Bob's Resource Website (2007)

Rear leaf Spring Bushings

Rear Leaf Spring Bushings

The following articles were extracted from Newsgroups and one from experience. While the theory in articles 1 & 2 are very applicable, in practice, you have to deal with a car that may have had been worked on before. If so, then you can run into problems where the previous mechanic(?) 'abused' the components to R&R the bushings. Then there is the rust issue...(See the bottom article)..

Organization: Joliet Studebaker Service
> How do you get the rear bushings (front, in frame) out of our cars? And
> how do you get the new one in too?

There is a special Studebaker tool for that but if you do not have that you can use deep well sockets.You use one with the outside diameter a hair smaller than the O.D. of bushing ( 5/8? ) and one with a inside diameter a hair bigger than the O.D. of the bushing. Use your new bushing (you bought to replace these ) as a guide.Use a lenght of threaded rod , preferably 3/8" fine thread and long enough to go through the two sockets and old bushing. Grease the threads on one end and install heavy 3/8 fender washers and matching nuts on the other end of the rod after running it through the two sockets and old bushing. The small socket goes with the square hole against the old bushing on the inside of the frame and a heavy (or two normal ones) fender washer on the other sideone the inside of the frame.

The larger socket goes with the large opening on the outside of the frame. The threaded rod with the geased end goes toward the outside. install a heavy fender washer and screw a nut on this. Tightening the nut on the greased end will pull the smaller socket thru the hole in the frame , taking the old bushing with it. Make sure the sockets stay centered. Installation is the reverse. Whenever you use a threaded rod as a pulling rod you have to grease it good in order to have maximum pulling power. If you are out of grease look under your Studebaker and there are gobs of it.
R.Kapteyn , Joliet Studebaker Service

Replacing Rear Shackle Bushings
By Chuck Collins
Replacing rear shackle bushings on your later model Studebaker is not a bad job if you make a tool to remove and install them. You will have to start by getting a piece of 7/16" USS all-thread rod from a nut and bolt dealer. You will need at least grade five rod, not the kind they sell at hardware stores. The rod will come in three foot lengths and you should get at least eight nuts to fit, 11/16" wrench size. While you are there get a metal spacer that has a 7/16" center hole and a outside diameter of 7/8" or.875 and a thickness of about 3/8" .You will need a piece of pipe 3" long with a inside diameter of one inch and the outside diameter will be about 1 3/8" but the outside diameter is not critical.You will also need some large diameter, over 1 3/8", flat washers with a 7/16" hole. Get a few of these, six or so as you will bend a some. I find that cutting a piece of threaded rod about eight inches is a good size for most cars. If you are working on an Avanti you will need two different lengths because of the small clearance from the spring to the body work. Jack up the car and put jack stands under the frame. Position your jack under the differential, and apply a little pressure (raise it 2-3").
You can then remove the through bolts at the spring and shackle.

I start by replacing the bushing in the spring first as it it easier and you can get familiar with the procedure. In theory you put the threaded rod through the bushing. put the 7/8" steel spacer on and a nut. Then on the other side you slide the pipe spacer on and center it over the surround shoulder on the spring, put on a couple of large washers ( a little lube here will prevent galling) put on a nut and tighten to withdraw the bushing. In practice the bushing is worn and off center and it is impossible to center the 7/8" spacer. I just forget the spacer the first time and put a nut on it only. Then tighten the nut at the pipe spacer until you have withdrawn the entire rubber center from the bushing. You can repeat the procedure with the 7/8" spacer centered on the old bushing and withdraw it. This may require a couple of 11/16" box end wrenches about a foot long!!
If you bend the threaded rod extracting the old bushings, it it time to cut a new piece and continue. To install the new bushing you can either cut a section about 3/8" from the old outer bushing case or counter drill the spacer so that when you use it to pull the new bushing into place you apply pressure only to the outside steel part of the bushing. You do not want to apply pressure to the center steel part of the new bushing. I use anti-seize on the outside of the bushing. I do not know if it makes them easier to pull in but it will help the next fellow in 2008. Once you have successfully installed one bushing in the spring you will have the experience to do the others and the ones in the frame as well.

At this point raising or lowering the axle to align and replace the bolts in the shackle is a rather easy task. I re-check the torque on the bolts once the car is back on the ground at ride height.


The following is a pictoral Page on the procedure

May 2001 -
64 GT Hawk

    This was not a pleasant experience. The front leaf spring mount came off easily. The rear shackle almost had to be destroyed to remove it. The bolt heads were cut off with a Sawz-All, but this didn't free the bolt end from the shackle steel. It required using a tie rod end remover to force the 1/4" steel plate from the bolt shank. With the lower piece opened, the shackle released the spring. Getting the remaining shackle off the car was accomplished by pounding it into submission. The 2 steel drops were literally disfigured. After the bolts were removed, the remains of the bushings were removed with a drift pin and considerable force from a sledge hammer. (Yes the rubber was still good after 40 years). Then the remaining shell was cut through with a hacksaw and chiseled out. All the Kroil in the world wouldn't have helped this one. After removal, the loops had to be cleaned of rust and all the chisel marks smoothed out. The new bushings were sanded off to remove the coating and lubed with silicone. All bushings were forced in using threaded rods, the new grade 8 hardware (7/16") and various thicknesses of washers

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Some technical opinions are my own from experience, other informational data is from online sources with credits when available and while care has been taken to be as accurate as possible, it is offered only as a guide and caution should be exercised in the application of it.