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Old 04-25-2020, 04:12 PM   #1
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Leaf spring bolt hitting shackle

Just replaced my rear shocks & leaf springs in my 2003 E250 2wd van. I pulled the "new" leafs off of a donor van, they are slightly heavier duty and in great condition (+300lbs capacity per side). My previous leafs were bottomed out due to weight and age (van is a conversion van w/ high top so it's right at the max rear axel weight as built out).

The issue I'm having is that when I tighten the top shackle bolt, it digs in to the shackle (see image below). It's not clear to me if:
  1. That bolt should fall in the middle of the shackle (where it looks like it won't hit the shackle when tightened)
  2. that bolt should fall in front of the shackle (also looks like it wouldn't hit the shackle when tightened)
  3. or if the bolt from the donor van is too long?

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I loosened both of these bolts so that they were not digging in to the shackle when I lowered the van back on to the rear tires, with the hope that the the leaf hanger would settle forward or backwards so that the bolt didn't dig in to the shackle when tightened, but it still lands right in the middle of the front shackle piece where it digs in to it when tightened. All the bolts are currently hand tight - I'm waiting to torque them until I get this figured out.

Any help is appreciated... this is my first true foray in to doing mechanical work on my vehicle and I'm so very close to having it buttoned up that I'm hoping there is a relatively straight forward solution.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:25 PM   #2
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It looks like you need to flip the bolts around. Which would require putting them into the leaf and shackle before installing the shackle-to-bracket bolts.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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Shoot... I think you're correct. I remember when messing around on vans in the junkyard that you could never remove that bolt without removing the entire leaf because it was inserted from the frame side and there wasn't enough space to pull it out. Welp. little bit of a hassle to get it jacked up again, but shouldn't be too hard. Thanks for the input.
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