Some assembly still required…

After work I got back on putting the suspension back together.  First step is to hang the sway bar.  The replacement bushings I got are not an exact match.  The new ones have these ridges on them that will not fit in the brackets so I trimmed them off with a sharp knife.

So now I have a size mismatch problem.  I will have to get creative to push the rubber over the bar.

This is what I came up with.  I lubed the bushing up with silicone and used the clamp to push it on.  It worked like a charm.

I did the same thing on the other side and wiggled the bushings into place.

Hanging the sway bar is a three-hand job so I used a couple of C-clamps to make a sway bar holder.  Once a couple of nuts were started the rest went easier.

All the nuts are in but not tight.  I will do that later once the sway bar links are attached.

The theme of the day seems to be putting things into holes too small for them.  Now I have to figure out how to put the bushing into the spring eye.  Plan A was to use the chisel technique I used to get the old bushings out.  That almost worked but when I flexed the eye the eye was oval rather than round and I could not get the bushing to start in there.  So I started working on a plan B.

This is plan B.  After greasing the bushing and the eye I found an old bearing race the same diameter as the bushing and used my vice to press the bushing in.  It worked very well.  Interestingly there is a right side and a wrong side to start the bushing in from.  I could only get the bushing to start from one side of the spring.

Just like a new one!

So this is one axle’s worth of new hardware.  The only snag here is that the new u-bolts are a LOT longer than the old ones.

I started hanging the spring from the rear frame mount.  Shiny!

Then the new spring shackle at the front.  I lubed the bushings up with silicone grease and bolted them in.

With the spring secure I used the jack to set the axle back down on the spring.  Now I need to install the spring plate and clamps.  But as I noted before the u-bolts are way too long.

So I did this.  Frankly I am not sure the die grinder with a cutoff wheel was any faster than using a hacksaw but it certainly was more dramatic.   Notice I threaded on nuts before cutting off the bolts.  After the cuts were complete I dressed the cut ends with a file then backed the nuts off to clean out the threads.

Freshly cut u-bolts ready to go.  I really wanted to keep going here but it was getting really late and I was really hungry.  So this will have to continue tomorrow.



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