Leaf spring front bracket. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 01-19-2010
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Leaf spring front bracket.

Hi all. I haven't posted in awhile because, well, I haven't had any issues to speak of.

This question, however, is for my g/f's 93 Ranger XLT. It's a 4x4 auto and has a little over 120K on it.

It's a complete rust bucket but it's all the poor girl has.

Now, on to the real problem. For the past couple of weeks, she said she's felt the back end wobbling and it felt like the left rear wheel was going to fall off.

At first, I passed it off as hitting/slipping on ice since it was the dead of winter.

Well, I looked at it in the daylight and sure enough the drivers side of the bed was tilted slightly.

I looked closely at the suspension and sure enough... the front bracket that holds the leaf spring to the frame is completely rusted apart, and the fore section of the leaf spring is swinging freely about the frame.

I already have the part ordered through Ford (NO ONE) else carries it.

Soooo.... how much of a fight am I in for to get the rest of this bracket off?
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Old 01-19-2010
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what side is it on and is this a single or super cab?
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Old 01-19-2010
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How good are you with a torch/plasma? that's about the best thing you could use... That or maybe a cut-off wheel.
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Old 01-19-2010
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To answer everyone's questions:

It' on the drivers side and it's a super cab.

Also, I've never used a torch/plasma cutter nor do I have access to one.

A cut-off wheel, however, is very doable.

Are these bastards seriously riveted on like I've been reading?

If so, why is that?
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Old 01-19-2010
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Yes, they are.. They're not supposed to be removable, but you call drill out the rivets or take a cut off wheel to them and the bracket should come off. I haven't had much experience with these brackets, so there could be more work invovled than that. Hopefully someone else with the experience chimes in.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2010
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LOL if they aren't supposed to be removable, what the hell is a person supposed to do when they rust off?

Just for a quick reference, I've taken some pics to show what I'm up against.





I can definitely get in there with a grinder or an air hammer or whatever but I don't see how I'm going to access the gas tank side.
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Old 01-19-2010
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Grind off the rivet heads and use an air hammer to get them out. That's what i did when I moved my front spring hangers 6" forward and it worked very well.
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Old 01-19-2010
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Icon3 FFT>>>

All ya gotta do is grindem down and knockem out with a punch!

That's how did the RAT Ranger's...................
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Old 01-20-2010
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Awesome guys! Thanks for the replies. I'll be tackling this early morning on Saturday.

All I have to do is get an air hammer. That's easy though.

I'll take pics and update as I make progress.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2010
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Ok so I bought the bracket and leaf spring mounting bolt from Ford yesterday. Also, I went to Tunnessens today and purchased the correct nut/bolt combination's to replace the rivets.

Furthermore, I went to Harbor Freight and picked up an angle grinder and an air hammer. I've been meaning to pick these up for awhile. This job merely gave me the excuse to actually buy them. LOL, I also returned my impact wrench which didn't work out of the box....

I did a little research on removing the bed and I'll be pulling that off to replace the bracket.

All I have to do now is wait until Saturday (work all day tomorrow).
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2010
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Long post...

Alright, here's an update:

So I started this fiasco of a project by attempting to take the bed off. 6 bolts and all is well, right? Riiiighhttt...... 2 came out fine, 3 broke as soon as I turned the heads, and the last one I had to grind out.

So off came the bed (AFTER I remembered to disconnect the tail light wiring harness and fight the mudflaps to come off).

Now everything should be easy. Just move the fuel tank backward and grind the rivets out. LMFAO!!! Not even close!

First, let me start off by saying that I have never worked on such a RUSTED out piece of junk in my life. The rear cross-member was completely rusted off. The spare tire will have to be torched off of the mounting gear, if it's ever needed. There were rusted brake lines still hanging there from previous repairs. The Ebrake cable was corroded and rusted (which explains why my g/f was told not to use the Ebrake...ever..).

So, I start by tearing the fuel lines and the electrical connector off of the fuel tank. The fuel lines came off (not w/out a fight and some PB Blaster) relatively easily. The electrical connector was completely corroded. It will likely have to be replaced. Then, I tried to remove the tubing from the vapor canister. No such luck.

Time to crawl underneath this rust bucket and remove the fuel tank shield. Surprisingly, it came off w/out too much of a hassle, however, I think half the frame fell on me in the form of rust.

On to the fuel tank brackets. Well, the far rear bracket was completely rusted off. No need to even try to remove it. The center bracket was still holding on by some miracle so I CAREFULLY removed the single bolt holding it to the frame and bent the bracket back a little bit. This enabled me to slide the fuel tank backward enough to complete the job.

Ok so now I could start on the front leaf spring bracket. I had to tear off the Ebrake cable and finagle some brake lines but I finally got enough clearance to start grinding the rivets.

Then... a friend of mine showed up. He is better with an angle grinder than I am so he took over. 1 hour later and the bracket popped off. Another hour later, goodbye rivets. Well, this still wasn't enough to be able to get the remainder of the bracket off of the leaf spring. Soooo..... off came the leaf spring, and off to the shop it went to get the mounting bolt pressed out of the rubber bushing, and the new one pressed in. My friend and I spent over 2 hours trying to get that bolt out....

So now the leaf spring has two brand new brackets (there was a new one in the rear from a previous repair). It took all of 10 minutes to put the leaf spring back on, but now the fuel tank shield won't go on because mounting hardware has to be replaced.

And that my friends, is when it started POURING down rain. So I cleaned up as FAST as I could and called it a night.
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Old 01-24-2010
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Damn sounds like a fun day! /end sarcasm But yah rivets are a pain in the *** no matter whether they are new or rusted through. Good to hear its fixed (somewhat) though. Good Job!!!
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2010
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Well, after looking at this poor old truck some more, I've decided to rebuild the fuel tank support brackets. I don't want the fuel tank dropping out while my g/f is driving to work or anywhere else.

Time to find some metal strips and do some cutting and bending. This should take me long and it's a necessary evil.

Next, fuel tank shield goes back on and then finally, the bed.

I won't have time to do this tomorrow or Thursday so hopefully I'll get some wrench time in on Friday or Saturday.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2010
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Well, another update.

I got the fuel tank support bracket put on and it fits perfectly. I also got the fuel tank shield installed.

Then, I had to grind out the last two broken bed bolts. That wasn't so bad (would have been better if my air line didn't keep freezing up).

Then, I thought, before I put the bed on, let's make sure the brakes work and that no fuel is leaking. Well, the brakes work find, however, the fuel sending unit leaks like a siv!

I tried rigging it but that didn't help. The dealer wanted $400

Eventually, I tracked one down for $50, with all necessary hardware included.

So now, I'm exhausted and half frozen so tomorrow is another day.

What sucks, though, is that I still have a Mustang, a Saturn, and Cutlass Calais to fix
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2010
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OOOOkkkk.... final update.

I got the fuel sending unit installed. That took a good half hour because I could not get the fittings to fit right at first. All is good now.

After that, I recruited the help of my brother to get the bed on. That took all of 15 minutes to line up and bolt in.

So then I topped off all the fluids and started her up and drove to my g/f's house.

Moral of this story: DO NOT take apart rusty things! LoL they will break even further and cause more headache.

LoL it's all good. I can't kid myself, I really enjoy working on cars.
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