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Finished the leaf spring project this weekend. Wow. I appreciate the insights learned from the previous postings of this popular topic. I claim all of them in the bibliography of this posting. To make a long story short, it took me about two weeks to muscle/cut through the first bolt, and about 45 minutes to get the rest. This is what I learned, and keep in mind I did this in my own garage.

1.) This job blows.
2.) You can’t give up.
3.) Ingenuity counts.

My first job was to get the car high enough. The sawsall is a long tool. You have to cut through the bolts with the saw perpendicular to the floor, not angled. This accounted for about one week in that my wimpy floor jack would not go high enough. I finally borrowed a floor jack that could go to 24” high. I took a hockey puck and sawed a notch in it to accommodate the jack support area that Ford provides under the rocker panel. Worked nice and got the jackstands out of the way of the saw.

I then got some of the tungsten/carbide saw blades from the Home Depot. $5.50 apiece. Used two of them. These Milwaukee blades are the type where the carbide is glued to the edge of the blade, and really look more like a file than a saw blade.

The blade then had to be shortened. If it’s too long the tip hits the bottom of the spring perch. I measured the blade, and for my saw, had to trim ¾”. This dimension would differ based on saw, I suspect. I placed the blade in a vice and bent it over with a hammer. Breaks real nice, and doesn’t damage any of the carbide.

After realizing that some fixturing could help (from the first bolt problem), I came up with a plan. I built a “guide” for the top portion of the saw out of 1 by 6 pine, and clamped to the leaf spring. This prevented the saw from twisting, but allowed the saw blade to be pushed into the bolt. Next I set the height of the car so that I had about ½” clearance under the saw. I then used three rows of wooden door shims to sandwich the saw anvil up under the spring. I put the three rows opposite each other to create a cradle to prevent the handle of the saw from moving side to side. I used a lot of pressure here to make sure that the saw wasn’t jumping up and down. Very key.

Then I took a vice grip and strategically clamped onto the guide/spring to establish a “pry point”. I then used the jack handle of my wimpy floor jack to keep pressure on the saw when cutting. The fixture and the shims held the saw in place. My other hands worked the saw speed and kept pressure on the jack handle. I tried for a slow to medium blade speed and kept good pressure on the saw. Made it through each bolt in about five minutes per cut. Hardly even broke a sweat.

I apologize for the long length, but maybe this will help someone. Any questions, just ask. Just don’t ask about my experience with the first bolt. The forums bad word filter would limit my response.
 

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This is on my list to-do in about a week or so. I think I'm going to use a cutting torch instead. What do you think?
 

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the only stang I ve ever replaced leafs on didnt have the bolt problem.....you guys are scaring me!!
 

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yep, just finished mine, they are finally laying in the floor. UNREAL!!!!! about 2 weeks here also. finally ended up setting the rubber on fire with my torch removal method-hah-hah. was able then to get a little slack for the sawsall.. 4 blades for me.lowes blades bi-metal were a waste. so far this has been the hardest job for me, including a front framerail. im sure some go smoother,mine sure didnt. later
 
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I am seeing torches in my dreams, right about now. Actually, the guy I borrowed the big floor jack from volunteered his torching services. You know, the kind of guy that can cut a round hole better than some machinists can machine 'em.

I guess it was my sorry butt ego that got in the way. That and I was worried that somehow it would damage the framerails.

I am bettin that a good torch hand could remove with no damage. Cuz in the spring business they aren't making much money my way.
 

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Be careful....the best torchman I know, put holes in my rear seat platform, directly above the front leaf bolts. Yowser. It didn't take too long to cut, but the replacing the rear seat platform pan was a pain in the axx!

Drew
 

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I'm glad you got it, I've been there before and I'm doing this on my vert in a few weeks.

I have a different method that I used on my '66 coupe years ago.

After a week of fighting the first bolt as you did I decided there had to be a better way. I went to Home Depot and bought a 6" cut off wheel, a 14"x 1/2" threaded rod, 2 large fender washers, and 4 matching nuts. I secured the cut off wheel to the threaded rod with the fender washers and nuts then chucked the assembly in my 1/2" drill. Wearing eye protection and using heavy work gloves I cut the rest of the 1st bolt and all of the second bolt out in about 2 minutes. No big jack needed and no torch fires /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
 
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