The Role of Leaf Spring Bushings and How Replacment

leaf-spring-bushingA leaf spring bushing is a component that is fitted to the end of the leaf spring so that it can be properly secured in
place. The bushing is cylindrical in shape so that it can fit snuggly into the end of the leaf spring. This bushing
provides some shock absorbing cushion to help make the ride smoother. The material that most leaf spring bushings are made out of is rubber but other materials such as polyurethane have started gaining widespread use. The reason why rubber is slowly being replaced is because it degrades over time which can cause rattling in the suspension, extra wear on the springs/components, and a rougher ride. Many of these new materials that are being used to make bushings won’t break down when subjected to the elements which is essential since the leaf spring are under the vehicle and will get allot of mud and grime kicked up on them.

  • Adds a dramatic amount of performance and durability to any vehicle!
  • For cars, trucks and SUVs.
  • Helps the vehicle be in control – when maneuvering through turns, during standing start accelerations, braking, even over bumps and berms.
  • Made of Energy’s HYPER-FLEX™ performance polyurethane which lasts 5 -10 times longer than conventional rubber components.
  • Many sets come complete with heavy-duty metal sleeves to add to the durability of the set. When applicable, many sets contain Energy’s own pre-lube lubricantfor smooth operation of the bushings. Available in red or black.

About Rubber and Harris Bushings?

Bushings are used on your vehicle suspension system and is made of high quality rubber that will offer strength and great stability at low temperature.
The Harris bushings are rubber bushings that will install into a application half at a time. The Harris bushings are rubber original equipment replacement parts.
You should replace your bushing when your original cracks or is worn out. This is done by checking your bushings and seeing if the bushing is off set the bolts and cracks.

Popular Leaf spring Bushing:

Nylon bushings VS Bronze bushing

Nylon bushings are designed for use with trailer suspension systems. Insert them into the eyes of leaf springs or the bolt holes of equalizers to ensure proper sizing for suspension bolts.

Bronze bushing is designed for use with trailer suspension systems. Insert it into the eye of a leaf spring or equalizer to ensure proper sizing for suspension bolts.

Here is a simple way to replace those worn out leaf spring bushings:

Step 1
Loosen lug nuts

Step 2
Jack up vehicle from the rear diff and then place jack stands on the frame

Step 3
Remove the rear wheels
Lower the axle to remove the load from the springs
Support the rear axle. I used stands and then a block of wood since with the leafs removed, the axle will want to dip frontward down stressing the driveshaft.
Step 4
Remove the lower shock nut and slide the shocks off their stud.

Step 5
Remove the nuts from the axle u-bolts. Plan for them to give you some trouble.
Step 6
Now with the axle free, remove the bolts securing the leaf spring ends on at the frame hanger and the shackle. Remove leaf pack.
The spring eye bushings have an inner sleeve surrounded by rubber and then an outer sleeve.
My front ones were so bad that the inner sleeve just fell out since almost all the rubber was gone.
For the back ones I was able to try the burnout method.
Step 7
Using a camp stove or torch or anything else similar, burn the bushing until the rubber catches fire and either disappears or releases the sleeve. The rest of the spring shouldn’t even get hot so don’t worry about it.
Step 8
Now we need to remove the outer sleeve that was factory pressed in. I used a saw-zall, made 4 cuts into them with a metal blade.
This was a long process and I went through a couple blades.
Then I went to work chiseling the pieces out.
Use your friend’s screwdrivers ‘cuz you may break a few.
The large eye bushings were easier than the small ones for some reason.

Step 9
New bushing time. My first method got it done but wasn’t pretty.

I used a 1 1/4″ socket positioned on top of the bushing that was lined up on top of its new home and then baby sledged it in a little at a time. I finally got it in but the edge ended a little marred up- nothing that affected the bushing performance.

The next ones were tougher to persuade in so I borrowed a ball joint press from a neighbor and that fit the bill. The other large end bushing went in nicely but the smaller one took a while. For the large one I used another large socket to push the outer sleeve and you can see on the small one I used a closed end wrench in the same manner.
You will need a large compressor to get them to go all the way in.
Step 10
Button it all back up in reverse order. Spring in, u-bolts- making sure your centering pin in in the correct spot, rebolt shock, wheels, and lower. Make sure all your bolts are tight.
I ended up pretty much needing the 2 extra u-bolts and of course the dealer didn’t send nuts with them so I had to run to Lowes for some 20-1.25’s