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Old 01-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #21
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Use the original and don't worry. Free length is affected by amount of say from use...all springs relax a bit after use, and 75 years does a lot...
I have Page's manual here, and one pic is of a chassis with spring being hoisted off of the rear axle; this spring would still be slightly tighter than actual free length because it is still bolted tight into the X member. Guesstimating from the photo, I'd say 4" from perches at each end. The V downward angle is very much sharper than the same spring shown totally installed, of course. This is on a new 1928 coupe that was totally torn down to illustrate the shop manual.
The only issue that would need addressing is if spring has sagged or weakened so that it becomes too long under full car weight...shackles pushed out too far beyond 45 produce sway. A spring deliberately dearched for lowering will need a new shorter main leaf because of this.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #22
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Wow, lotsa great info on this thread. I am preparing to do a similar mount on my A and had some of the questions.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:40 AM   #23
Diamondhead
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

In summary, here is what I have come to understand. The stock distance between perches, eye to eye, is 49 1/4". A new spring can be between 39 1/2" - 40 " eye to eye unmounted. The shackels will offset 1 1/2" on each side resulting in a spring mounting dimension of 46 1/4" eye to eye. This means the spring must extend approx 6 1/4 inches overall from its unmounted state, 3 1/8" on each side.

Stretching a spring this much creates a tremendous amount of stored energy and could be lethal if not controlled and done properly. I have seen several different methods suggested and will not recommend any but suggest anyone attempting to perform this procedure review ther various approaches and determine which one provides you with the most safety. Posies Spring suggest disassembling the spring and mounting the primary leaf first. Then stack the remaining leafs and drawing them together with the center assembly bolt. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a spring stretcher that would be another alternative. Which ever method you choose, always consider the safety of others and yourself before execution of the procedure.

If anyone disagrees with my conclusions, please let me know. Knowledge is the assembly of present facts and understandings which grows with additional input.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #24
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Conclusions are correct...energy in a Ford spring being installed is tremendous.
Installing a spring-behind setup is much easier to do...
Ford method for A was a huge forged enclosed clamp (think O-clamp rather than C) that dragged rear closer to crossmember while spring ends skidded out along two pieces of channe to meet shackles. I would do this but use simple weight in the trunk to motivate things, since Ford tool is rare and costly and available substitutions have a much greater possibility of becoming missiles.
Any tooling you use needs safety chains around axle, since if it slips you will discover you have an EXCELLENT Medieval siege weapon, capable of taking you right out through the wall with ease.
AC&R offers a spreader with jog in middle for Model A, and also a simple but scary one-side spreader. Both are fabricated from hardware and would be easy to duplicate.

Spreaders here: http://www.partsformodelafords.com/s...27&StartRow=11

AC&R tools are primitive but serviceable. The traveling version could probably be assembled right in Home Depot, but has great potential as an anti-personnel device.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:06 PM   #25
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Also...spreaders can be jiggered with heavy-duty U clamps like normal spring clamps but MUCH stouter to work on revrsed eye springs, but as always excercise great caution and use restraint chains. I would STRONGLY prefer the slider approach with reversed eyes.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:09 PM   #26
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Sorry to hi-jack but what is common practice when you have to weld spring mounts on the rear? Do you just weld at the above dimensions without the springs in place? Im going to have to do this as I want to use the A rear member and spring on top a later axle.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:13 PM   #27
A Chopped Coupe
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Diamondhead,

Please believe me when I say I'm not throwing stones here, but where did you find the information on a Model A spring being 39.5 inches eye to eye relaxed. My original front
spring was 30" eye to eye relaxed. It just sounds too short to me.

I have never seen a spring this small for the rear of an A, and yes, stretching it over six inches is quite a lot of stored engery.

About the spring spreader, spreaders are for non-reversed eyes, and if you have a non-reversed eye it may work. For a reversed eye spring it won't, although somewhere I saw
a reverse eye spreader that had been made by someone.

I have done the long allthread rod through the spring and tried to assemble it this way, but as the tension increased as you added more springs..........I eventually stripped the threads.
What I did was to use the allthread rod with large washers on top and bottom, screw the nut and little, then put 6" C clamps on the spring, then screw some more....etc. At some point in time you need to take the allthread rod out and replace it with a much stronger nut
and bolt.............I used the stock one.

One other thing to remember, the more tension you put on this spring, the stiffer it will become and the harsher the ride will be.

IMHO
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:36 PM   #28
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

The 39 1/2" dimension came from several sources, Posies Rod and Customs, Ozarks Ford Parts, several sellers on the H.A.M.B. and Ebay. In your experience, what dimensions have you seen for an unmounted A rear spring? In getting information from measurements of older springs, I have received ranges from 40" to 44". It is hard to determine from that what the true dimension is suppose to be. Manufacturers of springs for replacement have been consistant with the 39 1/2" dimension.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:55 PM   #29
A Chopped Coupe
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

The measurements I have taken off original A springs from Roadsters/Coupes/Sedans
have been from 40.225 to 44.125".
These were original springs with either 8/11 leaves.

Let me go back to question. Do you have a stock Model A spring?
If so, then put it on the frame/alxe and see where you are.

If you haven't welded the shackles on...............go do it and then try the spring you have.

Another question..........what axle are you using and what car is this going on.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:31 PM   #30
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

That is where this whole question started, when I started reworking a botched suspension job someone did on this 31 Tudor. The spring perchs were on the top of the axle and the spring bottomed out on the perch eye supports which were set at 47". I am not sure if this is a Model A ot T spring so I started to research what I had. The spring has only 5 leafs and shows where 3 were removed. The unmounted distance between the eyes is 44". In reworking the suspension I decided to move the spring perchs from the top of the axle to the rear of the axle to provide more distance for my 4 link setup. From the information I could find for a Model A buggy spring the perchs needed to be at 49 1/4" eye to eye. I purchased new perchs made to mount the springs behind the axle and set them to this dimension. I have mounted this spring and determined it is way to weak for this application. Now I am trying to determine the proper spring for this application. This may appear to be backwards, i should obtain the right spring first, but I didn't know the spring I had would not work until I mounted it. So there you have it, the start of another new adventure in building a hot rod.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:44 PM   #31
A Chopped Coupe
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Could you send some pictures?
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:26 PM   #32
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

I've posted this before, but here it is again for this thread.
I built my own spring spreader for use on stock and reversed eye, Model A Rear spring.
The amount of pressure to spread a rear Model A spring is tremendous and you cannot over build a spring spreader. I would not try and assemble a spring with just a piece of threaded rod under the car. Take the time to do it right and don't hurt yourself.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:46 PM   #33
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

HemiDeuce, that is a nice looking spring spreader. I expecially like the way you made it clamp to the spring. What angle did you build the spreader at and couldn't you use a straight pipe instead of an angle bracket? Does the angle provide clearance around the rear housing? I plan on making a spreader for myself. There are a couple of us around here that have model A's and it sure would be handy. So any pointers you have would be appreciated.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:08 PM   #34
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

I agree. Give him the details so I can use it too! HEE! HEE! (Sorry Rick, couldn't resist.)
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:19 PM   #35
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondhead View Post
That is where this whole question started, when I started reworking a botched suspension job someone did on this 31 Tudor. The spring perchs were on the top of the axle and the spring bottomed out on the perch eye supports which were set at 47". I am not sure if this is a Model A ot T spring so I started to research what I had. The spring has only 5 leafs and shows where 3 were removed. The unmounted distance between the eyes is 44". In reworking the suspension I decided to move the spring perchs from the top of the axle to the rear of the axle to provide more distance for my 4 link setup. From the information I could find for a Model A buggy spring the perchs needed to be at 49 1/4" eye to eye. I purchased new perchs made to mount the springs behind the axle and set them to this dimension. I have mounted this spring and determined it is way to weak for this application. Now I am trying to determine the proper spring for this application. This may appear to be backwards, i should obtain the right spring first, but I didn't know the spring I had would not work until I mounted it. So there you have it, the start of another new adventure in building a hot rod.
The 47" perch centers suggest that a OEM spring may have had its eyes reversed....thus the relocated perch locations. When the next unsuspecting person came along with a stock length (or otherwise longer) spring it was too long for the application. You can keep the spring perches right where they are (if they are welded/positioned correctly) and move your spring eyes in/reverse them or just go buy a shortened Posies SuperSlide for the rear and be done with it.

-Bigchief.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #36
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie Hot Rod View Post
Put the first leaf in, the stack the rest on top with a long piece of threaded rod through the middle. Put a nut on each end and tighten it up until the spring is fully compressed. Then cut off whatever length of threaded rod is sticking out.

I find this to be the safest way to put a rear spring in.

You can also use a spring spreader if you've got on handy (or you can make one fairly easily).
this is exactly how i do it.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:35 AM   #37
Bruce Lancaster
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

Most readily available threaded rod is crap, but good stuff is available via industrial supply places like MSC. I would still replace with an actual spring bolt, and remember you need the square locater in crossmember or you're going to be breaking parts soon. If locater or bolt fails, stuff starts moving and crossmember starts cracking.
Dug into the parts books and service bulletins; as I suspected, there is no spec published for eye to eye in relaxed spring, and I think it would be meaningless anyway.
There were several pictures of different model A rear springs, and ALL showed the sharp-V overall look in relaxed form. No dimension given for that, but it was obvious that all would be far shorter than perch span when relaxed.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:03 AM   #38
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

I've just measured the perch widths on a stock 31 Roadster and they are 48" centres.
This is on an Aussie RHD car, so could be why they are different to the US ones, anyone else??
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:13 PM   #39
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

diamondhead.. hows your build coming?
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:44 PM   #40
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Default Re: Model A rear buggy spring

For assembly and disassemble use some c clamps and threaded rod.Install main leaf first and stack is the way to go, spring spreaders are for a few inches only.just make sure to reinstall the proper hard wear for the center bolt.good luck post mor pics of the work...
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