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Sprung Out: Leaf Spring Rebuild

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on July 1, 2012
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Life is all about important decisions: What career should I choose? Should I marry this girl (or guy)? Do I want fries with that? You get the idea. And the same holds true for your build projects.

This project started with a ’78 Bronco that had been abandoned. It’s very close to being a basket case, but the price was right (free), so we couldn’t turn it down. What originally began as an effort just to get it running wound up like this: Yanking the worn-out leaf springs off the stripped chassis.

One of the most common questions when building your 4x4 is which components to refurbish or rebuild and which to replace. Sometimes you choose to rebuild because new parts simply aren’t available, sometimes because you enjoy the process of making old new again, and sometimes (maybe even often) it’s because you simply don’t have the budget to buy all new stuff.

Lack of scratch was the main reason we decided to rebuild the leaf springs on the rear end of this ’78 Bronco. Hopefully, there will someday be a suspension lift in this Bronco’s future, but for now we just want to get this rust heap back together and running. After all, there’s no sense spending money on a new set of stock replacement springs if we’re going to do a complete suspension upgrade eventually. In our case, we spent less than a hundred bucks on stock replacement bushings, a new set of squeak pads, spray paint and a couple of bolts. We used Spring Service and Alignment in Charlotte, North Carolina, to demonstrate the best methods for rebuilding your springs, and the labor charge was a paltry 50 bucks, but you can save even that by doing the work yourself.

You can follow the same procedures for a leaf-spring rebuild no matter what truck you are working on and accomplish the task in your own shop or driveway. A hydraulic press is handy but not necessarily a requirement. Rebuilt springs can help provide a level, squeak-free ride compared to trying to stick it out with a worn out set of springs. And hey, who doesn’t want to save a little dough along the way?

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Spring Service and Alignment

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