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Projects 1949 Cadillac. How the hell do I get the springs back on the hinges?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by DetroitDetomaso, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. DetroitDetomaso
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 139

    from Las Vegas

    1949 Cadillac. How the hell do I get the springs back on the hinges? Safely.

    IMG_4020 KDC.jpg IMG_4518 KDC.jpg spring.JPG
  2. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,136

    Dago 88

    Not familia with Caddy's but if they are like early 50's Chevs I found it easy to lay under the car & pull them into place with the hood closed.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  3. 1964countrysedan
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,131

    from Texas

    Bend the springs while putting washers in the gaps of the springs. It might take 20 or so. This will make the springs longer than needed. Once in place, open hood and washers will fall out.
    Truck64, verde742, Baldies and 7 others like this.
  4. Barrelnose pickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,341

    Barrelnose pickup

  5. Genius. We have a winner.
  6. Hotrod1959
    Joined: Nov 3, 2007
    Posts: 690


    Washers in the springs worked for me!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  7. The washers are the deal. Never done it myself but, heard others describe it and it worked for them. Takes a little time (and a lot of washers) but a lot safer than that prying with a big screwdriver thing.:eek:
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    Another way to do it is with a floor jack. Hook one end over the front axle and the other on the lift plate. Jack up to stretch the spring, fill with washers, carefully release and install spring.
  9. lowrd
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 329


    As usual, the washer method is shown on You Tube. It worked on my 53.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  10. john walker
    Joined: Sep 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,121

    john walker

    IMG_0450.jpg Make a bar about 3ft long and about a foot from the end attach another thin rod with a bolt. the thin rod needs to have a slight hook on the end so it catches the bottom of the spring. That determines the length. Hang the spring on the hood bracket, hook the tool on the spring and lever the long bar against the frame to stretch the spring. With the hood propped up, the spring is shorter and easier to stretch.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Baldies, CadMad and DetroitDetomaso like this.
  11. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    CAREFULLY........................go slow, be calm and aware.
    Don't ask how I broke my arm once.
  12. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 984

    from NY

    Cool looking ride. Sometimes the tool for brake springs will work but those look pretty beefy. Be careful and maybe a piece of safety wire wouldn't be a bad idea.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  13. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    from Mayberry

    I was gonna suggest paint stir sticks, but washers do the same thing.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  14. 1964countrysedan
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,131

    from Texas

    I used 16 penny nails the first time I needed to do this.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  15. nh-lead-man
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 181


    Ok All ingenious ideas THAT spring gets loose you will be without teeth! I bought a pr of simple tools to remove and replace, its a piece of steel pipe about 10 in long 2 inches in diameter it cut on the length in about half on either end there is a 3/16 piece of flat stock welded to the ends You stretch out the spring force the tool between the windings that keeps the spring extended, hook the bottom at the cowl and then the top at the hindge area. open the hood as far as possible without denting the upper cowl or fender top this will streach it just enough to pry the tool out. Wear some gloves put some clean rags in that area in case. Once you got it attached just pry the spring from the tool. if your removing a spring use the hood to stretch the spring insert it in the tool and out comes the spring. if your going to use the spring over later leave it in the tool. HI TOM!!
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  16. Late as usual but throwing my vote in for washers the thickness of a silver dollar (if you ever have seen one). This is what I did with my 53 and it worked great. I understand yours were already out but if you are removing them, insert the washers with the hood wide open, then close the hood just enough to get your arm in and lift out the spring. Reverse to install.
  17. jeffyg82
    Joined: Dec 23, 2013
    Posts: 108


    This isn't my pick but this is identical to what I built to do mine... stretch with floor jack hook on body and hinge lower hood remove spreader easy!!! Little spooky at first not gonna lie

    Attached Files:

    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    my 48 olds has the same setup I just used a big pry bar and used lots of care
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  19. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,337

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I've seen and utilized the washer as well as the floor jack method.

    My question is what tool did the auto manufacturer's use? I'm guessing that the sub assy. plant that churned out and supplied millions of sets of hood hinges for the auto assy lines had to have the process of attaching a spring to the hinge nailed down to a matter of a few seconds.

    I'd guess it must have been a foot pedal operated press that stretched and contracted the spring on the hinge while held the assy in place and hit a foot pedal to initiate the predetermined spring stretch cycle? It sure wasn't loading a hand full of washers. Would love to see a pic or old sub assy line video of the process.
  20. DetroitDetomaso
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 139

    from Las Vegas

    Thank you everyone. It's appreciated.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  21. CadMad
    Joined: Oct 20, 2012
    Posts: 853


    John Walker"s tip is the correct way they suggested in the 53 Cadillac manual.
    I use the same method but use chain with a shackle. Allows adjustment.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  22. Gleid
    Joined: Oct 15, 2014
    Posts: 62

    from Norway

    I'm guessing they used the "rod" mentioned above. That has to be the quickest way to do this. I used this method on my 54 chevy.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  23. We always used a pogo stick and small chain. Almost every body man has one.
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  24. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,327

    from oregon

    No experiece with your particular car, but this is what I made for my 66 Chevy Suburban.
    It is what the factory repair manual shows, worked great. For tool installation onto spring, IIRC, I hooked one end of the spring to the axle on my floor jack and other to the lip of the jack's cradle and expnded the spring.
    Here is mine along with procedure from shop maual.

    20160804_163847.jpg 20160804_164957.jpg
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  25. You can use quarters too. Let me know where you parked!
    Truck64 and DetroitDetomaso like this.
  26. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 530


    This is the way I stretched my hood springs to refit on my 49 Cad ...Check in my albums for more photos on this topic... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  27. Ancient Chinese Proverb... "man who goofs around with springs and does not wear eye protection or facesheild may end up with one-eyed view of life......"
  28. DetroitDetomaso
    Joined: Jun 22, 2010
    Posts: 139

    from Las Vegas

  29. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,719

    1. a veteran died today

    I used washers, should have used threaded bolt,, less slippage..:rolleyes::rolleyes:
    DetroitDetomaso likes this.
  30. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016



    I know his is an older thread but I’m prepping my ‘49 Caddy for paint and had to R&R the hood again and was searching for a ‘mo betta way to do it. I originally did it just like @morac41 .

    While researching this time I found pictures of the proper factory tool ( Kent-Moore part # maybe?) I intended to make one but gave the other way a try & it worked out ok again. Always a bit nervous around springs under tension but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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