Repairs and Maintenance

Toyota Tacoma Rear Leaf Spring Replacement

The Toyota Tacoma has a history of broken leaf springs when the truck is used in certain driving situations. While less common, it has even happened to commuter trucks as well. How do you replace those darn things anyway? Here is a handy guide.

Toyota Tacoma Maintenance - Replace Leaf Spring

Have a broken leaf spring? Replace it by following this guide.

Located in the rear suspension, replacing the leaf springs shouldn’t be too hard of a job to complete albeit with someone who has mechanical ability and the proper tools. For this project, you should have safety stands, wrenches, small pry bar and a few hours (or less) of time.

The Replacement Steps

  1. Identify the leaf spring you want to replace and loosen the lug nuts on the tire on that side. Using a jack and safety stands, raise the frame in rear of Tacoma. Then, using more safety stands, support the rear axle to remove tension on the leaf springs.
  2. Next, remove the tire you loosened in the previous step. There will be a cotter pin, nut and washer on the shock absorber (lower end) that will need to be removed. Then, detach the shock absorber and remove the parking brake cable clamp.
  3. With those pieces removed, you will now have access to the spring seat assemblies. As you unfasten the U-bolts, keep an eye on the lift on the rear axle to avoid having the weight rest on the springs. Once the U-bolts are loosened and the weight is off the springs, it is time to unfasten the spring shackle retaining nuts, pull the spring shackle inner plate out and pry the spring shackle out with a bar. Lastly, remove the bracket pin from the front end of the spring hanger and remove the rubber bushing.
  4. As you remove the spring, make sure you don’t damage the hydraulic brake line or parking brake cable. You will want to install the rubber bushing in the eye of the new leaf spring and line the eye up with a spring hanger bracket prior to driving the pin through the bracket holes and bushings.
  5. With the new leaf spring ready to go, install the spring seat using the U-bolts. You will want to tighten them with a torque wrench to 90 ft-lbs. Next, re-install the parking brake cable and clamp. Then, tighten the hanger pin and shackle nuts. Once that is done, you will install the shock absorber bushings and washers while replacing the cotter pins.
  6. Prior to putting the wheel back on, you will need to re-install the stabilizer link. You will need to hand tighten the stabilizer link nuts. This is because after you put the wheel back on, you will need to bounce the truck to set the suspension. Then, you can tighten the shock absorber bolt to 115 ft-lbs and shackle pin to 67 ft-lbs.

After completing the replacement of the leaf springs, you will want to test drive the vehicle to make sure everything works correctly. Congrats, you fixed the leaf springs and now you can beat them up again!

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