How to Remove Leaf Springsby John Stevens J.D.
Leaf springs are rear-suspension components which operate to support the differential as well as lessen the impact of the road's surface on the vehicle's occupants. The vast majority of automobiles are equipped with a leaf-spring suspension. Unfortunately, the structural integrity of leaf springs lessens with the passage of time and as the vehicle is driven. A common symptom of worn leaf springs is where the rear of the vehicle sags. In extreme cases, the back end of the vehicle will actually be lower than the front end. Worn leaf springs must be replaced, as they generally cannot be rebuilt. Thankfully, removing leaf springs is a relatively straightforward process.
Raise the vehicle with a jack and support both the vehicle and the differential with jack stands. The jacks supporting the vehicle should be placed on both sides of the vehicle under the frame. The differential must be supported by one jack stand under each axle.
Disconnect the bottom of each shock absorber from the plate which supports each side of the differential with a wrench, then push the bottom of each shock absorber away from the differential.
Remove the jack stands from underneath the differential.
Remove the U-bolts which secure the leaf springs to the differential. There are two U-bolts for each leaf spring, one U-bolt on either side of the leaf spring. The U-bolts are held into place with two nuts per U-bolt. Remove each nut with a wrench, pull the top of each U-bolt up and away from the differential.
Raise the differential with a jack just enough to remove the weight of the differential from the leaf springs. Leave the jack in place under the differential.
Disconnect both ends of each leaf spring from the spring's shackles. Each end of the leaf spring forms a circle, called an "eye." A single bolt passes through one side of the shackle, through the eye, and finally through the other end of the opposing shackle. Remove the nut from the bolt, then tap the bolt through the eye of the leaf spring. When the bolt has been removed from both ends of the leaf spring, the leaf spring will be freed from the vehicle.