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Taking out leaf spring shackles

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Old 11-15-2017, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default 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 11-15-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
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Recently did my '96. After jacking the vehicle as high as I could I put jack stands in front of the spring hangers. Then I put the jack under the pumpkin and raised the rear a bit. Disconnected the shocks at the bottom then removed the u-bolts on one side only. Lowered the jack until the one spring was hanging loose. I removed the front bolt first but at this point I don't believe it would matter in what sequence you removed the spring/shackle bolts.

Your going to be using your old springs? As far as working the bolts I would back them out until they stopped then PB Blast them and run them back in. Only had one bolt I had to get more involved with. The other three came out as normal. Just work them in and out until your positive they won't come any farther. Take your time.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:52 AM   #3
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I did the lower first then the upper. Easier to get good socket purchase and leverage as you break the bolts free. You can even play little tricks like placing a jack under the breaker bar. If you were to do the upper first, then you've got this spring flopping around on the ground as you're trying to break free the lower, not as convenient.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:04 AM   #4
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I jacked it up and removed the upper first. I just soaked them real good and them slowly worked them back and forth with a breaker bar. Once they were off, I lowered the springs and used an impact on the lower.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:12 AM   #5
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If I recall correctly, the bolts went through the lower shackle holes from the inside (from the gas tank side), so it's nearly impossible to remove them first if you have a receiver hitch. My suggestion would be to loosen the bottom ones first, remove the top ones, drop the spring down to give you room and then remove the lower.

When I put mine back together, I ran the bolt in from the outside so I wouldn't have issues removing them later.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:26 AM   #6
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When I put mine back together, I ran the bolt in from the outside so I wouldn't have issues removing them later.
Now there is some out of the box thinking skills. Make it easier to work on every chance you get. Like re-situating hose clamps to where you can actually reach them someday. Unlike automobile engineers who do everything to the contrary.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:29 AM   #7
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If I recall correctly, the bolts went through the lower shackle holes from the inside (from the gas tank side), so it's nearly impossible to remove them first if you have a receiver hitch. My suggestion would be to loosen the bottom ones first, remove the top ones, drop the spring down to give you room and then remove the lower.

When I put mine back together, I ran the bolt in from the outside so I wouldn't have issues removing them later.
I did the same thing on mine. Next time will be easy going.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:48 AM   #8
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Now there is some out of the box thinking skills. Make it easier to work on every chance you get. Like re-situating hose clamps to where you can actually reach them someday. Unlike automobile engineers who do everything to the contrary.
Ain't that the truth!
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:07 PM   #9
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Ain't that the truth!
I am now completely convinced they do it on purpose and it is the basic core of their training and education. lol
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
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Now there is some out of the box thinking skills. Make it easier to work on every chance you get. Like re-situating hose clamps to where you can actually reach them someday. Unlike automobile engineers who do everything to the contrary.
Eh worrying about inconvenience for repairs wouldn't be something I would be overly concerned withveither when designing a vehicle haha
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:33 PM   #11
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Eh worrying about inconvenience for repairs wouldn't be something I would be overly concerned withveither when designing a vehicle haha
I'm sure it creates job security... "What can we screw up to make it harder to work on or unreliable on this years model so that they will ask us to redesign it next year?". lol

I was convinced of this the first time I almost had to pull the engine out of a Vette just to change the sparkplugs. "There is absolutely no way this could have been by accident!". lol
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:46 PM   #12
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If I recall correctly, the bolts went through the lower shackle holes from the inside (from the gas tank side), so it's nearly impossible to remove them first if you have a receiver hitch. My suggestion would be to loosen the bottom ones first, remove the top ones, drop the spring down to give you room and then remove the lower.

When I put mine back together, I ran the bolt in from the outside so I wouldn't have issues removing them later.
For sure! ^^^
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