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Old 01-31-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
fastplastic
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Rear Leaf Spring Replacement

I was driving to work yesterday and the leaf spring in my 1980 vette broke. The bracket the holds the leaf together came undone. I was able to get off the road and stop before doing any damage, that I can see anyway. The removal and installation of the spring doesn't appear to be that difficult. I have never done it before and want to make sure I don't screw something up.
Is it true that all you do is: jack up the car, remove tires, jack up the end of leaf spring, remove lower spring bolt, lower jack, repeat on other side, remove leaf spring plate bolts and remove leaf spring? Installation is reverse.
Any tips or pointers are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:42 AM   #2
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sounds good to me!
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no pain no gain
Old 01-31-2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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replacing the spring is not a problem but check the rearend cover really closly. They often break causing the problem of the broken spring. Changing the cover is not as easy.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:16 PM   #4
Sadistic
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Have no fear, it is a 10 minute job just as you described it.
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Old 01-31-2006, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadistic
Have no fear, it is a 10 minute job just as you described it.

Sadistic...what an appropriate name to go along with this comment.

This repair, even with a lift and power tools will take you a bit longer than ten minutes if all goes well. However remember that we're talking about a car over a quarter century old. Your most likely going to need a can (or 3) of a quality penetrating lube. Soak all the bolts/nuts and let sit for a while before you even attempt to remove one. Also you should be prepared for needing to replace the spring bolts. Actually since you will have the spring out you really should just go ahead and replace the bolts and the spring cushions while your there. You should be able to get all this hardware for about $35-50 from any number of sources including Corvette America, Corvette Central and possibly even GMPartsDirect.com
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAVEN
Sadistic...what an appropriate name to go along with this comment.
This repair, even with a lift and power tools will take you a bit longer than ten minutes if all goes well. However remember that we're talking about a car over a quarter century old. Your most likely going to need a can (or 3) of a quality penetrating lube. Soak all the bolts/nuts and let sit for a while before you even attempt to remove one.
het don't forget the set of acetylene torches...if all else fails heat it up...just don't get the fiberglass!!

hey Maven, you tain't too far from me..bout 2 hours
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Reality: a figment of your imagination
Old 01-31-2006, 06:29 PM   #7
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I replaced the rear spring in my 75 in my driveway. Done it with a cheapo set of tools I had got from Sams Club. Took maybe a half an hour or so. You need to have an assistant. Mine broke on the passengers side and set the fiberglass on the right rear tire. I had to call a flatbed to move it 100' to my driveway.
All in all it's not a difficult job to do, have no fear.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. I hope to do the swap this weekend. Maybe next weekend if my bonus check is big enough to cover the cost of a mono spring. My driver side broke and the wheel was leaning about 60 degrees to the inside. $65 for the 1.5 mile flat bed ride.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
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Do you have a Composite or Steel Rear Spring? I have parts for both

Vettedesk
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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replacing rear spring

My leaf spring separators were falling out, after only 31 yrs, ha. I spoke to many folks and decided on a TRW composite spring. After installation was completed, I first torqued the bolts with a beam (needle) type torque wrench per instruction specs. They seemed tight. I just got a new "clicker type" torque wrench so I decided to try it. There was a lot of room left to torque. In my opinion, laying on the drive and torquing, I would use a clicker style to make sure those four bolts are really holding your spring assembly like they are supposed to.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:11 PM   #11
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The biggest potential problem is breaking on the ears off the diff. hsg. Did a rear spring on a '66 a few years back and had to use a 400 ft-lb impact wrench and a lot of Kroil. I think an impact wrench is less likely to break an ear off.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XrayOne View Post
My leaf spring separators were falling out, after only 31 yrs, ha. I spoke to many folks and decided on a TRW composite spring. After installation was completed, I first torqued the bolts with a beam (needle) type torque wrench per instruction specs. They seemed tight. I just got a new "clicker type" torque wrench so I decided to try it. There was a lot of room left to torque. In my opinion, laying on the drive and torquing, I would use a clicker style to make sure those four bolts are really holding your spring assembly like they are supposed to.
Make sure you oil up the bolt threads and the tapped holes in the cover are cleaned out. If not, a significant amount of the required torque amount is used in just overcoming the friction between the bolt and hole threads and you may actually only have tensioned the bolts to 60 percent of the required value, even though the applied torque is the correct value on the torque wrench.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Have no fear, it is a 10 minute job just as you described it.
Not realistic. It'll take ten minutes just looking at the car before the jacking begins.

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Old 03-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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replacing rear spring

Wow, people are listening. My old spring did not break but was falling apart. I spoke to many vette owners at shows and most recommended a composite and some recommended how many lbs I should choose. The rear housing looked ok, the bolts did not come out hard nor were they scored or stripped. They went back in ok, no binding. Laying on the drive and pulling on the torque wrench while watching the needle I thought it was pretty good on the number. I test drove it,ok. I just didn't feel like it was a good pull with the old Craftman wrench. I bought a new one with the clicker and redid the torque. I was pretty surprised how much more I turned in the bolts. The new torque wrench is also longer, more leverage. I was not able to plant my feet the first time and I'm glad I redid the torque. All the other ideas should be considered as well. Those bolts are holding the rear suspension! Next, strut rods with poly bushings!! Thanks for the input.
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