Don't weld it. I was going to say get another original spring pack because they are all over the place, but not sure about in Australia. I've also purchased a main leaf from Vern Tardel and would recommend for you to do that. http://www.verntardel.com/collections/suspension/products/model-a-reversed-eye-spring Has the correct Model A bushings in it already, and all the worry is taken out of it for you. To answer your questions. Yes, the holes are still the same distance apart. It's spring steel and was flat at one time until Ford bent it into an arc. If anything, I'm re-arching it again and giving it more bend. Done this and seen it done on other cars and they are driving with no problems. Not an area to get scared about. And look at any stock early ford axle. Almost every one of them has a dig out from the shackles riding on the axle and rubbing away the axle. And people still drove them safely down the road. We as car builders are going to pay much more attention to our cars than farmers on a farm using them as "who cares" vehicles would ever do. I'm just saying, even in a worn out state, it works fine. But you're fixing it up, it will work even better.