How to Replace Leaf Springs on a Ford Ranger
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The leaf springs on your Ford Ranger are designed to carry a heavy load and still keep the axle centred on the body. Although they have their drawbacks, having a leaf-sprang rear suspension makes lifting or lowering the truck fairly easy.
If you want to lift it, swapping out your stock leaf springs for larger ones is an easy trick, which adds height in the rear end. This job requires a lot of heavy lifting, so if you can't lift over 34 Kilogram comfortably, consider calling in an assistant.
Lift up the rear of the vehicle using the jack and secure it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is solidly set on the jack stands before crawling underneath it. Make sure there are jack stands underneath both the axle and the frame. Remove the rear tires using the tire iron and place them out of the workspace.
- The leaf springs on your Ford Ranger are designed to carry a heavy load and still keep the axle centred on the body.
Unbolt the U-bolts that secure the leaf spring to the axle using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket. Unbolt the rear of the leaf spring from the rear of the frame using a 1/2-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. There are two bolts on the rear of the leaf spring: one for the leaf spring to the shackle and one from the shackle to the frame. You want to remove the shackle from the frame. The shackle is approximately 6 inches long and helps the leaf spring to pivot. Allow the leaf spring to rest on the ground.
Unbolt the front of the leaf spring from the frame using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench. Then lift the leaf spring away from the frame and place it to the side.
- Unbolt the U-bolts that secure the leaf spring to the axle using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.
Place the replacement leaf spring next to the stock one and make sure they are oriented in the same direction. Unbolt the leaf spring shackle from the leaf spring using an open-end wrench and the ratchet, then transfer the shackle to the replacement leaf spring.
Lift the front of the replacement leaf spring into the frame and install it using the ratchet and wrench. Then lift the rear up and bolt the shackle to the frame in the same manner. Reattach the U-bolts around the axle to the leaf spring using the 1/2-inch ratchet and socket.
Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for the other side of the vehicle, then reinstall the tires using the tire iron and lower the truck off of the jack stands with the jack.
- Ford Truck Enthusiasts: Replacing Broken Leaf Springs
- "Four Wheeler" magazine: How To Refurbish Your Springs; Sean Holman; Feb. 2009
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.