Ok, here we go!
So I had some really good pics of the UPS guy dropping off my springs, and some really good pics of all the "before" measurements. But I had a dumb-dumb moment this morning. I had my camera sitting on my fender after taking the measurement pics, and then forgot it there. I left to go get some coffee about 20 minutes later, and forgot the camera sitting there. After pulling out of my driveway I heard a loud "crunch!" and got out to see what it was. My camera! Whoops. It was completely destroyed and the SD car was sliced in half. Sad
Anyways, I had to find my wife's camera, to continue, so sorry that I'm missing a few pics.
That said, here's what I started with. I decided to start with the rear's since they are apparently "easier." LOL at that!
The best starting shot I have;
The tire off ready to start. Check out how flat those things are, and how long them shackles are!
So I got started. I removed the U-Bolts and was able to remove all four bolts with little problems. Then I moved onto the main spring bolt (frame side). Even using a 24" breaker bar, heat, and PB blaster that thing wouldn't move. I then proceeded to burn up $20.00 worth of Sawzall blades and more than an hour and a half trying to cut the bolt and only maybe digging into the bolt 1/8" if that. I was out of grinder discs and out of blades at this point, so I made a trip to the tool store and got some grinder discs.
After that I just cut the spring off to gain access to the bolt with my grinder, and then grinded the bolt out. All and all, that only took 10-15 minutes of surgery with the grinder. What a waste of time with the Sawzall!
I then removed the shackle from the frame and the first spring was out. At this point I lubed up all the bushing and tapped them into the spring. Then I started being a n00b. I put the bushing in the rear frame (shackle side) but when I pounded in the sleeve, it pushed the rear bushing out maybe 1/4". Just enough to where I no longer had enough clearance to get the nut in there in between the bushing and the gas tank. Spent nearly 1/2 an hour prying on it and using C-Clams to get it back into place. After that I got the shackle hung by the top bolt.
Then, I realized that I couldn't get the lower bolts in (pic to come soon, I'll get one tomorrow), because the new shackles are shorter than the old ones. The bolts need to be put in from the back and the new, shorter shackles, don't swing far enough to clear the gas tank to insert the bolts. The shackle came back off, I inserted the bottom two bolts, then started again. Another 30 minutes and I had the shackle installed.
Installed shackles. Thanks to JF member BERSK for the awesome shackles and the great deal! If anyone is looking for quality, inexpensive shackles, shoot him a PM. He's a great guy and his service and product were amazing!
Here you can see what I was talking about with the gas tank/bolt clearance;
Here's a pic of the new springs and shackles compared to the old ones. I need to take another pic for comparison. The new springs are much taller than the old ones.
Next I got the new spring under and beat the frame side into place with a rubber mallet. Found out that the bolts I got didn't have enough thread on the end to work at this point. I installed the bolt, tightened down the nut, and the nut stopped about 1/8" (too much to just add a washer) from the spring hanger. Sigh. Back to the bolt store to try again.
Got home and changed out the bolt with new one. Success!
Then I tried to swing the spring back and line it up with the shackle. It was a no go. Just couldn't get it to line up. So off the spring came again, changed tactics and bolted the shackle side first, then swung it up and got it all lined up and installed. Yay! One spring hung at least (I'm about 6 hours in at this point lol.)
Driver's side spring hung;
Then I tried to lower the axle onto the spring only to find that it wouldn't go low enough. I though maybe discoing the shock from the axle would help so I tried that. Still a no go. The opposite spring would have to be removed first for the axle to drop enough. Onto the other side!
None of the bolts on the other side were as seized, and so I had everything removed in no more than 30 minutes. Learning from the other side, I did everything in the correct order, and had the new spring and shackles hung in another 30 minutes. Wow what a difference! 6 hours of learning on one spring, 1 hour of labor on the other! Haha at least I'm making progress!
Passenger spring hung; what a difference compared to the stock "springs."
At this point, I pulled the jacks out from under the axle and dropped it onto the springs. I grabbed a box of U-Bolts and that's when I realized that Quadratec sent me two wrong ones. After all the hiccups I had today, that one upset me!
Anyways, I started putting the u-bolts in that I could and realized that my axle isn't lined up correctly. It appears to be rolled back to far and won't fully seat on the spring perches (the set "nob" on the top of the springs won't seat into the perches. I think
its just because the axle is rolled and they need to go in straight, and right now they are cocked at an angle.
I thought maybe I could "suck it up" with the U-bolts, but no dice. They definitely have to be line up first....
You can see it here;
And the other side...
At this point the sun had almost set so I decided just to clean up and leave it for the morning. Hopefully tomorrow goes smoother than today! All in all it's been a learning experience, but I'm sure I'll be able to get it all done!
UPDATE: Filled in the missing pics!
It's really overcast and feels like rain outside. Cross your fingers that the weather holds long enough for me to finish today. I have to go get my monthly dose of radiation (x-ray of my hip to make sure everything is still fine) so I won't get cracking until sometime after 12:00 today...Let's hope the rain gods decide today is not their day!
Just cause, here's a pic of all the sweet, sweet, garbage I got going on in my leg. My wife made this really cool shadow box for me. The top left pic is of my original x-ray with hardware. Top right is the hardware that was in my leg that failed and they cut out. Bottom left is me and my wife, right before my second surgery. Bottom right is an xray of my new and improved hardware. Awesome right?