolt head at the front spring hangar.........and cut only the rear shackle frame mount bolt
Then remove leaf spring and rear shackle as on piece (My truck only has shackles at the rear spring)

I want to avoid removing the bed. I don't have anyone to help me with this. I lifted and removed the box by myself a few years ago. It was difficult.
 

RonD

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Run water in the bed above the spot where you use heat, even a little heat
 

Paisano

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That's a great idea Ron. I guess I will have to repaint spots in the truck box if needed.

I just tested some of the hardware. The shackle kits come with nuts and bolts. I notice the included flange nuts will only screw down a certain amount and then stop.
Is it supposed to do that? That might not work out. I might need to go back to the hardware store before I start. I don't have another vehicle.

Also, the included bolts for the rear and the front ones I purchased at Ace Hardware, seem to be 9/16 inch. I notice when I insert the bolts in the bushing holes,
There is a little 'wiggle' room with those bolts. Is that normal. I know I purchased the correct parts.
 

don4331

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Later Rangers when to 14mm bolts which are fractionally smaller than the earlier 9/16" ones.
'Wiggle' room is there to allow fast assembly on the line.​
I can't remember if the flanged nuts are one time use and crimped so that the threads interfere - which keeps them from falling off later when suspension moves.
 

Paisano

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Ok. Good to know.

I'll go back to the hardware store for more nuts that travel the full length of the threads, and lock washers. There is little selection of 9/16 nuts and washers.
I need to buy another thick metal cutting blade anyway for my sawzall.
 
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