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Finishing up OEM leaf spring replacement - stupid question

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Moco, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM
    #1
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    A week or two ago my passenger side leaf spring gave up the ghost and broke a leaf. Understanding it was a good idea to replace both springs but not wanting to spend $300-400 for aftermarket springs or $1200-$1400 for OEM springs and seeing the local junk yard was asking $150 a piece for used leafs, I bought a pair of Dorman 929-400 leafs from Summit Racing for $211.00 delivered.

    This was my first time doing leaf springs, and even though the procedure seems pretty easy, I did end up spending a couple of hours on each side trying to get the eye holes lined up for the bolts and raising and lowering the axle to help with that.

    Well, I discovered that no matter what I couldnt get the old springs off the shackle stud so I removed the old shackles with the springs attached to them. I went ahead and ordered new shacks which should arrive this afternoon. But at the moment, both new leafs are sitting on the truck bolted down - except for the rear eyehole which is waiting on the shackles to come in.

    My question is, when I go to install the shackles, do I need to unbolt the spring seats again or can I leave everything bolted up and just bewnt the rear of the springs down to get the shackles in?

    Ive already spent 4-5 hours on this job (couldnt get the front of the spring into the mount on the frame - until I realized I needed to undo the spring seats again) and dont want to jack the truck up, pull both wheels, and unbolt the springs seats, shocks again if I dont have to - sorry for the stupid question.
     
  2. Oct 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM
    #2
    sgrappone

    sgrappone Well-Known Member

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    You can possibly make it work. You may need a large pry bar to make it work. When I replaced my leafs I bolted them to the frame and shackles before bolting to the diff. Good luck with the install.
     
  3. Oct 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM
    #3
    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    Put the truck up on jack stands right in front of the front spring hangers. Put a jack under the pumpkin of the diff. With the tires off you should just be able to lower the axle and the leafs. The just bolt the shackles up
     
  4. Oct 12, 2013 at 6:15 AM
    #4
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Makes sense.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    When I redid mine I dropped the axle as far as my jack stands would allow it. The brake drums were on the ground and it still wasn't low enough. So I used a pry bar to bend the rear of huge spring to line up with the shackles. It was easier with another person to put the shackle bolt in while I flexed the spring, but I did one side by myself so it's doable that way.
     
  6. Oct 12, 2013 at 12:23 PM
    #6
    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    Musta not had the jack stands up high enough haha or tall enough jack stands..
     
  7. Oct 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM
    #7
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    They we're 6 ton jacks and tall enough but I had never used them before and wasn't sure how far I could safely extend them :anonymous:
     
  8. Oct 12, 2013 at 12:39 PM
    #8
    PB65stang

    PB65stang Well-Known Member

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    Just a heads up, every set of leafs I've ever installed was supposed to be tightened with the weight of the car on the springs. So I'd mock it up and get everything started while on jack stands, then lower the truck and the. Tighten all your bolts. Without doing it this way the shackle and spring can bind.
     
  9. Oct 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM
    #9
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Right on Blackdawg,

    I was down with a flu yesterday, but got to the truck today. Did just as you described:

    - jacked up the truck pretty high with the differential
    - pulled the wheels
    - put tall 6 ton jackstands under the frame rails just in front of the leaf spring eyelets
    - lowered the differential to take pressure of the springs

    Doing this, it was easy as pie to use my 31' Craftsman pry bar to bend the rear of the springs to get the shackles in. I threw on some Mobil 1 synthetic grease and used a big effin hammer to pound em en and they went in easy.

    Torque everything down and also threw on some KYB shocks for good measure since I was under there.

    Thanks guys for the advice.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2013 at 6:36 PM
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    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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  11. Oct 15, 2013 at 8:23 AM
    #11
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So now Im getting an annoying squeek at low speeds.

    At this point my question is, what is the best way to address this squeek? I've read that undoing the fasteners and re-bolting and re-torquing them with the truck on the wheels will 'set' the springs properly and alleviate the noise. I've also read that prying open the front of the springs with a pry-bar and spraying with motorcycle chain lub will cure the noise. Another method I have seen is to lay strips of bicycle tire tube between the leafs.
     
  12. Oct 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM
    #12
    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    bicycle method works well..but you have to totally tear the leafs apart.

    Personally..id just leave it. You'll get used to it. and if you use the truck a lot, just gonna squeak eventually again anyways.

    race truck parts make race truck noises :p haha
     
  13. Oct 16, 2013 at 8:05 AM
    #13
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well,

    Yesterday afternoon, I took all the bolts off and re-torqued them with the wheels on the truck and sprayed the leafs down liberally with motrcycle chain lube and that did the trick. The squeek is 95% gone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  14. Oct 16, 2013 at 8:13 AM
    #14
    PB65stang

    PB65stang Well-Known Member

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    Good deal...I was going to re-suggest putting the truck on the ground and then tightening everything. Looks like you got it figured out! Congrats.
     
  15. Oct 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM
    #15
    ffirg

    ffirg Well-Known Member

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    My springs squeek like crazy too. But I've learned I have a sub and amp for a reason haha. Drowns out any squeeks like a dream :D
     
  16. Dec 3, 2013 at 2:49 PM
    #16
    Moco

    Moco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, its been about 6 weeks and 1300 miles and the chain lube has been awesome - no more squeek. Re-torquing the bolts with the suspension compressed, some lube, and just plain old wearing in has done the trick!
     

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