In my ongoing (neverending?) effort to bulletproof the van, I spent the afternoon replacing the failure prone PH bolts with these neat shoulder bolts I found at a local supplier:
They are extremely strong so I expect them to last. Of course I had to remove the PH springs to take the load off the bolts. I made a hole in the rear plate that covers the anti-rattle spring and used a small come-along to release the spring tension:
(Who took these blurry pictures?!) Worked very well and keeping the come-long inline with the spring is a good idea.
The pivot bolts were easy to replace:
The front mounting bolts were a PIA if you have bratwurst fingers like I do:
That said, the existing bolts looked OK and probably didn't need to be replaced. At least I know how to do it now.