When installing the leaf springs, I had to shim one side about 3/8" higher than the other to get the car to sit level.
I also had to customize both leaf springs a bit by taking out one leaf - car sat WAY too high...
like ridiculously high I mean. Not sure why... these were stock replacement springs,
purchased from Moss (but obviously coming from AH Spares with the AH
part number on them) but they definitely didn't sit right, and I didn't see them settling quite that much (I'm talking a good couple inches here). I took out the second leaf up, and then added a "spacer" to the underside so that the overall spring assembly height remained the same (didn't want to take any chances on messing up any suspension geometry).
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driving the car for a while... the cost of removing
a leaf was that there was far less resistance to
travel, which meant more rear movement going over
bumps and things. So they still held the car up, but
I could easily smack the rubber stops on a big dip
while going down the road... which isn't exactly a
So I took
them back off, and took them apart again. This time,
I measured the approximate arch of the springs in
their installed state (with the car's weight on
them). Then, I took the leaf that I previously
removed, and using a heating torch, I de-arched it
until it was right at the arch it would be when
assembled. This ended up being a huge amount of
de-arching... like over 3 inches off the arch. With
that done, I put the leaf assembly back together...
which was a bit difficult, since one leaf was much
less curved than the others... but I got them back
together, and the result was really nice. The car
sits at the height I want, and the
resistance/stiffness is such that the rear stays up
well and never bottoms out. What a pain though!!
There must be a lot of manufacturing variances on
these things out of the box.
For the bushings... these were a SERIOUS pain in the butt :)
There was no real "trick" to it, but I had to Sawzall every bolt off...
and those radius arm bolts aren't the easiest things to get in between.
Once the attaching bolts are free, the arms can easily be taken out...
though I had to do a combination of shift & rotate on the rear
differential to get them out. I still had my prop shaft and shock links
attached, to help insure the rear didn't get away from me, and then was
able to push rearward on the brake drum while simultaneously rotating
slightly (top towards the rear) enough to get the radius arms to clear.
They would clear their housing on the rear diff first, and then once
free I could just slide them the rest of the way out of the body.
Once you get the arm out, be prepared to cut the old
bushings out to remove them. To get my bushings out, I used a wood
hole saw to hollow the thing out right up to the outer rim of steel, and
then carefully sliced into the steel rim (with a hacksaw) until I nearly
broke through, then used a chisel and hammer to break it away from the
arm. Once free, I was able to grab it with vise grips and sort of "spin
it" out. Then I simply used a sledge and a large socket to install the
new ones... which I let sit in the freezer for a few hours prior to
I'm not sure if the bolts used here are something
special or not, but I did buy the correct replacements from Moss just to
be sure. They didn't look like anything special, in appearance anyway.
If anyone has any questions about any of this, feel free to send me an email!