Auto Repair Q&A



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Leaf Spring Bushings

Poly leaf spring bushings

On an older car, the leaf springs often make squeaking sounds as the rubber bushings fail and allow the metal spring to contact the bolt that holds them in place. Replacing the bushings will solve this and save your springs from wearing at the hangars (a common fail point).

Leaf Spring Removal Instructions

  • The first step is removal of the old bushings, which on an older car can be a real task. Using a box wrench, loosen the leaf spring bolt (or nut, if applicable). Then use a jack to lift the car by its frame, taking weight off of the springs. Note: install a jack stand for safety!
  • Remove the bolt entirely and pull the leaf spring loose. Use a rubber hammer or (carefully) pry the spring away from the hangar if it's stubborn. The bushings are inside the fold of the springs that allows the bolt through to hang the springs in place.
  • Sometimes, the bushings can be removed with a hammer and punch. If you don't have a punch, use a bolt that is the same diameter as the spring fold. Most bushings have a metal sleeve, which makes removal easier.
  • If yours does not have a metal sleeve, select a drill bit that is about the same diameter (or slightly smaller) than the fold and drill the rubber out. As a last resort, you can use a butane torch to burn away the rubber in a well-ventilated area.
  • Poly leaf spring bushing replacements

  • Once the bushing is removed, use a wire brush to clean out the inside of the fold (bolt hole). Grease the new bushings both inside and out and press them into the fold. Most will slide right in, but some models require the bushing to be "pressed" in a very tight fit. Use a C-clamp to do this.
  • Reinstall the spring.

This is an easy DIY project that can be done at home. An experienced mechanic can remove and install most leaf spring bushings in less than an hour (both sides).

Note: if replacing one set of leaf spring bushings, it's best to replace all of them rather than just those that have gone out.

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