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Old 06-15-2020, 01:54 PM   #1
Red Mark
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Default Rear leaf spring questions

Hi,All;
Please bear with me while I explain how I got to this point and my concerns. In setting-out to rebuild the rear end (new axle,bearings,seals), I ran into some issues with the leaf spring. Car is a '30 coupe with older resto ('70's) when I acquired it. After safely removing the differential at the shackles it gets strange. The spring was still bolted to the body crossmember through the center hole. The nut for the center spring bolt was on top of the hat section literally bolting the spring assy to the body. With no choice but to carefully loosen the nut, and the inevitable release of tension (I was unharmed, but I did need to change my drawers), I could finally remove the pieces. Now I'm ready to reassemble but, these are my concerns.I don't believe this is the correct spring assy for the car since it has 10 leafs. This may explain why it was bolted thru due to higher spring profile at the top. What say you?
If this is the wrong spring, how can I tell and is it possible to remove leafs to get the correct profile to fit?
As usual, thanks in advance for all the inputs.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

That bolt yo loosened should has been left in place. You are very lucky. Someone else can tell you the number of leafs. 10 is probably correct. Assemble the spring using a long threaded rod. All thread. Draw it together and mount it in the cross member. Cut off the excess rod. Good luck.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:08 PM   #3
Werner
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

Mark, the Coupé has only 8 leaves on the rear spring.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

You’re saying the center bolt that holds the springs together was actually through the top of the frame and body with, I assume, a washer, then the nut. So when you unbolted the u bolts that hold the spring assembly to the frame, it was still secured with the center bolt?
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

The vendors sell an extra long spring center bolt to pull the spring back together. When the spring is tight, cut off the excess bolt.
https://www.brattons.com/rear-center...-bolt-nut.html

Please NEVER take that bolt loose again without something, c-clanps, chains, etc. holding it. Like Jackson said, you were extremely lucky.

I think 8 leaves is correct, 10 leaves for the Sedans and such. Check with A-Springs http://a-springs.com/products.html
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

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The center bolt was actually run up thru the crossmember and the spring was bolted to the crossmember ? WOW !

I too think your car should have an 8 leaf spring. The 10 leaf won't hurt, it'll ride harder but you'll be able to carry some bigger folks in the rumble seat.

The spring is fairly expensive, so, you could just pick a leaf or two to remove. Reassemble the spring and stick in the car as it should have been. I pull the leaves together gradually [c-clamps] while tightening the center bolt. Once tight, cut it off, stake the bolt to keep the nut tight.

While the spring is apart I look over each leaf and grind/ease/round each end and grind smooth any worn areas on the upper flats.

I think its easier to attach the spring to the rear end and raise it into place.

Last edited by Patrick L.; 06-15-2020 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

If you have a rumble seat the 10 leaf might be better.

Putting it back together put the spring on the rear end and then put the assembly back in the car. The center bolt should have the square head on top and the nut on the bottom, the square head fits in a square hole in the cross member, so align it up before putting it in the car.
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

And paint each leaf, underside only with graphite paint lubricant
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:10 PM   #9
Red Mark
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

Thanks all for the responses. Yes, Chuck Sea/Tac, that's exactly what the issue was. There was no way to even remove the spring assy from the vehicle without taking the center bolt nut off. With the spring in the cross member, there was no way to put clamps on all of it. I know this isn't correct but, why would someone put it together this way? I suspected it was the wrong spring and thus, too big. I do have a rumble seat. Maybe that explains the 10 leaf. If I want to continue using the 10 leaf, will it fit if installed the correct way or will there be interference somewhere??
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

My 1930 coupe had a 10-leaf spring that must have been transplanted from a sedan or pickup sometime in the past. It was so encrusted with grease that it was nearly glued into the cross member. It had a very firm ride and there were no shock absorbers in place.
I cleaned and ground the edges, pulled #9 and #7 leaves to bring it back to the original coupe 8-leaf configuration, and reassembled the unit with graphite grease.

The result was way too lively for my comfort so I added back the #9 leaf for a better firmer ride. Be very careful in handling that rear spring - the warnings from others are not exagerrated!
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Old 06-16-2020, 04:15 AM   #11
Bruce of MN
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

Please make, buy or borrow and use one of these!

https://www.brattons.com/rear-spring-spreader.html
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

This spring chart should help you pull the right leaves out of your spring if you go that route. https://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62383
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

Quote:
Assemble the spring using a long threaded rod. All thread.
Definitly not a good idea to use all thread, it's too soft. Get the proper bolt w/the square head.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:56 AM   #14
Red Mark
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Thumbs up Re: Rear leaf spring questions

Hi, All; Thanks for the good advice & feedback. Sounds like the 10 leaf will fit if I want a stiffer ride and I can reduce leafs to 8 for a softer ride. This I need to decide on before I move forward. I used the proper spring spreader & plenty of caution when removing the shackles & differential but, like I said, the leaf pack was literally bolted through the crossmember making it impossible to clamp the entire pack. Right now I have all 10 leafs properly reassembled with the correct bolt. I will mount spring to the differential assy first and put everything back in together (gonna be heavy) as recommended by Big Hammer. Obviously, it hadn't been assembled properly in the past creating a "booby trap". I just didn't want to get everything assembled to find out that it's all got to come apart to remove two leafs, then reassemble everything. Thanks for the help, guys!!
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

The poor man's way to install the spring is to take it apart. Then you and a friend can stretch the spring to connect the shackles. The reassemble the spring using the extra long bolt.
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Rear leaf spring questions

If you put two big people in your rumble, it comes down enough to affect your brake rod lengths. Not bad, but the braking is different.
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