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How to: Replace Frame (Shackle) and Leaf Spring Bushings

25382 Views 28 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  C4NADO
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A 355nation How To presented by

Project Name
How To replace frame and rear leaf spring bushings.

Project Description
Some vehicles may have severe rust and seized shackle/leaf spring bolts; this will allow you to avoid the stress of hammering old bolts out and restore bushings to factory performance as well as possibly gain rear lift if longer shackles are installed.

Skill Level

Project Vehicle
Make: GMC
Model: Canyon
Year: 2006
Engine: 3.5L
Power windows: Yes
Sun Roof: No

  • Ratchet & Socket
  • Air hammer & Chisels
  • Penetrating Oil
  • Jack Stands
  • Lift Jack
  • Hammer
  • Large Socket (such as 35mm) to cover over bushing
  • Grinder with Metal Cut-off Wheel
  • Pry Bar

Project Time
4 hour or less

Project Cost
  • Frame Bushing - ACDelco 45G15022 from Rock Auto paid with shipping $20
  • Leaf Spring Eye-Bushing - RB172 from paid with shipping $24
  • Bolts - 9/16-12 x 5 grade 8, washers(8) and nuts (8) from McCoys Hardware store approximately $18
  • Lift Shackles from eBay $55

  1. Jack up the truck and place on jack stands set on frame in front of your rear tires.

  2. Remove tail lights and disconnect wires, follow the wires to underneath the bed and there will be tapped on to the bed, remove them from there so they don't hold the bed back when your about to lift it off. Remove the spare tire with tools provided under your passenger seat or rear if extended cab. Unbolt with a hex key the gas tank funnel as well.

  3. Remove all 6 bolts under the bed; 4 of them will be found near the bumper, and the other 2 (one on each side) will be located closer to the front portion of the bed. Have a buddy assist you to pick up and remove the bed.

  4. Remove the nuts of top and bottom shackle bolts, and using a grinder with a metal cut off wheel, cut as close as you can to the edge removing most of the extra sticking out. Make sure to be wearing some eye protective gear.

  5. Given that I had new lift shackles, I used a crow bar to push out the old shackle. As you can see in the pic, I even bend out the outer portion of the shackle which released some tension and then the bolts began to come out with plenty of Kroil (penetrating oil); I was able to get all of it out including the inner sleeve of the old bushings...and that is how seized your stock bolts can be.

  6. After removing the old shackles with bolts; these is what you will bushing was practically gone. You can notice also that the rubber is gone; I used a concrete drill bit with my dewalt drill and made 4 holes around the rubber then began to circle around until the rubber came loose and was able to poke it out with a flat screwdriver.

  7. Time to remove the old bushings...frame bushing all it took was a flat screwdriver and small hammer taps then reached in there with my fingers and it was out.

    Bottom was not so rusted so here is where the air hammer comes in very handy. Hammer on the edges to unbend the lips and then the bushing will begin to loosen... you will have to hammer from the other side as well and that will do the job.

  8. Time to insert the new bushings. Make sure to clean out rust. I sprayed it with the Kroil and cleaned it out with some paper towels then re-sprayed it. However some elbow grease would be best. With a 35mm socket covering the bushing at just the right size; tap on the bushing moderately firm but not super hard so it is inserted straight and you will see the bushing going right in. The frame bushing slides in real smoothly...the leaf spring bushing will take several taps more but you will see the progress as it will also slide in. Some have rented a bushing installation tool kit or made their own. In my case the socket and hammer were just enough.

    A tool a friend on Facebook shared with me just in case you may need to build your own here is an idea.

  9. Unbolt the shocks from the bottom to allow the differential to drop more and therefore the leaf springs will be able to align with new longer shackle.

  10. I bolted the shackle from the top first then used the jack to raise the leaf springs a bit and then bolt the bottom to the leaf springs. Picture shows the jack on the drum; now that I see that I should of been more careful and placed it on the differential under the leaf springs instead but I wanted to finish.

  11. You can follow through on the right side and install shackle as well, then re-assemble the truck by placing bed back on, bolt on and re-install light connections, tail lights and gas tank funnel to bed.

  12. Finally you can step back and admire your work.

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1 - 10 of 29 Posts
Thanks Guys! Hope this helps many people who want to lift their trucks with shackles.
So let me ask this, I started to bend the metal piece on the inside on the frame mount, I think i screwed up. Does this piece come out too?
If it is the inner sleeve then it is part of the bushing. If it is the outer shell of the frame hanger looking from inside/out then it is not good to bend that part. But I am sure once your busing is out you can unbend it and insert your new bushing; as long as you don't cut anything out on that outer sleeve. Also to clarify your other question yes there are 2 different types of bushing for the hanger and the leaf spring. They are different in diameter...that's why I ordered them off the internet from the sites posted.
Okay got them out, ugh Would have been soooo much easier with the bed off.

I'd like add be sure to blow out the frame bushing brackets before you start.If it isn't already here.
If you do a lot of sand or mudding,it can pack up in there via the frame.

This thread was very helpful. Thanks!! :th_woot:

Glad you got them out and that my HOW TO was helpful :D :th_woot::355group:
Well I took out the that metal sleeve on the frame mount, It was a birch, only due to the method i used to remove it. The new bushing appears to have this so my anxiety as calmed somewhat for now.
I have to measure the frame bushing to see if stanley spring has one that will mate up. Autozone has the one for the leaf spring in El Paso, about an hour or so drive. Time to get on the phones.
Do you know of a place that lists the dimensions for the bushings? I'm going to look, but if you know of a place, that would be handy. Thanks!

O yea, with mine being an 05, would it be a different bushing? because mine didn't have gap in the middle like yours that popped out, it was all one piece.
bushingimages by Arnoldo Salinas, on Flickr

The bushings should be the same. Mine is an 06. The gap in the middle is just a hole due to rust eating it up but it was once a solid
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I noticed a slight gap on mine but once the nuts were fully tightened the gap was closed. I don't know if it would be a serious problem should the gap not go away. Maybe it could be an issue since the shackle would be free moving horizontally but I am not an expert. Hope someone else chimes in with their point of view.
I think with the gap on mine it was too great and would have stressed the shackle.

In my exp. I would think that excessive slop or play would be a weak link and cause stress where it shouldn't be. I shimmed up the pass side and it is solid as well as the drivers side although i used diff shims on the driver side. Pretty sure my leaf springs are hammered.
Sound like a great idea on shimming the gaps. Make sure to post up pics of your end results bud :D
Well they are in and thats good! By the way is it me or did you insert the leaf spring bushing on the passenger side from inside to out?
Yes that is correct. That's how the old one was installed.
Wooow that is interesting; both of my leaf spring bushings were installed from outside to in. From factory I presume
Whats the result of bad leaf spring bushings? My truck bed hops a lot up and down when i look in the side mirrors. I know a little is normal with a truck. I mean it moves like 1-3 inches. All box bolts are tight. I'm thinking maybe the bushings are bad? I keep forgetting to look at them at school when i got my truck on a lift. And the box hop causes it to feel like through the whole truck and there is no abnormal tire wear. Shocks are good. Any help will be helpful.
Take a look at those bushings...they may be causing the excessive rear bed shake. I didn't notice a great difference after replacing mine but have read somewhere they do play a main factor in suspension ride.
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