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Spring Saddle Bushings

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Old 08-05-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
unit91
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Unhappy Spring Saddle Bushings

Finished my rear leaf springs about a week ago - WITH YOUR HELP!!! A couple hours ago I was greasing the front end and noticed that the coil spring saddle bushings need to be replaced. I know I'll have to buy a spring compressor. How much more or less difficult and involved is this job compared to the leaf springs I just did? And, what might happen if one of those bushings gave way while I'm driving?
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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I would say it is easier than the leaf springs, provided that your leaf spring bolts didn't give you a ton of trouble (some people have to cut the bolts). For me the leaf spring bushings were a complete pain to get in given how snug they were.

If my memory is correct, once you remove the front shock and spring with a compressor, the spring saddle will be right there on top of the control arm. Undo those two(?) bolts and you can replace it.

Rather than replacing the bushings, get roller spring perches instead as they are well worth it. I would also consider doing the shelby drop (which is a little more involved) since you'll have the springs out.

http://opentrackerracingproducts.com/rollerperch/

If your spring perch bushings are bad, you should also inspect the control arm bushings, they might be bad as well.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:34 PM   #3
rmodel65
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are you planning on lowering springs?? what i did with my 65 was leave the shock in place and i just cut a couple of coils on each side then i removed the shock and the coil fell out in pieces. the new 620 coils went in without the need of a spring compressor
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4reboy View Post
I would say it is easier than the leaf springs, provided that your leaf spring bolts didn't give you a ton of trouble (some people have to cut the bolts). For me the leaf spring bushings were a complete pain to get in given how snug they were.

If my memory is correct, once you remove the front shock and spring with a compressor, the spring saddle will be right there on top of the control arm. Undo those two(?) bolts and you can replace it.

Rather than replacing the bushings, get roller spring perches instead as they are well worth it. I would also consider doing the shelby drop (which is a little more involved) since you'll have the springs out.

http://opentrackerracingproducts.com/rollerperch/

If your spring perch bushings are bad, you should also inspect the control arm bushings, they might be bad as well.
OK, thanks. Doesn't sound NEAR as bad as those leaf springs were!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rmodel65 View Post
are you planning on lowering springs?? what i did with my 65 was leave the shock in place and i just cut a couple of coils on each side then i removed the shock and the coil fell out in pieces. the new 620 coils went in without the need of a spring compressor
Not gonna lower.......will be replacing stock. Thanks though for the reply.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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even so you can still cut the old spring then you only have to worry with the compressor once
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
I know I'll have to buy a spring compressor.
Most auto parts store will rent you a spring compressor for cheap.
My local Advance Auto Parts store will even let you use it for free (deposit required).
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:05 AM   #8
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I'll check that out. Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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If your spring perch bushings are bad, you should also inspect the control arm bushings, they might be bad as well.[/QUOTE]

How do you remove the control arm bushings?
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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The upper A-arm bushings are a solid metal-to-metal contact. They don't wear out as often as the lower.

After you get the spring out, just grab the upper arm and see if you can wiggle it. It should have a (kinda) firm up and down motion but no side-to-side.
The upper bushings thread out. Been a while since I did one but I'm pretty sure there is a left & right hand threaded bushing (one or the other one each side).

The lower bushing is a piece of cake to swap out. It's in there with a light press, knock it out with a hammer.
Keep an eye on your lwr control arm though. You don't want it to collapse while your bangin' on it. I've stuck a block of wood, socket, ex-wife's pictures, etc. in there to maintain the spacing.

Actually, on the ones in my '66, I've welded in a small plate across the bottom that boxes in the whole inner part of the lwr arm. Easy mod if you have a MIG and makes the lwr arm quite a bit tougher than stock.

I'm sure there are youtube vids out there that show the whole thing.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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if your lower control arm bushings are gone you probably have tons of wear on the inside edges of your tires and the front end probably looks like this / \ when looking at the tires from the front of the car
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:39 AM   #12
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Outside of front tires are much more worn than the rest of the tire.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:54 AM   #13
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Old School, here, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. First, don't even consider replacing the saddle bushings. Replace the saddle assembly, complete with new bushings. Second, the roller saddles are in everyone's thinking these days, but standard saddles are more worth the money. IMHO, the verdict is still out on the strength and safety of roller bearings in place of rubber bushings. Third, cutting coil springs will certainly lower your front suspension a bit, but you will soon find out what a buckboard feels like. The Shelby drop is effective but not for everyone. Several GOTCHA's with the drop. Do your own research before you decide. Fourth, if needed, replace the LCA rather than attempting to replace the LCA bushing. Once the bushing gets loose in the LCA housing, it is about impossible to install a new one and expect it to stay tight. New LCA's can be found cheap, but stay with better quality brands (Scott Drake). Boxing the LCA is largely a waste of time unless you are going road racing in a really serious way.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:05 AM   #14
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First, don't even consider replacing the saddle bushings. Replace the saddle assembly, complete with new bushings.

That's what I'm going to do - ordered the complete assembly. It just seemed the best thing to do.

Third, cutting coil springs will certainly lower your front suspension a bit, but you will soon find out what a buckboard feels like. The Shelby drop is effective but not for everyone. Several GOTCHA's with the drop. Do your own research before you decide.

Don't want or need a lower front end. Not my thing.

Fourth, if needed, replace the LCA rather than attempting to replace the LCA bushing. Once the bushing gets loose in the LCA housing, it is about impossible to install a new one and expect it to stay tight. New LCA's can be found cheap, but stay with better quality brands (Scott Drake). Boxing the LCA is largely a waste of time unless you are going road racing in a really serious way.

LCAs are solid - no play. Bushings appear to be OK, so I'm leaving them alone.

All good info.............Thanks! I'm building quite a reference book by printing all you guy's posts. Goes well with my shop manual. I really apprecaite all input!
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:05 AM
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