Changing Rear Leaf Spring

cdman1674

Member
First off thanks to everyone on this forum! It has been an invaluable tool for me for years. Wasn't able to find a lot of information on changing the rear springs....so this is my take.
I purchased a used 2006 high top, long wheel base ex-DHL van. Dealership pre-inspection indicated "among other things" broken spring? I determined after a chat with (Andy):bow: aka- Doctor A -that the drivers side rear leaf spring had a broken pin.
I did this by looking at the space between the front of the tire and the forward side of the tire well. (the tire was closer to the front by over 1 1/2 inches!) I compared it to the passengers side and to my other sprinter. In addition i got under the van and could tell by the rust line on the attachment point of the spring that it had moved.
Next i ordered a spring from Dallas Dodge $340 with shipping. Andy informed me that it is crucial to get the right spring- different length vans have different springs (both old springs and the new one had the part number painted on them). I called three dealerships and they all had trouble getting the right part number from the Vin beware.
Next i tried to get a fix on where and how to jack the van. Since the front bolt on the spring is inside the "jack point" i decided to jack the van at the jack point then place a 2 foot long 4x4 along the frame and place the jack stands under it.
Next i placed my floor jack under the differential in order to move the axle up and down.
I removed the four nuts on the u-clamps and removed the plate on top.
I removed the spring bolt and nut on the front. Had to turn the bolt and wiggle the spring to pull it out.
Then to the rear bolt. At this point i realized to remove the bracket on the back was a little tricky. The nut is on the side closer to the outside of the van. The bolt stuck beyond the nut too far to use a short socket and there wasn't enough room to use a deep socket. It would have been great to have a socket length in between but i didn't. :idunno: Had to remove the nut with the deep socket not on correctly:yell: Luckily it didn't strip. Again removing the bolt was tricky.
Next to the old spring out and attempted to put the new one in.......:thinking:it wouldn't go down flush on the axle mounting plate....Removed new spring and realized the broken part of the alignment pin was still in the hole!:bash:
Took out my pick tools and began to pick at it. No luck the pin didn't break flush so the nub rubbed on the mounting plate on the axle till it "smeared" the metal over the hole. Got out the dremel tool using a small metal bit i removed the overlapping metal. Then back to the picks....no luck....:thinking: A Magnet! did the trick
Reattached the new spring, tried to put the bracket on the back side in the same (alignment) with the new spring as it was with the old (make a note of position before removing it from the old spring)
I had the same problem with the nut on the back side when i put it back....don't like using a socket that is not straight and completely on the nut. But it went back on!
Next i raised the rear end to meet the spring but the pin was not aligned with the hole...of course...the axle had moved forward. Tried hitting it with a rubber mallet but no luck. Stopped and gave it some thought. A ratchet strap!:clapping:
Pin lined up, tightened to specs (as per service manual)
 

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glasseye

Well-known member
The ratchet strap is a classic. :bow:

I'm not surprised that Vic chimed in. :rolleyes:
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
I wonder if the initial pin-breakage was due to a failure to (re)tighten the U-bolts at the first 10,000 mile service interval ?
(as the book says to do)

--dick
 

pauli

New member
Hi Guys, firstly, great post. I am just about to replace the rear springs on my 2010 sprinter, as yet I have no manual, could you tell me what the torque settings are for the bolts? Thanks Paul.
 
So my Drivers side rear Dowel Pin is broken.

Its a 2007 Dodge sprinter 144 cargo van. Can I get that dowel pin at a local spring shop?or is this a online order type deal?

Thanks for your help
 
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After pulling the spring off tonight and getting the broken pin out of the top plate on the axel I have a question? Is the pin part of the spring or is it threaded in?
 
Reviving an old post here - but i'm wondering if you had to disassemble both sides and drop the entire axle, or just the one side you were working on, to complete the job?
 
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Just the side I replaced. Not a big deal just have jack, stands and the correct tools.

Cheers, Shawn
Did you end up replacing just the pin or the entire spring?

What from I gather they don't sell just a replacement pin, but it sounds like at least one guy had luck machining a piece of round stock to the right size to press in there after getting the broken one out. That was on an '06 though so maybe the situation was different on a '07.
 
Does anybody know offhand what the factory diameter of the locating pin and/or the hole it goes into is supposed to be?

I've got mine pulled apart and it turns out the pin isn't actually sheared, but pin diameter is 1/2" or so and the mounting hole is about 3/4". If the pin is supposed to be 3/4" I can swap in a new spring, but if the hole was supposed to be 1/2", that's a bit tougher. Might try to make a spacer out of an old cut up socket or similar if that's the case.
 

kite

Member
2004 2500 140WB
After some baja potholes, I had to shift my passenger side rear axle back on the single leaf spring. I did not loosen the u-bolts enough to look for a sheared pin, only enough to slide the axle ~3/8" back to the old rust marks on the spring. My front alignment was perfect but steering wheel needed to be left to drive straight. Alignment showed -0.5 deg thrust angle on rear axle. This adjustment seemingly fixed a rear steering issue.
U-bolts on both sides were way under torqued.

Two questions:
1) Where does the axial play in the driveshaft get taken up when the rear axle shifts forward/back?

2) There is clearly no pin still aligning the axle with leaf spring. My assumption is the joint is designed as a friction joint with u-bolts are torqued to spec. If there was a pin, it was an alignment feature that was asked to carry load as the u-bolt tension dropped. I hope to leave it as is instead of replacing leaf springs just for the alignment features.
Am I missing something? Seems like others have replaced springs in this situation but I now have a seemingly properly aligned rear axle and torqued u-bolts...
 

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