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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bought some new bushings from NAPA for my Chevy Spring swap...questions

So, I've had these springs for over a year and am slowly doing things to prepare for the swap (bought a welder around the same time and still haven't used it yet - a glacial pace I know...).

I want to clean up the springs, paint them, and put in new bushings, before doing the welding (I have the Sky kit already).

Recently I took a hole saw to the existing bushings to get them out - smelled awful and took a long time but I got them out. Each of the spring eyes seems to have a metal sleeve in it that is flared at both ends, so I believe that stays put?

I went to NAPA and ordered spring bushings for a 1996 1/2 ton chevy truck. What I got were these:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I looked up the part on NAPA's site (B335) and it looks like these are for an S10 or a van?!
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...335_0131664498

I took one out to my springs to see how they would fit. They slip right in - it's snug, but I can easily turn them, so I'm guessing they are not snug enough and should be super tight (I've put in bushings in my Datsun before and they are TIGHT).

Here's the end of the leaf spring with the old bushing gone:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Just drops right in:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


This is the other end of the spring - notice that there is marring on the inner metal sleeve I mentioned earlier - hole saw must have got it...
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.




I think what I SHOULD have been sold are these:
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...977_0324828446



So my questions are:
1) Did I get the wrong ones and should I get the ones mentioned above for the 1/2 ton?
2) Are the metal sleeves with flared ends supposed to stay in the "eyes" of the leaf springs (and the new bushings slide in)?
3) Is that marred metal sleeve going to be an issue? I'm thinking no, since the new bushings have a metal outer sleeve anyway - am I right?
4) Since the replacement bushings are flared only at ONE end, does it matter which end faces in/out?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Anyone?
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry no first hand experience to pass on.

Regarding the bushing, the one you have is about 4mm smaller than the one you were looking at, 2mm on each side. Do you have the much play it? It doesn't look like it, but you don't want any play in your steering or suspension usually. Ya know that I assume, but just in case. Tighter is better! I tend to give the parts-counter person the benefit of doubt, but you might have got the wrong part for your donor type. But then it might of been your removal method also. You forgot to account for the saw kerf of the hole saw. Use a smaller hole saw size so you cut thru the middle area of the bushing, eg you bushing will come out in two pieces.

Also the existings sleeves look to be a 2 piece unit. You can check the donor vehicles manual and find out if they are ment to be replace.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for chiming in - all good stuff.

However....

I don't know the donor vehicle as I bought the springs with the Sky kit together from another yota guy over a year ago - they are 63" chevies (3 leafs plus overload).

According to the Pirate write up and other write ups I've read over the years, leaves from any 88-98 GM/Chevy 1/2 ton would have the same springs (and thus bushings). I really think they gave me ones for an S10 by mistake.

The new bushings I got slide in and out easily - not tight at all - so they are certainly too small I've determined.

Regarding the removal method, I did measure before I bought the hole saw bit, so that it would cut the rubber part of the bushing only, and miss the inner metal sleeve and outer housing....unfortunately I think I got sloppy on one of them and the angle ended up nicking the metal sleeve. I was able to use needle nose pliers to grab what rubber was left, twist it, and pull it out of the metal sleeve.

I think I just need to go back to NAPA and order the right part I found online.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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And BTW, the part that I now plan to get says it fits these vehicles:

Part Number: MRC HB6977
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...977_0324828446
Click the image to open in full size.

Cadillac Escalade 1999 - 2000
Chevrolet Truck Astro Van 1985 - 2004
Chevrolet Truck Astro Van 1985 - 2004
Chevrolet Truck Blazer 1995 - 2002
Chevrolet Truck Blazer 1995 - 2002
Chevrolet Truck Blazer K1500 1/2 Ton 1992 - 1994
Chevrolet Truck Blazer K1500 1/2 Ton 1992 - 1994
Chevrolet Truck C1500 1/2 Ton - Pickup 1988 - 1999
Chevrolet Truck C1500 1/2 Ton - Pickup 1988 - 1999
Chevrolet Truck C2500 3/4 Ton - Pickup 1988 - 2000
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like you got the wrong bushings.
And you need to push/cut the old sleeves out of the springs.
The new bushings should be pounded/pressed in.

Remove the old bushings by whatever means necessary. I cut the bushings where the gap in the spring is, then curled the bushing inwards.

I've done this swap. It's well worth the effort.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks stuwy!

I talked to napa today and am going to bring in a spring to show them what's wrong. Is the list of compatible chevy trucks above correct? These guys aren't familiar with the swap and are asking me what chevy truck I have....

Also, since you've done this....does it matter where the "collar" of the new bushing faces?

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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nah shouldn' matter it never touches anything but the spring. That said figure out what side it's best to approach the flange with a hammer and punch/chisel in case you ever need to knock it out while the springs are still attached to the axel case. You'll probably see the most loading from the outside in in a 4x4, and the inside out if your out doing doughnuts..

On the older chevy spring hangers, the hangers are on the sides of the frame, they put the flare against the frame. Pretty sure the toyotas are directly under the frame, so which ever side looks the beefy'ist.

Again, somebody else will wander by eventually.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Update...and more questions

So, I borrowed my brother's sawzall and cut both old bushing sleeves through the "slit" in the loop at the end of each spring. I thought the sleeves would easily knock out once I cut through them, since the tensile strength would be undone...but I was wrong! I had to take my punch and hammer to the falred edged for about 15 minutes on each one, enough to collapse the sleeve on itself. They finally came out.

And now comes the interesting part....The bushing holes at each on the the spring are NOT THE SAME SIZE!!

One bushing eye (with sleeve out) measures 2.0" I.D.
The other bushing eye (with sleeve out) measures 1.75" I.D.
The spring, eye to eye, is 62.5"
The spring width is 2.5"

The guy I bought these from (over a year ago LOL) said they were chevy springs - he had the sky kit and everything, but decided to go another route before he installed them.

Do these springs have bushings that are different sizes - is that normal??
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Anyone?

I know I just posted last night but the curiosity is killing me, and I've already returned one set of bushings to NAPA - want to do this right

Can the chevy spring swap guys please chime in regarding the bushing sizes being different?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Holy smackerel! Lol. .. didnt know u were doing this, bubba! I wish u the best, and im guessing you're gonna flex like mad, haha.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks Chef, if nothing else, you bumped my thread (that's getting zero feedback)

I am taking it step by step - was hoping to prep/paint the springs, get shims, and replace bushings and get everything ready before dedicating a weekend this spring to do this. I finally hooked up my fluxcore Harbor freight special (used the dryer outlet near the garage and my 25 foot cable I made), and fedb the wire into the gun....so it's all set up, I just need to find some scrap to practice on, and get my springs figured out.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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So many threads on this... SO MANY, you'll be fine. I just was leary of the wrap and too much lift, but for u, its probably perfect! KILL IT, PHIL! :weld: lol.
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Do like me. Plug in Bob Segar and turn up the volume, all fixed...When something falls off, then fix it....Hey, pretty job there, Chef!..Congrats!!...*EB
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks - I'm not too worried about it - read tons of threads, especially on the Pirate board. I'm thinking I may need to put a 1" block/shim in there, since I have the 4" bracket lift up front....

I searched and I can't find any discussioon on asymmetrical bushing sizes for these springs.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Dang, I was hoping you wouldn't say that, regarding the fact that you had search so well and found nothing. :-(. Mmm, I wonder what a call 2 Chevrolet themselves might do to help?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You've got something wonky with your springs.
The bushings are the same front and rear from what i can remember.
You say you have a 4" bracket lift in the front and are only planning on putting a 1" block in the back?
I'm guessing your front suspension is sagged out (suspension arms are flat/parallel to the ground).
When I did my lift, I had a sagged out front suspension with the chevy leaf swap. Once I cranked the torsion bars and got the front suspension to 1" lower than the rear (it's truck and hauls stuff, so you don't want to be dragging the rear when hauling).

There's a 3" body lift in the first two pics, and not the last one.

Pre chevy leaf swap:
Click the image to open in full size.

Post chevy leaf swap (sagged out front suspension):
Click the image to open in full size.

Post-leveling:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks Stuwy - your truck looks great BTW!

I'm only guessing because I've heard the springs give from 3-5", and it varies on the condition of the springs. I had 4" blocks with flat stock springs on before I did a ZUK mod....and I still have to crank DOWN my T bars in front to get it level after that. So right now I'm riding with the front pretty low (plus the 4" bracket) - would like to be able to crank the T Bars and get a little more lift up front. I'll play the blocks by ear....but I need to figure out this spring bushing thing first Oh and my 4runner has a little more weight in the back than a pickup does due to the shell, so account for that.

When I ordered from NAPA, they were all the same size bushings...but the guy behind the counter was a little slow (he gave me S10 bushings the first time), so who knows. Maybe I just need to call a dealer and ask about a fictitious 1996 1500 and see what they say.
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Last edited by Philbert; 02-12-2013 at 11:17 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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OK, well I called the local Chevy dealer and, well, there is only ONE part number for rear leaf springs from that era of qualifying swap candidates...which means I likely have the wrong damn springs (argh!).

What gets me is that:
1) The guy I got them from had a Yota and the Sky kit and planned to do the swap - so I'd imagined he had the right springs (I can't find his contact info - it was 18 months ago)
2) They measure 2.5" wide - the right size
3) They are 62.5" eye to eye - the right size
4) They are symmetrical - not offset like Yota springs with the center pin

I'm really wondering what the heck I have on my hands here.....can't find part numbers on the springs themselves.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Stop messing around with some cheap, 2nd hand springs.
Go to your local wrecking yard (Pick and Pull, or whatever) and pull some springs from an un-molested truck.
Get them off something that looks like it drove into the wreckers (i.e. no roll overs or lift kits on it). Find out exactly what the make/model of the vehicle is. Usually the wreckers write it on the fender. If in doubt, grab the VIN number and check it on the internet or at the dealer.
A set of springs will cost you all of $20-$40.
Go buy bushings from your local auto parts store. Maybe try one without the dough head behind the counter.

Build and install.

No messing around with free/cheap 2nd hand parts off an unknown truck.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks Stuwy for the pep talk - you're right. I could probalby pick up a pair of nicer REAL springs for the same I spent on these bushings for the mystery springs.

Traveling a lot in the coming month but will try to track some down. They may be a lot cheaper up north, not sure we can get them that cheap here in CA

Will keep you guys posted.

My Head gasket parts came yesterday so I may tackle that sucker first anyway.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:56 AM
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