Replacing Front Spring Bushings on a Ford Pickup

The factory Ford rubber spring bushings just didn’t last on my F-350, due in part to the heavy Power Stroke engine. The best replacement for these are urethane bushings. They last much longer and can come embedded with graphite for lubrication to eliminate squeaking. The best manufacturer of these urethane bushings is Energy Suspensions.  I bought mine from 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers, part number 4-2121, for $72.95, shipped to my door. They were the only company that I contacted that had them in stock.  A picture of what you get is shown below. Here is what I went through to install them on my truck.


Overview of Project:

I think the hardest part of the whole project is getting the old spring bolts off. Mine were rusted and bonded to the inner bushing sleeve and were very difficult to remove. Once the bolts were removed and the rubber bushing exposed, I drilled out the old rubber, cut the outer sleeve with a saws-all, and installed the new bushings. NOTE: The replacement of the bushings is the same process for each of the 6 bushings. What I show below needs to be repeated for each bushing.


The Components:

This is the kit from Energy Suspensions. The 8 outer bushings are for the springs (2 for each location), the smaller bushings (2 were already installed when I took the picture) are for the front spring shackles, and the new steel inner sleeves. Note the small grease pack that is included. They say to lube everything inside and out prior to assembly. That little pack lasted for almost 2 bushings leaving me to use my own grease for the other 4 bushings.


Removing The Old Bushings:

First, you want to make sure that the leaf springs will separate from the frame easily. I removed the shocks since I replaced them at the same time as the install, or you can just unbolt them from the bottom bracket at the axle and let them hang from the frame. If you have a sway bar you’ll need to disconnect that too. Unbolt the top of the link rod from each side, this will seperate the sway bar from the frame.

You’ll need to unbolt the front driveshaft from the front axle in order to slide out that spring bolt. I slid a screwdriver through the sway bar mount hole, then tied the shaft to the frame rail. This kept the shaft out of the way while working.

Now, you need to support the truck to take the weight of the truck off of the front springs. I jacked up the truck from my plow frame, then placed a jack stand on each side just behind the rear spring perch of the front springs. I also left wood blocking under the plow frame for added support.

Remove the nut from the top of the front shackle first. Then remove the bolt from the spring. The shackle can now be removed from the frame and the bushings replaced. I used the bottle jack that came with the truck (my port-a-power took a port-a-dump) to push the spring away from the frame. If you do both sides at the same time, it might be easier to lower the whole axle rather than trying to force them apart. As the picture shows, you can now work on removing the old bushing.

I used a drill and drilled several holes in the rubber. The bit eventually would spin around the inner bushing then the outer bushing essentially cutting the rubber from the sleeves. After sufficient drilling use a drift and knock out the old bushing and inner sleeve.

Use a saws-all to cut the outer sleeve as shown, then use a chisel or screwdriver to pry up the pieces of the sleeve and drive it out. The instructions say to sand the ID of the spring, and to fully lube all inner and outer surfaces of the urethane bushings and bolts.

The urethane bushings slide right in, as does the inner sleeve, for the most part. I had to use a ‘c’ clamp to help the sleeve into place. A front shackle is being worked on in the picture.

The new bushings installed. Bolt the sway bar link rods to the frame and bolt the shocks back into place, install the tires and your done!


I really didn’t expect to notice any difference in the ride or anything. This is one of those repairs that just needs to be done. The front end does sit about a 1/2″ higher now, and I feel better knowing that project is now out of the way.

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