Old Man Emu Leaf Spring Issue

klinetime574

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Changing out the front spring bushings on my 2007-ish Old Man Emu Dakar springs on my 5/84 FJ60. This is a Medium kit (springs, shackles, shocks, etc.) purchased from MAF before I was cool and knew about @cruiseroutfit

I added 4Plus U-Bolt Flip front and rear later on. CS004F in the front. CS004RA (Left) CS004RB (Right) in the rear.

Right side went smooth. Sleeve inserts weren’t even loose. Pulled apart the left side and found something rather odd.

The insert on the shackle end is loose, slides in and out with friction, no big deal.

51FE4660-C6CB-4FC4-8821-C011E9A2B2D1.jpeg


The insert at the fixed end was LOOSE, like fell out by breathing on it loose. It has play. Not a friction fit like the other end. You can see the gap.

4E574E1A-BD20-4553-9D0E-FBA05C633306.jpeg


My bushings were shot. Would that cause such a severe deformation of the spring? The insert is still round. The gap is so large that I think pinching it in a vise to fix would be too extreme. The shackle end insert could be pinched a little no problem.

Anything I could do to fix this? Spring shop maybe? Tack weld the sleeves in place and move on with life?

I’ve never seen anything like this on here so I wanted to share. I welcome all comments as I stand here in the garage and crack a cold one. :beer:
 
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I have seen them tack welded, if you do it right at the end of the spring eye and make sure that the sleeve is sitting evenly on the spring to transmitt the weight of the vehicle.....its a bit cheap though.
I would probably machine a new sleeve which would need to be pressed into the spring eye - that should last.
 

CruiserTrash

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@klinetime574 Are you thinking the metal fatigued from the weight of the truck??
 
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This was a common issue with the Emu spring sleeves from those years (search around)....my similar age Emu springs did this too. However, your one sleeve is WAY too loose, like the wrap on the spring itself opened up some, not ideal. Maybe a spring shop could tighten that up. (?)

At one point several of my yellow bushings were completely disintegrated and the shackle pins were clunking metal to metal inside the sleeves. None of my sleeves were damaged by this and definitely not as loose as the one you show.

Common fix is to "slightly" deform the sleeve and tap it back in snug, or as mentioned, put 2-3 tack welds on the edges. Just be sure to grind the tack smooth where it my contact a bushing.

Ultimately I replaced my front springs with new OME's from Kurt. I went up a spring rate and wanted to start fresh anyway. I completely rebuilt the rear Emu spring packs with new friction pads, grease, and tighter "slightly deformed" LOL spring sleeves, etc, etc. I can still hear them "popping" every now and then but the sleeves aren't sliding around anymore.

Consider getting new fresh front springs, they really aren't that expensive.
 
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@klinetime574 One more thing I forgot to mention, I saw your crumbled bushing in your main thread. You need to clean out the greasable pin shafts on those shackles. The debris from those crumbled bushing has likely clogged the grease holes on the pins...like a black head (gross, I know). All of my grease holes were jammed tight with yellow debris, the grease will never get to your bushings.

Remove the zerk, flush out the old grease and chase the tiny grease holes with a skinny wire, replace zerk, pump the pin full of grease on the bench to make sure it flows out...think there's 4 grease holes per pin.
 

klinetime574

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@CruiserTrash Probably my neglect mostly lol. Still a weird problem.

@Skniper thanks for the feedback. Yeah this spring eye seems to have deformed and left the metal sleeve in tact. My rear inserts were tack’d in place by an old friend in Houston when I was still living there. They’ve been problem free.

I did clear the holes on the right front shackle & pin and shot new grease in till it all came out.

I’ll take a few days and think over what to do. Heavy springs may not be a bad idea (ARB and winch) but then I’m still left with these. Maybe I’ll call a spring shop and see what they say. If I have the leaf out I may as well make them heavy rating by adding a leaf.

But then we get a case of MOTS (Mud Over Thinking Syndrome) if I’m gonna change/modify/fix the fronts I’d better change the rears. Those are A/B springs, that still have 0.5” height difference. I’d rather have A/A. It’s only money, right?

:beer:
 

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