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Listing to the left

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  • Listing to the left

    Happy New Year to my fellow VFFers! To make a short story long, I installed a right tail light on my 29. To locate it, I went thru a complicated procedure involving a long aluminum angle leveled across the top of the rear fenders. Since then, I look at the car from the rear and the tail lights don't look right. I considered the license plate throwing off my perception. Yesterday I finally got out the tape and discovered the right tail light was an inch too high! Further investigation showed that the car is one inch higher on the right side. Short of bolting 200 pounds of steel plate on the right side under the back seat, is there a simple way to fix this without pulling rear end and spring? Since this is an older frame off restoration and everything under the car is clean and painted and pretty, I didn't expect to find this difference.

  • #2
    I am a bit confused. If the car is an inch higher on the right, how did the aluminum angle level out.
    Is the light really in the correct place?
    If so, loosen the 4 rear spring retainer nuts, and stand on the running board and shift the car to the right, then tighten the right side nuts tight first, then and only then tighten the left hand nuts

    A failsafe way to locate a mirror image device is to use a template, ie out of a large piece of cardboard.
    Every time I am in Sam's club I grab a divider from in between the layers of soda or paper towel cases, they are about 4' square, and then I have plenty of cardboard for templates, which it seems we are always making


    • #3
      Leaning to the left is a very common issue on all L/H drive A's. Shifting the U-bolts as dave mentioned is usually the fix.

      Replacing the rear spring usually is not the fix. The body sits on the center of the spring packs

      Make sure your tie rod is not rubbing the drag link, which indicates a weak front spring. The front can make the rear look crooked as well.

      Make sure the individual spring leafs are lubricated between each other.(front and rear)

      A frozen shock can cause a car to lean
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"

      Mitch's Auto Service ctr


      • #4
        To position my right side tail light, I used tbird's template idea. Here's how I did it. I removed the left tail light and used lightweight paper draped over the fender to make several reference marks, determine the curves and angles, and locate the holes. Once I had a template that matched the left side, I flipped it over and fit it to the right side. I transferred the pattern to another sheet of lightweight paper taped to the fender and traced the hole pattern on that. Then I had my wife hold the new light positioned per the hole template and stood back to see how it looked. Reassured, I made small centering marks on tape on the fender where the holes would occur, and drilled the holes using circular blades, which I find to work best even for smaller holes. It all turned out fine.


        • #5
          Regarding the r/s tail light, the mounting brackets are different correct????
          3 ~ Tudor's
          Henry Ford said
          "It's all nuts and bolts"

          Mitch's Auto Service ctr


          • slammin
            slammin commented
            Editing a comment
            Mitch, based on my discoveries on many of the car's parts, I assume the left bracket is a repro and the right is a right repro from Berts. There are no rear shocks on the car.

        • #6
          tbirdtbird, the template is a good idea. To explain the leveled angle iron, I laid the angle front to back across the top of the rear fenders, stacking material on the running board under the angle in the center of the door. Placing a 4 foot carpenters level on the angle, I adjusted the stack until the angle was level. Then I measured from the bottom of the angle to the centerline of the top bolt on the tail light bracket. I repeated the process on the right side. Yesterdays measurements, floor to bottom of the light cup, floor to bottom of the bumper, floor to bottom of the rear of the fender, floor to top of wheel opening in the fender. All were 7/8 to 1 inch higher on the right than the left.


          • #7
            so the lights are correct, the lean of the car is not.
            As above, very common, good pointers above.

            If you look at the car from a bit of a distance from the front, you should be able to see lean, and measure from the bumpers to the floor to see how much front and how much back. For me it is easier to see this from the front, don't ask me why


            • #8
              About 7 or 8 years ago I bought a new repro RH tail light and measured and marked for the holes then had my wife hold it in place and stepped back for a look and it was a slight but very noticeable different angle than the original LH light. I then had my son double check my measurements when was correct and had him hold the tail light in place and it was still a different angle than the original. Needless to say I didn't drill any holes and just ran the LH with LEDs. I mentioned this to couple of buddies and they said the repros were all like that. I am going tomorrow to pick up parts and plan to buy 2 LH tail lights and another RH light hoping maybe the repro LH will match the RH. Has anyone else had this issue and are the current repros a better match?



              • #9
                The r/hand repo tail light has a different angle than an original l/s. I'm not sure how a repo l/s side matches up to the repo r/s. The r/hand drive cars were made with a r/s tail light originally. Finding one of those would be as rare as hens teeth
                3 ~ Tudor's
                Henry Ford said
                "It's all nuts and bolts"

                Mitch's Auto Service ctr


                • #10
                  Take a left hand bracket, cut a pie slice out of it, bend & hold up on fender w/ tail light and sight it in with your eye. The eye is more sensitive than the template way. Or, use the template and double check with your eye. Repros suck!


                  • #11
                    the template is only to find the location of the 3 mounting holes

                    the angle is up to you


                    • #12
                      I coulda swore I read he already had the right light mounted, but the car leans to the left...

                      Now, to address the lean, IF you still have the lean after loosening the spring nuts, and jumping on the right side of the car to readjust the spring seat, if that doesn't work, you could take a wedge and reloosen the spring and set the wedge between spring and frame to set it straight. This can shift the weight a bit to the right, but I tell you now, the Model A is notorious for leaning toward the driver side. The Brits will tell you they can tell RHD from LHD by which way the car leans.
                      You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


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