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Swapping axle and leaf springs


NAXJA Forum User
NAXJA Memorial Lifetime Member
NC Sandhills
I've swapped or removed rear axles and shackles several times, but never actually had to tackle removing the main leaf spring.

I am also batting .700 for tipping wheeless or axleless Jeeps over and leaping for my life. That part used to not bother me, but I am running out of lives :eek:

Considering the following:
*I have no hoist (lift) and just a couple (1-12t, 1-4t) bottle jacks + 48" hi-lift.
*I have 6 (3 pr) 3 ton small jackstands, 2- inflated 33x12.5s and a 3' stack of pallets to serve as my "safety net."
*I will have some muscle to help (or call 911)
*this time I'll be on a hard surface, so it 'has' to be more stable than gravel?

How would you approach this?

Ideally I can unhook DS, brakeline/cables, then turn the springs loose at the shackles and front eye , hoist it up and just roll the old axle/springs out... then reinstall the new leafs, and roll the 44 back in. This way worked on my SOA MJ very well. but that didn't have a fuel tank in the way.

Advice from the Masters please...
Ok Your pretty much right on. I put the jeep on the jack stands andremove the tiresand use the jack to roll the axle out from the back of the jeep. the worst part bye far in the past was getting the front main bolts lose. Last time it took a 4 ft pipe on a breakerbar to get the dang things lose. Thats pretty much the best way i know. also a ratchet strap can come in handy if things don't line up just right.
I usually jack the XJ up, place the frame on jackstands (as close the rear as possible), remove the tires, then lower the axle on a floor jack. I just installed BOR 6" springs and 2" shackles with this method 3 weeks ago. I have never had a problem doing it this way.

To remove the old axle, have the muscle balance it on each side while pulling the floor jack.

Repeat in reverse to reinstall.

Make sure you PB blast everything for a few days before removing the bolts.
and hopefully the nut doesn't snap loose from it's welds in the unibody. That's no fun. No fun at all. Do you have a torch to heat the bolts beforehand?
Woody, start your twice daily dose of PB Blaster at least 4 days ahead of time for that front bolt. I broke both of my weld in nuts loose and man what a pita that turned into. "Simple" leaf spring swap- I don't think so.