Source : SPECIAL PROJECTS – Mustang Tech Articles
Rear Leaf Spring Front Mounting Bolt Removal without Resorting to use of Fire or Mechanical Mayhem
This is how the mounting bolt looks (above) when installed. For clarity the rear leaf spring is removed. If you’re lucky, the bolt will slide right out when you remove the nut. Unfortunately, after 30+ years and especially if you live in an area that has real seasons, the front mounting bolt will rust solid in the leaf spring bushing.
Even here and California, leaf spring front mounting bolts can rust in place. This one I was able to yank out using channel locks. The bolt is DOA. Never reuse bolts like this one.
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Here’s what will save the day if your front mounting bolt won’t budge:
The Extraction Kit
- 1/2″ diameter bolt about 3 to 3-1/2 inches long
- 2″ Long nut that threads onto the bolt
- A couple of wrenches
Both of these can be found at your friendly neighborhood hardware store. For starters, the long nut is threaded onto the bolt until the end of the bolt is flush with the end of the nut.
First, remove the nut on the leaf spring mounting bolt. About 1″ of the mounting bolt end is exposed in the tight confines of the rear leaf spring front mounting brackets and the inside of the rocker panel. If you’re extraction kit bolt does not fit between the leaf spring bolt and the inner rocker panel, cut off just enough of your bolt so that it will fit. Do not cut the old rusted in place leaf spring bolt , you’ll need as much of it intact as possible.
With a box end wrench on the bolt head and an open end wrench on the long nut, place the bolt head against the rocker panel and the long nut on the end of the leaf spring mounting bolt. If you’re afraid of punching through the rocker panel, place an 1/8 piece of steel between the bolt head and the rocker panel but it may be a bit of a juggling act to balance the special tool, wrenches and the steel plate.
By holding the bolt fixed and crank on the nut so that it pushes against the leaf spring mounting bolt, forcing the leaf spring mounting bolt out of the leaf spring. Stop turning the long nut when it touches the leaf spring mounting bracket. It may be wise to soak the leaf spring mounting bolt with Liquid Wrench ™ or your favorite bolt loosener in order to facilitate the leaf spring mounting bolt’s removal. If you detect your rocker panel is caving in STOP! You will have to resort to fire or mechanical violence. If you’re successful in pressing the leaf spring mounting bolt out 1″, you should be able to pull it out the rest of the way with Vice grips or Channel Locks.
I can not take credit for this idea. I got it from David Cole who posted this on a long forgotten forum. I thought it was the predecessor to the Vintage-Mustang Forum but from the copy I made of the post it wasn’t in the old BBS format.
In addition, David Cole’s design is much better. The design I present here has a possibility of getting stuck, forcing one to turn the box end wrench around the bolt head rather than turn the open end wrench on the coupling nut.
DC’s design uses two long (coupling) nuts, a regular hex nut, a 1/2 X 20 stud about 4 inches long. I suggest 3-1/2″ if you have a ’65 Mustang and maybe a bit shorter to account for the 1/8″ rocker panel backing plate – I only had 3-1/2″ to work with.
The hex nut is threaded to the middle of the stud. The two coupling nuts are threaded on either side of the hex nut. With all the nuts together, insert the stud between the rocker panel and the frozen leaf spring mounting bolt. The coupling nut next to the leaf spring mounting bolt is threaded onto the leaf spring mounting bolt and the hex nut is tighten against it to lock the coupling nut in place. The other coupling nut is next to the rocker panel and the 1/8″ plate is inserted between it and the rocker panel. One open end wrench holds the hex nut and another cranks on the coupling nut next to the rocker panel. As the coupling nut is turned, the leaf spring mounting bolt is pushed out.
So there you have it, an alternative to fire and violence when it comes to stuck front spring eye bolts!