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I'm trying to decide whether to attempt changing the leaf springs on my '66 coupe myself or hire it done. I keep hearing horror stories and would like to hear from someone who has replaced their without too much problem. Is the only real problem the rusted on bolts? I have a 4" grinder and a sawsall - should I go for it?
::Thanks
 

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I did mine myself. Hopefully you've got the basic tools required besides the sawsall. Floor jack, jack stands, hand tools, WD40 or better, a shop manual (haynes, chilton or Ford), etc. It would help to have a friend, but you can do it yourself. I sprayed all the nuts/bolts everyday for 3 day with PB Blaster and they all came loose.

Good luck!
 

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My car's front eye bolts were not a problem at all, just a shot of WD40 the night before as a precaution and everything worked out fine. Then again, the rest of my car is virtually rust free.
 

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On the 3 1969 cars I have worked on, all of the leaf springs came out without any problems. From all the stories I have heard, rust is the central issue. I would think that with a sawzall and grinder you are already prepared for the worst. Spraying some penetrating oil on and leaving it for a couple days is a good idea. How rusty is your car? That is the best (but not 100% accurate) indicator of what you are in for...

To be absolutely honest I had more difficulty with the flare fitting on the rear brake lines than the springs...

Good luck,
Rory
 

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Yes, definetely go for it! I would recommend tungsten carbide sawzall blades, I believe that is what I used. Anyway, first try removing the bolts, of course if they are rusted through, then bring out the big tools. After I removed the rear shackles, I lowered the springs and cut them with my grinder (cut-off wheel) as close to the front bolt as possible, leaving you more room to work with. Then, I took the sawzall with the tungsten/carbide blade (at least the ones I got did not have teeth but rather looked like molten iron melted to the edge - somebody help me with the correct name if those are not tungsten carbide) and start cutting through the bolt, both sides. It will take a little effort, but trust me, it will cut through and the bolt will come out, in pieces that is. Also, if you do a search you can probably some up with some more advice/tips. Good luck.
 

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Try to unbolt it first. If that fails go straight to what works fur sure. Unbolt the rear axle U bolts, support the housing on a jack or stands, unbolt the shackle bolts, let the springs down to the floor, fire up the old angle grinder, :chainsaw:
cut the springs off near the front eye,(What did you want to save them for any way) Use a wheel large enough to reach the eye bolt and cut at least 1/2 way through, if necessary turn the bolt and cut the other half through. Now replace the eye and u bolts and put some anti seize on them. One hour job. I had to remove the guard on my grinder to get deep enough, so be sure to wear work gloves and eye protection.
 

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I needed a sawsall with carbide blades. 6 hrs for the first one. 1 hr for the 2nd You can do it
 

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I ended up using an acetylene cutting torch for 1 of my front bolts. An angle grinder wouldn't quite fit, my sawzall blades were too long, and I had nothing to brace against. I did my first spring in 1 hour, the 2nd in 1 day.
 

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Some are bad, some aren't. :winkgrin:
Even if you run into a sticky one, you know what to do :biggrin:
Besides, would you want to pay shop rate for somebody else to struggle? :puke:
And when you DO get it done, bragging rights are yours :joker: :joker:
 

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I've replaced leaf springs on two Mustangs in the last few years. My current 68 Fastback I installed new springs and nothing was rusted or frozed so the task of swapping the springs didn't take long at all. Then there is my old 68 Convertible....it took a good deal of time to get the bolts out. Both front leaf spring bolts were frozen, that was not a fun job to get them out, but I just kept working at it and eventualy got them out.
 

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I went to the junk yard and found a truck spring pack with the same arch. I took the longest two (3/8" thick) leafs from the pack and cut them to match the length of the two longest non-eye leafs from my car after I tore apart the factory leafs. Replaced the old leafs, put the packs back together, and stuck it back under. The car is much more firmer, doesn't bottom out when someone sits in the back, and isn't shackled 6" in anymore. Plus it only cost 20 bucks.
 

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Piece of cake. There's always going to be the troublesome bolts, just hope you don't run into one. In that case, have the sawzall ready and have at it. It's not a hard job, just potentialy time consuming.

Dave
 

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And - put never-sieze on the new bolts prior to install. Just in case you want to change to stiffer springs (or whatever) later.
Dave
 

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P. B. Blaster----this is good stuff---spray everything---two or three times
 

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There *is* a way to do this w/o the sawzall. I had one bolt that would not budge, and I used a tube nut w/ two bolts threaded into both ends to make sort of a telescoping "pusher" contraption. Put this between the frame and the inboard side of the front bolt, start tightening the tube nut so the bolts push on the frame and the end of the stuck bolt, put a wrench on the head of the stuck bolt and hit it with a BFH, tighten the tube nut more, hit the wrench a few more times, etc. The stuck bolt will pop loose, it is inevitable. Probably took 20 minutes to get this to work after days of trying the PB blaster treatment. This was not my idea, I found it on this board I do believe when I was researching the leaf spring change problem.
 

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I did it myself and had very few problems, I just used a air chisel to vibrate the rusted bolt loose!
Good Luck
 

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like I said---I think the pb blaster is the best "nut buster" I have used---the only thing close was back in the 70's and 80"s I used a product called "rusty"---I have not seen it in years---probably found it to be toxic or something
 

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I did mine recently also 66 and the drivers side just slipped out but the passengers side was rusted. My advice buy a good metal cutting blade for your sawzall and go for it. It's a tight squeeze but with a new blade no problem.
 

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I've done it on my San Jose built '66, my San Jose built '69, and my son's Dearborn built '65. Both the San Jose cars were a complete cake walk. About 15 minutes on each side to install. The Dearborn car was another story altogether. They had to be cut.

I say Go for it! No telling what someone else will do to your car if you let them do it.
 
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