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Rear spring replacement questions

 
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:07 am    Post subject: Rear spring replacement questions Reply with quote

Half way through changing my rear springs out for the now famous Moogs, and I think I'm learning as I go. Question one - did you remove the sway bar end link first? I had to push/pry the control arm down as I pulled out the outer spring bucket bolt, and it's a good thing I have a new one ready. I think part of it is upward spring force from the sway bar. If I were using a auto shop lift and getting both wheels up at the same time it wouldn't be an issue I think.

Second question is I assume you all used a floor jack, and it was easy to recompress? I tried this last night with two bottle jacks and it was moving around too much on me coming back up. Plus it looks like I will have to move the bucket and knuckle sideways to meet each other as it comes up, which I definitely can't do on top of the inch or so wide bottle jack top plate. I am holding what I've got until I can borrow a floor jack from Autozone or elsewhere.

Would usually do this in an auto skills center on a base somewhere and have all these toys available, but they're a little further than I'd like to go at my current duty station.
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docwatson



Joined: 23 Jan 2015
Posts: 103
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 - I didn't remove the end links, but I did unbolt the swaybar from the frame. My end links were rusted on so this seemed like a reasonable solution.

2 - I used a floor jack and a ratchet strap. The ratchet strap gave me some ability to move the control arm front to back for alignment while I used the floor jack to push it up.

I did front and rear in my garage and the autocraft center's lift would have made life much easier. It took me a Friday night and Saturday to replace all 4 springs and shocks/struts but I also had to cut out the passenger side rear shock, what a pain.
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lifting it wasn't sketchy with the floor jack right? Did it compress pretty easily? The bottle jack was super sketchy.
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Success! First one is bolted in. I lowered that side of the truck to nullify the sway bar since I couldn't get my end links off, but I'm not sure it would have mattered.

Only downside is my new Airlift bags aren't in yet and I'm not sure I'll be able to get them in through the coils like my originals. No point in trying to take my ~8 year old ones out of the old springs either. Hope these are stiff enough to make up for the difference until I get them in...
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And new problem. The left side bushing is rotating with the bolt as I turn it, and looks like it's eating itself. Since I basically turned the right side all the way out of the control arm this puts me at a stop. Post edited to say I'm definitely at a stop:



In the meantime, does this bushing (55157-EA501) replace that one?

https://www.courtesyparts.com/oem-parts/nissan-knuckle-bushing-55157ea501/?c=Zz1yZWFyLXN1c3BlbnNpb24mcz1yZWFyLXN1c3BlbnNpb24maT0zNjM2NTU1NSZyPTImYT1uaXNzYW4mbz1wYXRoZmluZGVyJnk9MjAwNSZ0PXNlJmU9NC0wbC12Ni1nYXM%3D
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docwatson



Joined: 23 Jan 2015
Posts: 103
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sketchy at all with the floor jack. Frame was on jack stands and it compressed easily.

I don't know how to deal with that bushing.
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the answer for the bushing elsewhere in the forums. Got a new one on order but it'll take till Monday to get here...ugh.
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow is this thing seized good. After stripping the rubber off the carrier and getting a really good grip on it with vise grips, trying to turn it with my impact wrench or 40" breaker bar just ends up shredding metal off with the vise grip teeth.

Still don't want to use a torch in my garage and I don't want to cut the bucket off like what another poster did, so I picked up a small reciprocating saw from Lowes with a 1/2" stroke that fits behind the knucke and some metal cutting blades. This may work out...

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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that took some time. Diablo Steel Demon blades are the ones you want if you find yourself cutting through grade eight hardened steel bolts apparently. I quickly wore through some Lenox and other brand blades first. Teeth were still there but the cutting slowed way down after ten or fifteen minutes once they were through the carrier and hit the bolt. The Steel Demons cut it pretty well though.



Didn't have to use a torch in my tiny garage or cut through the coil bucket though!
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally turning a corner on this. I couldn't get the knuckle out of the ball joint studs with three different sets of pullers that didn't fit, so I cut and pried the outer shell with my sawzall, a hack saw, a 4lb hammer and some pointy objects.





What a PITA this has been. Going to do some resurfacing on the surface where the bushing goes and then see if it wants to place nicely and go in without a press...which of course would be difficult to fit behind the CV joint.
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leaving this for the next person who feels this pain: my micrometer says the outer diameter of the bushing shell is 40.10mm and the diameter of the hole in the knuckle is 39.60 - 39.80mm. If you removed the axle and CV joint as well as the parking brake line, and weren't worried about burning and melting the left over rubber in the bushing, then some heat might make this an easy installation.

Next to press away...
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 30mm and 32mm deep impact sockets work pretty well as driver tools for the outer shell. I thought the ball joint press would work out, but a.) to really get in there I'd have to remove the rear axle which would take some work, and b.) it's just unwieldy to use. But fortunately beating on this thing with a 4lb hammer and alternating between those two sockets works. Aside from light grease I sanded and polished both surfaces before this since I knew it would be a tight fit and did not want to use fire. I am also tapping around the bushing hole every few minutes to relieve whatever stress I can, which helps it on the next few taps:



Like chipping out the old outer, the 3lb hammer was not getting it done. The 4lb hammer is necessary and it's still taking me a while. I am taking a break with about 9mm to go!
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 401
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got this done. The big hammer got it all but 2-3mm away from where it would have been stock. Originally both bushings sit flush on the back side of the knuckle, and a few mm out on the front. This one flared at the end as I drove it in, but I only missed the goal post by a tiny bit. This bushing absorbs a lot of shaft misalignment anyway so I'm not too concerned with it (drives fine). But it took maybe an hour or more of hammering, so sanding and polishing both surfaces helped get this far:



Here's everything together:



I don't have the air spring in the right side yet since I didn't have them when I put that spring in (easy to go back and put it in later since I've already disassembled once).

So driving impressions - this is similar to but better than in 2010 when I put Air Lift 1000 bags in my OEM springs, which helped a lot then. My OEM springs were not broken, but still very soft and bottomed out harshly over everything, upsetting steering in the front even on the highway. These with no bags give a very slight lift (guessing 0.5 - 1.0" but some of that is new spring seats) but mostly a much more stable and firm ride. No bottoming, less squish into the corners or with road camber, better tracking without the camber following, etc. I want the air springs back in for when I'm running heavy loads, but this feels a lot like what I was running usually (10-12 psi) unloaded so I will probably keep them at 0 psi until I put things in.

The Air Lift bags seem to lose their force over time, so 10 psi when new in 2010 does not feel the same as 10 psi in the same bags in 2018 as the bag deforms and squishes out through the coil springs more when pressurized under load. The Moog springs are a better permanent solution.

So now that I have new Bilsteins and the Moog springs in the rear, it definitely highlights the shortcomings of the OEM springs and Rancho shocks in the front. Next up is Moogs, Bilsteins, and the recently released polyurethane spring seat kit from 4x4parts.com for the front Very Happy

Important lesson learned someone else already pointed out: When you take out the outer coil bucket LCA bolt, lube the shaft of it with lithium grease or something else persistent, and put it in the other way so the bolt points backwards. That way you can hit it straight on with a hammer from the back side of the truck if for some reason the grease isn't enough to keep it from seizing like this. Otherwise the CV joint is in the way, and the only way to hit it directly is to pull your half shaft out on that side (problematic if your truck is already jacked up on one side only...I tried). If I'd been able to do that I might have been able to avoid shredding the bushing, although I suspect that I figured out I was twisting the rubber too late anyway.
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