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Old 01-17-2015, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default My adventures with Leaf Spring Bushings...

Not having any background in this, I figured I'd charge in and see how much trouble I could get myself into.

I had posted before about working on the rubber leaf spring bearings on my 2wd D21... Here's an update on how it came out.

Started out disassembling...



As you can see the hard, worn out bearing from the frame eye came right out, didn't even have to try. The lower, leaf spring eye wouldn't budge. It's the type that has that outer sleeve. Nothing doing. I've heard that some didn't folks didn't have an outer sleeve over their leaf spring bushings. Some folks have all the luck!

So, I figured to attack the bearing at its weakest point... pulled out my cheapie Harbor Freight hole saws, found one the right size, and went to town



By the way, I had snugged the leaf spring up against the frame. 'Cause otherwise it just absorbed anything I tried to do to it. I didn't have any experience with them, and didn't realise they gave sideways a bit, too.

Anyway, the hole saw cored out the rubber bearing without a problem. I was surprised by how fast they came out. So, didn't have to deal with the inner sleeve.



This is where I hit a snag. I had ordered the red poly bearing kit. I tried one and it fit right in without taking out the outer sleeve. I cleaned up the inside of the outer sleeve and figured I was good to go. 'Til other posters told me I had to take out the outer sleeve. I should have known that was too easy. I compared the kit I had to a picture another poster had of his kit. The numbers on my bearings didn't match. The other bearings in the kit weren't the right size. I had the wrong kit, in the right box.

I briefly considered keeping that kit and ordering another correct one, so that I didn't have to mess with that outer sleeve... but cheapness overcame me, and I decided to do it the right way.

A phone call got it all straightened out. A week or so later I had the right kit in hand.

So, after staring at the outer sleeve for awhile... I got out my Sawz-all, and made 4 cuts, being careful not to cut into the spring eye.

(here's a couple of pics I took later for demonstration purposes. You can see, I had a brain fade and stuck the sleeve back in the wrong eye)



Took a pointed punch and bent the edge of the sleeve inward...



Then a wider punch and drove that thing out.



Here's that offending rusty piece of ...



Coated the new bearing with a layer of that Moly grease. Wear gloves! That stuff is like a thick honey with super-glue added. I'm glad I had bought some of those disposable nitrile gloves at Harbor Freight, (don't forget to pick up your free flashlight, tarp, or magnetic tray!) I'm having a heckova time getting it off anything I touched!



They fit!

Amazing. If you don't count the week-and-a-half break to get the right kit, it didn't take much time at all. Now to tackle the front bushings...

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Last edited by Stealthshot; 01-17-2015 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:13 AM   #2
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Default

other than the bushing issue from the shipper, this is pretty much the same headache everyone goes through at some point. thanks for the pics.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:37 AM   #3
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Well I had the exact same issue, right box wrong bushings. So apperently it's all part of the process now except I've waited 10 days and I still don't have the replacements
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:46 AM   #4
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Default

Excellent write up. That's exactly how mine went, minus the outer shell on the rear bushing.
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:27 PM   #5
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i will make this one a sticky.
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:32 PM   #6
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how about sharing the part numbers you used
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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i used the Energy Suspension 7.2103R (for red bushings) for my 87 V6 2WD king cab.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 01-18-2015, 05:18 PM   #8
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The black ES bushings are graphite impregnated, the red bushings are not. Going with the black bushings will lessen chances of squeaks further down the line. The red bushings will eventually squeak if not greased properly. Both will make noise if not greased at all. I went with black bushings but I noticed many members here are going with the red. It's been 4 years since I have done mine and I have beat on them good when autocrossing my truck, no squeaks to date. Just be ever vigilant when it comes to greasing the red bushings.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #9
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I ordered the black bushings as well but have not even opened my kit, at this point maybe I should and post a pic so if I do need a different part I can get it before my new leaf springs get here (that are on back order, BLAH).

Edit, since I was the last one to post anyway added pics of the kit I got. I bought the kit directly from Energy Suspension Parts.com, kit is named: PackageDeal017 for 2wd D21 mid 86-97

Here is overall what came in the box, I had 4 bags of stuff plus the little box. They ripped off the tags so all four bags would fit in the box:


First bag I opened, bushing part # 7100, qty 4:


Second bag, bushing part # 3046, qty 2. It also had the sway bar ends and a little tube of some lubricant, the instructions were included:


Third bag, bushing part # 3043, qty 4/ bushing part # 3040, qty 4/ Some metal tubes, qty 4 short, qty 2 long; two tubes of pre-lube; instructions:


Fourth bag, bushing part # 2291, qty 4/ bushing part # 2292, qty 4/ bushing part # 2293, qty4/ Two metal tubes/ some grease in a yellow container and instructions:
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Last edited by scoobysmak; 01-19-2015 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:56 AM   #10
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Default

that would be the better kit. what did that cost?
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