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Stubburn Rear Leaf Spring Front Mounts Help Please!

Discussion in 'Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits' started by Makahveli, June 23, 2011.

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    1. Makahveli

      Makahveli Elite Explorer

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      I can't get the bolts to the front leaf spring mounts to loosen up at all, I tryed heat and a good impact gun with plenty of air. I'm trying to not cut the mounts themselves. Can anybody supply some advice or tell me what I'm not doing right? I want to replace the eye bushing as they are making sqeaking noises and also do a SOA. My front end bushing have already been all done! Thanx in advance!!!
       
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    3. Makahveli

      Makahveli Elite Explorer

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      Also if anybody can help Does anybody know if I can just oder the superlift SOA brackets? Any part numbers or anything?
       
    4. Baddecision93

      Baddecision93 Active Member

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      I don't know about part numbers for anything but I used gratuitous amounts of PB Blaster and a giant breaker bar to get mine to go.

      I had to actually move the bolt in the tighten direction to help break the rust. It seems counter-intuitive but it helps get it moving. Also try hitting the end of the bolt with a hammer. Sometimes breaking the rust free can help.

      My impact wasn't enough to get it moving though, it just took a butt load of patience and muscle.
       
    5. SavaX

      SavaX Elite Explorer

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      Same as Baddecision93, lots of heat, PBblaster, and a breaker bar.
       
    6. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Went thru this yesterday. Drivers side front bolt. I was able to get it backed out where the ear nut was off, and to where the ends of the threads were even with the bracket.

      Then....it stopped. Froze to the metal sleeve. Turned with the breaker bar, but was twisting the bushing along with it. Applied PB liberally. Used the mini sledge, tried to tighten it back up, Nada! Game over... :(

      Ended up having to cut the bolt off from the inside of the bracket to drop the leaf pack.
      This meant a new bushing and a new bolt. Grrrr.
       
    7. Anime

      Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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      If they are the original bolts, have never been removed, and the vehicle has been driven in rain and snow all those years, you can forget about removing it easily. The bolt usually rusts solid to the steel sleeve, making it impossible to remove aside from cutting the bolt on either side of the leaf eye, inside the front mounts.

      A reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade or a cutoff wheel are your best bets. Those bolts are hard and will take awhile to cut through.

      Just remember to start cutting AFTER the vehicle is up and the weight is off the springs, and the axle is supported from underneath or removed so it doesn't drop down.

      New bushings and bolts are good anyway. Throw in some 9/16" grade 8's and lube 'em with some anti-seize so they will come out easier the next time they need to come out.

      Don't forget to swap your leafs left to right while you're at it, so the worn out drivers side spring sag switched to the passenger side will give an almost level ride.
       
    8. StryctNy9e

      StryctNy9e Active Member

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      You might want to get a die grinder or a angle grinder, if you have the room, to grind off the nut and the end of the bolt. Then you can knock the bolt out with a hammer and punch. I would use a paddle wheel if you use a angle grinde. Otherwise save yourself the headache and cut the SOB. GOOD LUCK
       
    9. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Anime...What bushings would you use if you went from 7/16" to 9/16" bolts? :scratch:

      I had a hard enough time finding the proper bushing with the metal sleeve that fit the leafs as it was.
       
    10. Makahveli

      Makahveli Elite Explorer

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      Thanx, for the advice guys now I have alot more confidence to do this again, I attempted to do the $32 perch SOA about 7 years ago and got discouraged cause I couldn't get the bolt loose at all and because of this I changed my entire plansd and abandaned the 5.5" lift I already had all the parts for and just settled for a 4" lift lift with AAL and Warrior shackles, but Here I am again gonna give it another try!
       
    11. Anime

      Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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      The stock leaf spring bolts are 14mm Class 9.8/10.9 metric bolts.

      9/16" SAE bolts fit right in their place and grade 8 bolts are stronger and pretty easy to get.

      9/16" bolts fit in the factory inner sleeves, or you can use any aftermarket poly bushing kit (Energy Suspension, Daystar, etc.) and they will fit right in the metal sleeves as well.


      7/16" bolts are too small, and even 1/2" or 13mm will allow some slop inside the inner sleeve. Probably not too safe when it comes to an application like leaf springs since the smaller diameter bolts are weaker, and could snap when the axle twists, especially if they aren't high class/grade.
       
    12. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Well, if the stock bolt size is 9/16" than I understand. I was under the presumption that the stock size was 7/16" If they were 7/16" there would be no slack. Thinking that the 7/16" was the stock size, going to 9/16" would mean bigger sleeve, bigger ID bushings.

      The brand new Grade 8 bolt I had just installed had said 7/16" on the invoice. It fits like a glove in the new stock bushing. Hence the confusion. Your right tho, it is not 7/16". They are 9/16".

      BTW....
      91-93 is SAE.
      94+ is Metric.
       
    13. Anime

      Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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      Stock size in all Explorers is 14mm metric. All Explorers are metric, just about every single bolt. 9/16" bolts are just easier to get these days, especially in Grade 8.

      The factory leaf spring bolts are probably close to 7/16" once you get them out after 15+ years, though.

      You probably saved a bit getting 9/16" for the price of 7/16".
       
    14. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Sorry, but no. 91-93 leaf spring bolts are SAE. Call the dealer and ask.

      The bolt I referred to was new and in stock from a spring shop. Never implied the entire truck was SAE, and if it was taken that way, that's not what I meant.

      :salute:
       
    15. Anime

      Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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      My '93, built in '92, had M14 class 9.8/10.9 bolts in all six leaf spring bushings.

      All leaf spring bolts I've ever seen on Explorers, 91 and up, have been 14mm metric, clearly marked as M14 Class 9.8 or 10.9. I would be floored to ever see factory SAE leaf spring bolts, since I can't imagine what they would use. Surely not 9/16" Grade 8. Too costly when everything else is metric. Grade 5 might not be strong enough. SAE bolts in the shackles or hangers are usually a post-sale upgrade. If a dealer told you '91-93 Explorers used SAE bolts in the leaf springs, they were full of BS.
       
    16. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Back in 5 minutes Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The are 2 diff sizes of stock bushings for the leaf springs. The only reason I am even bothering to continue talking about this is it was a hassle getting the wrong leaf bushings for the rebuild.

      Both the dealer parts counter and the spring shop had confirmed the SAE in 91-93. I had to take the metric bushing back for a refund as the spring shop had the SAE bushing. And yes, there is a visibly noticeable difference in the 2 sizes. For some reason I had a 91-93 leaf pack in the 94.

      For the OP, you can listen to us bicker needlessly over this, or just call and verify it for yourself. Once you mangle that bolt, there's a good chance your going to want a new bushing.
       
    17. Anime

      Anime EF YEAH!! Elite Explorer

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      Maybe your Explorer had the bushings and bolts swapped out by the previous owner. In any case something is fishy if a 9/16" bolt didn't fit into the 14mm bushing, since it usually fits fine in place of the stock bolts on Explorers. Maybe you got the wrong bushings with the right outer diameter but 13mm sleeves or something.

      In all my years of working on Explorers, doing lifts, changing shackles and swapping leaf springs, I've never encountered any stock SAE leaf spring bolts, on any 91-94 or otherwise. All the bolts were M14 with the anti-spin flange.

      In any case, the front bushings usually need to be cut, pushed out and replaced since the bolt rusted to the sleeve makes it impossible to bang out without deforming/enlarging the spring eye. I suggest Polyurethane bushings from Energy Suspension as a replacement. They will work with either 14mm or 9/16" bolts.
       

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