How to Change Leaf Spring Bushingsby Christian Killian
Replacing leaf spring bushings on your vehicle can be a big job, but if you have the right tools, a little patience, and time, you can do it in a weekend. Leaf spring bushings serve to isolate the vehicle from road vibration and bumps in the road. Replacement bushings can be made of rubber or urethane and are available from auto parts stores, dealerships, and online sources depending on your needs and application.
Removing the leaf springs
Jack up the vehicle and secure it on a set of jack stands placed under the frame. Be sure you are working on solid, level ground for safety.
Place a floor jack under the axle of the vehicle for support.
Remove the bolts holding the leaf springs to the hanger, using a properly sized wrench or socket. These bolts may be metric or SAE, depending on the vehicle model.
Lower the jack to allow the spring eyes to drop below the hanger. You now have access to the leaf spring bushings.
Replacing the leaf spring bushings
Remove the bushings from the spring eyes using a dead blow hammer and appropriately sized socket to drive the bushings free. If any of the bushings are seized to the spring eyes (this is not uncommon) you may need to apply heat to free them from the spring.
Clean the inside of the spring eyes with a die grinder, removing only rust and scale. Do not grind material off the spring.
Apply a small amount of grease to the inside of the spring eyes. This will help during installation of the new bushings and aid in removal should they need to be replaced again.
Installing the new bushings
Select the proper bushing to match the spring eyes you are working on and align them in the eyes.
Carefully drive the new bushings into the eyes, making sure they are square. Drive them all the way into the spring until they sit flush on both sides of the spring.
Raise the rear axle until the spring eyes are centered in the hanger. Line up the bolt hole in the hanger with the one in the bushing.
Apply a small amount of grease to the bolt and slide it through the hanger and bushings. Apply anti-seize compound to the bolt threads, then tighten the nut and bolt with a wrench and torque it to the manufacturer's specification.
Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.
Things You'll Need
- Replacement leaf spring bushings
- Jack stands
- Floor jack
- Metric or SAE, standard size, wrench set
- Metric or SAE socket set
- Torque wrench
- Dead blow hammer
- Die grinder
- Acetylene torch set
- Can of all purpose grease
- Anti seize
Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.