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Discussion Starter #1
Was wondering what is involved in replacing the shackle bushings. While replacing the shocks last weekend I noticed all the rubber bushings are gone on both sides on both shackles. Do I place jack stands under the leaf spring at the shackle? Will the spring fly down once the bolt is removed? Any help appreciated..
 

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You will need a way to lift the car so the springs can come down a bit. Space is tight and the bushings will be tough to get out, as well as getting the new ones in. A lift with center lifts would be ideal IMO. If you don't have a lift you will need to be very careful, it's not as easy as it seems at first. Use dish soap to help install the new bushings. Perhaps use a smaller bolt that is longer, (long enough to capture the new bushings prior to them being fully seated), with some washers and nut to act as a clamp which will draw the new bushings in. Tighten the bolt until the bushings are close to fully seated then install the new bolt to finish the job. I have never attempted this job without a lift so again, be careful if you don't plan on useing one. I'm certain you will have a hard time without the ability to move the springs around with ease. I removed the rear end from the springs completely because I installed new springs as well which allowed me to move the springs independently.
 

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The springs will usually hit the frame rail if you remove the shackle without taking tension (weight) off them.

Best bet is to take weight off the rear suspension, as mentioned above.
 

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You jack the car with a floor jack under the center of the rear axle. Place the jack stands at the front of the leaf springs under the frame rails. Let the jack down until the axle is supported and the tension is off the springs.

This is a very easy job. Problem is that if the shackle rubber is rotten then so is the front spring eye and the spring perch clamp rubber/
 

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When I removed the original ones from my car with 69000 miles I thought they were all rotted too. However after removing them I found that while the outside edges were rotted the inside was still in good shape. I put the car on jack stands. I then raised the axle with the spring attached back into place. I think in your case best bet would be to put car on jack stands with rear tires just off the ground. Then put a floor jack under the rear axle. jack it up so there is just some weight on the jack. Then unbolt the shackle. Use the floor jack to take the tension off of the shackles. Remove both nuts from the shackle. Tap the shackle out. Remove old bushing and install the back half of the new ones. set your shackles back in place put the other half of the rubber bushing in. You might have to play with it a little to get it all the way in there. Then put the flat section of the shackle back on and the nuts and torque. I don't have the specs in the house but it wasn't much. Lower the axle down and remove floor jack. Put car on ground. Should be about it. Not tuff. If the front eyes are shot? That is not any tougher either although you will need to find someone to press them in for you once you remove the springs completely. I had both of mine replaced cause I new they had to be bad. They weren't! News ones are in anyway. Good luck.
 

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I would raise the car and put jackstands under the structure in front of the front spring mounts, support the axle with the floor jack and remove the nuts from the u-bolts that hold the spring to the axle, raise the axle off the spring a bit, then remove the shackle and deal with the bushings.

Just a note: Mustang shackle bushings will not work, Cougar bushings are (surprisingly) smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the responses. I will probably tackle this in the coming weeks. Didn't want to undo the shackle bolts and have it wack me in the head or
break an arm. Seems like it should be doable. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well the coming weeks turned into months. Today was the day. Actually took about an hour and a half. Most of that time was spent cleaning the crud out from the bushing areas. Little lube to get them
back in and done. Seems like it even rides a little better. No more clunk when turning fast. All the rubber edges were completly gone. Most of the insides were rotted to. I didn't check the front ones real
close but I could at least see them. One project at a time. Thanks for the advice. It was pretty much spot on. Got the shackles from WCCC. Great price, prompt delivery and exact match. Love it when a
plan comes works out this smooth....Thanks to all for the help and WCCC.
 
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