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1990 EB, 5.0
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, the old girl is running great these days, aside from a slight oil leak from the rear main but I'll live with that.

Guess I don't know what to do with myself without something to fix on the Bronco. So I was wondering if anyone has advice on when to replace leaf springs and/or coil springs. Do I just wait until they fail? I try to stay ahead of things, but don't want to buy trouble either.

Super Moderator
30,909 Posts
Yo Siggy;
Symptom Chart — Rear Suspension
ConditionPossible SourceAction
  • Squeak
  • Loose mounting bolts.
  • Loose shackle bushing.
  • Loose rear spring.
  • INSTALL rear spring anti-squeak inserts (if none currently installed).
  • Rear Spring Clamp Damaged
  • Service worn or damaged rear spring clamp.
  • INSTALL new rear spring clamp.
  • Metal Burrs Rubbing Between the Leaves
  • Clip rivet.
  • REMOVE burrs.
  • Body Rolls
  • Weak stabilizer bar.
  • REPLACE stabilizer bar.
  • Worn or deteriorated stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • REPLACE stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • Worn or deteriorated shock/strut.
  • REPLACE shock/strut assembly.
  • Poor Riding Comfort
  • Worn or deteriorated shock/strut.
  • REPLACE shock/strut assembly.
  • Body Leans
  • Weak rear spring.
  • REPLACE rear spring.
  • Worn or deteriorated stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • REPLACE stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • Abnormal Noise from Suspension System
  • Looseness of peripheral connections.
  • TIGHTEN the peripheral connections.
  • Worn or deteriorated shock.
  • REPLACE shock.
  • Worn or deteriorated stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • REPLACE stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • General Driving Instability
  • Worn or deteriorated shock.
  • REPLACE shock assembly.
  • Worn or deteriorated stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • REPLACE stabilizer bar bushing(s).
  • Improperly adjusted wheel alignment.
  • ADJUST wheel alignment.
  • Damaged or unbalanced wheel(s).
  • CHECK wheel balance. BALANCE if necessary. .

  • With vehicle on hoist, inspect springs for damage.
Are springs damaged?
REPLACE springs. REFER to Section 04-01A, Section 04-01B or Section 04-02.GO to E3.

  • Inspect front suspension components for excessive wear or damage.
Are front suspension components worn or damaged?
REPLACE front suspension components. REFER to Vehicle OK.
There are 3 quick ways to tell if a coil spring needs replacing.

The first will seem to be very obvious, the spring is broken.

However with many coil springs the breakage occurs on the bottom coil and can not be detected unless the spring is removed from the vehicle.

Just jacking the truck up to get the weight off the spring and looking may not expose the break.

One has to physically remove the spring and hit the coils to reveal the break.

The second way is to look at the vehicle.

How does it sit empty?

How does it sit with a load?

If it looks fine, then chances are the coils are fine.

However, if it looks low or leans to one side chances are the springs are bad.

The third and final way is how does the vehicle ride?

Again, check it with and without extra passengers or a load.

Bad springs normally will bottom out when traveling over uneven surfaces.

If the vehicle fails any of these tests, then replace the springs.

Then there is reality, when redoing a 30 year old truck with a bunch of miles on it, it is just a darn good idea to replace the springs.

And don’t stop at the front springs, check the rear leaf springs and all 4 shocks."
by How Do I Know If I Need To Replace My Coil Springs? - EATON Detroit Spring

85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
18,098 Posts
Im still running factory 85 leaf springs that had an add a leaf put in around 2003. It rides like a cloud!

If a leaf is broke or kind of pointing out of the pack, its time.
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