I removed my front spring to clean off the rust and repaint it. One of the bushings almost fell out when I went to remove it. The new bushing slides right through. I assume it should be fixed in place. What do you recommend I do to keep the bushing in place?
To do it right, you need to find another bushing which is a press fit. you might need to have a custom bushing made, or replace the spring.
I agree with Norm but if you don't have the tooling to make your own, you might try shimming the hole with steel shim stock and using epoxy to hold things together. The shims will close up the clearance and the epoxy will keep things from moving around.
Steel shim stock and light hammer fit. Okay, not the best way in the world to do it. But it is a low (almost no) speed, low temperature, heavy weight and shock but limited motion support. It needs a certain amount of strength, and good stability. Brass shim stock will work fine. Steel shims will work even better.
Under any conditions, keep these bushings well oiled.
That is my opinion.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Why not try putting the spring eye in your workbench vise, and tweaking the opening a bit with the vise. That should close up the hole enough to hold the bushing. Since original shackles are getting somewhat hard to find, may I suggest a brass bushing?
All the above suggestions have their points but keep in mind that the new bushing slips through the eye (probably) because it was rocking in the eye instead of the shackle pin rocking in a solidly mounted bushing. I am therefore in favor of a larger diameter bushing & a press fit into the eye.