How to Replace a Leaf Spring in Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles is mechanically quite similar to the Dakota. Take special care when raising your Vehicles to replace the leaf springs; you must lift the rear only with a jack or hoist placed under the frame rail crossmember which is located to the aft of the rear axle.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Leaf Spring in a Chevy Corvette

Raise and support your Chevy Corvette on a lift or safety stands, then remove one of the rear wheels from the vehicle. Install spring compression tool J-33432 or an equivalent onto the rear transverse spring and carefully compress it.

Verify that tension has been removed from the spring mountings, then remove the cotter pins, retaining nuts, insulators (small disks to either side of the spring bolt) and spring bolts that hold the spring to the knuckles. Carefully release and remove the spring compression tool.

Unbolt and remove the rear spring anchor plate, then remove the spacers and insulation from your vehicle. Take careful note of how the spacers are positioned before you remove them.

Bring the transverse spring out of your vehicle and replace it with a new one. Be very careful not to scratch the new spring. Reposition the spacers you removed in Step 3, reinstall the insulators, and bolt the anchor plate back into place. Tighten the anchor plate bolts to 37 foot pounds of torque.

Compress the new spring with the spring compression tool, secure the spring to the knuckles and install the spring bolts, insulators, and nuts to hold it in place. Tighten the nuts until the slots in the nuts align with the hole in the spring bolt, then install a new cotter pin to secure the entire assembly.

Release and remove the spring compression tool, then replace the tire and wheel on that side and lower your Chevy Corvette.

 How to Replace a Leaf Spring in a Dodge Durango

Lift the vehicle and support it safely by the frame; be careful not to bend the side flange. Then support the rear axle with a hydraulic jack, transmission jack or similar to release tension on the leaf springs. Remove the wheel(s) and tire(s) nearest the spring or springs you intend to replace.

Check whether or not the shock absorbers are bolted to the spring plates. Remove them if they are; if not, leave them alone. Then unbolt and remove the U-bolts and the spring plate.

Disconnect the shackle and frame mounting bolts from the front and rear of the spring and pull the spring out of the truck. Place a new spring in the truck and secure it at front and rear, then hand-tighten the U-bolts to secure the spring plate to the axle. Reconnect the shock absorbers to the spring plate only if you removed them in Step 2, and replace the wheel(s) you removed.

Lower the truck and perform a final torque, tightening the spring shackle and bracket nuts as well as the U-bolts to 90 foot pounds of torque.

Items you will need

  • Safety stands

  • Hydraulic jack

  • Ratchet set

 How to Replace a Leaf Spring in a Ford Explorer

Raise your Ford Explorer and support it by the frame with jack stands. The rear axle must be hanging free and the tires still touching the ground. Then unbolt the nuts from the spring U-bolts and remove the U-bolts and the U-bolt plate.

Remove the spring to bracket nut and bolt in front of the spring and the upper and lower rear shackle nuts and bolts, then pull the leaf spring and shackle out of the rear shackle bracket.

Place a new spring in the rear shackle and install the upper shackle spring bolt and nut, bolt head faced outward. Install front end of the spring and fasten the bolt and nut in the front spring bracket, then place the rear shackle (attached to the spring) into the rear shackle bracket and bolt it in place. Fasten the bracket nuts loosely, and loosely attach the U-bolts and U-bolt plate, too.

Position the spring on top of the axle; the spring tie bolt will center on a hole in the spring seat. Lower your vehicle and, only after lowering it, tighten the U-bolt nuts to 65-75 foot pounds, the front spring bolt to 75-115 foot pounds, and the rear shackle nuts and bolts to 75-115 foot pounds of torque.

Items you will need

  • Safety stands

  • Wrench

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