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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start by saying thanks to all the people who have already posted how to articles on replacing rear leaf spring shackles. I figured i would post my experience with doing this because I think there are a few things that can help people, and make the job go a little easier. I'm getting to the point in my life where this jobs hurt more and more every time i do them and i'm forced to work smarter not harder. I didn't see anyone who did a write up on the driver side so that is the one I'll talk about.

Step #1 - Remove the tool box. You have to do this step, don't even attempt the job without removing the box. There are plenty of posts on this site that talk about removal of the tool box and they are all good. I personally took the door off before i removed the box assembly. This is a completely optional step but i did it because i replaced my door a few months ago and i really didn't want to scratch it. Remove the two nuts that hold the door stay cable, then the door will swing wide open. Then you can take the bolts off the base of the door/hinge and it will come right off.



The tool box fully assembled is awkward to handle and a little heavy so i think this makes it easier, again however this is completely optional. I didn't remove the wheel to do this. It would probably make it a little easier but you will have to put the wheel back on so I didn't bother. Remove the small plastic dust cover that sits in front of the tool box in the wheel well. There are two snap clips and one phillips screw. With this cover off you can see the forward bolts that hold the tool box. The other bolts are easy to reach from under the truck.



Here is what the back of the tool box looks like if you were curious.



Step #2 - Unbolt the bottom bolt on the strut. In my opinion this is a minor thing you need to do, that makes the job much easier. You need full range of motion of the axle and the strut limits that motion. Trust me, remove the bottom strut bolt before you move any further.



Step #3 - Jack up the truck on the frame somewhere in front of the wheel you are working on. DO NOT REMOVE THE WHEEL/TIRE. You need the weight of the wheel to help you with the install. It makes it easier in my opinion. Jack up the truck just far enough so the wheel is barely touching the ground. Put a jack stand under the frame by the jack for safety but i left the weight of the truck on the jack because you will need to move it up and down for this job. As you can see with the tool box removed you have full access to the work area. I think this side of the truck is actually significantly easier than the other side of the truck because with that tool box removed you have very easy access.



Step #4 - Remove the old shackle lower bolt. If your shackle is broken there is already no tension on it. If the shackle is not broken, and you followed these steps, there is also no tension on the shackle.

Remove the lower bolt first. I have no idea why but the nut on lower shackle bolt has these welded tabs on either side of it. The tabs make it almost impossible to get the bolt/nut off without vice grips. I live in NY where the winters eat my truck like cancer. Use a good pair of vice grips, PB blaster, and an impact and you will be all set. This is the worst part of the job. One of mine was seized up pretty bad but i won the battle. :fu: Having a replacement bolt/nut is really good idea before starting this job.



Step #5 - Remove the old shackle upper bolt. Now for the seemingly hard part, removal of the top bolt. Why Nissan didn't just install the bolt from the other side i have no idea, but the only way to get the dang thing out is to get the leaf spring way up near the bed. Some people use a separate jack but you don't need to do that. All you need to do is very slowly lower the truck frame by lowering your jack. I lowered the height of my jack stand before i did this and kept it under there for safety (optional). As you slowly lower the jack the end of the leaf spring will travel upward. When the bolt clears the frame you have the clearance to pop it right out. No need for multiple jacks and no need for pry bars or man-handling the leaf springs.




Step #6 - Install the new shackle. You already have the upper bolt hole in position ready to go. Install the shackle and the upper bolt and nut. Leave all the nuts just snug for right now. Once that bolt is installed all you need to do is very slowly pump the jack and raise the height of the truck frame. The shackle will move downward as you raise the frame and you can get the lower holes lined up perfectly. Again, no need for multiple jacks and no need for pry bars or man-handling the leaf springs.



Once the hole is lined up install the lower bolt and nut and leave it snug.

Step #7 - Tighten everything back up. Remove the jack stand and put the truck back on the ground. Re-install the lower strut bolt. Get in the bed of your truck and jump up and down to get all the suspension parts settled out to where they need to be. Now go back and tighten the upper and lower shackle bolts and the strut bolt.

Step #8 - Put everything else back together. Installing the tool box was pretty easy just reverse all of the steps.

I think it is pretty disappointing that these failures were never recalled. I was one of the lucky ones that didn't have leaf spring bust through the bed, but it did leave a nasty dent and mess up my bed liner. The new OEM shackles are way better than the old and way cheaper than the aftermarket ones.



I hope this post helps someone out there. Removal of the strut bolt, leaving the tire/wheel on, and using the jack to do the work will save you a lot of pain and a lot of swearing. This job can also be really dangerous if you try doing it with tension on the leaf spring.
 

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Thanks for the excellent write up. The failing shackles are a proven issue on the 04-07 T's. Maybe this could be a sticky.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just in case anyone cares.... When i was doing this job i found that one of my leaf springs was broken. So I ordered all the parts and tackled that job today and let me tell you is was awful. It was one of the worst jobs i have ever done to my Titan. It doesn't help that it was about -20F here today, but the front bolts on the leaf springs were an absolute nightmare to remove. I don't understand why Nissan put those metal brackets around the nuts on some of the suspension parts. The bolts and nuts were completely seized. Because of that bracket, i had to cut the nut in half, then cut both ends of the bolt out on both sides. I saved a ton of money doing it myself but i'm already paying for it and I think i'm going to be sore for a good solid week. If anyone has any questions about that job let me know but other than the bolts it was pretty straight forward.
 

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Great write up and thanks for the pics, I paid $33 for a set of new OEM shakles from the dealer, I'll put them in when they get in. I wanted to ask did u have to grease up the bushings or anything to prevent squeaking?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Manual didn't call for any grease so i didn't use any. I have been squeak free ever since the install. I hope this write up helps you.
 

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Hey, I'm trying to change our my shackles m, and I followed all the steps in original post to the T. I got the old shackle out but it was still under some tension. Now the dang leaf spring is up against the bed and I cant get the top part of the shackle lined up. Help please. Could i maybe use a ratchet strap to pull it down?‍♂?‍♂?‍♂
 
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