It's finally back on all 4 wheels!
Now, for a dumb oversight on my part. The topmost bolt on the shackle MUST go from inside out. Otherwise, the bolt hits the frame. I pretty much had to undo the entire suspension on both sides and remove the leaf springs to turn this back around. Very annoying for such a simple little mistake!
Next, the 8.8" had a bolt hole on top to mount the parking brake cable. The 9" had no such provision, so I had to think up something. I am going to try bolting it to one of the case bolts and see how it holds up. Seems solid enough. Fortunately, if it doesn't work, it's not like I'm going to be left stranded:
The next issue I have to get around is the swaybar. The 8.8" tube is 3.25" all the way to the diff, but the 9" flares. This looks to be about 3.5" diameter right here. I have some u-bolts on order, so we'll see if it works.
Next, I figured that since the rear was getting new leaf springs, the front should get new coils. MOOG makes a progressive spring replacement for about $80 a set. If they suck, it doesn't set me back too far, so they're worth a try.
The only thing I don't like about them is it looks like they have a lot more coils in them, which means they'll coil bind easier. But, we'll see:
A little frame stretching and a rented spring compressor and they were a relatively easy swap:
I know the front end likes to do this when you lift it up off the ground, but I may need an alignment with the new springs. The front also sits a little higher than the rear, which I hope settles after I drive it.