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Front Leaf Spring Refurbishment - Getting the F*ing Bushes Out Part 2. A Revelation
Referring back to post 4, you can read about the miserable time I had getting the old bushings out of the rear springs. On the front, I started along similar lines, but decided that I couldn't handle that nonsense a second time round. After much searching and forum reading, most of the advice was along the lines of what I’d been doing; bash, heat, saw, chisel.
I came across a video on youtube where a guy had set up a puller utilising a scissor jack. It looked promising, but I was skeptical, given that I’d also seen videos of people just tapping them out with a hammer, and there's no way that happens.
Advice. Dont bother with any other method, this is the way.
1. The centre rod out of a scissor jack. The rod will need to be thin enough to fit through the drive of whatever sockets you’re using (½” probably). I got a jack from an auto wreckers for a few bucks.
The round thing on the left in the picture is part of the jack, and the crushed plates on the right are also part of the jack. There was a bearing outside the crushed plates, but it was pulverised to bits almost straight away. A blob of grease replaced the bearing and everything worked fine.
2. A couple of old sockets that’ll push the bushing out, so one of them needs to be just a wee bit smaller than the outside diameter of the bushings. The second socket is just to make up the distance, so any smaller size will do. Probably don’t want to use your band new Koken sockets for this.
3. A piece of tube that acts as a spacer for the bushing to fall into. I cut up a piece of exhaust pipe I had lying around.
4. I also added a washers in between the socket and bushing. This keeps the socket square as it starts pushing against the bushing.
5. And a washer to go over my piece of pipe. I used the old shock absorber washer (which conveniently has a large enough centre hole that I will be able to use it in reverse as the pushing piece when I put the new bushings in).
Here's the rig set up. The sockets will slide up the threaded rod and force the bushing through into the piece of tube.
In the picture, the sockets have just started to push against the bushing. You want to check that everything is nice and sqaure, and that the sockets are lined up so they'll pass through the spring. When the outer casing starts to slide, it'll crack as it lets go. In my case, this required a bit of force, but vice grips were enough.
You can see that the sockets are most of the way through now. A bit of WD40 seems to seep in enough to make things slightly easier, but I did the first two without it. All four came out no problem at all. Once they start moving they come out easy, comparable to undoing a crusty old locknut.
And done. If you enlarge the picture above (click on it), you can see gouging on the outer casing of the bushing where its been ripped out. There’s a lot of force going on.
I am amazed at how easily the bushings came out with this home made tool. Awesome.