I agree with Greg on finding a good fastener supplier in your area. I
have gotten to know the guys at the local Fastenal store pretty well and
it has helped me get some hard to locate stainless and grade 8 hardware
at dealer prices. Sometimes you have to buy minimum quantities, but the
cost is usually lower than buying smaller quantities at the hardware
store. And I like to have a few extra hardware pieces so when I need
them on the weekend I have a ready supply.
I have a front spring compressor tool I bought from TRF which is very
safe and easy to use which you may borrow for the cost of shipping if
you like. There is a lot of energy stored in those springs and safety is
a very important consideration when working with them.
Send your address if you wish to borrow the spring compressor.
Insofar as the broken split pins (cotter pins I trust) I try to get
enough of the looped end clamped into a visegrip then firmly hit the
visegrips with a hammer. It's usually enough to pull the split pin
intact. If the looped end is buried in the nut slot a small punch
through the other side is enough to push the looped end out in order to
get a hold of it..
Never use anything less than Grade 8 on the suspension. Loew's hardware
is not exactly the ideal stuff you want to use. Probably OK, but...try
to find a fastener supplier in your area, like a Fastenal. Many are
beginning to sell only in bag quantities of 25 to 100 but you may find
otherwise. There may also be an independent supplier near you. Worse
comes to worse you can order by mail. One place about 30 minutes from
me in Raleigh sells most fasteners by the piece - Wilder's at
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