How To Install a Leaf Spring Mount

1
Ouch! A Broken Spring Shackle Hurts!

A damaged truck bed from a broken leaf spring shackle.
This pic shows the damage of a broken leaf spring mount with views from below and topside, in the truck's bed. photo by Matt Wright, 2011

Take a look at the above photos and you can get an idea of what happens when you have a leaf spring mount fail. Your leaf springs are each holding up around 25% if your car's total weight. Add to this the stress of driving over bumps and potholes and you can imagine why one of these could break. When it does give way, your leaf spring has nowhere to go but up, that's because your car or truck just got a lot closer to the ground. In most vehicles, there will be somthing strong enough to keep the spring from shooting cleanly through its nearest barrier. In a car, that's your trunk. In a truck, as in the above pics, it's your bed. This truck suffered a spring perch failure while hauling a load of firewood, so there was plenty of weight in the bed of the truck to make things worse. The owner had a bedliner so hadn't really noticed how bad it was. When we showed him the leaf spring protruding into the bed his jaw dropped.

The owner of this truck opted to replace the spring shackle but decided to pound the bed of the truck back into place and weld it back together himself. Great way to save some cash! After all, it was a work truck and with the bedliner back in place you couldn't even see the repair.

The dealer quoted a ridiculous price for this job. The repair is so easy to do there's no reason to pay someone to do it for you. Follow these steps and you'll have a new leaf spring mount installed in no time.

2
The New Spring Shackle: What You'll Need

A $40 repair thanks to the new spring perch.
New leaf spring mount ready to go, save money!. photo by Matt Wright, 2011

To replace your leaf spring mount, you'll of course need the part. We found this part at the dealer for less than $40. Now that's saving you some money!

What You'll Need:

  • The New Mount
  • Jack Stands
  • Breaker Bar (optional)
  • 1/2-inch Sockets and Ratchet Wrench
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

3
Safely Secure the Car or Truck on Jack Stands

Truck jack stands are a bit higher.
Secured safely on jack stands. photo by Matt Wright, 2011

I've said it before and I'll say it again, never never never work underneath a vehicle that is supported only be a jack. It doesn't matter if it's a jack made for Sherman tanks, you shouldn't be underneath it. Before I turn a single screw underneath a car or truck, I make sure it's securely on jack stands. Since this leaf spring mount replacement job was on a Nissan Titan full size pickup I opted to use jack stands that hold the truck a little higher than your standard jack stand. This gives you some extra room to drop the leaf spring when you need to get it into your new mount.

4
Remove the Fender Liner

The plastic fender liner is removed to access the leaf spring mounts.
Removing the fender liner. photo by Matt Wright, 2011

To properly access the rear suspension mounts you'll need to remove the plastic fender liner that keeps mud and such off the underside of the truck body. This comes off easily with a few -- or a few hundred it might seem -- Phillips head screws.

When removing this amount of hardware, be sure to put the screws someplace safe. Trying to reassemble a vehicle with only half the screws and bolts is beyond challenging. It's impossible!

5
Remove the Suspension Bolts and Broken Spring Shackle

Leaf spring bolts being removed.
Removing the rear suspension bolts to access the leaf spring mount. photo by Matt Wright, 2011

The bolts that hold the rear leaf spring suspension in place are exactly what you'd expect -- big, strong nuts and bolts. They are also fairly easy to access on most vehicles. If you're lucky, the leaf spring didn't drag the mount so far up into the lower body that you have trouble getting to the bolts to get them out.

First, remove the bolt or bolts that hold the spring shackle (the mount) to the car or truck body. This will allow the leaf spring to drop free and give you more room to remove its bolts. Which brings us to the next step, remove the bolts that attach the leaf spring to the old, broken spring mount. With all of these bolts out, you can take that bent old mount and toss it. To install the new one, first attach the mount to the car or truck body, then slide the leaf spring into place and put the bolt through that end. This is the reverse of what we did to get it out.

That's it! Now just reinstall the plastic fender liner and you are good to go. You just saved some serious money!