So over Christmas break, we pulled the springs off the front axle from the 73 truck to clean up and put the new bushings into, so we could mount the front axle from the 78 truck. That was the plan anyway.
After blowing apart the first spring, and pressing out the bearings, we found out that 1. the springs had been binding, and as such they wore groves into the leaves above them. These range from a light wear, to ones that are almost a quarter inch deep. On springs that are only about a half inch thick each leaf that makes them dangerously thin.
I called a few spring shops, and the options to repair are simply adding a new leaf and re setting the correct spring arch. Nothing would be done to fix the existing wear. Obviously that will not fix the problem nor meet with my goal of functioning like new once completed. Therefore new springs will need to be purchased. For the meantime, we will simply re use the old springs until we are ready to rebuild the axles. At least that way we can get the frame into a rolling state, and start mounting the power steering pump and steering linkage etc.
The original front cross member that goes between the front springs was so bent out of shape, that it litterally bent and cracked the frame, in multiple places. We decided it was not worth re using.