View Full Version : TR2/3/3A TR3 Rear Spring - front pivot - removal

10-22-2006, 10:17 AM
I finally completed rebuilding all of the front suspension and steering joints on my TR3. They look, feel, and drive lovely.
Now I want to replace all of the rear leaf spring pivot bushings.
I do not have the body off of the frame and I did not plan to remove it any time soon.
What trick tools have some of you folks made to remove that front pivot pin?
I understand the unrusted new car theory with the 5/16 NF thread in the inner head of the pin. But my car has at least 45 years of rust.
As always any ideas will be appreciated.

10-22-2006, 11:05 AM
I'm not sure if this is a trick, but I'd start by dropping the rear spring shackles first and disconnect the leaf springs from the rear axle. With that, you may be able to work the spring off the pivot pin. That's assuming you can get the castle nut off the pin.

If it is woefully rusty, then I've been told that cutting the pin with a carefully applied saber or hack saw can work - though I didn't go that route.
Good luck!

Don Elliott
10-22-2006, 12:33 PM
Mine were rusted in so I took out all the bolts holding the floor to the frame and also the rear bumperettes. Then I lifted the body up off the frame about 6 inches at the rear and this gave me enough space to slide the springs off.

Don't cut off the bolts. Then you'll have a real problem getting out the remaining rusted in parts

10-22-2006, 04:17 PM
I don't know about anyone else but my front pivot pins were welded in, this is on a TR-3A. The springs were a son of a gun to remove but liberal doses of ZEP and a large hammer did the trick. I certainly would not cut them off! Trouble , trouble.
You might want to wait until you take the body off before you go after the front of the rear spring.
Anyhow, good luck.

10-22-2006, 04:51 PM
I had to cut one of mine off to get it out. (Sorry, Don) The outer or threaded side, not the side with the head! This is because it was, unbeknownst to me, bent. The bend was preventing the pin from sliding through the hole. Even if it's bent, I recommend cutting the pin, because it's that much less pin to slide through the hole! Put a pickle fork under the pin's head to make a good lever, and, using the frame as a fulcrum, beat the end of the fork with a BFH. Also, Aerokroil and a torch help.

Don Elliott
10-22-2006, 07:16 PM
A trick that worked for another original owner, Max Jaffe of Pacific Palisades in California didn't work for me. Max suggested to screw threaded "eye bolts" into the treaded holes at the head end of these bolts. Then he stretched a cable with end hooks across ans with a turn-buckle he applied tension on the cable. He applied heat and Kroil every day for a week, giving a turn to the turn--buckle every day. Then they came out.

I couldn't get mine out when I did my restoration in 1987 to 1990, but with the body off, I had no problem. On the TR3A which I just finished, these bolts were rusted in. But I applied Kroil and heat for several months before it became time to re-assemble things and they came out easily.

https://www.triumphest2006.com/images/clubcars/30donelliott'str3.jpg Photo 2001

10-23-2006, 12:22 PM
This tread reminds me to ask-- How does one know when the springs are ready for replacement? Mine look pretty old but still have a little arch to them. Is there a measurement or deflection test?

10-23-2006, 07:17 PM
Success - Thanks guys for the encouragement.
I did NOT cut anything. I used lots of Kroil and patience.
The first important thing that I did was to hammer the whole pin and tube and frame with a blunt nosed air chisel.
Then I made a short steel adapter that has a 5/16 NF male thread on one end and 5/8 NF female thread on the other end.
That adapter threads into the inner head of that pivot pin.
My 3 pound slide hammer fits into that adapter. I actually used the very same 5/8 NF threaded rod that I used to compress the front coil springs as the slide rod of the slide hammer.
Lots of Kroil, time, and very hard bumping with the slide hammer and eventually I have the entire rear suspension all apart.
Obviously I have excluded lots of the tedious details.

10-24-2006, 06:57 AM
"How does one know when the springs are ready for replacement?"
It's was easy on mine. I took off from a stop light ane heard a big pop from the rear of the car, about a mile later another big pop. The pops were the leafs breaking one at a time. Even with the spring broken compleatly in half the car never did sag.

Don Elliott
10-24-2006, 08:17 AM
I was about 7 miles from home when my right side rear spring broke. It was right after I took off from a red light. The trip I was coming home from was to Portland Oregon for VTR in 2000. I had driven 7,220 miles from Montreal to Portland and then 7 miles from home the spring broke. The right rear side really sagged. It was broken right through. I limped home slowly the rest of the way.

The next day, I took both springs out and replaced them. I had to use the 6" rear end lift I mentioned above. I found that the 2 inner leafs were already broken and the fractured surfaces were rusty. That explains why the car used to sashay up and down for about 2 years prior to the final break. During those 2 years, every time, I drove on a road with gentle wavy rises and dips, the rear end felt like a shock was broken. But it was the spring with 2 inner leafs broken. They had 135,000 miles from new on them.

I replaced both springs for a consistant ride on both sides. I've driven 38,000 miles since then.

Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A

https://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/trebor/don3a_big.JPG (Photo at VTR Colorado 2001)

10-24-2006, 09:19 AM
During those 2 years, every time, I drove on a road with gentle wavy rises and dips, the rear end felt like a shock was broken.
Don Elliott, Original Owner, 1958 TR3A

[/ QUOTE ]

That sounds kinda familiar. Right side seems to bottom out fairly easily especially with a passenger (I tease my wife who weighs all of 117 pounds) It caused me earlier to check the fluid and operation of the shock absorber on that side. The shock seems to be fine.

Don Elliott
10-24-2006, 04:29 PM
Check the inner leafs on your rear springs. Clean off any grease or dirt and look closely with a bright ling. Let us know what you find. The two broken inner leafs on mine were fractured to the rear of the axle, if I remember correctly.

10-24-2006, 07:31 PM
Well Don-- can't say that I saw anything-- I just checked but in a cold dark garage with a flashlight crawling under the car. The spring follows the same plane as the frame member so it was pretty hard to really get a look at the entire length of sides of the "leaves". I may put it up on a ramp and take a better look at it on the weekend.

10-24-2006, 08:17 PM
Nice job. I could not figure out a way to do it. I thought about cutting them because then you could drop the spring and pound the other piece out with drift once the spring is removed. The problem I saw was the pin looked like pretty hard steel. What I finally did was lift the body up and drove them out with a BFH.

Don Elliott
10-24-2006, 08:26 PM
You could have left the bolts in place and just slide the spring off the bolt, once you have the body up about 6". Then you can change the rubber bushing and/or the whole spring without removing the bolt. Now that you have them out, put lots of slippery no-seize on the bolt and in the hole when you reassemble them - so they will be a snap to remove next time.

10-24-2006, 09:09 PM
Yes right on Don that is why I removed them, so that I could get them out next time and leave the body on the frame.

10-25-2006, 11:06 AM
I too had an idea to use a slide hammer to remove the pins, but thought the there was too much stuff in the way to use it. Glad it worked for you! Don is correct as usual about the anti-seize. I put plenty of anti-seize on the new pins. I sold that TR3 and the new owner e-mailed me that he removed the rear springs to have them re-arched. He said the pins came out quite easily! Made me feel good for some reason.

Don Elliott
10-26-2006, 08:59 AM
John - Are both your sheds in the soggy bottom. I remember your place. Good to see your input on this forum. Good to have you.


10-26-2006, 10:59 AM
Don, only one shed is in the Soggy Bottom; the actual Laboratory. The Blue TR3 is in there. The bottom was too soggy for you to camp in when you were here, wasn't it? The HSTRL Annex shed is in a dry area. By the way, I am renting the Annex to the owner of the very first TVR Vixen made. It is now stored in there, with some TR3 parts. Aren't we getting dangerously off topic?