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Technical 1928 Roadster - Front Spring Clearance

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chilly_Dog, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Chilly_Dog
    Joined: Jun 10, 2020
    Posts: 9

    Chilly_Dog

    Working through my "new" car and found very little clearance between the dropped axel and the U-bolt clamp plate for the front springs. Like 1/4" clearance...

    Searched for a while and couldn't find any recommended clearance. Most rods look like ~2" of space (after the engine is installed). Can anyone advise how much clearance is appropriate? Assuming more than 1/4" is needed - what options do I have? Adding back in front leaf spring(s)? Notching the front of the front cross member to allow the clamp plate to sit a little higher?

    I like the current stance, but have some room to tweak as needed.

    Appreciate your insights & ideas!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,337

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That won't work. Spring looks like it has almost no arch?
     
    RICH B likes this.
  3. Made your picture bigger and a little easier to see. 20200702_143448[1].jpg
     
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  4. Chilly_Dog
    Joined: Jun 10, 2020
    Posts: 9

    Chilly_Dog

    Yep. ~33" between the front shackles. Front main leaf spring is reversed eye and has maybe 1/2" of arch overall. How much clearance is normal for dropped axle?
     

  5. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,857

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Needs more arch. Just re arch it
     
  6. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,337

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Axle drop does not affect between the spring shackles.
     
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  7. sdroadster
    Joined: Jul 27, 2006
    Posts: 366

    sdroadster
    Member

    More arch, or flip the main leaf, so the eyes aren't reversed.
     
  8. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,936

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Move two or three of those placeholder bottom leaves to the top of the spring (if they are long enough), put some tape on the top of the axle and drive it. Check the tape to see if it bottomed out. If it did, it needs more. It will raise the front a little but what good is low if you can’t drive it? My roadster only had an inch but there was no evidence that it ever bottomed out. That tells me that under normal driving the axle ends move a lot more than the center.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  9. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    What do the shackles look like, angles etc, How about some pics of end of spring while you are at it.
    Are you happy with everything else, front end wise ?
    May be a few other problems going on ?
     
    alanp561 likes this.
  10. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,133

    dudley32
    Member

    Do this and check it out...
     
  11. Chilly_Dog
    Joined: Jun 10, 2020
    Posts: 9

    Chilly_Dog

    Thanks all! Appreciate the ideas. Will pull the spring this week and either put the placeholders on top, or re arch it, or both. Great idea with the tape as well to check for bottoming out.
     
  12. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    I might just be having a bad day, so bear with me...
    How would this change anything ? The plate under the U bolts is still in the same position by what you suggest, and is that not what will ‘bottom’ out first ?
    To me what you are suggesting will only lift the chassis up by about 1/2” to 5/8”.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  13. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    If it helps,
    my new front spring had 90mm. (3 & 1/2”) of arch, unloaded.
    Then about 40mm - 50mm (1&1/2” - 2”) when loaded.
    I believe that your problems are most likely a worn out spring, although it may have been made flat intentionally, or not made for that particular application .
    If you re arch it, it will be shorter, part of the reason I suggested putting up more pictures of the shackles.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  14. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    alanp561 likes this.
  15. redoxide
    Joined: Jul 7, 2002
    Posts: 595

    redoxide
    Member
    from Scotland

    post some pics of the entire front end so folk can see the whole set up .

    re positioning that number of spacers from bottom to to the top will raise the frame a little but wont do you any favours with the stability of the spring seated in the X member ..

    As a matter of interest, has the front X member been flattened ?

    What possition are the shackles sitting and are the spring eyes riding on top of the axle ?

    would be interesting to see more pics .
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Your idea of notching the front cross member will gain you the height of the spacers but that may not be enough, but I have done that before....
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  17. Chilly_Dog
    Joined: Jun 10, 2020
    Posts: 9

    Chilly_Dog

    Thanks for everyone's help! Here are some more pix of front end.
    Front x member appears to have original shape (not flattened).
    There is probably 1/8" clearance between the shackles and the axle.
    Thanks for the link to the thread, still digging through it. 20200706_185039[1].jpg 20200706_184953[1].jpg 20200706_185014[1].jpg
     
  18. redoxide
    Joined: Jul 7, 2002
    Posts: 595

    redoxide
    Member
    from Scotland

    liking the stance and enjoying the ride dont always go hand in hand. The spring there is either to long or worn out . the eye of the spring is pretty much resting on top of the axle . and with the distance the axle has to travel before colliding with the spring clamp you effectively have no front suspension.the car will be horrible to drive on anything but a road finished like a billiard table , and lets face it , there arent many of those . sacrafice the stance and run with suspension. you will be rewarded with a car thats great to drive, old fords are pretty much free of suspension bind and they realy drive quite well when they are set up properly , which isnt difficult .

    replace the front spring with a a new one of the correct length and with the correct number of leafs and and take it from there . Any thing else and you will be chasing your tail and achieving nothing but frustration and a bad ride .

    If your desire is for a low ride with functional suspension then you will be looking toward chassis mods "Z" ing the front end . But with that comes other problems .

    Sometimes you just have to work within the limitations of the vintage parts and settle for a more practical stance .
     
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  19. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    ^^^^^^ well said.
    You may also want to revisit that shock mount and associated welding.
     
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  20. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,936

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Clem, you’re right. My suggestion would not help. Chalk it up to a senior moment. Lol.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  21. Chilly_Dog
    Joined: Jun 10, 2020
    Posts: 9

    Chilly_Dog

    Thanks for everyone's help and insight. I pulled the fronts springs apart and they were pitted really bad. Instead of trying to salvage them and rearch them, I opted for a new set from Eaton Detroit Spring. Got them installed and have about an inch and a half clearance. Fit the bill perfectly!
    Now I just have to get the carbs tuned up... 20201127_150404.jpg
     
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  22. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,310

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Looks much better..
    Depenning on your roads/smooth/ ruff ect.,that maybe enough.
    A few other ideas can be done,try it out an check back.
     
  23. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 2,230

    hotrodjack33
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I disagree. The distance between his spring and the axle is pretty much a constant...lets say 4" Right now with 2" of spacers and 1" of U bolt plate leaving 1" of travel. Now, if you move the 2" of spacers to the top of the spring, you still have that constant 4" between spring and the axle, minus 1" U bolt plate and that leaves 3" travel...still probably not enough, but better
     
  24. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    ^^^^^^ You’re probably correct.

    If the chassis is lifted as I said, then so is the bottom of the U bolt plate, by the same amount. I said 1/2” -5/8”, but possibly 3/4”. Still not enough to solve the problems shown in post 1.
    (the 3 leaves of packing probably equal no more than 3/4”).
     
  25. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    ........and those front shock mounts............ ?

    Thanks for coming back to post your solution.
    New spring looks good.
    Still a couple of packing ‘leaves’ under so more adjustment possible if necessary ?
    How does the shackle angle look ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  26. What's wrong with those shock mounts; other than a judgement call on the welding? Certainly better looking than the usual street rod shock mount.
     
  27. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,313

    clem
    Member

    Just the welding.....
    I personally wouldn’t weld in that spot as it is the thinnest part (and most important part) of the axle but others will say that’s being too pedantic........
     
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  28. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,087

    Budget36
    Member

    Should get shorter u-bolts, or at least relocate to hole for the castle nuts as well
     
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