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Model A rear spring removal

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by firetique57, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. firetique57
    Joined: Nov 27, 2010
    Posts: 33


    I just bought a Model A chassis that I'm going to fix up and build a roadster pickup with it. The rear spring shackles both have a broken bolt in them and I want to drop the rear end to repair this. I understand the spring has to be "stretched" to facilitate removing the shackles. Is there a way to do this without having to purchase a spreader for a one time use?

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  2. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Yes... make a spreader, or borrow one.
  3. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Yes, see post 2 of the last link above.
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  4. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,563


    Remove the U-bolts holding the spring to the crossmember.
    Put a large C-clamp on the spring and take out the bolt holding the spring together.
    Slowly loosen the C-clamp and remove the upper leafs.
    It will still require a little force but now you should now be able to remove and reinstall the main leaf and shackles.
    Reverse for reassembly.
  5. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Not entirely OSHA entertainment purposes only...

    put a piece of 2X4 wood under each shackle, jammed between spring eye and axle housing. Or short pieces of [ section steel. Strap these into place with a couple big hoseclamps or something in case the considerable pressure about to arrive squirts them out of there.
    Place a stout plank across frame, right up against crossmember.
    On plank, place ex-wife, toolboxes, your spare anvil, etc. until you have enough weight to compress spring to where what's left of those shackles is unloaded, then take them apart. Remove weight slowly (perhaps stop feeding ex-wife) to let spring slowly unload while still bolted into crossmember.
    When dealing with a loaded spring always be aware that it has enough energy contained to kill you.
  6. Very simple with the proper spring spreader. Tragic without.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2011
    Posts: 105

    from Chicago

    There are a lot of Model A restorer clubs in Ohio, most of them have a library of tools available for loan or can hook you up with a club member who might be willing to allow you to borrow a spreader.

    Like others have said, screw up the removal and it'll ruin a significant portion of your life.
  8. white64
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 675

    from Maine

    I've done it with c-clamps, some scary shit right there! I had 12ft of chain wrapped around and the ends of the chain bolted together, just in case, but man it's still scary. Leave the chain a little loose so that it can expand. Have your cell phone dialed to 911 so you just have to hit "send". Put the dog and the kids in the house and put lawn chairs and cold beer out for your buddies, they're going to want to watch... cuz it could get interesting!
  9. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

    Taking it apart is easy. Just put on your cup take the nuts off of the shackles and whack it with a bfh and it will pop off. When its time to go back together take the spring apartand put the main leaf in first then put the rest of the stack on and clamp it together with a big C-clamp or two and use the center bolt to help pull it together an keep them aligned. Use a new center bolt.
  10. I have done several like this.... no problem.
  11. 1930ModelA
    Joined: Sep 4, 2008
    Posts: 105


    C clamp method is best. Just do one leaf at a time and make sure to keep the center bolt in for alignment. Keep your face out from over top just in case. Overall it is easy just go slow and pay attention to what you are doing.
  12. To re-install, you need a c-clamp and a 12" piece of 5/16" allthread. Install main leaf with shackles, stack the spring leaves in place, and compress the spring using the all-thread. Have a c-clamp handy, clamp it on when spring leaves are compressed, remove all-thread and replace with a new square-head center bolt. Henry would be proud of you. And you did reverse the spring eyes, didn't you?
  13. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,064

    from Germany

    I use a hydraulic 10 ton body jack.
  14. are you kidding
    that is the worst way i have ever heard of to remove a spring
  15. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,672

    296 V8
    from Nor~Cal

    It amazes me the lengths people will go to to avoid using a C clamp and a wrench to remove one fucking bolt.
  16. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder

    I can't believe how many people RECOMMEND doing the C clamp method WITHOUT USING A PIECE OF ALL THREAD.
  17. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,077


    I like to loosen the center bolt and fan out the springs, you can use a mallet. That way they're not in tension and easier to bend..
  18. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid

    Me either.:eek: Replace the centerbolt with a sufficient length af all thread before you loosen the C clamps and then just back off the tension. If that spring gets away from you, you may loose more than the family jewels???

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