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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello you guys. In a week or so I'm going to put new rear leaf springs on my 78 4 door Nova. Is there anything I should know before I get started. Is this a two man job? Do I need special tools?

Thanks
 

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It can be done with one person. The front bushing is pressed in and usually comes installed in a new spring. The upper and lower rear bushings should also be changed, but they just slip in and out.

When I did mine I bolted the rear shackles to the frame, then attached the front of the spring to the front hanger. A jack was used to lift the spring up to get the rear shackle bolt in. The rear end was sitting on jack stands high enough to be clear of the springs. Next new upper isolator pads were installed in the upper perch then the rear end was lowered to the springs. New lower pads were installed and the shock plates installed using 2 u bolts per side instead of 1 and the T bolts. Tighten the u bolts evenly then torque to specs.
 

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be very careful, think everything through before you do it, it is a dangerous job, especially when you haven't done it before, remember, there is alot of tension in them thar springs.
 

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be very careful, think everything through before you do it, it is a dangerous job, especially when you haven't done it before, remember, there is alot of tension in them thar springs.
Not in the rear leaf springs. Once the rear end is off of them you only have the weight of the spring to deal with.
 

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What alot of people dont know, is that you should NOT fully tighten any of the bolts for the springs until you get it set back down on the ground and bounce the rear of the car a few times, then torque them down with the car on the ground.. I made that mistake with my '75....the back end sat up about 4" higher than it should have.
 

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What alot of people dont know, is that you should NOT fully tighten any of the bolts for the springs until you get it set back down on the ground and bounce the rear of the car a few times, then torque them down with the car on the ground.. I made that mistake with my '75....the back end sat up about 4" higher than it should have.
That depends on the bushings. With the stock rubber type you are correct, with polyurethane it doesn't matter.
 

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What alot of people dont know, is that you should NOT fully tighten any of the bolts for the springs until you get it set back down on the ground and bounce the rear of the car a few times, then torque them down with the car on the ground.. I made that mistake with my '75....the back end sat up about 4" higher than it should have.
Assuming stock style bushings, can this happen with new springs, old springs or both?
 

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Assuming stock style bushings, can this happen with new springs, old springs or both?
When using urethane the center tube is able to move in the bushing and doesn't put anything in a bind. With the stock front spring bushings the center steel tube and the outer shell are bonded to the rubber. When tightened the center tube is locked against the mounting surface. If tightened down in any other position then ride height the rubber is supporting the weight of the car. If tightened properly the rubber is in a neutral position and when the suspension moves the rubber bushings flex and then return the neutral position. Unless the bushing is shot it will be the same with both old and new bushings.
 

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When using urethane the center tube is able to move in the bushing and doesn't put anything in a bind. With the stock front spring bushings the center steel tube and the outer shell are bonded to the rubber. When tightened the center tube is locked against the mounting surface. If tightened down in any other position then ride height the rubber is supporting the weight of the car. If tightened properly the rubber is in a neutral position and when the suspension moves the rubber bushings flex and then return the neutral position. Unless the bushing is shot it will be the same with both old and new bushings.
I use nylon locking nuts(for the front eye and all 4 shackle bolts),get it snug and that leaves a little play for the springs to move
 

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That depends on the bushings. With the stock rubber type you are correct, with polyurethane it doesn't matter.
Actually, mine was with the poly bushings. I was kind of surprised because I figured the sleeves would turn inside the bushing too, no such luck.
 

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When using urethane the center tube is able to move in the bushing and doesn't put anything in a bind. With the stock front spring bushings the center steel tube and the outer shell are bonded to the rubber. When tightened the center tube is locked against the mounting surface. If tightened down in any other position then ride height the rubber is supporting the weight of the car. If tightened properly the rubber is in a neutral position and when the suspension moves the rubber bushings flex and then return the neutral position. Unless the bushing is shot it will be the same with both old and new bushings.
How tight should the bolts be before putting the wheels back down on the ground? Hand tight, a little snug, or something else?
 

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How tight should the bolts be before putting the wheels back down on the ground? Hand tight, a little snug, or something else?
Hand tight is good enough until the weight is on the springs. This can be achieved just by having the rear axle on jack stands as this places the weight of the vehicle on the springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Since I'm not going to get new springs anytime soon, Is there any other way to lift the rear end of a car? I heard about air shocks, but I don't want a bumpy ride. Thanks.
 

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Since I'm not going to get new springs anytime soon, Is there any other way to lift the rear end of a car? I heard about air shocks, but I don't want a bumpy ride. Thanks.
You could go old school and install a set of shackles to raise the rear.
 

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Where did you price the leaf springs at? I got mine from Desert Mucsle for under $200.

If you feel like doing a little work the parts car I bought has a good set of them. You will need to bring your old ones with you and swap them out so the car will still be a roller. No charge for the parts.

 
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