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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 04-18-2011   #1 (permalink)
woutland is offline Rookie


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Default 1966 Mustang Coupe leaf spring replacement

Hi,

I am new to the forum and have tried searching for threads that discuss leaf spring replacement and am having a hard time finding anything.

I am looking for a good summary of the steps and process involved in doing the replacement and find conflicting information all over the place. I have the Hayes manual, little to no help as it very vauge. Same with the Chilton and I even have the 1966 Ford Mustang shop manual.

My main concern is when to tighten down the shackle and front eye bolts. Some sources say tighten down the front eye all the way and leave shackle finger tight then let car all the way down and then tighten shackle. Others say leave all bots finger tight then lower all the way down and then tighten. Lots of different information. Any definitative answer from someone who has done the job?

All the parts are on their way to me and its D-Day in 3 days and would like to feel confident in doing the job myself befoore tearing into back end. Any information, links, walk throughs that you guys can share would be most helpful.

Thanks,

Bill
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Unread 04-18-2011   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think you can tighten down the front eyes with it on the ground, and I think with the weight of the car, the length of the springs, and the torque of the motor, it will find the happy medium where the springs will ride, you could let the weight down and tighten the shackles, but then again, I think everything together will find the happy medium again, granted if you have it lifted and tighten everything down it might sit high for a little while until it settles down, but if you put on new springs, it will ride high for a while anyway. I'd say what ever you do, do it the same on both sides. This is my opinon, I've changed my rear leafs before, and I'm getting ready to do it again. Good Luck.
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Unread 04-18-2011   #3 (permalink)
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The only place that I know that is critical to torque with the weight on the car is the front lower control arm. The rear leaf spring bushings, front or rear, do not have that requirement.

I would, however, be sure to use a good silicone lube on all the bushings, front and rear.
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Unread 04-19-2011   #4 (permalink)
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I did leaf springs on my car last year. A word of advice here, If you haven't already douse the shackle bolts and front eye bolts with lots of penetrating lubricant. You can't overdo it on these. Those puppies are subjected to extremes and can rust in there but good. Spray them everyday until your new ones arrive
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Unread 04-19-2011   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Fastback 66, Spray, spray, spray and give it time to work. I just changed my 66 Conv springs and the shackles were a Grade A, class 6 B...H to get the bushings out. I had to make a fixture with a corse threaded rod, four nuts, washers slightly less in dia than the bushings and a metal cup to drawer them out. AND it STILL was a pain to break loose the drivers side.

Take your time and if you get frustrated, walk away for a while.....
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Unread 04-19-2011   #6 (permalink)
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If you are unlucky, the forward bolts will have rusted to the steel core in the front bushings. No amount of penetrant will get in there and loosen it up.

If you get the nut off but cannot pull the bolt, you will have to cut it between the flange and the bushing.

I just did mine and because it was a California car, there was no rust and the bolts slid right out. After hearing all the stories of eastern cars, I was ready for the worst.
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Unread 04-20-2011   #7 (permalink)
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I had to use the sawzall on mine, they were rusted solid. Good Luck.
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Unread 04-20-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you to everyone who replied with feedback. I appreciate it. I have been soaking the bolts down fow the last few days with a penetrating spray and will keep my fingers crossed. The care has been an AZ. resident for almost all its life so I am hoping the rust will be minimal.

The leaf springs arrived today but the hardware (bolts, shocks, etc) didn't come. The rest should be here tomorrow.

Another question for anyone who has done the job before. What do you suggest as the best point to jack up the rear end? The Mustang shop manual shows an area that is right in front of where the rear frame section terminates right in front of the leaf spring front eye. To me this spot lloks like a section of floor pan that would be underneath the rear seats. When you guys did this in the past what spots did you use for lifting the rear end with a floor jack?

I thought aout the framerail but it terminates about 3 inches in front of the front eye and it doesn't look like if I was to jack there that I would have room to work on the front eye. Any thoughts?

Thanks again to everyone.

Bill
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Unread 04-21-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woutland View Post
Thank you to everyone who replied with feedback. I appreciate it. I have been soaking the bolts down fow the last few days with a penetrating spray and will keep my fingers crossed. The care has been an AZ. resident for almost all its life so I am hoping the rust will be minimal.

The leaf springs arrived today but the hardware (bolts, shocks, etc) didn't come. The rest should be here tomorrow.

Another question for anyone who has done the job before. What do you suggest as the best point to jack up the rear end? The Mustang shop manual shows an area that is right in front of where the rear frame section terminates right in front of the leaf spring front eye. To me this spot lloks like a section of floor pan that would be underneath the rear seats. When you guys did this in the past what spots did you use for lifting the rear end with a floor jack?

I thought aout the framerail but it terminates about 3 inches in front of the front eye and it doesn't look like if I was to jack there that I would have room to work on the front eye. Any thoughts?

Thanks again to everyone.

Bill
Hi Bill,

What I did on mine was to use 10X10 oak blocks under the car exactly where the manual shows the lift plate. Long side left and right, not fore and aft. Then, I raised the differential up with a jack just a hair and put jack stands under both axle tubes . You don't want too much upward pressure or you'll get a hell of a surprise when you take the bottom plates off. Just enough to ease the weight of the differential off the springs. Once the springs are free of the spring perch, disconnect the back first and let the spring drop to the ground with the front still connected. OOPS! I think you said you already cut them.

You WILL be doing a lot of pulling a tugging, so make sure the car is well supported for lateral movement and also that the front wheels are chocked good.

Chip A
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Unread 04-21-2011   #10 (permalink)
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if you are asking where to jack the car up I just put the jack under the diff, lift it up put the jack stands under the body just in front of where the front spring mounts are. this is the strongest part of the unibody. then lower the jack and leave it under the diff. then you can lift it up a bit or lower it to make sure there is no pressure on the front mount bolts.once every thing is loosened up put a second set of jackstands under the axle and remove the springs as was said above remove the shackles first. one thing I have been told is raise the car as far as possible. I have been told it is easier to get the front bolt out if you drop the spring all the way down as far as possible. I can only say it was a bear when I did it, I did not have a sawzall and it was a 2 day struggle to get it apart.
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Unread 04-21-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rex1965 View Post
I had to use the sawzall on mine, they were rusted solid. Good Luck.
Had to do this with my CA Ranchero also. Had to cut the rear bushings out also, they had vulcanized to the eye. Good luck and be safe!
Dave
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Unread 04-30-2011   #12 (permalink)
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My buddy who owns the body shop that painted mine sprayed the bolts for a few days before I replaced mine. It was actually pretty easy. I think the previous owner had replaced them at some point so when i upgraded to 5 leaf mid eyes the whole project took part of an afternoon.:kooky:
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1966, installation, leaf springs, rear suspension



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