you need to take the radius arm bushings out to do this? also i forgot to mention that the guy at the ford dealer said you need to take the springs out to let the i beams drop down because if you dont the i bems will push in towards the center of he truck and theu will be hard to get in and out? maybe i shouldnt have listened to anything he said..
Strictly speaking, I don't know if you *need* to take out the radius arm bushings to get the axle pivot bushings free, but it's the way I do it.
I'll tell you how I have always done it.
0.5: Obviously, you'll need 2 decent jack stands, and a good place to work. Concrete driveway or garage will do nicely. Support the front of the frame with jack stands, so the tires are a little off the ground.
1: Remove wheels, brakes, rotors, bearings, separate the tie rods, etc. - this is a good time to repack the bearings or replace them even. Good time to get the rotors turned and replace the brake pads, since you have them out anyway.
1.5: If you are doing ball joints, then separate the steering knuckle, and do the ball joints. If not, leave the knuckle on end of the axle.
2: remove the shocks. - jack the axle up a little till the shock compresses a bit. unbolt it. remove the shock, then let the jack down.
3: once the shocks are out, you can just pull the springs out by hand. You won't need a spring compressor or anything.
4: unbolt the radius arm frame bracket with it's 3 bolts.
5: unbolt the pivot bushings. - I think that if you unbolt the radius arm brackets first, the axles can pivot down enough to get a ratchet into pivot bushing bolt that belongs to the passenger side axle (pivot located on the driver's side). The driver's side axle pivot (located on the passenger side) requires two wrenches, since there is no room for a ratchet in there. 2 11/16" wrenches do the trick.
6: drag out the axles to work on them. Remove the pivot bushings like I explained above. While you are there, you ought to do the sway bar bushings, since they are easier to work on outside the vehicle. They are pretty cheap too. They are a little trickier than the pivot bushings, since they are harder to reach back in the spot between the radius arm and the axle come together. I still use a ball joint tool and various adapters, washers, and big sockets to get them in and out.
7: Reassembly is the reverse of disassembley. The only real tricky part is the radius arm brackets some times don't like to line up easily. It helps to leave that big nut a little loose till you get the three bolts on the bracket to start threading in.
When you put it back together, put the pivot bushing bolt in first, then jack the axle up to put the radius arm brackets on. Then put the spring in place, and jack the axle up to put the shock back on.
All this takes about 4 hours of solid work. At the end of this, there is nothing else to replace at all. The truck will run like new again (after an alignment).