I picked up a defender quite recently and noticed one of the rear spring mounts on the axle was quite badly rusted, due to a big job coming up requiring a long journey loaded with a big trailer also fully loaded I thought it was worth replacing, also one of the rear helper springs seemed to be lacking a retainer.
As I struggled to find illustrations for this job with the helper springs I thought it might be useful to post on here with some pictures of what I did, for people maintaining what they have, or upgrading their standard springs.
First jacked up by the axle then stuck an axle stand under the chassis, removed the wheel and let the jack down slightly. Then the damper was removed from the axle and pushed out of the way.
Once the damper is undone the jack can be let right down to let the axle hang, the springs fell out of the top mounts after a few taps, my spring retainers were in a bad way the one for the helper spring wasn't there and the other was being held in by some bolts that had seen far better days.
My dampers although aftermarket are quite elderly and whilst dismantling the other side, the thread snapped off the bottom of the shock which was a right PITA being a bank holiday weekend and having work on Monday. This problem was overcome by cutting to a point then welding the bits together and tapping a new thread into the weld. Best o take it slow with plenty of WD though and avoid this completely!
Tis reveals they spring seat itself with a few big holes in and the welds were starting to rot away at the sides too I cleaned this off to fully assess the damage with a knotted wire wheel then cut it all off, after cutting the axle, to mark the correct position to attach the new seat, it's worth noting it's very easy to catch the brake line whilst doing this, best to unveil it and bend it as far out the way as possible.
Next i Cleaned up the remains of the old seat then stuck a new one on aligned with the cuts I made whilst the old one was in position and welded that on
Once the new seat is on, as no dealers or other LR parts outlet seemed to have a clue how this stuff went together, even the ones who sold me it! I had to figure out how to put them together. It appeared that the best order to fit the new retainers was main spring retainer, followed by the retaining bar with a single washer on each screw hole then the helper spring retainer on top of that. I purchased some 30mm bolts to fit through this combination, the stock ones are far too short. The original seats had captive nuts on the underside, I didn't weld new nuts on to my seat to aid assembly.
The first retainer and the retaining bar for the main spring with washers, the helper spring retainer shown below drops over the top of this along with the two bolts.
With all this lot built on the floor and the new seat in position without captive nuts you can just drop it straight onto the spring seat then do the nuts up onto the protruding bolts, I didn't bother tacking the nuts to the seat after as I don't see it being beneficial.
Now it just needs jacking back up into the top mount and the shock and wheel replacing.
Simpler enough job to do hopefully these pictures will be of use to someone on here one day :-)