One of the things I noticed when I replaced the new leaf spring that failed on my 1989 Bigfoot
was how worn the shackle bolts had become after only about 5,000 miles of travel on my Alaska to California trip. They were surprisingly beat up for being "new" plus they squeaked like a clapped out '64 Chevy Impala suspension. Drove me crazy. The thread about the leaf failure and replacement is here:
New leaf spring failed on Bigfoot
Because of the long distances I drive and the remote locations I often travel through I decided it would be wise to beef up the leaf spring shackle/eye hardware. I found some options on eBay but I wasn't convinced they were very high quality parts so I ordered a Dexter "Heavy Duty Suspension Kit", part number K71-358-00 for single axle
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - K71-358-00 Heavy Duty Suspension Kit
Today I installed it and I'm happy to report that it was a very simple installation although the leaf springs have to be completely removed in order to press the new bronze leaf eye bushings into the eyes. With air tools it was a pretty quick process.
The EMCO leafs that I recently had installed have cheap plastic bushings so the bronze replacements were a welcomed upgrade. Also, the shackles are twice as thick as the original ones and the bolts are now "wet" meaning they have a zerk fitting on the end and are hollow with two grease passages to allow grease to flow into the clearance between the outside of the bolt and the inside of the eye bushing. One thing to note is that the Dexter zerk fittings have the one-way ball bearing in tip of the fitting which prevents grease from "backing out" of the fitting and also helps to keep dirt out of the grease passages. Some of the cheaper bolts and kits I saw open hole in the zerk fitting, which was a deal-breaker for me.
I don't have much else to say about the kit but I thought it was worth posting some information on it for anyone who might be considering it in the future. I haven't towed the trailer yet, I just finished this a few hours ago. But there are no squeaks getting in and out of it and jumping up and down inside like there was with the dry shackles. Quiet is good.
Here's some pix of the parts installed on my trailer.