by Herb Adler 5243 3409

Another Bugger episode.
Whilst driving BB back home from my son's basketball, along the ring road, there was a bang under the car. There was no sign of anything untoward, so I assumed that I had picked up a stone, which was thrown against the bottom of the car.

Driving the next day I suddenly noticed that the steering wheel was about 20 deg off, when driving in a straight line. Very worrying. Upon arrival I had a quick look under the front of the car, to see if there was anything visibly wrong with the front end, NIX.

So I gingerly drove home, and the next day I put the BB up on the hoist to have a good look. As before the front showed no signs of anything amiss. However, when I checked the back I found that the main leaf in one of the springs was broken. The bang.

If I were to fit a new spring, I would really need to do it on both sides, so the car wouldn't wind up with a lean. Factoring in new bushes pins etc., there wouldn't be much change from $400. Another bugger. Then I wondered if my good mate, John, would have one under his bench, that he would be willing to sell. Well he didn't have one under the bench, but did have one in the back yard. Because WW currently has the innards of a rear door removed, to fix the window works, I borrowed SWMBO's car to pick this spring up.

I didn't look forward to having to drop the rear axle and having to disconnect everything, including the brake line. The thought of brake fluid everywhere and then the need to bleed the brake system, really turned me off.
Having jacked the back of the car up and removed the wheel I had a good look and decided that I would try removing and replacing the spring without disconnecting anything. Apart from having to disconnect the shock absorber link from the retaining plate, it worked. The hardest job was to remove and then refit the nut on the top of the rear shackle, as it was very close to the fuel tank.

My bushes were all in excellent condition, so I reused them. It was easy to remove the bush from the old spring eye, just cut with a grinder, and use a cold chisel to force the eye open. Removing the same bush from the replacement spring was much more difficult. The centre tube was removed by heating with a gas torch, till the rubber melted. Then the rubber was picked out piecemeal, and finally the outer sleeve was cut and split to remove it. Using my trusty mechanical press, read bench vice, I pushed my original bush into the replacement spring.

Replacing the spring was easy, the front pivot bolt in and loosely fit the nut, so it can't fall out. Then lift the rear and wiggle it onto the shackle, refit the bush. Now spend time and curses trying to replace the top shackle nut, with very minimum clearance to the fuel tank. Eventually all done.

Next jack the spring up so that the bottom plate can be replaced on the U bolts, using a small jack and block of wood. Once the spring was jacked into place the bottom plates, with rubber pads, were fitted and tightened up. Then the shocker link arm was coaxed into place and tightened.

The rear axle was now jacked up, until it just took the cars weight, so that all the bushes were in their correct working alignment. All the bolts and nuts were now completely tightened, the axle lowered again, the wheel fitted and VOILA all fixed.