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#1 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:06 PM
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How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

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!

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.

Tools required:
Tire Iron
3/4" Open-End Wrench
3/4" Socket
7/8" Socket
Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench
2 6" REINFORCED C-Clamps (Cheap ones will bend and break!)
9/16" Socket
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, i could't find a better place to put it as my jack stands were too short.


I disconnected the bolt from the spring pack to the shackle first (some might have to play with their jack a little bit to position the bolt to slide out, i had already did this from a previous project, so the bolt slid out without any finagling. Refer to pic for what I mean.) Then remove the bolt holding the shackle to the frame, and remove the shackle, make sure to keep all your parts together! Same with removing the bolt from the front of the spring pack (forget what the name of the mount is).



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, the springs wont fall or anything. Remove the 2 u bolts, the bump stop, and the metal plate that sits underneath the axle (again dont know the name).


Now the leafs aren't easy to get out, you have to position it right to remove them from underneath the fender wells, (easiest way is to flip it upside-down), but 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, of your choosing on this place on the spring (see pic for reference). Them clamp them down until there is space between the rubber 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 tention on the bolt. I made this mistake and destroyed the threads, and turned it into an S shape as i hammered it out. It should slide out with a little tap, then be able to pull it out.


Once you've done this, Slowly losen the C-Clamps until they completely come apart. The top 2 springs should stay attached together, just leave them for now. And start cleaning off all of the excess dirt/rust/sand/mud/etc. I did this with a wire brush attached to an eletric drill. As i was also prepping for paint.


Once youve cleaned up the 2 smaller leafs, i had to hammer the clamps that held the 2 leafs together so i can separate the bigger ones. Once this was done, i again cleaned them up. This is the most time consuming part, even with an electric drill.


THIS SECTION IS OPTIONAL

I wanted them to be repainted, so that rust didnt return, but it was just a little touch up to look better mostly, so i didnt primer it or anything, just shot it with 2 coats of Semi-Gloss Black that i had laying around.

CONTINUE FROM HERE

Once the paint was all dried up, i greased them. And i mean GREASED THEM. I put a 1/8" layer of wheel bearing grease on the top of each leaf (except the very top one of course) all the way from tip to tip.

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 place, and tighten them down until all of the springs come together. Then put the nut on the alignment bolt, and put the rubber stop and the hex bolt back through. I just tightened both of these bolts down until they stopped, and they both just STOPPED, so there was no going tighter, and there is no torquing them.
(use pics above if you need more reference)
After that, slowly remove the C-Clamps until it is free! We are now done with inside the garage! So heft it into where you have your truck at! (Unless its in the garage already)

First thing before you attach the leafs back on your truck, is clean all the mounting points! I wiped them all down, sprayed some simple green in there, i even took the shackle in the house and cleaned it in the sink!

No pics for the rest of this, I apologize, if further help is needed, i would be happy to assist you.

Now this was the hardest part, For me, the passenger side was easier, but i think it was just luck. But the other side was the hardest because the axle does move while you are working, it slides toward the rear, and wants to keep going, but gets stopped about an inch or 2, i suppose you could strap it to something so that it doesn't slide back, but i didnt think of that.

So heres what i did: I put the alignment bolt into the axle (small hole on top of the axel where the spring sits, the head of the bolt slides in it), and attached the u-bolts and just tightened them to keep it in place, (we will toque them later) then, I had a buddy of mine grab something strong (for us it was the hitch) and push with his feet until the bolt towards the front attached the leafs to the frame. A good idea would be to grease the leafs around the mount, grease the mount and the bolt itself, it will aid in less squeak later on down the road. That might be a little hard to understand. So if you dont understand that, just ask, and ill go into deeper detail.

Once that was done, I greased up all the mounts for the rear end of the leafs (especially the shackle) Then put the bolts through, and tightened them down.

Here are the torque specs for everything you need:
Leaf to 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!
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Last edited by CVTitan05; 08-23-2011 at 07:24 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:13 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Some more pics...
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:17 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

More pics...
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Last edited by CVTitan05; 08-23-2011 at 07:19 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:21 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

and more.....
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:23 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Great write up. Wont all that grease attract more dust in the end though?

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:26 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

THANKS! will do this when I get the 08 shackles in

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:27 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda250xtitan View Post
Great write up. Wont all that grease attract more dust in the end though?
Ive heard of people wrapping the leafs in duct tape so that the grease doesnt go anywhere, then once its worked into all the hard spots, they remove it and hose the excess off. Ive never had a problem since ive done this and its been almost 2 months.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCHGVR View Post
THANKS! will do this when I get the 08 shackles in
Glad i could help!


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#8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:08 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Leaf springs are made of SAE 5160 steel. Grease has an adverse effect on SAE 5160 steel and will cause the spring to break down and weaken. Sorry for the bad news.

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:18 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

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Originally Posted by hawaiiantitan View Post
Leaf springs are made of SAE 5160 steel. Grease has an adverse effect on SAE 5160 steel and will cause the spring to break down and weaken. Sorry for the bad news.

SO what can we do to get rid of that awful noise then?!

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#10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:25 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

And how have people done it forever and not had any problems? Ive never heard of leaf springs breaking down from grease, and NEVER have i heard them breaking because of it.


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#11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 11:24 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

It will still return after while and the grease does hold some dirt. I tried the same thing a few times over the years and gave up. Too much work for just a band aid.


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#12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 11:59 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCHGVR View Post
SO what can we do to get rid of that awful noise then?!
NTB06008
If you confirm there is a squeak from the leaf spring wind-up clip area when: going over bumps, or by compressing the rear suspension, inspect the inside of the rear leaf spring clip cover for signs of rubbing with the leaf spring. If signs of rubbing are present, remove and replace the leaf spring wind-up clip cover.

If the squeak is from an add-a-leaf or aftermarket spring, bevel the ends of the add-a-leaf with a grinder or use teflon spring liners.


Quote:
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And how have people done it forever and not had any problems? Ive never heard of leaf springs breaking down from grease, and NEVER have i heard them breaking because of it.
"Prior to mid-1950s, grease was put between the spring leaves. In fact, springs of many pre-1950 cars were wrapped in metal liners to hold the grease in. Some cars had hollow center bolts with grease fitting, so the springs could be lubed on the car. The idea behind lubing between the leaves was to reduce inter-leaf friction. Then in the early ‘50s, the type of steel used to manufacture springs was changed to SAE 5160 which does not like petroleum based products, grease/oil/etc. Petroleum based products has an adverse effect on SAE 5160 steel. The chemicals in the grease react with the steel and cause the steel to breakdown. A great way to demonstrate this is to look at the front springs on a heavy duty truck that is leaning in the front. There is a 99% chance that the spring on the low side is coated in oil and or grease."

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#13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:38 AM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

I figured that ASE thangermajigger in your avitar meant something. So I've been greasing my leafs for a few years now, i should probably look at a set of aftermarket springs I guess. Darn


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#14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 04:15 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

Ive been talking to a bunch of guys that work at reputable shops around town, (and even a few guys that work at dealerships around here) and not one of them have ever heard of Petroleum based products eating, or breaking down, SAE 5160 metal.


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#15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 11:52 PM
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Re: How to: Grease the leaf springs to prevent squeaking

I used my power washer to clean out the crud between the leaf springs. It took off the paint on the leaf springs. So I hit it with some black spray paint. I usually spray WD-40 or a teflon type lube between the leafs.

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