Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Rear Springs Have Sprung

I began with the rear passenger side leaf spring first.  It just happened to be the one I reached for first.

Removed from the frame. 
The blue tape is my high tech filing system so I can remember which side of the jeep this came from.
The is a bolt that travels through the center of all of the springs.  This guy looked bad...really bad...but I went ahead and juiced it up with some penetrating oil to see if I could break it free.  I had little expectations and break free it did...broke right in two!  If puny me only had to exert a partial bit of my strength and it broke, then I figure it shouldn't be on the jeep.  I separated the leafs taking particular attention to the order and direction they were taken off so I could assemble them identically.
This end up!  ...and soon to be the end of its rustiness.
I took each leaf spring to the bench grinder and slowly worked the wire brush across all edges.  The longer leafs were privileged to be attacked by my hand grinder (which worked much faster!)  I sprayed and wiped them down with a rust conversion chemical and once dry, I primed them.  Once the primer dried, I sprayed them down with a Rustoleum green that was loitering around my garage.  It is not the correct green, but since it will be wedged between the leafs and hopefully never seen again, it will do just fine.   Once everything is assembled, I will paint it the correct shade of OD (olive drab) green.

Compare and contrast with the unfinished driver's side, but try and not notice that I reassembled it backwards. 
Oooops.  Redo.

My replacement bolt is about 1/2" too long.  Easy enough fix, though.

Driver's side leaf spring disassembled, rust knocked off and patiently waiting while the chemical dries.
Each spring has four tabs that are systematically spaced across each leaf spring.  The driver's side has lost one and I will fabricate my own since I have not been successful in finding a source for a replacement.
The new tab measured, cut and pre-bent.

Test fitting:  not too shabby.  I decided to roll with it.
After test fitting, I removed it to do one more modification prior to painting.  At the base of the small tongue-shaped tab that is sticking out at the top of the above picture, I welded a ball shaped bead to the underside of the strap.  There is a hole in the leaf spring that the bead will fit into and this will help keep the strap secured to the spring and deter its loosening and sliding off.  The original tabs also had this raised bump.  However, I do not know how they manufactured these gizmos back in 1944.  Satisfied, I then painted.

I wedged the section of the leaf spring that had the new tab between two pieces of hard wood and secured it tightly in a vice so the sides of the new tab could not bow out.  I then (with utmost precision) beat the vertical parts of the tab (that are visible in the above picture) over the top of the leaf spring and then carefully tapped the tongue back across the open tab.  I realize that my words make absolutely no sense, so please refer to the picture below for a better explanation! 
The new clip is installed and is very snug across all four sides of the leaf spring. 
The new clip is on the left and an original clip is on the right hand side of the picture.

Nothing new in this picture.  I just wanted everyone to see David Dement's generator in the background that I have not fixed...yet.  He said not to let it take precedence over jeep work.  Honestly, he did.
 Both rear leaf springs are almost finished and ready to be reinstalled.  There is a bushing, or truthfully, the remains of a bushing in one of the eyelets (the round ends of the leaf springs) on each leaf spring.  Both of these bushings have worn themselves beyond suitable use.  The new bushings have been ordered, but I am unsure of there arrival date.  I just need to remove the old and push in the new.  Knowing me and knowing old jeeps, it will prove to be A LOT more difficult than how I have just explained, though.  Until then, keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter...I have already been busy cleaning up the rear axle.  Wow, how can you hardly wait? 

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