Spring Shackle bushing: need chassis weight? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 14th, 2019, 08:32 PM
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Andy MacInnis
S3 88 '73
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Spring Shackle bushing: need chassis weight?

Hello, all.

My Series 3 '88 has a new chassis and new spring shackle bushings all around. I have parabolic springs on it, if that matters.

I have heard that before torquing down the shackle bolts, I should add weight to the chassis to compress the springs to about half of their travel. Then the bushings are torqued in the middle of their rotational range.

Anybody done this? Am I buying bags of sand and loading up the bed, or is there a preferred way?

And does the front end matter, or just the rear?

I'm just full of questions today. I'd love some good ole leaf spring wisdom here.

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old April 15th, 2019, 09:17 AM
slorocco
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Dan Prasada-Rao
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I've tried it that way, and tried it without any load. To be honest I haven't noticed any difference.
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  #3  
Old April 15th, 2019, 09:34 AM
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Andy MacInnis
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OK, so you didn't find a difference either way.

Good to know. Thank you for your reply.

I wonder if it has anything to do with longevity of the bushings.

Curious to see what other opinions are out there.
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  #4  
Old April 15th, 2019, 11:06 AM
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Ren Ching
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Skinny Pete
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The only way to do this correctly is as specified in the factory manual.

Tighten the shackle bolts until they are snug but do not torque them. Same with the nuts on the end of the bolts.



Drive around a little to settle the springs, then do your final torquing. This locks the inner steel sleeve of the bushing to the shackles at the correct position which should be about halfway through its available travel.



By doing it this way, getting the bushing torqued down with the vehicle at resting height, the rubber in the bushing has the ability to absorb the spring movements without stretching too far in one direction and possibly tearing.



FWIW, front shackles should be at about 60 or 75 degrees off the chassis. Rear shackles should be closer to 45.



The methodology of torquing the bushing at its resting position applies for any similar metalastic bushing. On the coil sprung vehicles, if you torque your panhard rod and trailing arm-to-axle bushings while the vehicle is a on a lift and the axles hanging down at full droop, don't expect a ton of life out of the bushings.
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  #5  
Old April 15th, 2019, 11:53 AM
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Andy MacInnis
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Thanks for the wisdom, Skinny Pete.

So, no sand bags. Drive around a bit with the nuts snug, then torque afterwards.

I think I can manage this.

Cheers
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