View Full Version : Torch and sledge hammer?

09-20-2014, 12:39 PM
On the other side of the car the spring went in perfect. This side...it's not aligned and it doesn't wrench in. After thinking about it, I remember this "bolt" was bent and I bent it back before I painted it. Now I know why...at some point something must have hit this spring mount hard. Difficult to see in the pic, but it's been pushed in and is not flat in the back. Also notice the gap to the right of the bolt. That's how far it needs to bend back.
So...what to do...I pounded on it a bit cold...doesn't budge. Should I heat it up with a torch and then see if it will bend back? I'm a little worried I will knock the car off the jacks. I could also wait and let the body shop do it, but....$$

09-20-2014, 04:57 PM
It might be a pain to tear up your interior (if you have anything installed) but, can you access the corner edge that is bashed in from the inside? You could try to hammer that back to position and the mount may be a little easier to move back.

Any way to wedge a hydraulic jack against the mount and something more solid to push it into place? Might be more effective than blows from a hammer.

09-20-2014, 06:03 PM
I'm not sure you see the issue. It's not the dent in the floor (although that might have happened at the same time), it's the bracket itself to the right of that. This time I put a red circle around the part of the bracket that is bent rearward...about 3/16" That bracket is thick steel. I put a sort of pink circle around where you can see the gap it is creating.
I tried putting a large crow bar just behind the end of the spring...I couldn't budge it enough to let me get it in. A hydraulic jack would be perfect, but I can't find anything to leverage it off of. I could just bend the bolt again, but it seems that would permanently put stress and a twist on the spring.

09-20-2014, 07:02 PM
I see now. Is there any pressure being put on the leaf spring? If it's just hanging there, can you position a jack somewhere to push the spring downward a bit, increase the arc? Maybe between that and the crowbar behind the eye of the spring, you can get that cup washer to go in.

Hopefully it won't make enough of a difference that the car sits crooked. At least with someone in the driver's seat.

09-21-2014, 04:14 PM
I'd return the spring mount to its correct position utilizing a "porta power" which, IMO, is the proper thing to do. It would take a lot of heat to release tension on that mount, and your undercarriage paint work will have to be repaired should you choose to take a torch to it.

If you don't have one (or access to one), you might be able to rig something up using a bottle jack and blocks of wood. You'll experience some spring back, so expect to have to go beyond the original factory position in order for it to line up when you release tension on the jack. Work in small increments until the spring back is where it needs to be. You don't want to undo your efforts if you go too far.

My $.02. ;)

09-22-2014, 08:50 PM
Don -

It's not clear what's going on with the leaf as it's going rear-ward. Is it already mounted to the rear-end or the rear shackles? Can you remove the leaf and get a bolt through without the leaf in the way?

09-23-2014, 02:37 AM
Don - It's not clear what's going on with the leaf as it's going rear-ward. Is it already mounted to the rear-end or the rear shackles? Can you remove the leaf and get a bolt through without the leaf in the way?

It looks to me like if you disconnect it in back, and then connect it it front, the leaf spring will be angled outwards to the right, something like this one being angled to the left:


You could then put your crow bar between the back end of the spring and the inner fender and lever the rear of the spring in place and get the bolts back in. It would be easier to lever the rear spring because of its length than to bend the front mount. That would leave some twist on the front bushing, but it is thick rubber and could absorb a certain degree of twist.

09-23-2014, 08:30 AM
You working the late shift Roger?
It is already attached to the rear shackle- so with it loose and with the now straightened bolt, the leaf now aligns with the frame. I got everything in (after much more aggravation than the other side), then went to tighten it- that's when i found this problem. I see the points from both of you. Trying to remember for sure...but I think I tried it before I attached the rear of the leaf to the shackle and when I tried to push the leaf towards the inside, it just mushed into the rubber- I couldn't get it to budge enough. I could probably bend the bolt again much easier than the frame and try to make it work, but I'm trying to avoid that. Maybe if I take it off for a fresh look, I can figure where to get some leverage to bend that bracket forward with a jack just a little bit. I'm booked up with kids school stuff tonight and a work dinner tomorrow night...looking forward to getting back to it Thursday eve if I can. I'll let you guys know how it goes- thanks! [BOW]

09-23-2014, 10:40 AM
Well... Dennis did voice what I was thinking, but I wanted to hear from you before suggesting it. I was hoping if you hadn't done it yet you could get the front half in and leverage the back-end over. Apparently not. It would have bound the bushing a little, but it may have been fine.

That said, a lever arm the length of the leaf bolted into place gives you massive advantage, but I was racking my brain to think of what you could actually use as the lever. The large end of the leaf, with the bushing, will not move that support, but a solid bushing in the leaf might.

The only other thing I can suggest, without a lot of heating and sledging, is to maybe elongate the through-hole portion in the direction you need it to go - and in the direction of constant force (i.e., towards the front of the car). The bolt inserted through non-elongated side and through the leaf bushing will negate the open back-side of the elongated hole.

If you were going off-roading, I probably wouldn't suggest this. :D

09-23-2014, 10:45 AM
Oh... and to be clear on this:

Leaf install is...
Front end first, then rear shackles, rinse/repeat for the other side, then hang the rear-end.