Rear suspension tear-down

I have been buried the last few weeks but I got out of work early today because there was an odd smell (really!) so I decided to tear into the rear suspension.  How hard could it be?

Just like I did with the front suspension I went around and cooked all the nuts with a torch.  After they cooled I hosed them down with penetrating oil.

First step is to remove the shocks.   The impact wrench took the nuts right off.  These shocks were not doing much at all any more.

Next target are the spring perches.  I can already see these are a rusted a lot worse than the front ones.

I am really wishing I had deep-well impact sockets now.   Lacking those these are my tools of choice for getting the nuts off.

Fast forward about 45 minutes and I decided on a new tool of choice.  I was able to get all the nuts to turn except for one.  But after much effort I only got one nut all the way off.  Screw it, I am cutting the u-bolts.

Here is the wreckage of one side.  The nut I could not turn was the one on the bottom.  There were two different size nuts separated with a lock washer that had rusted.  I should have cut them sooner.

And this one was bent.  And my socket got jammed on the nut.  Definitely worse than the front.

Once the u-bolts were removed I jacked the axle up to lift its weight off the springs.  Except the springs and axle were rusted together.  So I put jack stands under the axle and broke out the BFH.  This is a 12-pound sledge and it still took a bunch of whacks before the springs popped loose.

The BFH again came into play getting the shackle off.  I bent the shackle prying on it.  At this point I was reduced to prying the shackle back and forth until it started to slide out.

One shackle off.  This took WAY too long.  I really hoped the other side would go better.  But it was not.  It was worse.  I could not get it to move at all.  I also did not like the looks of the bolts holding the rear spring mount to the frame.  So I decided to take the spring mounts off.

And I finally broke a bolt.  and the spring perch was seriously rusted in place.  Big hammer time!

The hammer worked but only after I heated the hell out of the whole thing with a MAPP torch.  Notice the mess on the floor.

The mount was really rusted on there.  I need to get the other side off and the front spring mounts loose but I am out of time tonight.  More to come.

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