Noticed that the leaf springs on my truck are shot (rear leaves in a
1975 Chevy truck). It is my recreational truck and I was considering turning some 6061 bar stock into new bushings with channels for Zerk fittings. In the center I plan on press-fitting a steel bushing to ride on the bolt that holds the spring to the shackle.
Any comments on this from the Knowledgeable Group?
Drag racers commonly use fabricated aluminum replacement bushings for leaf springs and they get hit pretty hard and survive, so as long as you keep an eye on them they'll probably be fine. However, I'd use a permanently lubricated bronze type bushing in the center instead of steel, they're cheap and work well. Otherwise you'll see a lot of wear on the steel center and the bolt.
Right after I posted the original message I was thinking of this. The rubber bushings aren't very thick but I haven't done the math to see how much they allow the axle to "tip." I did however consider using spherical bearings.
...and this is where the project turns from little to big. As do all projects. I must be on the right track. ;-)
When my '90 F-150 turned about a decade old, the rear leafs started to squeak. I replaced the bushings with the hi-pro polyurethane jobs and one side stopped squeaking. I pulled the leaf off, cleaned between the leaves, lubed it with several different types of lube (liquid wax made for leafs, teflon, WD, sillyconez, etc) but it still squeaked. I can't figure out why the rear shackle set on the right side still squeaks, unless the rivet may not be tight and it's squeaking between the shackle mount and the frame beam itself. It's bothersome mostly in cold weather, but is as quiet as a mouse in the heat of summer.
-- "Not always right, but never uncertain." --Heinlein -=-=-