1995 Ford Ranger/Mazda B2300

Simple question for a good mechanic: I am replacing the rear leaf spring shackle including the support. I had to grind off some pretty major rivets. Would a real mechanic have torched these off? If so, how would they avoid damaging the beam supporting the studs?

I would have ground them off as you did. I own a torch, makes too big a hole, the grinder makes less work of it down the road.

Full disclosure, not a pro mechanic.

When you install the new parts, I hope you’re using grade 8 . . . or the equivalent metric, which should be 10.9 . . . hardware

The new parts from Dorman came with bolt/nut hardware. The bolts are black. I don’t know the name of the nuts, which are chrome plated. They jam on the bolt, presumably for a lock nut effect. There are no lock washers. Is the black bolt a Grade 8?

Please post a picture of the bolts, specifically the head of the bolt

I just finished the shackle job, and am a bit exhausted. Maybe in the AM. The head of the bolt said 10.9 if I remember correctly. The jam nuts are surprisingly stiff to put on.
I learned a lot while doing this, so the next one should be easier. I am sincerely hoping there is not a next one.
YouTube suggests getting the bolt+rubber out of the leaf spring end by burning it or heating it to melt the rubber. I ran a drill through the rubber a few times, and got the bolt out.

The kits have self locking nuts. They are difficult to turn when the bolt reaches the final 2 threads which are undercut or have plastic inserts.

Did the kit come with a new spring bushing? If not then get a new one. drilling that rubber ruined it.

Yes, a new bushing. I had to improvise with a gear puller to get it in. I was glad to ruin the old bushing since the bolt would not come out, making it necessary.
My nuts were undercut.

Since this is a family-friendly site, I won’t give my COVID-brain response to this.


The nuts are zinc plated, not chrome. Chrome if for dress up not for undercar parts. Likely the nut is deformed on the last 2 threads and that is the locking mechanism.

The 10.9 is the metric equivalent roughly to SAE English grade 8

I really appreciate the warning about the required grade. If Dorman had not included them, I would have purchased a much lower grade. I’ll remember that for the future.
I have learned a lot on CarTalk Community.

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