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Technical My car has the sags

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Harold's Speed, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Hi Guys

    I brought my 1929 model a into my shop to lower it a bit because I have '35 wire wheels on it. Based on some other threads on the Ford Barn I have it down to the level I want now. The only problem I have is it sags on the drivers side. It always has except that now with the car sitting lower it's much more noticeable. At the front wheel its 1-1/4 inches lower than the passenger side measuring from the floor to the center of the fender edge. In the rear its about 3/8 inch lower on the drivers side. Right now I don't have the shocks on it. I suspect the frame is tweaked some amount. Is there any way the get this car leveled out some? Will Shocks level it out some. Or, is there anything else anyone has tried that has work to level out their car?

    Thanks
     
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,843

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It may have a case of lone heavy driver syndrome which happens in Cars and trucks where a rather heavy driver spent the majority of time alone in the car.
    My truck is a prime example of that as it does sag a bit to the left.
     
  3. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,661

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    Did you measure from the fender edge or the frame ? ...
    Without shocks the u-bolts pretty much determine the stance...
    One tight, one loose could let it sag...
    Check to see if the front x member it tweeked a little...
    Model A frame rails often sag at the rear motor mount / cowl area... [you'ld see bad hood gaps]
     
  4. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,422

    manyolcars

    swap the springs end to end because of the lone heavy driver
     
    HellsHotRods and 1927graham like this.

  5. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,751

    flatford39
    Member

    Shocks are your friend...I would try that before anything else because number one you need them and number two you need them. Guess what number three is???

    The stock shocks actually work really well but are expensive to rebuild and extremely hard to find rebuildable cores. The current "airplane shocks" (now there is a term from the past) are just as good and a lot cheaper. They just need more fab time to make them adapt.

    Are you still using mechanical brakes??? It gets a little more complicated installing original shocks on a lowered mechanical brake car.
     
  6. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,448

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    Common problem on a Model A, all mine lean to the drivers side. I've swapped the spring and rebuilt them but after a while they sag to the left. The rear is probably the same if you measure it too.
     
  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,140

    oldolds
    Member

    Jack it up. Put jack stands under the frame. Let the wheels hang. Loosen the u-bolts that hold the spring in. Re tighten the u-bolts. Tighten the passenger side nuts up first. Put it back on the ground and see if that changes things.
    If you want to check the frame for basic straightness while its on the stands you could level it out and take some quick measurements.
    I would expect the problem to be weak springs as mentioned above. My suggestions will not cost you anything and give you some information to figure where the problem lies.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just a thought but did you check and see if the body shims are still there? If any of the panel gaps are off it might be that the wooden blocks have gone away and let the body sag.
     
  9. Get yourself a "Big" fat lady friend to go everywhere with you..LOL
     
  10. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,445

    joeycarpunk
    Member
    from MN,USA

    After loosening spring pack and tightening you could always put a aluminum spring shim between spring and cross member for minor adjustment.
     
  11. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,578

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fat bottom girls, they make the rocking world go round.
     
  12. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,618

    Ron Brown
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    IMG_0510.JPG My sedan sits slightly lower on passenger side but sits level with driver. I just left mine. but may try to even things up with shims....just for ducks.
     
  13. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Thanks for the reply. I measured from the edge of the fender to the ground
     
  14. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Thanks, tried that. No change
     
  15. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    This will be my plan for tomorrow. I think your right, weak springs
     
  16. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Thanks Ron.
    going to try retightening the springs and may try sing a shim. I'm lowering my car based on the result you achieved lowering yours. Love it
     
  17. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Thanks everyone. I read though the posts. I have tried reversing the spring and that didn't help at all. I realized while reading the posts that I don't have the rear u bolts tighten down, I do the front. I am going to loosen the front and with the weight on the wheels jack up the left side so the cars level or maybe a little higher and retighten the clamps start with the right side for each. If that doesn't get the car level I am going to try a shim under the left side. Also when I get the shocks on I'm hoping that will help some also. Even if I could get it closer to level than it is I will be happy. Thanks for your help
     
  18. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,618

    Ron Brown
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well...make sure you post any results cuz I may be doing this soon as well, and, if someone else figures it out first, could save me a bunch of work, Ha.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  19. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,115

    flynbrian48
    Member

    LOL, I think he's saying you might want to lose a few pounds!
     
  20. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,575

    2935ford
    Member

    Just part of it's charm.......!:)
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  21. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,301

    dwollam
    Member

    Shocks do not raise or lower a car. The only dampen the suspension rebound.

    I had a '29 sedan that leaned to the drivers side. I swapped the front spring side to side, no change. I think it was mentioned above about frame sag. This one did have sag. They also sag more on the drivers side at or near the steering box. I believe that was the problem on mine. The frame CAN be straightened with the body on by guys (old timers?) who know what they are doing, but is much easier with body off. I need to do my '31 Roadster Pickup. I did do my '31 Coupe. The drivers side straightened easy. The passenger side was a bitch. I would jack it up, it would push outward. Jack it back in, it pushed down. finally got it right. I used a long leg off my cherry picker (good heavy one) and 2 chains and 1 bottle jack or porta power. I used a small block of wood on top of the frame at each end where the chains wrapped around to protect frame. I take them to just a bit proud (raised) at the firewall so that it sits level with body and fenders and everything loading it. Use a long straight edge to check for straight.

    My '29 AV8 Tudor was leaning bad! Turned out the very top short leaf was off to the side and not in the spring pack!

    Dave
     
  22. When I park my three window I just get out, go over to the passenger side, put a foot on the running board, a hand on the roof and push it down, and call it good!
     
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  23. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Roadsir
    I have been doing the same so far. But now I have the front so low that the tire will rub in turns on the left. May have to raise it back up a bit


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,661

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    Level a frame rail with body on...
    with torches heat a triangle on the frame rail [RED, but does not have to be RED all at once], when it cools it contracts...if you need the front of the frame to drop then heat a triangle [pointing up] about an inch wide at the bottom and 1" all the way across the lower rail edge... this bakes the carbon from the steel. you can do it again and in the same spot...let cool...
    don't panic, when red it expands, opposite of what you want, but contracts when it cools...
    I feel that positive force helps, so i would hang weights pulling down in the direction you need...pulling the frame down and hopefully removes the sag...
    I PULLED a double railed '33 frame inward... 1/2" first try...[heated both inner and outer rails, the same size triangle].
    i have used this method to BOW exhaust pipe for coupester door top CAPS...
    hope it helps !
     
  25. The frame and body just teeters on the center of the springs.

    Even tension on the u bolts BUT :
    - with even weight distribution side to side
    - with a spring that has even spring rate on both sides
    - a frame that's not twisted
    - bushings with the same resistance
    A wedge shim in the cross member can easily compensate for any of the above lacking


    It's really difficult to get the transverse spring buggy suspension to do all 4 of the following
    -Park and set level
    -Drive down the road level
    -Ride well
    -Not loose clearance do to body roll.



    Removing leaves lessens the spring rate, right? a 100 lb imbalance in weight distribution on a full spring won't show a lean that much but on a reduced spring rate pack with 1/2 the leaves missing that same weight imbalance is going to show much much more as a lean. This will happen in both static parking and in dynamic the body roll will be more pronounced in cornering and then the clearance is gone. Shocks help some with body roll as well as a sway bar. A preloaded sway bar can also help with the lean.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  26. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,743

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So the car is twisted then. If it was a straight lean the difference would be the same front and back. You've got more problems than just a sagging spring or clamps not snugged up correctly. Or, your fenders are really crooked. Measure the frame to ground for a better indicator.

    Also, shocks should make no difference at all on this. If they fix the problem they are probably not doing their job correctly either. As said above, shocks just dampen the movement. They shouldn't push any suspension into shape.
     
  27. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    I had a few hours today so I tried swapping every other leave end for end on the front spring. no change. Tried loosening the U-bolt clamps and jacking up the car on the left and then tightening the U-bolt clamps, no change. I measure from the floor to the bottom of the frame at the rear motor mount and it was the same side to side. Measure at the front tip of the frame horn and it was the same side to side. This leads me to believe that the frame is relatively level and that there is some issue with the front fenders or fender braces. I finished up the day adding a leaf back into the front spring. This raised the front enough that I don't think I will have an issue when turning the front wheels.

    I ordered my new shocks from Bill Stipe today ( he still has a few). I don't have any now. I know the car will ride/drive better and I am hoping some rebound control will help to eliminate/minimize and front fender rubbing. I'm really happy with the way the car sits now. It sits similar to Ron Brown's but just a little higher in the back. I wanted to have enough height in back to be able to put passengers in the rear seat.

    Tomorrow I am going to try adding a shim to the left side under the clamps to see what effect that has. I will post the result. I'm just not sure I like putting an uneven load on the U-bolts.
     
  28. Harold's Speed
    Joined: Jan 6, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Harold's Speed
    Member

    Thanks for posting this info. The car I'm working on is the one is my avatar. Not going to heat or did-assemble anything. But, I'm saving this for future reference
     
  29. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,301

    dwollam
    Member

    The car doesn't set on the u-bolts, they just keep the spring stationary. Weight is on the crossmembers.
     
  30. Do you have a sway/panard bar? I have seen this problem if not adjusted or installed properly.
     

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