How to Replace Leaf Springs and Lift your Truck

How to Replace Leaf Springs and Lift your Truck

Hey guys, ChrisFix here. And today I’m going to show you how to replace your leaf springs your leaf spring Shackles and your leaf spring mounting brackets in your truck or SUV Basically any vehicle that uses leaf springs after you’re done watching this video you’ll be able to replace all of this at home and save yourself a ton of money. I’m also going to show you how to replace the leaf spring bushings because most of the time your leaf springs are good The only time they’re not good is if they’re physically damaged like if they’re rusted out or if your suspension is sagging. In those cases you will have to replace the leaf spring but most cases you just need to replace the bushing and in order to do that You press the old bushing out and you press the new bushing in easier said than done But I have a lot of tips and tricks. I’ll show you how to do that So you could get that done properly And finally, I’m going to show you how to undercoat the vehicle because there is a lot of rust down there That’s the reason why my mounting bracket snapped and damaged the leaf spring So we’re gonna remove the rust, Undercoat it and its gonna make it last a long time a lot longer than stuck and speaking of stock Check this out that right There is level you can see the truck is tilted back to that corner and here is why now check out that carnage Here’s where the leaf spring mounting bracket is here’s the leaf spring and here’s the shackle and you can see I mean it just snapped Right. Now the leaf spring is kind of pushed up against the bed of the truck and you can’t drive this truck This is very dangerous. Luckily. This didn’t happen while I was driving and the reason why it happened is well cause it’s all rusty It’s just crumbling apart look at that. And besides the rust one issue that we’re gonna have it’s kind of a pain you can see this side of the Mounting bracket is bolted in but this side of the mounting bracket is riveted to the frame So we’re gonna have to grind these rivets out or drill ’em out so that we can remove the bracket but besides that The rest of this should go relatively smoothly The new bracket has four bolts So we don’t have to rivet it in it’ll bolt right in Now if you were to get one thing out of this video besides how to replace this stuff I’m gonna hope after this video you guys go and check out your leaf spring mounts and perches make sure the leaf springs good make Sure, your rust isn’t bad a quick inspection underneath your vehicle could save you from a big accident So now that you know what the damage looks like, let’s go and repair it and to do that. We’re using all common tools© We’re gonna be using a ratchet some sockets and a wrench definitely have to have some safety glasses Let’s go put those on now and you’re going to want a dust mask because we’re going to be using an angle grinder to remove the rivets from the mounts that are holding the stock mounts in and I also have a wire wheel that goes on this angle grinder to remove all the rust so that we could spray-paint it and finally You’re gonna need a good jack and jack stands so we can lift the rear of the truck up to remove the leaf springs So let’s go get started Chuck off both front wheels and slide the jack under and jack up the rear of the truck you want to raise the truck as high as it’ll go and with the truck jacked up as high as we could get it you can see how much that makes the truck tilt forwards and that’s Why it’s very important that you use a large wheel chocks in the front on both tires I also have the truck in park and I put it in four-wheel drive. So the front tires are locked They’re not going to move now with the truck safely jacked up like that Now we need to get it on jack stands and I am using a larger than normal jack stand That’s a 12-ton jack stand compared to the normal 3 ton jack stand and the reason why is because my truck is up pretty high So we want to add our jack stand to the frame of the truck We don’t want to put it on the suspension and then slowly let the truck down so it safely rests on the jack stands Perfect So with the suspension just hanging there, now we could remove each of our leaf springs But we want to remove one at a time. So we’re gonna leave this side intact We’re not going to touch it and that’s going to hold the suspension in place as we remove this side So let’s get started and I’m gonna start by removing all five lug nuts so we could get the wheel out of the way And that gives us access to our leaf springs. Now the leaf springs are held in at three different locations We have a front mounting bracket. We have the mounting bracket here that holds it to the axle And then we had that rear one that’s broken, which we don’t have to disconnect cause it disconnected itself with all that rust So all we have to do is disconnect this one and that one and let’s start right here. So let’s remove the four nuts We’ll get this first one and just as I figured this one is tight and that’s why I like these extendable ratchets It gives us more leverage to break this nut free, beautiful so now we want to break the rest of the nuts free and Then loosen them by hand and remove the u-bolt from the axle good then we could do the same thing for the other two nuts Remove the second u-bolt and the mounting plate as well so now normally I’d unbolt the leaf spring from the rear mount next but since it rusted through and it’s disconnected we don’t have to Worry about that. So finally the last thing to do is unbolt it from the front mount So let’s get our ratchet on the and this is usually a really tough one to break loose Holy smokes that bolt is stuck Let’s try a longer breaker bar Which gives us more leverage and even so this bolt won’t break loose so one trick that Usually works before we have to break out the torch, is grab a jack and put the handle of the breaker bar on the jack And then Jack it up this lets us use Hydraulic power from the jack which could normally lift the truck and instead we’re gonna use it to loosen a bolt and this is working nicely Perfect Now we can loosen the bolt the rest of the way by hand, and the next challenge is this bolt is just spinning and won’t Come out. It’s stuck in there so a trick is to get a pry bar behind the bolt like so and Pry it out as you unscrew it and you can see it’s slowly making its way out Good now we can remove the leaf spring and just be prepared It’s pretty heavy and with the leaf spring out of the way We could finally remove the rear leaf spring mounting bracket Now, the first thing we’re gonna do is remove these two bolts, or at least try to they’re very rusty So what I’m gonna do is grab a socket and that’s a tight fit because the nut is swollen from all the rust So hammer it on there and then get your ratchet and let’s see if we could get this off Perfect, and I’m surprised that came right off without a fight Now let’s do the same thing for the bottom nut hammer it in there and Turn that ratchet and I spoke too soon, it figures And this side of the nut is so broken off and rusted. It just keeps falling off and stripping So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna be using one of these twist sockets and what these do is they have sharp ridges inside The socket that grab onto the nut so all we have to do with this is hammer it onto the nut so it’s tight connect your ratchet and Just what I was hoping for the nut is turning and this is gonna save us a lot of time and effort We don’t have to grind this one off now with the nut removed We can pry the side off and this is just crumbling apart It’s so rusted and finally remove the two bolts from the back Now all that’s left is to remove these two rivets and in order to do that I’m going to be using an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel like this Now it’s very important that use the dust mask and eye protection when you’re doing this you don’t want to breathe all this rust in and you don’t want to get any of this in your eyes And we’re basically just grinding away at both rivets until they’re completely gone Which allows us to hammer the mounting bracket right off? Good now we could use a hammer on the rivets and then use the metal punch to pop them out of the frame same with The other one hammer it and then pop it out with a punch. Now that’s how you remove the rivets next We need to remove the rust. So I switched out the grinding wheel for a wire wheel You just want to get all that loose rust out of there so that we could spray on our rust reformer And I’m also gonna use a metal wire brush to get into those spots I couldn’t reach with the large wire wheel and finally We could spray our rust reformer you want to put on an even medium to thick coat and cover the entire? Exposed metal surface, make sure you overlap your coats because you don’t want to miss any spots It’s important that you seal the entire surface completely this rust reformer is going to bond to the metal and all the rust and convert it into a paintable surface and also prevent future rust and 24 hours later after spraying the rust reformer, check this out. This came out beautiful So I sprayed from that jack stand all the way back to the tailgate and there is no more rust anywhere Not only did I spray the outside here, but I sprayed the inside of the frame So both sides of the frame are coated and just so you have an idea from that jack stand all the way to the back On both sides of the frame that takes one can of rust reformer. So we’re going to need another can for the other side So a total of two cans and if you want to end up spraying in front of your jack stands You’re gonna need another probably two cans just so that you get an idea So now that we got this coating on here all this rust has been reformed It’s been converted from rust to a paintable surface But if we leave it like this, if a rock kicks up and chips that paint we could start to get rust again So what we’re gonna do next is spray and under coating now. This is a rubberized coating it’s flexible and it’ll prevent rocks from kicking up and Damaging anything and it’s also thick coating so we don’t want to spray this just yet First thing that we want to do before we spray anything is install our brand-new spring mount We want to have this up flush against the frame We don’t want any under coating in between this and the frame So to prevent that we’ll go and install that now so grab the mount and the bolts are gonna go right through these four holes here but first we want to put some medium strength threadlocker on all four bolts to prevent them from coming loose from Vibrations and now it’s ready to mount to the frame and it should slide right into place now hand tighten all four nuts and Finally torque them down to 75 foot-pounds Out with the old rusty spring mount and in with the nice brand new one that looks awesome now before we start under-coating There’s one more thing we need to do and that is grab some tape and tape off any surfaces that are mounting surfaces So right here the spring mounts We don’t want to get any build up on here from the undercoating the under coatings thick and it will build up and it could be uneven or it could raise the surface this we want a nice smooth surface for the spring to mount on same thing up here at Our front spring mount we want to make sure that we have a nice smooth surface for the spring to mount and for our bolt To go through, any nuts or bolts any threads on the bolts We want to tape up so they don’t get clogged and I did the same thing to the mount in the rear I taped it off. So when we install our spring it’ll slide right in Okay Now we’re ready for the rubberized protective undercoating same as a rust reformer spray on medium to thick coats and make sure you overlap You can see how thick this stuff is when it sprays out and that’s what provides the protection of the paint underneath and don’t worry It looks brown now, but it’s going to turn black later when it dries So cover everything that you just painted with the rust reformer with a nice thick layer of rubberized undercoating and already this looks so good All right So with the undercoat drying now is the perfect opportunity for me to show you how to remove the old bushing from your leaf spring And install a brand new bushing. Now why would you do this? Well, your old leaf spring in most cases is gonna be perfectly fine Unless it has physical damage or your suspension was sagging you could reuse the old leaf spring usually just the bushings are bad And that’s better than going out and buying an expensive new leaf spring I thought I’d need new leaf springs because my suspension collapsed but it turns out that these are fine so what you could do to save a lot of money is Install new bushings now to do that is really simple You just need a saw, a hammer and a torch and I’m gonna show you how to do that right now The first thing we need to do you see how all this rubber is expanded outside the leaf spring this is going to make it really difficult when we have to push this rubber through the leaf spring so we want to use a hacksaw and cut all this outside rubber off by working our way around the bushing until we can remove the Rubber piece just like that Now we want to grab our torch and heat up the outside metal of the leaf spring which is holding the bushing in One thing I see people do all the time Incorrectly when removing bushings is they put a flame directly on the bushing and catch it on fire sure that will work eventually But you’re creating a lot of unnecessary smoke. You don’t want to breathe in and it wastes a lot of time So all you actually need to do is heat the outside of the metal surrounding the bushing for about two to three minutes You’ll know when you’re done heating it up because you’ll see the rubber on the edge next to the metal begin to bubble and separate from the leaf spring once the bushing separates shut the flame and get a socket that fits the inside diameter of the bushing and Hammer the bushing out and While it’s still very hot use a metal wire brush to clean the rest of the rubber out that’s stuck to the inside So we have a smooth clean surface to install the new bushing into Now in this case we only have a rubber bushing with a metal sleeve on the inside but on some bushings We have a metal sleeve on the outside and that metal sleeve will get stuck inside here in that case You get a saw and remove the blade and reattach it so you could saw through the thin outside metal case of the bushing once you cut through the metal remove the saw Then you get a chisel or a screwdriver or something and just hammer out Right on the edge of this metal piece to knock it out and it’s that simple Now luckily, my bushing is just a rubber bushing with a metal insert. So we don’t have to do that All we need to do is make sure the inside is clean and then we could install our brand-new bushing since this is still hot The metal is expanded. So it’ll make pushing this bushing in easy spraying a little bit of lubricant on here Like silicone will help the new bushing slide in easily Then we could carefully tap the bushing to get it started and once it’s in get a socket that fits on the outside metal shell Of the bushing and hammer it in the rest of the way until the bushing surface is level with the leaf spring surface So there you go out with the old broken bushing and in with the brand new one. It’s that easy to do It’s very cost effective And once you get both of the new bushings in we could finish up the job and install the leaf spring in the truck So going back under the truck Look at this under coating this came out awesome it coats everything so it looks good And so it protects the metal so it won’t rust again now with that all done and dry we could install the leaf spring and We want to install the shackle first and we want to do this when the leaf spring is off the truck So we have a lot more room to work now This is the stock shackle and I do want to do a little bit of an upgrade This is a shackle from a Chevy or a Dodge and if you look at the difference between these two the Chevy and dodge one Is a lot beefier. It’s thicker the welds are better and it’s a lot longer So what that’s going to do is that’s going to allow us to either pick the stock ride height Or if we move the bolts here or here we can lift the truck in the rear So with the stock shackle, it would install just like that now with the aftermarket one We can install it at the exact same ride height, but I’m gonna lift it up just a little bit So we have a slight increase in the lift of the truck. So we’ll add our bolt With the bolt in add a little bit of medium strength thread locker since this is a high vibration area And you wanna hand tighten this nut. You don’t want to tighten it down all the way You don’t want to torque it just yet. There’s a bushing here and a bushing here And anytime you have bushings on suspension components. You want the suspension to be loaded before you torque down the bushings? So we’re gonna wait for this and we’re gonna install the leaf spring right now so we’ll get the leaf spring mounting block that the spring sits on and put it in place and Now we could go and install the leaf spring on the axle one thing to note some leaf springs are Directional meaning they have a long side and a short side and on my truck you want to install the long side towards the back? So always double-check with the leaf spring on the other side of the truck to make sure you’re installing it in the correct direction Next we could install our u-bolts and our mounting plate and if you take a look at the mounting plate It says for and aft so we want to make sure that we set that up exactly how it says to and it looks like the mounting plate isn’t gonna fit so since this is an aftermarket spring this nut is Just a little bit too big to fit in this hole so I’m gonna use a file and file away some of the material in the hole and hopefully Perfect that gave us the extra clearance Now you get our u-bolts in that just go under the axle and then it should slide through those holes Same thing with the other one under the axle and through the holes now I’m gonna add a little bit of medium strength thread locker right to the threads and then get these nuts started on to the bolt Now we want to tighten all these nuts evenly so tighten each one down a little bit at a time So tighten the nuts on one u-bolt and then go over and tighten the nuts on the other U-bolt and keep tightening them back and forth. Then we can torque all four nuts down to 80 foot-pounds beautiful now It’s important that this is nice and flat and easiest way to check that is to look at the thread height on These bolts all four bolts are about the same height If one bolt was up a lot higher than all the rest undo the nuts and retighten it So each one is even it’s important that this is nice and flat So you have a good flat surface that it’s mounted onto now that this is good Let’s go and bolt up the rear shackle get the shackle in place and slide the bolt through the hole Then get the nut and tighten the bolt into the nut So with that bolt tightened down but not torqued. Both of these bolts still need to get torqued next Let’s go to the front of the leaf spring and get that bolt aligned and pushed into place and then tighten that down *RATCHET NOISE™* And just in case you didn’t notice I used all brand new fasteners because the old fasteners were rusted and Because the threads were messed up if you’re gonna do this job you might as well do it right while you’re in here get new Fasteners plus I don’t trust these because all the rust they could fail on you So with all the bolts loosely tightens, we now want to jack up the rear of the suspension So the leaf springs are loaded with the entire weight of the truck So get the jack under there and lift the suspension until the truck barely lifts off the jack stands then you know The full weight is on the suspension and then we get torque down both rear bolts on the shackle to 80 foot-pounds good and torque down the front bolt as well to 80 foot-pounds and There we go. We are done installing the leaf spring on this side. So now let’s go do the other side So with a little bit of editing magic™, here’s the before and the after and that’s what I’m talking about What a difference. So this side was just as easy as the other side brand new springs. All the rust was removed We under coated it and brand new shackles and mounts and we are done on this side So now we just need to put both wheels on the truck and as always torque them down in a star pattern so they go On evenly, okay so all that’s left to do is jack up the truck a little bit remove both jack stands and Let the truck down on the ground for the first time with its brand new leaf springs All right now that is a proper thorough guide on how to replace those old leaf springs the shackles the mounts that are rusted and those Degraded bushings in your truck or SUV. I’m glad to have this back on the road We also undercoated it and we gave it a little bit of a lift and that looks perfect Now I’m going to be putting this truck right to work and use it for what it’s designed to do I need to get all these old used drift tires and bring them to the recycle center. So i’ll load that up Hopefully the video was helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up Also if you’re not a subscriber Consider hitting that subscribe button and as usual all the tools and products I used in this video are linked in the description So you could easily find them.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I hope you guys are ready for what I have been working on… It's going to be an epic next few months. That's all I gotta say about that.
    Also daily updates here:
    And what did you think of my new shirt/design I was wearing at the end? Want one?
    Make sure you hit that notification bell so you can get updates when I post the next YouTube videos!!!

  2. Great video man. Thanks heaps. Bit radom but it wa huge help in understanding how my truck suspension works to get it all sorted before lifting it.

  3. I like listening to you.
    You don't have obnoxious music in the background and don't think you're a comedian.The sound of the tools is music enough.

  4. I used to take my truck leaf springs to the shop to get rearched, I was told some factory installed springs are trash ….. Try and buy good tempered leaf springs …. 🇺🇸

  5. Dude… THANK YOU for this video!! Easy to understand, beautiful camera angles showing parts clearly, and not insanely long. Truly, magnificent!
    Now, I am off to fix my own leaf springs!

  6. Do you have Twitter because there is an account on Twitter of you and I keep replying to things on there but I don't know if that's you

  7. hi chrisfix so if you would like to help me with a mini bike the was made in 1989 that would be cool cuz it has rust it does not go that fast and there is a problem where i can not accelerate faster than it use to if you would like to help just comment on my yt at nickdeninja32 thx

  8. shackles are installed with closed section forward tho so i think you put them on wrong. your open section was forward…

  9. Great video! I'll send a picture for when I do mine. I'm happy your truck's leaf spring issue was the exact same as mine. The bracket broke from rust and the bushing went through the metal on my truck bed.

  10. Chris, first a question and then a comment. First, can you post a link to the longer length nitrile gloves you use? Second, I’m a life long home mechanic since my first truck when I was a junior in high school. But I got lazy as a. Use professional and stopped doing lots of work, like brakes, that I always used to do. Your channel has inspired me both because of your positive attitude and the step by step details you include. So I’ve recently done front and rear brakes on my wife’s Jeep Wrangler and my Ram 3500 mega cab truck, enjoyed the work and probably save $700 – $800 over dealer and repair shop pricing. So thanks.

  11. I have a 1993 Ford Ranger XLT 2 wheel drive , great little truck just had transmission rebuilt 86,000 original miles one owner.
    I have to replace driver side rear leaf spring forward bracket tomorrow. Do I have to take the bed off to replace bracket or is there an easier way?

  12. Outstanding video. I'll be doing this job on my 02 Tacoma this weekend. Now I have the confidence to know I CAN do it myself and can come back to this video if I go off the rails. Thanks a lot guys. SUBSCRIBED!

  13. Used to have an old 87 ranger. This would have been useful when I snapped the leafspring… oh well. It was a good beater truck while it lasted.

  14. Thanks for the guide, I'm currently doing the same but I had the front left mount to collapse.  Replacing all 4.  The front requires the full tank to be moved to get to the back on the frame to install the bolts.

  15. Couple of observations about that mazdaford… 1. Open C channel frame. 2. Leaf spring mounts on bracket that offsets the load to the side of the frame.

    Common on older trucks…. I can't help but think that the offset load and open channel frame combine to likely result in a lot of frame twist and less than ideal forces on that bracket. Some of that twisting would likely have caused any undercoating that came from the factory to flake off a lot faster than it would have had the frame been fully boxed and the load centered on the frame rather than twisting against it from the side.


    The arse end of my H3 (a similar vehicle "class" in terms of being built on a mid-truck platform), has fully boxed frame and the load aligned to the frame rather than twisting on it. I'm very thankful for this since I often drive on 2 wheels offroad through very articulated trail sections, which places a lot of stress on these parts.

  16. Really nice job but gotta be very careful with rubber undercoat. If there's any rust or moisture trapped underneath it then it'll start rotting from the inside. YouTube search rubber undercoating spray and watch the first video. That's a worst case scenario

  17. this is a very good video high quality visuals and high volume audio. The technical advice was great and applicable in any workshop.

  18. That was quite the before and after finger snap. It made the other leaf spring disappear. 50% of the trucks leaf springs vanished with that finger snap….Thanos would approve.

  19. As a mechanic 👍🏽 you have good tips. I’m actually surprised 😮. I’m most that negative 👎🏾 comment guy . But…… 👌🏾bravo

  20. You are probably my favorite you-tuber, you make everything interesting and fun and you probably help a lot of people too.

  21. Wow Chris Fix, silly me I normally remove the bed and blast the entire back portion of the frame and cote the entire frame and check the bottom of the bed never know what a person could miss … Great Video …..

  22. I hope the upper bolt of the shackle turns without turning the nut when I try to remove it. The L bracket welded to the nut is pretty flimsy. And I can't put a wrench on the nut without removing the bed of the truck. Hoping I don't have to remove the mounting bracket from the frame.

  23. Hi, Chris. Thank you for your tutorials 👍. You aren't only an excellent mechanic, but your videos are very professionally made and are satisfying to watch.

  24. Chris you’re videos are the best!!! I can only imagine all the hard work that goes into your videos. Thank you for being the guy to show all of us driveway mechanics how it done.

  25. you need to show them to start several days before repair work to spray penetrant on those blots to get them loose

  26. I'm confused about your timeline. You fixed your leaf springs but in the Drifting in a new track video, you said your leaf springs are messed up 🤔🤔😂😂

  27. Your not supposed to re-use u-bolts ( they stretch ) and would suggest a re-torque after 30 days . If you have access to a airchisel you can burp those rivet heads off in 2 seconds and you won't need to spray sparks all over the gas tank , also a airchisel can remove the outer shell of the spring bushings . I try to avoid putting heat on springs , they can lose their memory or become embrittled, we cold press the bushings with threaded rod and washers and pipe .

  28. You're killing me with the blue locktight. You should be using red or "permanent" on bolts that aren't intended to be removed. Also don't put locktight on before you intend to torque the fastener. It dries with the bolt loose and when you tighten them you're breaking it free. Other than that keep you the channel. It's great.

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