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Front leaf spring bolts .............

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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:36 pm

I recently had my front axle on my 68 machined because my axle eyes were worn. When putting everything back together I noticed the leaf spring bolt wasn't long enough to go through the shim and into the axle. It's only long enough to go into the shim. Is that normal? Shouldn't it be long enough to go through the shim and into the axle? (The leaf spring bolts are the same size on both sides.)

Here are some photos I made to illustrate what I'm talking about......





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samsvan

Number of posts : 377
Location : Sarasota, Fl.
Age : 54
Registration date : 2014-09-04

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by samsvan on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:36 pm

With all of the dicking around I had to do to get my van sitting right, I bought some 5/16" diameter allen bolts to replace the stock center bolts with. The head is small enough to fit in the hole in the top of the axle. Is the hole in your shims bigger than the head of your center bolts?
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:47 pm

Yes...The hole in the shim is slightly larger than the leaf spring bolt. It's just not long enough to go through the shim and into the hole in the axle.

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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:52 pm

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donivan65
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:59 pm

I think you might only supposed to have 2 leafs up front,,,,,,,
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:11 pm

I have 2 leafs in the rear and 3 in the front....that's how I bought it over 20 years ago. not sure if the front leafs are stock or not. I know the back leafs are. I've been driving it like this for over 20 years but it doesn't seem right to me that the leaf spring bolt only goes in the shim and not through the shim and into the axle hole.
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Seth G
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Seth G on Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:58 pm

Find a leaf spring bolt with a longer head or a proper spring bolt. They have them in the Dorman drawers at the auto parts store. I doubt it came stock with 3 leafs, I'm counting three there. My Ford has 4 or 5, I think 5. What degree are the shims? The camber and caster is built into the front axle on Econolines, is the shim stock?
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:45 pm

Yes...The shims are stock. I guess I need to find a leaf spring center bolt with a longer head at the end to go through the shim and into my front axle.
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:49 pm

I was hoping someone would have a pic of the stock leaf spring center bolt and the measurements so I could compare it to mine.
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donivan65
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:02 pm

Seems to me,,,,,,a lock washer on the center bolt lets it stick through the Caster shim,,,,,,,and in my world, the rear springs have more leafs to support the heavier loads ,,,,,,yours might be on the wrong ends unless those rear leafs are thicker than the front,,,,,,,,,Oreillys have bolts,,,,,are yours 5/16" ?








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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:52 pm

Great pics Donivan. I'll go to O'Reilly Auto Parts and see what they have for bolts. I'll get some new bolts and try the washer trick if I can't get bolts with a longer head. Not sure if my bolts are 5/16" or not. Unfortunately I cant get to my van until spring time to take it apart and see what size the bolts are.. (my vans buried in 2 feet of snow right now). I know they look different than yours. Mine have coarse thread and It looks like the head on your bolts are longer than mine. Who ever did the front leaf springs on my van put the wrong bolts in I'm guessing.

My rear leaf springs I believe are stock. They are 3" wide at the ends and 2 1/2" wide in the middle where they bolt to the rear end. The rear ends a stock 10 bolt 8.2 that I'm having problems finding parts for. Here's some pics of my rear leaf springs.....and I agree....I rather have more leaf springs in the rear than in the front.






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donivan65
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:28 pm

1st of all,,,,,,hey 2nd Genners,,,,,,,how many leafs do you have up front and in the rear,,,,,,,,,those 3 inch springs that get skinny in the middle for 2 1/2" U bolts is a problem,,,,,,,peoples get new 2 1/2" wide springs and use fat bushings to get them to fit tight into the frame,,,,,,,,that center bolt is basically your brakes,,,,,,,the axle can stop and that bolt keeps the body from going,,,,,,its important,,,,,,,,and I think that washer is the right way to lock everything together,,,,,,I had to use 2 on my bolts because I have the back end jacked up and had to use a thicker Caster shim to get the correct angle,,,,,,,,,I think 2 of those 5/16" bolts at OReillys are what you need and it sure looks like they mixed up the springs and put them on the wrong ends to me,,,,,,,,
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jrinaman

Number of posts : 773
Location : zelienople,pa.
Age : 53
Registration date : 2011-03-10

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by jrinaman on Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:22 pm

the washers seam like a simple and logical solution. as simple as it is, I missed it on mine and would not add the shims for the reason he posted. guess I need to take them back apart and add the washers.
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donivan65
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:07 pm

Those Caster shims are necessary,,,,,,,,they tilt the axle backwards kinda like motorcycle forks so the van goes straight down the road and not wander,,,,,,,,,
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savage

Number of posts : 1827
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by savage on Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:31 pm

Looks like you got rear G-20 springs on the front???
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:32 pm

Not sure if I have G-20 leaf springs in the front or not....could be. My vans a mutt. It's got all kinds of van and car parts on it.
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donivan65
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Number of posts : 11371
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:39 pm

Lots of stuff got done to keep the vans on the road,,,,,,,and at the time, it was the right thing to do,,,,,,so now we need to figure out what was done and how to make it better,,,,,so its normal to find things that were ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,modified,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what did you have done on the front axle?
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:21 am

I had my front axle machined because my axle eyes were worn. Kingpins wiggled around in axle eyes. When I started putting things back together that's when I realized the leaf spring center pin didn't go into the axle. It was only long enough to go into the shim. I also put in new Kingpins with the metal bushings hoping it will last a while. I'll have to take everything apart again and get new leaf spring center bolts and put some washers on them like you did to make them long enough to go into the axle.




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donivan65
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by donivan65 on Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:07 pm

these things came with nylon bushings in the spindles,,,,,,,are you saying they were worn so badly that you had to get them drilled out and put oversized bushings in them?
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:41 pm

No....My spindles are good. I just had a machine shop press in new stock metal bushings instead of using the nylon bushings. The roads up here are bad and I'm sick of replacing the nylon bushings every couple years. The metal bushings should last longer if I keep them greased.

I had the axle eyes drilled out and they pressed in metal sleeves so the stock king pins would fit tight again. It was just my axle eyes that were worn. My spindles were fine.

Everything is stock size and tight now.
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Seth G
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Seth G on Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:47 pm

I don't see a bushing in the axle pic? Looks like a fresh bore though, maybe just cant see it b/c of blur? Looks like the spindles were done Ford style Smile Keep them greased, and jack up the front to take the load off when you do it, and turn the wheel ect.
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Eds-68-Chevy

Number of posts : 61
Location : Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-17

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by Eds-68-Chevy on Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:01 pm

Yeah its just a bad pic Seth G. They pressed metal sleeves in the front axle and cleaned it up to make it look good.
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AzDon

Number of posts : 318
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Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by AzDon on Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:44 pm

The stock leaf bolts are 5/16" fine thread with a 1/2" diameter head on them to index into the 1/2" hole in the axle. That wedge caster shim has a bigger hole so that an alignment tech can slip it in there without taking the leaf-pack apart..... Whoever did that chose to ignore that the bolt heads no longer reach the indexing holes....IT"S DANGEROUS--VERY DANGEROUS!
If you cant find the bolts with the deeper heads, you can buy steel bushings that are 1/2" OD by 5/16" ID, slipped onto the bolts to reach all the way through those caster wedges....
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jrinaman

Number of posts : 773
Location : zelienople,pa.
Age : 53
Registration date : 2011-03-10

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by jrinaman on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:11 pm

just replaced one 20 minutes ago. I put jack stands under the ends of the lower spring and c clamped both sides several inches from the axle. had the van supported from the frame and once springs compressed. I used 3 7/16" lock washers which were a few thousands too big so I drilled out the shims but was close enough that they probably would of went without drilling. with everything clamped, the bolts came right out and went right back in. I still have the other side to do so I can take pics tomorrow.
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jrinaman

Number of posts : 773
Location : zelienople,pa.
Age : 53
Registration date : 2011-03-10

Re: Front leaf spring bolts .............

Post by jrinaman on Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:50 pm

did the other side today. less than an hours work.







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