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'75 K25 Front Leaf Spring Bushing replacement - bolts stuck

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by 75gmck25, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    I purchased a set of poly bushings for the springs on my '75 GMC and have started with the front bushing for the front springs. Truck is jacked up by the frame and the wheel on that side is hanging about an inch off the ground. I have a jack under the axle housing to take tension off the spring.

    - Got the nut loosened up without any problem

    - Tried turning the bolt to see if it would thread and come out of the bushing. I can turn it slowly with a breaker bar, but it never frees up and turns smoothly. I tried my impact wrench on it and the rubber seems to absorb the impact, since the bolt does not turn. I don't know if a stock bushing has a metal sleeve around the bolt, but I don't think so.

    - Put the nut back on and started smacking on that end with a small sledge hammer, but so far it is not moving. The rubber bushing is probably stuck to the bolt and is taking the impact.

    Now I'm looking at options.
    1 - Use a sawzall and cut the bolt where you can see it inside the upper mounting bracket. However, then I need to find new bolts. LMC truck has them, but they are slow to ship and relatively expensive. It looks like its a 9/16" grade 8 bolt about 4 1/2 to 5" long.
    2 - Try using a ball joint removal tool to press the bolt out. This might work, but I'm not positive the kit will have the right pieces to get the leverage needed.
    3 - Burn the rubber bushing out with a torch. This will be messy and smoky, and I will have rubber residue burned onto everything. Also, the burned rubber might just make everything stick together even more. However, it might work.

    I've also included a couple of pictures.

    I appreciate any suggestions you might have.

    Thanks,

    Bruce

    IMG_4946.jpg

    IMG_4947.jpg
     
  2. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The bushings have a steel sleeve. I find it's usually easiest to cut the bolts with a sawzall and you will want to replace the bolts anyway. Any decent small-town type hardware store will have the bolts.
     
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  3. bucket

    bucket Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, if you have good control with an angle grinder, you can get in there with a cutoff disc as well. With a fresh disc, you can probably get about halfway through the bolt, then rotate the bolt 180° and then repeat.
     
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  4. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    You should put the jack or a jack stand on the frame and not your axle. The weight of the truck is still on the suspension and "pinning" that bolt into place in the spring eye.

    Let the axle hang a bit.

    Lots of PB blaster and start smacking it around. Mine came out that way after some persuasion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  5. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    He said it is jacked up by the frame.

    Get a better impact that will spin that bolt, or
    Cut bolt off inside hanger on both ends.
    Drop axle down
    Drill as many holes in the rubber as you can. (you may break a couple drill bits off if they’re small bits, so use old bits, the rubber grabs them and twists them).
    drive the bushing out.
    Can buy new grade 8 boots at any hardware store for a buck or 2 a piece.
     
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  6. 77 K20

    77 K20 Full Access Member

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    Whoops- been a long night. All I saw was "I have a jack under the axle housing" :confused:
     
  7. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    I dug out some of the rubber bushings around the edges, and there is definitely a metal bushing around the bolt. I will start with the angle grinder from below (it cuts a lot faster) and then slip the sawzall blade in from the top to finish it.

    I’ll have to check Ace, tru-Value, NAPA, etc., for the right bolts, since the big box stores have nothing that matches. HD jumps from 1/2” to 5/8” (no 9/16”) and has very little in Grade 8.

    I am definitely using two jacks to support the frame and to take the load off the spring. I think I’ll also unbolt the bottom of the shock, just in case.

    Bruce
     
  8. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    The bolts are likely 100% froze onto the steel sleeve.
    I just did this on my jeep. Had to drill out both rubber bushings then they drove out easy. (relatively)
    Fastenal, farm supplys like Fleet Farm, tractor supply, any local bolt supplier or you can buy grease able bolts online.
    I've been considering replacing mine before they freeze up with grease able ones as they have hardware store grade 8s in them now.
     
  9. AuroraGirl

    AuroraGirl Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Im from wisconsin and even though Fleet Farm and Farm and Fleet are the same thing functionally, you must choose a side in the epic war.
    Yes I know this is unrelated but i had to let you know that we ride or die for Farm and Fleet here, en garde
     
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  10. AuroraGirl

    AuroraGirl Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    What does the spring do if the sleeve freezes up?
     
  11. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    I don't think it hurts anything in normal operation if the sleeve and bolt are fused together from rust, since you lubricate the rubber bushing so it can still rotate around the sleeve. The sleeve just maintains the spacing of the shackle as you tighten down the bolt. However, with the bolt and sleeve rusted together you can't get the bolt out. I plan to pack the inside of the sleeve with wheel bearing grease inside, and use the tube of lubricant they provided to lubricate the bushing (it looks like silicone?).

    I tried NAPA and the Ace hardware store and neither one had bolts in stock that are the right size (too short). NAPA could get them from another store but it was nowhere local. The Fastenal online site only had an option buy boxes of bolts (usually 25 or 50).

    I finally went to McMaster-Carr online and bought what I needed. They have a really easy to work with website and a lot of variety in what they sell. The prices for nuts and bolts were reasonable, and they sell them in small quantities, but I'm still waiting to find out the shipping cost.

    Bruce
     
  12. Jake_S

    Jake_S Full Access Member

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    We always burned the old bushing out with a torch, just have an extinguisher on hand.
     
  13. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Full Access Member

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    Even if I burned the rubber bushing out completely, when its mounted on the truck the front eye bolt won't come out because its rusted to the sleeve in the middle. Its time for the grinder.

    Bruce
     
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  14. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    I grew up on Blaines Farm n Fleet. Work n Sport work boots and Cooper tires.
     
  15. Grit dog

    Grit dog Full Access Member

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    Yeah I did that. Exactly once.
    Worse than porting a snomachine track. Basically like burning a tire in your shop!
    If at all possible, drill it out,IMO.
     
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