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Old 05-23-2014
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Leaf Spring Hanger Question

Hey all, I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I read a few of the other leaf spring hanger threads and didn't really get the answer I was looking for. I need to replace the front hanger on the drivers side (see picture). This is on a 97 Ranger. It's the one that has the gas tank right on the other side of the frame. The gap at the bottom between the frame and the tank is a little more than my fingers can fit through. Not sure how much room there is going from the top. Is it possible to get something in there to tighten the bolts WITHOUT REMOVING THE BED OR GAS TANK? I realize that it would be a lot easier to do it with the bed removed and/or lowering the gas tank, but it would also take a whole heck of a lot more time to remove the bed and/or lower the tank. This should be a very simple job. Cut off what's left of the existing bracket, bolt the new bracket on, and then bolt the spring back on. Wham, bam, boom. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Scott

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Old 05-23-2014
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You will need to drop the fuel tank, you "might" be able to get the nuts on the new bolts and then hold them, but the time it will take for 4 bolts would probably be more than the time it takes to drop the tank.
Removing the bed makes access and working on it much easier, but tank still needs to be moved.
If you do remove the bed then I would replace all the hangers at that time.


You need to grind off the rivets, so watch the sparks near the fuel tank.
The bolt on the old hanger will most likely not come out of the bushing, I ended up having to cut off the bolt on each hanger and then used a propane torch to melt the rubber on the bushing enough to pound it out, the Black Smoke is AWFUL!!!!!
This generates a lot of heat and will blister the paint of the bed above so wet it down constantly, or remove the bed.

If the bed is off it would give you a better chance to get the old bolt out but..........old bushing may wear out and then you have to do it all over again.
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Old 05-23-2014
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I'm replacing everything. All four brackets, the shackles and both leaf springs. All of my brackets are bolted on. Not sure why. Maybe because one month after I bought the truck I was rear ended and they replaced the entire frame. I have a bed liner also. It would be a nightmare and take forever to have to remove the bed. And if I lower the gas tank, it'll probably then require new mounting brackets, that I don't have. The passenger side should be a breeze. I saw a Youtube video of a guy who did this by cutting the bracket off with a reciprocating saw. That's what I plan to do. This really should be a fairly easy job if that stupid gas tank wasn't right there. I would still rather try to get that bracket on without taking off the bed or lowering the gas tank.
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Old 05-23-2014
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Yup.........I started with a Sawz-all......then got a grinder......then got a torch, lol.

Start on the passenger side first, then you can decide what is needed when the gas tank brackets turn comes up

Finish one hanger before starting on another.
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Old 05-27-2014
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Yeah, the reciprocating saw didn't work. Ended up grinding all the bolt heads off. Was actually fairly easy. Didn't remove the bed or drop the gas tank. I was able to fit a wrench up between the frame and gas tank. I did the drivers side first and it took me 8 hours. Still worth the time over removing the bed and/or dropping the gas tank, in my opinion. The passenger side took less than 3 hours.
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Old 05-27-2014
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You can take the bed off with two guys and an Impact Wrench. Its six T55 bolts and 3 8mm bolts in the gas tank neck. Disconnect the tailights and it lifts off fairly easy.

I just re-did the hangers on my truck, Most of my bolts broke loose with an impact, I only needed to cut one of them.
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