Goodbye, rear suspension (and good riddance!)

I returned to TLG last weekend to finish the job I had started: rear-end removal.Once the drum brakes were pulled (a process I detailed in my last post), the only parts between me and the differential were the leaf springs.

A view of the differential, with the left spring already lowered

Before these are removed, jack up the rear axle so that it is barely supported; otherwise, you’ll have quite a load on your hands as you drop the springs. The leaf springs are held in place at the rear with a shackle bolt, which consists of two bolts connected with a metal strip/bracket. I unscrewed the two nuts holding this in, and then used a mallet to free the spring of the shackle bolt. Be careful not to leave anything beneath the spring, because it will fall as soon as the bushing is off the bolt. When both springs were detached in the back, the differential was free the come out. I placed this out of the way, undid the bolts at the front of the leaf springs, and started on the shocks.

The bottoms of the rear shocks were disconnected earlier, but the tops were a little trickier. To access these, I pulled out two rubber plugs in the rear floorpan. However, with the entire body resting on 4 jack stands, I didn’t want to risk getting into the car to unscrew the nuts. In order to do this, I ended up crawling into the trunk from beneath (the gas tank was removed earlier) and leaning into the cabin from the rear. This wasn’t as safe, but lowered the risk of rocking the car off its jack stands. If you have any better method, by all means use it.

Access to rear shock mounts

While working on the springs and rear-end,  I found a spot of rust on the rear frame rail that I had never seen when working on the car or inspecting it when we bought it. It’s the largest spot of corrosion there is, and it’s still smaller than my fist.

Rust

At this point, I had pulled everything off of the frame except for a few steering components left in the engine compartment. I didn’t have much time, so I cut the hoses leading to the power steering pump, drained the fluid and called it a day. This is the weekend my car leaves the ground. This is the weekend we mount the rotisserie.

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