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Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

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  • Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

    ok, so I'm curious what your guys' best tricks are to get the leaf springs removed when the truck has 190K miles and it appears the leaf springs have never been removed. I ask, because I'm in the middle of adding an ORD Shackle flip/zero rate and greasable bushings (along with a 14bolt SF while i'm at it) and it took me roughly 5 hours and 3 power tools to get the drivers side spring off. Only 1 bolt was able to be pushed through the bushing, the others were frozen/rusted together, so I used a 4.5" cutting wheel, a sawzall and a 7" cutting wheel (My wheel was too thick so this wasn't much help) and ended up cutting the front bolt...the shackle is still attached to the spring though, haven't decided how to tackle that yet. I scarred up the front hanger pretty good though and i'm just trying to figure out if i'm making it harder than it is.

    I moved onto the passenger side and i cant get any of the bolts to push through, it seems they are all rusted to the bushing.

    Just seeing what your alls best way to handle these are? I know heat and a hammer are going to be answers, and i've tried both. There is no room between the lower bedside/fender area and the end of the bolt to get much leverage for the hammer. Looks like I'm going to have to find a sawzall blade that will cut through the hardened steel inner bushing so i can get through the bolt...

    ::sigh:: :lol:
    Last edited by BlackPearl; 10-20-2009, 08:15 AM.
    --Bryan
    1997 Chevrolet K1500 - 6" Trailmaster, 33's, 14b SF, 4" ORD Shackle Flip -- SOLD
    2000 Chevrolet K2500 Crew Cab Short Bed 7.4L - Future (79 Dana60 SAS, 35's, color matched, shaved, etc...)

  • #2
    Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

    Have you tried soaking with PB BLaster?

    D/D-2006 HHR 1LT 5-Speed.
    1996 Silverado, 5.7, FIPKII, Elect Fans, S/S Headers, Duals, Wait4Me, 4/5 drop on 18" Weld Evo Velosity's. STOLEN ON 9/9/2006

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    • #3
      Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

      Yes, I have sprayed them with liberal amounts numerous times...in fact, i think I've used a half a can on one side of the truck So frustrating...
      --Bryan
      1997 Chevrolet K1500 - 6" Trailmaster, 33's, 14b SF, 4" ORD Shackle Flip -- SOLD
      2000 Chevrolet K2500 Crew Cab Short Bed 7.4L - Future (79 Dana60 SAS, 35's, color matched, shaved, etc...)

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      • #4
        Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

        bfh?

        2003 Silverado 2500HD LT CCSB 8.1L gas, 4.10 gears, 6" Fabtech lift, 36x9r16 Michelin X's

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        • #5
          Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

          GOOD LUCK!

          I had problems when I did my shackle flip and then when I swapped springs. Even though you will eat up sawzall blades, (on the front spring bolts) I cut at the edge of the bushing and part way through the bolt, and used the 3/4" drive rachet to twist them off. Since you are using new bushings, you can drill holes through the rubber bushing to destroy it and beat/press it out easier.

          For the rears at the shackles, I cut the stock shackles in half so I could have more room to work on them.
          Last edited by rstoner1026; 10-20-2009, 11:01 PM.

          99 GMC 15" SAS HPD60/14FF Detroit 5.38s GM HotCam Tom Woods PSC Mazzi 20x12s Bilstein 7100s 38x15.5 MTZs
          05 3500 ECLB Duramax

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          • #6
            Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

            I cut the bolt head off. then cut the nut off with a grinder and cut the hanger apart. problem solved. cut the shackles out to. there like cheap to buy and much less hassle then getting the bushings out.

            The fronts I got lucky and they came out. but a 4 1/2" disc a very thin cut off wheel might work just fine instead of a crappy sawzall and 20 blades
            Last edited by chevyz71man; 10-21-2009, 12:08 AM.
            1994 ECSB SAS 7" lift, satin black h2 wheels, 36" IROKS, 98 Interior
            Built 383 and Built 4l60E
            2007 Yamaha midnight warrior

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            • #7
              Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

              Cut the bolt head off, drive it out with a drift, and use fire or drill bits (or both) to get the old bushings out. Had to do this on my dad's old V1500, the original springs were just about welded to the truck with the amount of crap that was seized on.
              sigpic

              '04 CTS-V | '01 2500HD 4x4 6.0/80e

              Originally posted by randeez
              he's got real problems, you think choosing which leather to rewrap in interior is easy? :read:

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              • #8
                Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                Originally posted by chevyz71man View Post
                but a 4 1/2" disc a very thin cut off wheel might work just fine instead of a crappy sawzall and 20 blades
                At least for the front bolts, you will need a little bigger wheel. Between the grinder body and disc, which wears out really quickly on the hardened bushing, I could only use the cut wheel for a very short period of time. It would wear enough that one could not reach what he needed to cut

                99 GMC 15" SAS HPD60/14FF Detroit 5.38s GM HotCam Tom Woods PSC Mazzi 20x12s Bilstein 7100s 38x15.5 MTZs
                05 3500 ECLB Duramax

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                  Originally posted by rstoner1026 View Post
                  At least for the front bolts, you will need a little bigger wheel. Between the grinder body and disc, which wears out really quickly on the hardened bushing, I could only use the cut wheel for a very short period of time. It would wear enough that one could not reach what he needed to cut
                  This is EXACTLY what I went through. On the first side, i was able to get about halfway through the bolt with the 4.5" cutoff wheel, but the hanger itself got in the way of the body of the grinder and wouldn't let me go any further...that's when i got the sawzall out.

                  I have no idea how I'm going to get this other side off...Got one side of the front bolt cut out last night with just the sawzall, but the other side was being stubborn. It's shoved against the opposite side of the hanger and I'm afraid the sawzall is trying to cut through the inner bushing which is probably not going to happen.

                  Good call on cutting the shackles in half...I could buy the ORD HD shackles, or the LMC catalog has stock ones for 70 bucks, and their office is literally 5 minutes from my work, so I could swing by there and grab them probably anytime.

                  As far as cutting the bolt head off, i'm not sure how you all did that? There isn't much room to get much of anything where that bolt is, or maybe i wasn't looking hard enough. And driving it out with a drift???? The thing is seized into the inner sleeve, I don't see a drift doing anything other than making me cuss more than i already have :lol:

                  Thanks for the responses though, I'm really glad I'm not alone here...what a pain in the ass, to say the least
                  --Bryan
                  1997 Chevrolet K1500 - 6" Trailmaster, 33's, 14b SF, 4" ORD Shackle Flip -- SOLD
                  2000 Chevrolet K2500 Crew Cab Short Bed 7.4L - Future (79 Dana60 SAS, 35's, color matched, shaved, etc...)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                    Quick tip: Never cease the sh1t out of the new bolts when you put them back in. Make life much easier down the road if plans change...

                    99 GMC 15" SAS HPD60/14FF Detroit 5.38s GM HotCam Tom Woods PSC Mazzi 20x12s Bilstein 7100s 38x15.5 MTZs
                    05 3500 ECLB Duramax

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                      Originally posted by rstoner1026 View Post
                      Quick tip: Never cease the sh1t out of the new bolts when you put them back in. Make life much easier down the road if plans change...
                      :lol: I opted for ORD's greasable bushings, so i wouldn't have this problem...But yes, i may do that anyway :lol:

                      ROYAL pain in the ass. I swear, if i worked at a shop and a customer came in wanting these leaf springs removed, i'd be charging 200+ an hour :lol:
                      --Bryan
                      1997 Chevrolet K1500 - 6" Trailmaster, 33's, 14b SF, 4" ORD Shackle Flip -- SOLD
                      2000 Chevrolet K2500 Crew Cab Short Bed 7.4L - Future (79 Dana60 SAS, 35's, color matched, shaved, etc...)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                        I'm having fun with this same thing too. Broke a main leaf, decided to do both sides. One bolt came out, got my hopes up. Nothing else is budging (a week's worth of PB Blaster did get all the nuts off, but the bolts are seiezed in place).

                        Angle grinder won't reach the bolt heads or between the hanger/springs. And I just destroyed 4 Sawzall blades (14T for steel). Those didn't get me even 1/4 of the way through 1 bolt! Off to the hardware stroe to try and find some grit-edge blades to hopefully get through this. Now I remember why the last few times I've changed springs I used the "blue tipped wrench". Really wish I had access to one of those now.....
                        Last edited by adam728; 11-07-2009, 09:11 AM.
                        sigpic
                        92 K1500 WT - Gone
                        92 C2500 - Current. Scottsdale, 350tbi, 4L80E, 14 bolt sf

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                        • #13
                          Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                          Carbide sawzall blade for the win!

                          Man that was a pain in the arse, but new main leaves are in.
                          sigpic
                          92 K1500 WT - Gone
                          92 C2500 - Current. Scottsdale, 350tbi, 4L80E, 14 bolt sf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                            im going to be doing the same thing in coming weeks im going to start spraying lube on now lol


                            :fsg: 98 k1500 5.7 Magnaflow exhaust BBK 80 mm throttle body AEM brute force CAI nelson performance tune 93 octane RC 6" 285/70/17 BFG KM2 4 14 bolt sf disk brakes 4l60e fully built

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                            • #15
                              Re: Removing rear leaf spring bolts (Shackles/Bushings)

                              Fellas, I just finished this project...I'm telling you right now...Get a 7" angle grinder with a .045 cutoff wheel, and slide it between the spring and the hanger...Once I got the bigger angle grinder my springs were off in 10 minutes...I also fell into the trap of the 4" angle grinder not reaching high enough in the hanger to cut the bolt.

                              A sawzall worked for some of them that i got started with the grinder, but I didn't try and start with the sawzall, I can't imagine a sawzall blade cutting through the hardened sleeve very well from the beginning...give it something to work with.

                              That said, best of luck. This was by far the most frustrating and time consuming part of my 14bolt SF/Shackle Flip install...
                              --Bryan
                              1997 Chevrolet K1500 - 6" Trailmaster, 33's, 14b SF, 4" ORD Shackle Flip -- SOLD
                              2000 Chevrolet K2500 Crew Cab Short Bed 7.4L - Future (79 Dana60 SAS, 35's, color matched, shaved, etc...)

                              Comment

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