you can either use a spring spreader (which is why it jumped at you when you removed it) or you drop the rear end down, put a C clamp on the spring pack and remove the center bolt slowly relieving the spring tension. Then with that single leaf still attached to the spring perches, it comes out pretty easy. Or you can use the 1930s block of wood ( 2x4 ) method and you put a block of wood on top of the axle tube under the spring shackle and spring. Then jack the rear end up with the block of wood pressing up on the spring hanger and the spring sliding on the wood closer to the backing plate. Then remove the spring shackle, then release the jack. I did not use any model A leaves. I left the gap in the rear crossmember. The radius arms prevent the rear end from twisting in the crossmember, the center pin in the spring prevents the spring from walking and the spring clamps to the crossmember have that spring grabbed very very tight, it's not going anywhere. This isn't my daily driver. It should last another 85 years, long after I won't care anymore.