I went to Upull&pay out in Aurora, CO and found this little gem. I bet this little axle doesn’t even know what is in store for it.
I haven’t pulled the BOM, but I believe this rear axle is from 1988 Grand Wagoneer.
I also need some springs to make some junkyard bastard packs. I am trying to go cheap, so no Alcans this time. Plus, I didn’t have very much luck with the durability from the rear springs. They are sagged and appear to have a slight bend in the main leaf of the rear driverside pack. I am very impressed with flex of Chevy 63” springs. One of my friend’s runs them in his 4runner. I know I can’t fit those in my jeep and I don’t think they would work with my rig’s weight. But, the goal is same: cheap, flexy, longer, and available packs. I found this outstanding guide leaf spring guide by Mr. N (same guy with all the great D44 info).
This was really helpful because I could start taking some measurements on my jeep and have a spring picked out before hitting the yard. I took a spare shackle and held it up to the jeep near the rear cross member. The measurement from the eye of the existing shackle to the one I held up was about 8”. If was to use stock length springs, this would simple be an 8” stretch. But, I have a limited factor. The Genright tank will only accommodate a 5” stretch. That means I need a spring that is 3” longer on one side then my stock length wrangler springs. My springs are 22-11/16” on one side according to the leaf spring chart and actually measurements were pretty close. A 5” stretch means that I need a spring about 25.5” on one side. I chose to pursue Ford Ranger packs due to high availability at the yard and the length seemed just right. The Ford ranger springs are not designed for a truck that carries much payload like a ˝ ton truck, so I figure that these springs will be soft and flexy. I hit the junkyard two more times and brought home 5 packs. I have two 4 leaf packs, two 3 leaf packs, and one 2 leaf pack. I plan to cut up two main leafs and add them to one of the other packs. The fifth pack is to have a spare main leaf.
Pulling junkyard spring packs sucks!
I figured that it would be easy. Sawzall through the u-bolts and remove the two spring bolts. How hard can that be? Well, every spring bolt was seized to the bushing sleeve. I tried prying them with long bar and just ended up bending the bar. I also couldn’t yank on the bar too hard because the rear of the trucks aren’t supported very well in the yard. I really don’t like dying under a truck in a junkyard. You can’t cut bolt heads off due to the design of the mount. I tried to cut through the sleeve and bolt. But for some reason, the sawzall just wouldn’t cut through the sleeve, even with brand new blades. My last choice was to cut through the mounts. They are odd enough shape that the best places to cut is right were my saw will not fit. In addition, batteries just don’t last long. I took an inverter to charge my packs. You can’t leave your tools unattended, so you have to pack up everything to leave the yard. My pack charger has a hot battery cool time. So, I would have to start up the truck and run the A/C to try and speed up the process of cooling down the batteries. The batteries take like 30 to 45 minutes to re-charge. After my third junkyard trip (one for the axle, two for the springs), I had all the leaf springs I need.
The junkyard leaf springs needed new bushings. I decided to remove the the Ford one piece rubber bushings by cutting them out with a hole saw. It worked pretty well, but be prepared for a stinky mess.
The rubber heats up, gets gummy, gets flung everywhere, and smokes. Don't expect your hole saw to look the best after your done either. The new poly bushing require that the internal metal shell in the eye of the spring be removed. I cut a line in the shell with long sawzall blade, but not complete through it. Then I hammered a chesal next to the line.