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Discussion Starter #1
How much of a pain is it to replace leaf spring bushings on a 1989 B250? I looked up the part at one of the big box auto stores, and right below the list of bushings was an $800 tool to service them!?!?!?

Mine are all gone and the van just has too many scary noises already!
 

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They are not difficult to replace. You can make a jack screw to replace them easily, all you need is a bolt and a couple large washers and a couple wrenches/ratchets/air wrench, to replace them, or a press if you remove the leaf springs completely. Preplacement is pretty simple, jack the van up and block the body, not the axle, loosen the nuts from the spring front and rear, when they are loose at the connection points, pull the bolts out and jack and block the body up several inches extra to give you working room. Since the bushings are bad, the inside of the bushing can be knocked out and the outer shell bent or chiselled out of the end of the spring, although they are a tight fit, the end of the leaf spring is not welded/closed, so usually it is rust that holds them in place, so they do come out with minimal force. If they don't come out easily, a jack screw is a heavy walled tube that fits the outside of the bushing against the spring end and a long bolt put though it to be tightened, another sleeve fits the outside lip of the bushing, that will, when the bolt/nut is tightened, push the old bushing out of the spring. new bushing can be simply sucked into the spring end with a flat washer against the side of the spring and a bolt put through the bushing. I have used sockets large enough to get the bushing moving out of the spring, many times a piece of pipe itself will fit to allow the bushing to pass through the tubing without getting stuck. A large flat washer and then a nut to tighten and suck the bushing into the spring works well, make the bolt the size of the inside of the bushing to keep it straight when installing. Do one side at a time and you won't have a problem or have to actually remove the springs from the van. You just saved $795 or more!
 

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If this is the style that I'm thinking of, the oval-shaped front leaf bushing is pressed in and should come with the new spring. I've never changed one out separately. See what the service manual says about it.
At 24 years old, you may want to go with new front and/or rear springs. Front control arm and strut rod bushings wore commonly on these as well.
The rear leaf spring round bushings and shackle bolt sleeve in the back can be installed by hand through the spring eyelet.
I would verify that these are your actual scary noises first before replacing bushings.
Instead of buying the tool, I would let a local spring repair shop press do the oval one.

HPIM0378.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looking at the front end of the front of the springs, I though some of the actual spring had rusted away....good the hear they were not a full loop, I guess thats why it looks like that. The way the bushings look to me, they should probably fall out, it seems that the bolt is sitting right on the metal of the spring at this point.
I was part way through of pulling a set of springs from a pull it yourself junk yard last year ,(from a 350 no less) but I got stuck on one of the bolts, but then I got really busy at work and did not make it back there.

I may still take that route, get a junk yard set of springs and put new bushings in those, but that would be the ideal situation....sad reality says I will put new bushings in my sacked out old springs. I was thinking about getting rid of the van since I bought my Durango which has taken over as boat hauler....but the insurance is only running me $43 a month on the old beast and I cant bring myself to get rid of it. In any case, it needs some TLC!
 
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