Life is Dutiful

I’ve been dreading the work I needed to do on my truck, but yesterday I managed to fix the front-end in about two hours. I had to remove the u-bolts that connect the front axle to the leaf springs, then replace what my repair manual calls the “u-bolt spacer,” but which is actually the lower mount for the shock absorber. I figured that, since the leaf springs are the only place where the axle is solidly connected to the truck frame, removing the u-bolts would be easy. Instead, when I started backing off the nuts, the leaf spring started pulling up and away from the axle. I’m not sure how that happened, because the entire weight of the truck is resting on the springs, which rest on the axle. I had to put a jack under the axle and lift it several inches to keep the springs from coming all the way off the axle. After that it was a simple matter of cleaning the mud off everything with a wire brush and putting it back together with the new part. The bottom part of the shock absorber must have been bent because I had to really fight it to get the bolt back through it and the mounting bracket. I’ve just got to borrow a torque wrench later today to finish tightening the u-bolts. My torque wrench only goes up to 75 ft-lbs, but I need 120 ft-lbs on those bolts.
Now I’ve just got to fix the fuel leak that’s been happening for the past several months. I had previously thought it was a leaky rear-main engine seal, but since then I’ve figured out that fuel is leaking somewhere from the top-end and running down between the engine and transmission. Since diesel is so oily, I just assumed that it was engine oil, but after my last oil change I realized that whatever was leaking should have been much more black. Eh…maybe I’ll get around to fixing it in another six months…

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