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Strut bushings

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tkmcelligott

Guest
I went to install new poly strut rod bushings in my 81 vette and my first surprise was I have a steel spring, I thought the 81 has a fiberglass spring, anyone know why? Anyway it looks like the way the rods are bolted into the braket on the diferential I have to remove the spring to get the bolts out of the struts, am I missing something? The instructions that came with the bushings said I have to disconect the spring at the ends but not in the center. Thanks for the help, this forum is great for new vette owners trying to learn about there car.
 
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lytemup

Guest
i think the manuals still got steel springs and the autos got fiberglass in 81. of course if you have an auto this theory might not hold up so well! i'm not sure on the disconnection thing...someone will be along shortly and dump knowledge on you i'm sure
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
3,235
Location
Norcross, Georgia, United Stat
Corvette
2017 Arctic White Grand Sport
I didn't have to remove my spring on my 77. As I recall the nuts were on the back side and the bolt came out the front side. It was just a matter of working around the hardware there until I got a wrench on the back nut.

I also replaced the bushings on the spring ends at the same time This was a simple matter of jacking up the ends of the springs and removing the nuts. I had to cut mine but perhaps yours will be persuaded to come loose. The instructions recommended clamping vice grips on the METAL SPRINGS ONLY to prevent the jack from slipping. In any event you don't want to get hit by that spring should it slip.

Bob
 
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tkmcelligott

Guest
The strut rod adjusting bolts have to come out on the side towards the spring, but there in not enough room to take it out with the spring in.
Another thing is different from what I see in the books I have is the strut carrier bracket is installed with two bolts that are parallel with the diferential instead of four bolts straight up into the differential. They would also have to come out on the side towards the spring.
This is starting to look like a pain, to get the spring out I am going to have to drop down the exhaust pipes, they are only about a inch under the spring.

By the way my vette is a automatic, dont know why it has the steel spring, I thought it was all orginal, but maybe its not.
 
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sac001

Guest
Actually, removing the spring isn't too difficult, and you won't need to drop the exhaust.

If you are replacing the bushings on the outer ends of the spring, jack the spring per the instructions, cut or remove the nuts and gently let the spring down. (If you cut the nut, replace the nut and bolt, cheap insurance.) Once you've done that on each side, remove the bolts that hold the spring to the differential carrier and slide the spring out one side.

I'm not sure what you are saying about the spring to differential mounting, my 80 had three bolts, bolted thru a plate up into the carrier and were easy to remove.

Good luck,
Steve :w
 
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Dave L.

Guest
The Steel Spring Deal on a 1981

Here is the deal on the steel spring in a 1981 corvette.The gymkhana suspension package or FE7 option used a steel spring along with a rear sway bar.All others came with the standard monoleaf fiberglass spring.Do you have a sway bar?The only other possibility is someone removed the fiberglass spring and installed a steel one.BTW there was only 7803 corvettes that came with the FE7 option that year.Its a rare option.If you have the sway bar,which is a small one(7/16" I believe)chances are good you have this rare option on your 1981. Also when I rebuilt my rear suspension I did have to remove the spring.Someone had put the bolts that mount the strut bracket to the carrier in the wrong way.You couldn't slide the bolts out without hitting the spring.Removing the spring is easy.The difficult part is removing the shock bracket from the spindle so you can get the strut off.
I used the adjustable struts from Vette Brakes.It eliminates the goofy cam set up GM used.They are much easier to adjust.

Dave
 
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tkmcelligott

Guest
Thanks for the info Dave, I do have a rear sway bar so it looks like the steel spring is right. You were also right on about the bolts, thought I was missing something when I read the instructions that came with the bushings.

Thanks to everyone for the help, this is a great forum.
 

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