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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
And how bad it can really get after 10 upstate NY winters.

So, the wife unit and 1 year old and I are supposed to be hitting Fish Creek Pond (off Saranac lake) on Thursday for a 10 day trip...so I figure this weekend is ideal to do my leaf springs since the Canyon will be loaded down and so will the wife's Envoy, plus there's a weird pulsing when stopping coming from the back end (but only for the last 100' or so, and it sounds grindy but in speed with the driveshaft and not the wheels, but I'll clean out the drums anyways just in case).

Started by spraying everything with PB a couple days before. Nuts came right off, even on the u bolts. Bump stops also came loose easily.

#1 - bump stops are dryrotted. How dryrotted? Crumbled in my hand leaving the metal base in place. Once I got those off, the cavity underneath is packed with salt, sand, road grime, dust, dirt and whatever else you can imagine. It's pretty close to rotting apart itself. Luckily I had brand new sitting and waiting. Filled the cavity with clear 50 year 100% exterior silicone and sealed them up.

#2 - bolts are seized in the bushings. In all 6. Not just a little seized, A LOT. Like, bolt and inner sleeve moves with the breaker bar and hulk hogan would have issues moving it.
As in, map gas torch, drill, BFH, BFH some more, 6" c clamp, WTF. Finally get the drivers rear shackle off after bending the crap out of the shackle with a 3' crowbar, and taking a 4-1/2" cutting disk on my angle grinder to the bolts. Glad I had extra stock bushings.

#3 - shackle bushing is seized in the frame. Not just seized, so rusted there is no end to the rusty frame or beginning to the rusty bushing. So bad you can barely make out the ring where it was pressed in from the outside of the truck. Torch And drill to get the center bolt out, followed by a screwdriver to get the rubber remnants out. What do I see but a hole rotted clear thru the side of the bushing. So I use a chisel to hammer and pry the bushing out and to collapse it in before using the BFH to get the bushing remnants out. What is inside the frame but the same junk that was in the bump stops? Shop vac and 5 minutes...all better. Lots and lots of anti-seize and new bushing goes in, shackle goes on.

#4 - Front leaf bolt isn't reachable with the angle grinder, so I break out the 18v cordless recip saw and some metal blades. Side with the nut cuts through on the first blade, no issue. 2nd side...5 more blades and no teeth left and halfway through the inner bolt. Why? Well, someone decided to press the bearing into my stock leaf packs off center, so I have to cut through both the inner sleeve and the hardened grade 8 bolt. I'm out of blades and it's sunday after 10. Gotta work tomorrow and it's the DD. FAIL project is fail. Looks like the wife is getting dropped off tomorrow and I'm taking the day off. WTF.

#5 - Passenger side....to be continued...
 

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pssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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1,999 Posts
Kinda like how my bushing and bolt were seized together and my truck only had around 55k miles on it
 

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Formerly Metal_EMT
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1,880 Posts
I think I have my stock shackles in storage and I do have a spare set of those bushings. If you need them, PM me your number and I can bring em over.
 

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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I had ordered a set new when I ordered my leaf packs from general spring, along with the shackles, bolts, u bolts and plates. Thanks man.

Didn't expect to spend close to 8 hours removing a leaf pack.

Anyone got any ideas on a faster way to get through the front bolts? I love my Dewalt 18v but man $18 for 5 blades and 50% through is killer.
 

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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
yep, the punch wasn't doing it so I ended up torching, then BFH. The BFH teamed up with a concrete chisel to fold the edges in around the perimeter of the bushing and then I sawzalled inside the bushing to create 4 pieces that I could fold up and remove. It came out in mostly one piece, but it wasn't pretty.

We'll be driving through Tupper on Thusday afternoon on the way to Fish Creek. We usually do a couple trips on rainy days either to Placid or Tupper just to get whatever we forgot and to kill time. Maybe we can snag lunch or something.
 

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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Quick question...

I have the leaf connected on the front and rear, but when I use the jack to raise the spring up to reach the u bolts, it lifts the whole truck off 2 of the 3 jack stands and doesn't reach the right spot.

These are 1600lb 5 leaf packs, so I knew they would be a slight lift as well as stiffer for a bit. The trip will help break them in.

But in all seriousness, is it just as simple as tossing a few sandbags over that side so it comes down? I already jammed a stack of wood blocks between the bump stop and the top of the axle.

Just don't want the truck falling over while I'm under it!
 

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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Alright, update time. With a little help from some conversation with James, I stuck a bottle jack between the frame and the axle bump plate, and stuck an extra 480 pounds in the back drivers corner right above the shackle bushing.

Then, I bolted up the leaf spring and lifted it from the flat bar in front of the center pin. With tweaking, I can probably get the center pin to fit in the axle perch hole from the factory without drilling. I got within a hair's breadth of doing it, but I can't hammer on it while it's on a jack, so I need any ideas anyone has on how to make it fit without losing my mind.

Thursday is not far off and I'm still on the drivers side. Wish I knew that a new leaf pack with a built in AAL would suck so hard to install, I would have waited until after the trip (despite carrying a ridiculous load a ton of miles).
 

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We carry some sawz-all blades at work that has the diamond type coating on them that can take some serious beating and cut well... Not a fast cut but will last and cut nearly any metal... They kinda look like the round ceramic tile cutting blades... Hope you get your project done in time for your trip !!!
 

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252,000+ Miles
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1,316 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks man, I found some blades that don't suck for the front bolt, takes some time but they get through without getting dull.

My issue is getting the center bolt into the perch now, I just need to push the axle a little bit to get it to pop in...just doing that without knocking the truck off the jack stands or will be interesting.
 

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Kinda need a way to hold body fixed so you can flex the suspension just a bit... Maybe a cable and a couple cable clamps.. ??? Good luck with the fix !!;
 

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252,000+ Miles
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I talked to James and he gave me a couple good ideas, which worked.

Those suckers are 1600lb spring rate and they mean it. I had 1200lbs in the bed for 250 miles to camp and it didn't even level the truck. Downside is that is has that factory rake now until I put the rancho kit on the front end.

They ride really well, not hard at all, but the RS5325's are not giving enough travel for the amount of height gained in the rear. I'll be selling them and using it as an excuse to put some 255/70 remote reservoir bilsteins on...once I figure out how much travel I need.

These springs ride like stock but I sit at 24-1/4" hub to fender in the back now. Chevy lean not yet compensated for, 23-3/4 drivers side.
 

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Premium Member
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I talked to James and he gave me a couple good ideas, which worked.

Those suckered are 1600lb spring rate and they mean it. I had 1200lbs in the bed for 250 miles to camp and it didn't even level the truck. Downside is that is has that factory rake now until I put the rancho kit on the front end.

They ride really well, not hard at all, but the RS5325's are not giving enough travel for the amount of height gained in the rear. I'll be selling them and using it as an excuse to put some 255/70 remote reservoir bilsteins on...once I figure out how much travel I need.

These springs ride like stock but I sit at 24-1/4" hub to fender in the back now. Chevy lean not yet compensated for, 23-3/4 drivers side.
That's a lot of camping gear !! You must have took everything not tied down from home !!! lmfao Glad you got it done...Now fix that lean !!! Quit slacking !!! LOL:th_s52:
 

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Formerly Metal_EMT
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1,880 Posts
Holy hell...they must use more salt where you are than where I am....glad to see you at least got it out.

|mobile|
All our DOT money goes to salt and nothing else it seems. My town Greece, NY raised its budget for salt and at the same time cut more side streets off the list for salt runs. Plowing only.
 

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Every time I see this pics of rust due to salt in winters makes me think about over expenses of replacing parts and removing rust from vehicles.

Where I live trucks lives 40 years without any rust problem (When properly maintained)
 
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