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Old November 15th, 2017, 00:46
bradleyheathhays bradleyheathhays is offline
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Taking out leaf spring shackles

Stock '96 XJ here and I'm in the middle of cranking out my leaf spring shackle bolts, for the first time, in 21 years. Intentions are to replace all 4 spring bushings and both shackles. So when I'm getting the rear of the leaf springs loose should I take out the upper shackle bolt first? Or should I take out the bottom bolt first, removing the leaf spring, leaving the shackle to come out last?. I remember reading somewhere it's better to do it in a certain order but I forgot why that was.

BTW, the top shackle bolts seems like they might come out like the front leaf spring bolts...crank out about an inch and then stop, requiring a saw zaw. Any advice on any of these bolts appreciated. So far they're all turning ok.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 07:38
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Taking out leaf spring shackles

I would say remove the one from the leaf spring first, then the one from the body. Reason being you may have a harder time holding the leaf spring stable if it is disconnected from the body. As long as you have more mass to help hold things stable you can focus your energy on the removal of the bolt, not the restraining of parts that want to flop around while you remove the bolt.

To avoid that issue of the bolts only coming out so far, and then stopping, do this: Back the bolt out 1/8 turn, and then turn it back in 1/8 turn. Then back it out 1/4 turn, and then turn it back in 1/8 turn. Then back it out 1/2 turn, and then turn it back in 1/4 turn. Keep going like that, and spray it with a penetrating oil, or even WD40 as you go, particularly spraying the the exposed threads on the outside edge of the bolt (if you remove the rear bumper you can get to the ones in the body). Regard this process as a matter of cutting new threads. What you are doing is clearing all the rust and grunge out of the threads as you go. That is why WD40 is adequate as a penetrant here. More than anything you just want it to be a carrier to flush stuff out. And it helps to cool things too. Heat is not your friend once you have these things moving.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 08:08
md21722 md21722 is offline
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Re: Taking out leaf spring shackles

On some vehicles that had a hitch/skid plate installed you can't remove the shackle to spring bolt without either dropping the hitch/skid plate or taking the entire spring and shackle out at the same time.

I have done it both ways and don't think it really matters which way you do it.
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