NEED HELP!!! with front leaf spring removal
I'm having a problem removing the leaf springs on my 99 7.3L F250 Super Duty so I can replace the bushings. I started on the passenger side and am getting nowhere. In case it matters it is an early model w/manufacture date of 10/98. I've followed the instructions in the Chilton book#26667 and it's just not working. The problem is I cannot get the pressure off the front of the leaf spring to allow the bolt to be removed. I'll post the word for word removal instructions from the book in case I should be doing this different than what the book says.
1. Loosen the rear wheel lug nuts, raise the rear of the vehicle and support it securely on jackstands. Block the front wheels to keep the vehicle from rolling off the stands. Remove the rear wheels. (I did what the book said but why do I need to do this on the rear? Seems I'd be better to leave the rear alone and remove the front wheels but am reluctant to try without asking first)
2. Support the axle (I assume they mean the front axle) with a floor jack placed under the axle tube and raise it slightly to take the weight of the axle. If you're removing the left side leaf spring, detach the lower end of the shock absorber from the spring plate. (Actually the lower end of the shock has to be removed for either side it appears to me because the shock bolts to it on both sides.) (It doesn't matter if I raise the axle slightly or more than slightly I cannot get the pressure off the bolt to get it out)
3. Remove the four U-bolt nuts, the spring plate and the two U-bolts. (I've done this.)
4. At the front end of the spring, remove the nut and bolt from the sprint-to-front bracket. NOTE: On some models it may be necessary to remove the condenser mounting bracket to allow the spring mounting bolt to be removed. (This was true on mine but just cannot get the pressure of the leaf spring off the bolt to remove it.)
5. At the rear end of the spring, remove the lower spring-to-shackle nut and bolt.
6. Remove the spring assembly. It may be necessary to pry the ends of the spring out of the shackle and front mounting bracket.