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  • Front Spring

    This is a Tudor 1931 with a ten leaf front spring. In the last five years I have done a lot of work to get it in good shape. The attention has now turned to the springs and especially the front spring. I have a feeling that the spring is worn down, but I can't figure out if that is the case. The distance between the spring ends and the axle is about a quarter inch and the distance between the clip bar (center) and the axle is 3 1/4 inches. Without having a reference, I don't know if this indicates that the spring has flattened out from years of wear. There would be no reason to remove and rework the spring if it is within what is acceptable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Have you changed spring shackles and bushings. 1/4" seems abit close to me. Rod
    "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." Thomas Sowell

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    • #3
      What is the distance between the tie rod and the drag link? If they are touching your spring is weak
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"


      Mitch's Auto Service ctr

      Comment


      • #4
        Many years ago I called Mr. Walt Bratton to ask if he would know what was the original height of an assembled Model A front spring. He said he did not know but he knew somebody who would know, and he would call me back. He called back to give me the dimensions, and later added a dimensioned Model A front spring drawing in his next catalog.

        With his called in information I went to a large truck repair shop to inquire about having my original Model A front spring re-arched. At that time most Model A Forum members thought that re-arched springs were not a good idea. I asked this senior truck repair shop gentleman what he thought about me buying a new Model A front spring vs. having mine re-arched. He told me he would pay for my new spring if I gave him my original Model A front spring.

        I then asked him why. He said he knew a local gentleman who made high quality custom knives for a living and paid a high price for pre-WWII spring steel. I think I next payed him $3.00 to re-arch my original spring.

        Who would have ever thought that our original Model A front springs might have more value than just selling them as scrap iron?

        Comment


        • #5
          Many of us check to see if the height from the bottom of the front radiator splash shield is about centered or so in the middle of the axle web looking from the front. Also one can check the height of the fenders serrated edge at the bolt to brace is the same on both sides for frame or spring sag. Rowdy mentions shackles for wear and angle, etc. 1/4" gap may be a little close and if any wallowing on the top axle surface. I just bought new springs from A Springs on the east coast. Check other threads for more info.

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          • #6
            No, I haven't done anything to the shackels or bushings. The distance between the drag link and the tie rod is right at 1/2 inch. What I am wondering is what it looks like when the spring is an action on a bumpy road. Could the spring hit the axle and/or the tie rod and drag link rub on each other?

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            • #7
              1/2” sounds about right. You would see rub marks it it was hitting
              type “weak spring” in the search box.. lots of info will show up
              3 ~ Tudor's
              Henry Ford said
              "It's all nuts and bolts"


              Mitch's Auto Service ctr

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I decided to remove the front spring to give it a little care. There were two surprises. The first surprise was that one shackle nut was torqued to somewhere between 30 and 40 (just my guess) making the shackle movement quite difficult (should have checked that a long time ago!). Also, when the spring was removed it turned out to be a twelve leaf spring, which sure was a surprise. I have read that Ford made a twelve leaf front spring available for cars in November 1930 for "exceptionally rough roads or heavy use", but my car is exposed to neither. There could very well be a new front spring for Eleanor in the near future.

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                • #9
                  Clean the top of the top leaf looking for a part number. While Ford DID NOT stamp a part number at that location, a common era replacement 12 leaf front spring did. You could remove two leaves after studying front spring diagrams to discover the two extra. Additionally you might have to replace the spring clips.

                  Or ask here for user reviews for the best current re-po.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JB-OB View Post
                    Or ask here for user reviews for the best current re-po.
                    Ok, I am asking . . sort of after the fact as I ordered a new spring for my '31 SW rebuild earlier today.

                    The existing spring was somebody's put together straight ended 8 leaf assembly.

                    I ordered an A- 5310-AX from Snyders. Supposed to be top quality made of 5160 spring steel, tapered ends and includes the shackle bushings.

                    How did I do?

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                    • #11
                      Hank, I suspect you did 'good kid'. Certainly any of the major suppliers (Snyder's, Brattons, A&T Springs) will back you in the doubtful case of an issue.

                      Understand I'm a 'paint guy' with little understanding of the magic of spring steel. What I don't understand is that factory Ford springs where supposed to be lubed, while modern manufacturers say don't lube theirs..?? After I've painted my 'master piece' front end, last thing I want to see is rust coming out from between the spring leaves!

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                      • #12
                        I think that spring is made by "A" Springs. http://www.a-springs.com/1b.html

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                        • #13
                          There are no part numbers on any of the leaves. Leaf number 4 and 7 from the top were doubled up. The leaves were the same length, but the additions had cut corners. The arch and length of the spring look right, and with taking out the additional leaves, it seems to soften up quite a bit. My plan is to remove the old paint and the rust from every leaf and see if it is possible to rescue the spring. Stay tuned.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A Springs is a good quality made spring

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A gauge of spring height is looking from the front with the splash apron.

                              It appears based on factory photos and some cars I have know of with good front springs.
                              When you look you should see about half the axle visible from the bottom edge of the front splash apron.
                              Typically axles are well hidden, of course these are also the cars that have no shocks and the owners tell me the car is only good to go 45.

                              You know you have a good front spring if the car does not feel controllable over 20 to 25 MPH without working shocks.

                              Comment

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