Pulling Apart Leaf Springs

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1982 Toyota Pickup
Nov 12, 2008
Gulf Shores, Alabama
i have done this before kinda, i just never had to remove the "braces" that go around the packs. so how do i go about doing this properly so i dont put myself in danger from the packs exploding apart on me. i searched and didn't find a good write up on seperating.

i wire wheeled the rear 2 and was very disapointed on how they turned out. they were still sorta rough and not nearly as good as sandblasting would do.

and whats the best paint to use? i use rustoleum, i used 2 layers of primer and 2 layers of paint and it didn't not want to stick that well. i came out this morning and parts had flaked off.
The real action happens when you cut off/remove the spring pin/bolt in the center. I put a couple of heavy C-clamps about 6-8" on either side of the pin, then used a cutoff wheel.
Wire wheeled the individual leafs, POR'd them, sprayed them with dry film lubricant and reassembled, using the C-clamps and hew spring pins.


how do you get those clamps/braces (w/e there called) off?

when i did my leaf pack on my truck, i used c-clamps and slowly loosed one at a time until they were all the way apart. if i cut the bolt where can i buy new ones? i heard napa but how do i know what size to tell them?
how do you get those clamps/braces (w/e there called) off? Again with the cutoff wheel.

when i did my leaf pack on my truck, i used c-clamps and slowly loosed one at a time until they were all the way apart. if i cut the bolt where can i buy new ones? i heard napa but how do i know what size to tell them?
I got mine at CarQuest and had to drill the hole slightly larger, like maybe 5/16? Made new clamps out of strap. The screw in from the inside bottom of the leaf with countersunk machine screws. You'll see when you get the leafs apart.

You can bend them apart and then bend them back when done. Sometimes they will crack and break at the 90 degree bends if you bend them too far. Another way to do it is to bend them straight up so they are a "U" shape instead of a "C" shape and then drill a hole in each end of the part sticking up over the pack and then put a bolt through them with a spacer. A 1/4" or a 5/15" bolt works good with a nyloc nut. Needs to be about 3.5" long. This way the pack is easy to disassemble the next time.

Also, you can use heat to help bend the straps, just don't get the leaf spring real hot.

This picture shows you what I mean. Imagine these on the spring pack.
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I found that picture on the web so I don't know where to buy them the correct size for a cruiser spring. I would just buy some 1/8" x 1" steel strap and make them if you have any that need to be replaced. You make not need to replace any of the ones you have now. I would try to straighten them and use them before replacing them.

Yes, the bolt stays in there when the springs are on the vehicle. (If you decide to go that route and not the factory bent over method.
I cut mine with the cutoff wheel to free the springs. I then fabbed up the clamps just as miker said with 1/8"x1" steel, and used a flat head bolt through the spring hole to bolt them to the spring pack. I wire wheeled my springs, ground down any ends that needed it, and decided to not paint them. Instead, I smeared each spring top and bottom with general purpose lithium grease to lubricate and prevent corrosion. Then again, I plan on replacing my springs in a couple years, and I added an add-a-leaf to the rear to help with the sag. So far it drives really good. Hope that helps!

Rahter than grease or oil which will attract dust, dirt, grit, sand, and other foreign matter and cause more trouble once its all stuck between the leafs like some kind of evil abrasive compound, I would use a dry lublicant made for such applications like Slip-Plate. (available at John Deere and probably other places that have ag supplies)
Here's what I do:
1. separate spring pack
2. wire wheel to get rid of most of the rust, etc
3. kill the remaining rust with SEM "Rust Mort" (follow directions if you use it)
4. paint with rattle can black laquer or enamal
5. coat top of each leaf with slip plate (except the main leaf)
6. Let dry overnight
7. reassemble with new center pin bolt
(Do not use slip plate in center 6" of each spring or use ir sparingly. It can be built up very thick and then it will work out to a thinner consistency under load and actually cause your center pin and u-bolts to work loose from the spring pack compressing. Ask me how I know...

Probably better than this is to buy those teflon disks and install them at each end of every (longer) leaf. Do this instead of #5 above on the longer leals, probably top 3 or so (again, not the main and not the military wrap end of second leaf.. I want to do this myself but have not. You will need a good drill press and a good bit to drill the springs. You will probably need to resharpen the drill bit several times as well depending on how many holes you are drilling and how careful you are to keep the bit cool so having access to something like a Drill Doctor is also handy.

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