Is there a secret to getting the leaf springs out of a 74 - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 11th-July-2019, 07:23 AM   #1
sf_hippie
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Is there a secret to getting the leaf springs out of a 74

Hey. So I was trying to get my leaf springs out yesterday, and I was having issue getting to bolts out of the hangers in the rear. On the driver side I can only get a wrench so I think I just need a cheater bar, but how do you actually get the bolts off once the nut is out. The passenger side I banged in until it was flush, but how do I proceed? I was not able to wiggle them even with a jack under the bracket. Do I need to disconnect the leaf springs from the axle first?
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Old 11th-July-2019, 09:14 AM   #2
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I'm sure it can all be removed as one unit but I always have taken the axel and leaf springs off separately. Just easier for me to handle. It's never recommended to reuse your old axel U bolts so if they are stubborn or frozen you can just cut them off.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sf_hippie View Post
Hey. So I was trying to get my leaf springs out yesterday, and I was having issue getting to bolts out of the hangers in the rear.
Are you asking about the front spring eye leaf spring bolt?... or the rear leaf spring shackle bolts?
As several have already mentioned, it is easier to remove the leaf springs after the rear axle has been removed.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Somewhere way back in my memory, I seem to remember putting a screwdriver or something against the bolt end (probably at an odd angle) and then banging the screwdriver with a hammer until it slid out some. I may also have used a flathead screwdriver on the bolt head and banged on it that way. I don't remember for sure because it's been a while. I do remember it being a pain.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 11:31 AM   #5
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If the axle is still in the car, I usually "take the load" off of the springs by jacking up the pumpkin until almost all of the weight is off the springs, then pounding the bolt through the hole with a large screwdriver or chisel.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RifRaf View Post
Are you asking about the front spring eye leaf spring bolt?... or the rear leaf spring shackle bolts?
As several have already mentioned, it is easier to remove the leaf springs after the rear axle has been removed.
I am talking about the rear leaf spring shackle bolts. I have not tried the front yet. I think tonight I am going to get the axle out and then try the shackle again.

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Originally Posted by rquad View Post
omewhere way back in my memory, I seem to remember putting a screwdriver or something against the bolt end (probably at an odd angle) and then banging the screwdriver with a hammer until it slid out some. I may also have used a flathead screwdriver on the bolt head and banged on it that way. I don't remember for sure because it's been a while. I do remember it being a pain.
that is a good idea. I will give that a try too.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 05:07 PM   #7
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This is the Hotchkis instructions....maybe helpful worked for me.
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Old 11th-July-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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This is the Hotchkis instructions....maybe helpful worked for me.
Sorry the attachment didnt work try searching the instructions for their leaf installation
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Old 11th-July-2019, 08:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sf_hippie View Post
I am talking about the rear leaf spring shackle bolts.
The first thing I did was pre-lube the rear shackle bolts with a generous amount of PB Blaster. I did need to use a breaker bar with a 6 point socket to loosen the shackle nuts. It's also easier to loosen the shackle nuts while the rear axle is still in place (the shackles will not swivel as much).
I remember when I removed the upper shackle bolts, I tried placing a long screw driver on the end of the bolt (but with the nut still attached to the end of the bolt) and hit the end of the screwdriver with a BMF hammer... but that didn't move the bolt. I then got a 1/2" thick x 1 1/2" wide x 4' long piece of metal bar stock and used this as a battering ram. What I did was to attach some heavy duty zip strip to one of the straps holding the gas tank so that it would hold the bar stock like a sling. I then angled the bar stock so it was up against the shackle bolt (with the nut still attached to the end of the bolt) and rammed the bolt loose.

Once the bolt was even with the shackle, I removed the nut and attached vice grips to the exposed end of the bolt and hit the vice grips with a hammer to free the bolts from the shackles.

Getting the leaf springs removes from the front spring eye brackets was a whole other issue. Once I removed the nuts, the bolts would not move no matter how hard I hit it. The spring eye bolt had seized itself to the metal sleeve within the front leaf spring bushing (probably due to east coast winters). I had to remove the spring eye brackets from the car and use a sawzaw (and a couple blades) to CAREFULLY cut the bolts out of the brackets. I also had one heck of a time removing the 6 spring eye bracket bolts (3 on each side) that attach to the brackets to the car. The cage nuts are notorious for breaking when you try to loosen the bolts. I highly recommend spraying the nuts several times with some PB Blaster before attempting to loosen and remove.

Last edited by RifRaf; 11th-July-2019 at 09:04 PM.
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