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leaf spring installation

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by paulj, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. paulj

    paulj

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    I've finally decided to install new leaf springs in my '76 FJ 40.
    I'll probably go with Old Man Emu. The only question is should I try to do it myself, or hire it out? How hard is it to do, and what's really involved? A guy I know suggested I take the truck to someplace that has an impact wrench to have them loosen the nuts. I'm not really a mechanic, but more or less a parts changer. I've replaced stuff like starters and thermostats, but a new suspension system seems somewhat daunting. On the other hand, doing it myself could be a great learning experience.
     
  2. wayne_fj40

    wayne_fj40

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    just put it back together the same way you took it apart all you're doing is replacing worn out parts,and you're right it will be a good learning experiance and you can tell people you did it
     
  3. Design311

    Design311

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  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    i did mine in a weekend by my self with only a hilift, a bottle jack , 2 jack stands,a grinder, a pipe wrench, and a socket set in my dirt drive way in 100 degree heat. oh and lots of wd40 8)
     
  5. LT

    LT

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    My friend and I installed my 4" lift kit on my 76 fj40 on a saturday. Took us about 10 hours. Make sure to wd40 everything 2 - 3 times the night before so it can soak into the bolts, makes life much much easier.

    Travis
     
  6. FJ40Dude75

    FJ40Dude75

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    forget the wd-40 get a bunch of grinder wheels and cut off wheels and cut every thing off real :D eazy that way
     
  7. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Ha! These guys are blowing smoke up your ass. I just removed my springs for the last time. Brand new springs, new poly bushings and were just well lubed the last time I put them together about a year and 20 miles ago. It still took a BFH to get the front pins out. My students couldn't do it, but they have no clue how to swing a hammer. A Big hammer is imperative along with a good punch so you don't wreck the threads. Ice bags will help when you miss the hammer and hit the hand holding the punch. Beers will not help early in the process, but may be neccessary later. Heat may be neccessary to get the pins to move in very old bushings. Heating bushings results in nasty smoke that will please the wife if you do it in an attached garage.
    WD-40 is very important, especially on the bolts that hold the pivot pin. You don't want to break those off. I prefer PB Blaster myself
    You want a long torque wrench or at least a big 1/2 breaker bar/ratchet for the u-bolts. They need to be really tight and retorqued after a week or so. New u-bolts and nuts are a good idea. New bushings are mandatory. Access to new pins and shackles are also another good idea. If you have new pins and shackles you can beat the snot out of them and not worry about mushrooming the threads.
    Overall it's not a technically difficult job, but it can be physically demanding. I would not want to scare you off from doing it, but don't go out to your driveway unprepared for a long afternoon.
    Just my experience, YMMV :D
     
    Chungas Revenge likes this.
  8. Mavric1298

    Mavric1298

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    Also get ready for a ton of SH#* to fall off the truck, even if is seems like the undercarrage is clean. Hell i was 16 when i did my suspension, the first thing i did to her once she was mine!
     
  9. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

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    Access to new pins and shackles are also another good idea. If you have new pins and shackles you can beat the snot out of them and not worry about mushrooming the threads.


    I just re-read this part. Don't beat on the new parts, or the old ones if you're going to re-use them. :D
     
  10. kstatecruiser

    kstatecruiser

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    I would suggest at least having a torch and a BFH to get the pins out. I did my SOA over Christmas and I had to burn the old bushings out, plus use an air hammer to get the pins to budge. And one I had to finally cut completely off. I agree, it is a very good idea to get the replacement parts around ahead of time. Just remember, WD-40 will burn right along with the bushings, so if you do have to use the old heat "wrench," just do it in a well ventilated area.

    Scott
     
  11. Design311

    Design311

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    Also, if you do reuse your spring pins clean them up on a bench grinder with a wire wheel. Mine weren't too bad so I just cleaned them up really good. Be sure and grease the pins and bushings when you install them with some lithium grease. Makes for a nice smooth and non-squeaky ride. Good luck!