Sway Bar Bushings and Coil Springs Replacement on a FORD E-350

Got my shipment from rockauto.com, and that means: “Wrenching On the Family Truckster Saturday”.

Made in the USA front coil springs, front brake pads, and performance front sway bar polyurethane bushings.

Everybody knows how to do a brake job, and if you don’t there’s plenty of YouTube videos covering it.  But, there’s a couple of pointers I can give you on the bushings and coil replacement that you might not know about. 

First the toughie. No, not the coil springs- those are a piece of cake.  The sway bar bushings, the pair that sit in the axle, are a bear.  This little trick I learned from a salty old mechanic will make it much easier.  Get a 6″ lag bolt with six big washers (large enoug to span the bushing hole), and a pipe clamp sized to fit the bushing. 

  
Use it to press the bushing into the axle hole.  Lube up the bushing and hole, and use the pipe clamp to keep the bushing from “pancaking” out from under the washer.

  
You’ll only be able to use that contraption until the rear surface of the bushing hits up against the washers on the axle.  There’s still about 1/4″ left to go.  Here’s where two people, a hickory shovel handle and a 16# sledge hammer will seat that last little bit, nicely.  Unless you’ve got it up on a lift, you can’t get enough leverage lying underneath to hammer those bushings in with anything smaller.  The front bushings that bracket the bar to the chassis are simple and easy.  

What a difference.  The old rubber bushings were so rotted, the sway bar was basically useless.  It came out with zero resistance.  Fitting the bar back into the bushings required some hammering with a BFH. With the new bushings, the handling is remarkably better; significantly less body roll.

  
Now for the coil springs. While you’ve got the sway bar disconnected, simply disconnect the lower shock mount, and the axle will drop down enough to clear the coil spring without having to compress it at all.  Put a bottle jack underneath the axle to help support it, and you’re good to go.  Easy-peasy.

  
See You Down the Road!

 

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