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I need to cut out and replace the coil spring buckets due to rust. I remember reading here that a spring compresser isn't needed if you remove this and that and support the frame while dropping the axle. As I prepare to do this I'd like a refresher. What all gets removed? Can I do both at one time or one then the other? Any other tricks or tips on replacing the buckets? TIA

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When I changed my springs to plow package Springs, I used engine hoist and lifted the whole front end up using my custom bumper receiver hitch. The only thing I disconnected was the shocks. Worked on my truck. 

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If you’re running stock springs you can probably get away with just supporting the frame and unbolting the shocks. Should pull out with little effort like Dieselfuture said. Ive got an air lift jack I put under the frame on the front end. It barley gets it high enough. 

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I have a floor centerpost lift.  I left the wheels on the ground and lifted the frame up.

 

If you have tall jack stands, just disconnect the shock and the swaybar end links with tires on the ground.  Start lifting the frame up with a jack, at a certain point the springs will be loose.  Use your jackstands to hold the frame in that position or higher.

 

From your existing frame height, you will need to go up about 12 to 18 inches, so you may need to use some blocks under your jack stands.

 

To get the front axle the rest of the way out: drive shaft, control arms, Cad wiring and tubing, brake lines, ABS wires, Axle vent, track bar and pitman arm.  I think that is it.

 

GL  HTH
Hag

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I just replaced front axle so is fresh in my mind(well sorta fresh). 
I jacked up axle with 2 floor jacks just high enough to get tire off. I then supported frame with jack stands, removed wheels, shocks,(which need to come out the top), and upper sway bar links. This should allow axle to drop down and springs will fall out. If you are gonna weld in new spring pocket with axle in place that is all you should need to do. If you plan to remove the axle completely I would recommend to begin lubricating lower control arm bolts a week in advance, order new bolts and have a sawzall and blades handy as bolts rust in sleeves and may need to be cut in order to remove. Hope this is helpful. 

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