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Old 01-07-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy How do you pull apart leaf springs?

Hi, I'm trying to figure out how to pull apart my rear leaf springs so that I can pack more silicone brake lubricant in between the leafs. I tried jacking up the rear end to remove the weight from the springs but they just sit there all tight together. I tried prying them apart with a pry bar wrapped in cloth (so not to scratch the rust proofing off) but they didn't want to budge much, and actually I could only do that in between the bottom two leafs any ways. Do I need to do the opposite and put a bunch of weight in the back? I've never worked on suspension components before but I catch on quickly...I think.
The reason why I want to do this is because I have the problem of when I turn sharply (especially going up and down hill) I get 1 light thump noise from the leaf springs. Also it makes the same sound if I hit a big bump causing the truck's weight to shift from side to side. Definitely not my LS diff and I really don't think it's the driveshaft as I've checked that out and it is fine. It's the stupid leaf springs. Thanks for any help everyone.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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Do not try to pry them apart! spring steel is very brittle and will snap if pried, personally I would check to see if they havent cracked already after you prying on them, they usually crack right in the centre where the bolt goes through them. The last leaf springs I replaced were on my 97xl and they were bolted together in the centre and had two U bolts holding the axle to the leaf set, once you remove the U bolts and your axle should drop away (jack on the frame not the axle) undoing the centre bolt can be difficult and may need an impact gun, once you've done what you need it will take some prying on the axle to get it to sit back where it's supposed to.
Thats the extent of my knowledge with leaf springs, hope this helps. Maybe some else has some tricks or advice.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Yeah, I started to pry those bottom 2 leafs apart but it wanted so much pressure for that to work that I just quit and was thinking "I'm going to break this thing if I try any harder." But that's good info, thanks. This is where I got my idea to try and pry them apart:

Special Service Message 19898 1997-2008 MULTIPLE VEHICLES - REAR LEAF SPRING NOISE
SOME 1997-2008 SUPER DUTY F-SERIES/[COLOR=green! important][COLOR=green! important]RANGER[/COLOR][/COLOR], 1997-2007 F-150/E-SERIES, 97-01 EXPLORER/MOUNTIANEER, 01-05 EXPLORER SPORT TRAC, 06-07 MARK LT AND 2004 F-150 HERITAGE EQUIPPED WITH REAR LEAF SPRINGS MAY EXHIBIT AN INTERMITTENT SPRING SQUEAK/CLUNK WHEN COLD, OR WHEN DRIVING OVER ROUGH ROADS. TO SERVICE: 1)LIFT REAR OF VEHICLE, UNLOADING THE LEAF SPRINGS; 2)PRY OPEN SPRING NEAR LEAF TIP LINER USING A NON-METALLIC WEDGE ([COLOR=green! important][COLOR=green! important]RUBBER[/COLOR][/COLOR] COATED PRY BAR, WOOD DOORSTOP-TYPE, ETC.); 3)APPLY A FILM OF MOTORCRAFT SILICONE BRAKE [COLOR=green! important][COLOR=green! important]CALIPER[/COLOR][/COLOR] GREASE XG-3-A TO SURFACE OF LEAF TIP LINER (DO NOT USE STANDARD GREASE); 4)REMOVE WEDGE; 5)REPEAT FOR REMAINING TIPS. IF NOISE IS NOT ELIMINATED, CONTINUE WITH NORMAL WORKSHOP MANUAL DIAGNOSTICS. NOTE: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO USE A NON-METALLIC WEDGE. IF A METALLIC WEDGE IS USED, [COLOR=green! important][COLOR=green! important]CORROSION[/COLOR][/COLOR] PROTECTION CAN BE DAMAGED.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 08/02/2007


But maybe I am reading this wrong?
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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What the heck is the leaf tip liner???
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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alright, this is a very delicate process, as there is a lot of pressure in the springs.

lift vehicle by frame, jackstands, remove tires, etc....

put a floor jack under the rear axle, remove u-bolts, and rest the axle on more jackstands, blocks of wood, etc. basically, the leafs should hang down freely.

place c-clamps on either side of the leaf spring center bolt before trying to remove it.

after this, you should have something like this pic of my bronco II

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

after you get the center bolt out, slide a long screwdriver through the hole to help keep the leafs in line for the next step

which is unscrewing both c-clamps to gradually separate the leafs. then you can just grab them and take them out. remember the order and direction of leafs when you put them back together.

which i will explain later (gotta eat )
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:40 PM   #6
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ok, time for assembly.

pretty much opposite of taking it all apart. the screwdriver will help keep the leafs in line as you tighten the c-clamps, so the bolt will be easy to put back in. torque values are extremely important here. i've broken one by overtightening.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:24 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the help, that was awesome.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:34 PM   #8
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I just went through this two days ago while installing an add a leaf kit.

1. Unbolt the lower shock bolt.
2. Remove the tires.
3. Raise the truck enough to get the suspension at full drop.
4. One side of the truck at a time unbolt the U-bolts. Impact wrench helps big time.
5. Lower that side of the axle to separate the axle from the springs.
6. Get C-Clamps around the leaf springs, probably 2-3 is good, tighten them up to hold the pressure of the springs together.
7. Remove the spring center retaining bolts, 2 of them in my case.
8. Slowly loosen and remove the C-Clamps (loosen each one a little at a time till all are loose.
9. Remove the springs, it is best to clean them and mark each one with which side is forward, usually the short side is forward.
10. For the factory clamp on the springs you can bend the lips back enough to clear the removal, then bend them back when reinstalling. Or get a cut off wheel and cut the sides of the sides, you want to keep the heat down and not to cut into the spring. A cutoff wheel worked perfect for me. You can buy replacements for cheep from www.summitracing.com
11. Replace the pads, clean up leaf springs good before reassembly.
12. Reverse order for reinstallation.

Note: If U-Bolts or Spring Center Retaining bolts are rusted or dirty use penitrainting oil. If dammaged you may need to replace them and/or cut them off when removing them.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:34 PM
 
 
 
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