Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leaf Springs: Tying Up Loose Ends

My box of parts arrived and included in the shipment was the new brass bushings that get inserted into the leaf spring eye-holes.  Each rear leaf spring needs one bushing and the old ones had worn through...you'll see it in a picture.  A bolt goes through the bushing and it holds the end of the leaf spring to the chassis/frame.  There are grease fittings on the end of the bolts and it helps to keep everything lubricated.  Over time, the bolts/bushings stopped getting lube, thus it wears out the bushing beyond it life and will do damage to the leaf springs.

To begin with, I had to remove the remains of the old bushings.  I began with a 10 ton press, but the process was a bit cumbersome by myself.  If I had had an extra set of hands, it would have been easy to hold the leaf spring and keep the bushing lined up with the press.  I ended up placing the spring on my work bench, used a socket slightly smaller in diameter of the old bushing and used that BFH (Big Effing Hammer) and drove it out.  I sprayed a bit of PB Blaster lubricating oil on it and it practically fell out with my massive arm and hammer.

Tolls of the trade: punch, socket and big hammer. 
You can see the old bushing protruding out of the bottom of the spring eye-hole.

Just a close up of the bushing on its way out.

Whats left of the old bushing (left) and the replacement part (right).
With the old bushings out, the next step is to install the new bushing.  I did not want to damage the lip of the new bushings using a hammer and sharp blows, so I DID use the press to ease them in.
Spring is secured in place with the new bushing lined up to the eye-hole.

New bushing "pressed" into place.
 It is a VERY tight fit and should be fine for the next 50-60 years...especially with schedule lubrication maintenance.
The next step prior to installing the rear axle, I wanted to adjust the brakes to get them somewhat close to an acceptable position.  In order to get them in the required position, the upper part of the brake shoes needed to have approximately .008" gap from the edge of the drum.  The lower part of of the shoes needed to be at .005".  In order to achieve this, the eccentric screws on the rear of the brake backing plate needed to be adjusted.  To wrenches and a feeler gauge was all that was needed...and some patience.  To accomplish the adjustment, I even got to use one of my ancient old jeep tools.
The is a small slit that the feeler gauge is slid into (front).  It is currently measuring the gap at the upper ends of the forward brake shoe.  The wrenches in the rear are adjusting the eccentric screw to mind the gap. 
The skinny wrench is the old jeep tool made especially for this job.

The shorter wrench is tightening the bolt while the longer wrench is used to hold the eccentric screw in place to achieve the .008" gap between the shoe and the drum.  This had to be done on the two eccentrics and the two holding screws at the very bottom of the backing plate (.005" gap at the bottom).
With the brakes adjusted, the axle could now be installed.  After installation, I will go back and double check the brake positioning.  I will also remove the axle shafts, again, and recheck the tightness of the interior hub screws for proper torque.
Rear leaf springs and axle installed!  I painted the axle with the OD paint supposedly used on Ford's.  The rest of the jeep will be a slightly different shade of OD that will be representative of the Willys jeeps.  Details!

I love these pictures...they make me notice areas that haven't been painted as well as
 areas that I need to remove some more surface rust...just add it to the list! 
With the rear axle completed, time for something new...and as my teaser, check this out:
Another "F" uncovered!
I started on a new rusty old jeep part and found this massive "F" script right out of the gate.   Lightening has struck twice.  Can you guess where this one is?  

1 comment:

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    Leaf Springs

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