View Full Version : Let's talk suspension!

09-02-2009, 12:54 PM
Ok, so I'm ready to move on to phase 3 of my build now that motor seems to be working fine and the interior is 95% done. I have a set of 3" BDS/Ironman springs and shocks. I need to pull them apart and freshen them up a bit.

Does anyone foresee anything wrong with painting them with good ol' fashion rustoleum? Do I need to use some kind of grease or graphite when putting them back together (so they don't make noise)?

I am also at a loss on shackles. Will the stock shackles work for these springs or should I look into getting new ones? I will be using new hardware on everything I replace so it seems like new shackles would be in order. Since this is only a 3" lift (spring under) I am assuming I won't need the shim to correct for caster as it won't be too severe a change.

Thanks for any insight from you gurus!

09-02-2009, 02:02 PM
If you want to add-a-leaf to those springs I'll give you a deal on a brand new OME to split among the old. I know nothing about the reassembly needs but do know that the alleged noise in OME springs is caused by bushings and not the springs. I also probably have some anti-inversion shackles and greasable pins if you're at all interested. You probably will need to shim them though.

09-02-2009, 02:38 PM
I rebuilt the spring packs when I had a 40 and was very pleased with the results- took them apart completely, wire wheeled them, wiped them down, then rattle canned them Rustoleum gloss black, couple coats. Then I slathered on normal wheel bearing grease to both sides when I put them back together. It was messy, took a whole Sunday, but worth it. couple tips:

-Get new spring pins. One they'll be stronger, and two you can worry less about breaking the old ones. C-clamp the spring pack together before you try to pop the old pin, it will be under less load and will free up easier.

-Use a bench vice to hold everything together when reassembling.. like this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95203 in fact I have mine laying around you want to borrow them? I'll be at the meeting tonight.. but this vice keeps them straight, then a big C-clamp 90 from it to compress them so you can get the new pin in.

-If you have any serious wear marks, consider flipping one spring around so it wears in a new spot. I don't know the significance of making a spring 1" shorter in back and 1" longer in front, since the holes aren't in the middle.. but you'll see what I mean once it's in your hand. With mine, there were significant indentations from 25 years of two springs being smashed together, and it was pretty clear those springs would never slide over that lip no matter how much grease I put in there. So I flipped one around. You could also grind/file any lips down.

09-02-2009, 05:03 PM
I installed caster shims on my '76 FJ55 when I put extended shackles on it. I'd like to believe they helped it track nicely on the road. YMMV - try it without, and if you like the way it drives, leave it.

09-02-2009, 10:33 PM
Home Depot sells a spray on graphite lubricant (Jig-a-loo) that is much cleaner than using grease. I believe it is similar to Slip-Plate which is commonly used to paint/lubricate springs. I painted my springs and then sprayed them with the graphite after cleaning them up.


09-03-2009, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the heads up on the jig-a-loo. Just the name of it is enough to make me want to buy it! I'll definitely have to drop by HF and pick up a decent bench vise. At $8, I guess you can't go wrong. Should I just flap wheel my old shackles and use them with the new springs?

09-03-2009, 11:11 AM
Dude I am getting some of that Jig a Loo stuff.. thanks! I think it will work well on my coil springs that tend to shift & groan... :thumb:

And yeah if there's nothing wrong with the shackles then by all means reuse them! bushings would be higher on my list of replacement, depending on condition.

11-13-2009, 11:21 AM
Does anyone have any advice for getting out spring pins? I have a small propane torch that I tried using on the last one but still ended up having to use the drill, grinder, lots of brute force,etc. It'd be nice not spending 3 hours removing one spring pin.

This is on the rear frame side BTW.

11-13-2009, 11:39 AM
the little propane torch isn't that hot. you really gotta get the bushings gooey. they'll be on fire, etc. Then you should be able to pull the pin out pretty easily.

11-13-2009, 12:08 PM
Is there anything better I can use? I don't really want to go out and buy an oxy-acetylene torch for ONE bolt.

11-13-2009, 12:11 PM
Burn off the shoulders of the bushing if there are any so you can direct the heat on the bushing around the pin, getting the pin nice and hot works too. Just hold the heat on there longer than you think you need. it'll eventually get soft enough.

11-13-2009, 12:44 PM
Are you talking spring pin that's holding all the leafs together? Or are you talking big bolt that's in the spring hanger or shackle that's holding the leafs to the truck?

11-13-2009, 01:02 PM

Fast. BrpBrpBrp.

11-13-2009, 01:53 PM
Are you talking spring pin that's holding all the leafs together? Or are you talking big bolt that's in the spring hanger or shackle that's holding the leafs to the truck?

The frame side bolt that is holding the leaf onto the truck.

11-13-2009, 01:54 PM

Fast. BrpBrpBrp.

I don't have a compressor unfortunately.

11-13-2009, 02:37 PM
Ok are the nuts on the inside? If so you can use your bottle jack + some wood or a solid bar to press them out. When it's flush with the spring hanger use a smaller bolt to drive it through. Taking the nuts off first, obviously. If you have a hydraulic press that would be better, and safer, but it's not impossible with the jack & some big shims if you have three or four hands.

If the nuts are on the outside then you may just have to get smackin' with a MSFH (meduim-sized). I have found that disconnecting the shackle end and axle first has allowed more wiggle freedom, which can ultimately reveal the point where it will start to move. The air hammer would be the bomb if you can borrow one, or do you need an excuse to buy one? :)

Or torch the heck out of the bushings like Wes suggests.. just remember other things get hot too.

Or throw out some bribes for someone to come over tomorrow and just knock those out for you..

11-13-2009, 02:55 PM
Thanks nakman! The nut is on the inside of the frame rail. Where would you put the base of the bottle jack? On the inside of the other frame rail? I'll probably keep heating the snot out of it and see if I can get creative.

Hopefully I can get done with this thing and have it driveable by the next RS Meeting!

11-13-2009, 02:58 PM
If you've got air I've got a sweet mac Tools air hammer

11-13-2009, 04:04 PM
You got it, or put the base on the other bolt and press them both at the same time for the first bit. You can do this with a hi lift too but it gets real cumbersome down there with that handle, I've done it both ways and prefer the bottle jack & a 4x4. hth!

11-16-2009, 10:21 AM
If you're still having some trouble, a little beer may convince me to steal a portable compressor from Mrs. RedChili and bring over my air hammer. :D :thumb:

11-17-2009, 04:01 PM
I used a big hammer. I had new ones though so I wasnt too concerned with bashing it up... if you are, use a big nut threaded on the end enough to protect the threads and bash away.

11-17-2009, 04:20 PM
or you can borrow my oxy acetelyne rig.

if the pin gets hot enough it just pushes out.

11-19-2009, 10:25 PM
Use the yellow bottle MAPP gas it is much hotter than propane but nowhere near the heat of an oxy. setup. Good luck, Art

11-20-2009, 10:19 AM
I got it taken care of. I used the bottle jack + heat + BFH + lots of swearing and it eventually came out. Thanks for the advice!

Greasable spring pins FTW!