Okay, a lot of threads out there ive been reading about how their rear end squeaks terribly! Well I tried every solution that people came up with, whether it was Silicon spray, greasing the shackle and any other mounting points, WD-40, and none of these worked! So heres my write up how to remove the leaf pack, Disassemble the leaf springs, grease them (optional paint them like i did.), reassemble them, then install them back in.*I took a video of what the truck sounded like before, an you can tell it was AWFUL, and after this, it was as quiet as the first day i bought it!
***The first thing to look at, which is another common problem of where the squeak originates that I dont cover in this write up, is the plastic guides in the picture here. They tend to rub through and then the metal guide rubs on the leafs, causing a squeak. This is a pretty simple fix, so check this first, and if its rubbed through, buy a replacement and see if that fixes it first!***
I suggest you read through the entire write up before you just start doing it. There are some important tips that I cant all get at the beginning.
3/4" Open-End Wrench
2 6" REINFORCED C-Clamps (Cheap ones will bend and break!)
Small Sledge Hammer (Or Hammer of your choosing)
Paint (Option, and Color of your choosing)
Wire brush (Or however you prefer to grind off dirt/rust/etc)
Wheel Bearing Grease
Simple Green (Or a cleaner of your choosing)
Maybe some other basic hand tools that I'm missing. (Sockets etc)
Lets get started!
Okay, so I started on the passenger side, jack up the truck and take off the tire, use a jack stand underneath the axle and under the frame if you can, you want to support both of them.
Remove the bottom bolt, that attaches the shackle to frame, you do the bottom first as sometimes the top bolt is slid in the wrong way, and wont come out unless you remove the bottom first, and lift the shackle up to get the bolt out. Then remove the shackle, make sure to keep all your parts together! Then remove the bolt that attaches the spring hanger at the front.
After removing the 3 bolts that connect the springs to the frame, we move on to the U-Bolts. These are pretty simple and you just losen them all. Remove the 2 u bolts, the bump stop, and the u-bolt plate and set aside.
Now the leafs aren't easy to get out, you have to position it just right to remove them from underneath the fender wells, easiest way is to support the axle with the jack, remove the jack stand, and lower the axle until you can remove the spring pack easily.Once out, bring it in the garage.
Now that wasnt so hard was it?? The hardest part is actually probably putting the leaf springs back in. hehe
Ok, set it on the work bench, floor what ever you like. Start by placing a C-Clamp, on this spot on the spring (see pic for reference). Then clamp them down until there is space between the rubber piece and the leaf.
Unscrew the hex bolt (as seen in the below picture) and remove the rubber stop.
Then place another C-Clamp on the opposite end of the spring pack to take the pressure off the alignment bolt. Remove the alignment bolt that goes through the center of the spring pack. Make sure you do this last, while there is no tension on the bolt. I made this mistake and destroyed the threads, and turned it into an S shape as i hammered it out. If you damage it, you could get an alan socket head bolt of the same size and it work exactly the same, instead of buying the bolt from Nissan. Sorry i dont know the size off-hand. But it should slide out with a little tap, then be able to pull it out.
Once you've done this, Slowly loosen the C-Clamps evenly until they come apart. The top 2 springs should stay attached together. I had to bend the small clamps that held the 2 leafs together so i can separate the bigger ones. Then clean them up however you like, a wire wheel on a 4 1/2" grinder works very well, or something similar.
THIS SECTION IS OPTIONAL
I wanted to repaint them, so that rust didn't return, but it was just a little touch up to look better mostly.
Once the paint was all dried up, i slathered a ton of grease on them. You cant put too much on! I put a 1/8" layer of wheel bearing grease on the surfaces where each leaf made contact with each other. (It will look like a mess, but we will clean it once they are all back together.)
Once that was done, i aligned the leafs with the white plastic in the correct correlation to the leaf springs. Once that was done, i started to use the alignment bolt just to get them perfectly lined up. DO NOT TIGHTEN THE BOLT WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT, IT WILL DAMAGE IT.
(sorry no pics of this, forgot)
Then i placed the C-Clamps in the same places, and tightened them down until all of the springs came together, while using the alignment bolt to guide them straight together. Then put the nut on the alignment bolt, and put the rubber stop and the hex bolt back through. Tighten down both.
After that, slowly remove the C-Clamps until it is free! Now you can take a rag and wipe all the excess grease on it, so it doesn't get everywhere while you working with it. Then we are now done with inside the garage! So heft it to where you have your truck at!
First thing before you attach the leafs back on your truck, is clean all the mounting points! I used the simple green and a rag to get anything that was in there. The cleaner the better, as it will prevent future squeaks!
No pics for the rest of this, I apologize, if further help is needed, i would be happy to assist you.
Its pretty straight forward install, make sure you grease wherever there is contact with metal on metal, metal on rubber, etc. Grease all of the bolts when you put them in there. Again, you can never use too much grease! The excess will wipe off!
Here are the torque specs for everything you need:
Shackle Bolts: 63? Ft/lbs
U-bolts: 93 ft/lbs
Make sure to re torque these after 100 miles of driving.
Congrats! You have finished one side! Repeat these steps for the other side and you will have a nice and quiet ride!