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Old 11-28-2020, 10:12 AM   #1
stolw
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Default Rear Spring Removal

I want to remove my rear spring. I notice that the centre bolt holding the pack together is missing the nut. The leaves have spread apart enough so there is no bolt sticking out to put a nut on.

So do I undo the big U bolts holding it to the cross member first and then use a spreader to remove it from the shackles or do it the other way round by spreading it first and then removing it from the crossmember ?


thanks
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:06 AM   #2
Gary WA
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Be very careful! I would try to put nut on , Use spring spreader!!!! FIRST! to remove spring shackles. then hanger bolts! That Center BOLT is Critical
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File Type: jpg spr.jpg (42.6 KB, 44 views)
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Last edited by Gary WA; 11-28-2020 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

I agree with Gary. Be very careful. Can you get the old bolt out and install a longer one? The vendors have a longer one for re-assembly. https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/P...earchByKeyword
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:22 AM   #4
katy
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Quote:
I notice that the centre bolt holding the pack together is missing the nut. The leaves have spread apart enough so there is no bolt sticking out to put a nut on.
The centre bolt is probably broken off. Use the spreader first.
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:27 AM   #5
stolw
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Thank you - I will be carefull
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:35 AM   #6
Andy
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I would jack up the rear of the car and put it on jack stands. With the rear hanging, put wood blocks between the the spring ends and the rear end. Start up with jacks under both ends of the axle. When the load is off the shackles, remove them. Let the rear end down. Remove the U bolts as the load is off the spring.
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:52 AM   #7
stolw
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

So I can do it without a spring stretcher?
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Old 11-28-2020, 11:56 AM   #8
J Franklin
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

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Originally Posted by stolw View Post
So I can do it without a spring stretcher?
It can be done without special tools, but you should try the longer bolt first.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Center bolt is critical.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:07 PM   #10
J Franklin
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

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Center bolt is critical.
Yes you will definitely need a new one if the old one is damaged.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Don't know how easy to put nut back on the bolt at this point. The leafs may have shifted so as the leafs are being compressed the bolt may just work up so past the top of the frame with no way to keep from turning when a nut is installed.

Another option; Could make up new longer U bolts to act as a cage. Jack up the car and put frame on stands, leaving the jack under the rear end. Replace the U bolts with the longer ones, leaving the shackles on for now and room for the leafs to drop down thru the U bolts. Lower the rear end to take tension off the leaves. Once tension is off the leafs, remove the U bolts and leafs and use the spring spreader to take main leaf off. The other option would be cut a hole in the hump covering the center, drive the old bolt out from the bottom using a tapered punch so holes will line up as it is driven out and install a new bolt.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:17 PM   #12
Don S
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

While on a club tour the centre bolt sheared off with a bang. The large u-bolts if tightened properly will keep the spring leaves together ,as they did with mine. After I got home I figured the easiest way to replace the bolt was to use a hole saw and cut a hole through the panel located under the rumble seat cushion . Once the panel was cut I used a 3/16 rod from the bottom to drive the broken bolt up and out. Replacing the new bolt was easy , just drive it down through the spring from the top add the washer and nut . I used the piece cut out of the panel ,attached it to a larger piece of metal and with some sealant and pop rivets fastened it back in place. That was many years ago and still in good shape. Much easier than removing the spring. This gives you an option to think about.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

I was planning to take the rear floor out (it's a coupe) and replace it with one with a hump. I think I will do this so early than I planned - I should then be able to replace the centre bolt - it seems I should be able to knock the old one out from the bottom (upwards) and put a longer one in. Thanks for all the info - I didn't realize the centre bolt was so crtical. On other leaf springs I've worked on it just holds the leaves together with no tension
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

The center bolt has a square head that fits in a square hole in the cross member!
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:06 PM   #15
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

The center bolt on the rear spring serves two purposes:

1. It holds the spring leafs together when the spring is originally assembled. Suppliers sell them longer than need be to facilitate the assembly process. It allows the nut to be used to draw the leafs together. The extra length is then cut off and the end of the bold peened over to keep the nut from coming off.

2. The square head of the bolt is used to center the spring in the center of the frame. The head fits into a square hole in the cross member. If the bolt head is not correctly inserted into the square hole when the spring is installed it is possible for the rear of the car to slide on the spring and for the car to be sitting somewhat crooked. It is also dangerous when turning a corner as that is when the rear will shift if you missed the hole.

Replacing the center bolt should be done very carefully as the rear spring can be lethal. The spring should be spread with a proper spring spreader, the shackle bolts removed, and the rear axle assembly dropped down. The spring spreader is then collapsed and removed from the spring. The spring is then no longer lethal and can be removed from the car by unbolting the U-bolt nuts. The center bolt can then be replaced.

It is never a good idea to remove the rear axle assembly with the spring still attached because it is a dangerous practice. However, people do it all the time.

The two attached articles should be able to guide anyone through the replacement of the center bolt in a safe manner.

Tom Endy
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File Type: pdf The Model A Rear Spring.pdf (58.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: pdf The rear spring.pdf (88.7 KB, 33 views)
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by stolw View Post
I want to remove my rear spring. I notice that the centre bolt holding the pack together is missing the nut. The leaves have spread apart enough so there is no bolt sticking out to put a nut on.

So do I undo the big U bolts holding it to the cross member first and then use a spreader to remove it from the shackles or do it the other way round by spreading it first and then removing it from the crossmember ?


thanks
I would loosen the big spring to frame U bolt on one side as much as possible and add a shim under the plate so you can use it to tighten the spring pack tighter and hopefully get a nut onto the bolt. I had to make custom thicker plates when I removed leaves on my speedster build. The bolt wasn't under a lot of tension when I took it apart. I used a length of all thread to release the tension once the spring was out. Drew the leave together, clamped it in place on the frame and drove the centering bolt through the stack. It was easier without a body.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:55 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

That rear spring is a widow maker and must be respected. The safest route would probably be to use a full length spreader, discomnect at the shackles, and then relax the spring (remove the spreader) prior to removing the U bolts. Caution is warranted !
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Old 11-29-2020, 12:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

I’ve done this several times, with and without a spring spreader. I strongly suggest two things -
1. - replace the bolt through the spring leaves if at all possible. Use threaded stock and tighten the spring pack up to allow safe removal.
2. - use a spring spreader to spread the spring ends enough to remove shackles and relieve the pressure ont he spring gradually. You will be amazed - as I was at 15 years old - when pressure on the spring is suddenly relieved and you are not prepared !

Once the shackles are out (edited to add - and the tension on the spring has been relieved) you can loosen the bolt holding the spring pack together and work with individual leaves.

You will have a very hard time adding enough weight in the back of the car to allow the spring shackles to be removed without a spreader.

The spreader is a good investment if you plan to keep the car for a while - unless your local club has one you can borrow.

Jim

Jim

Last edited by Conaway2; 11-29-2020 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:01 AM   #19
stolw
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

Thank you for the answers. I will us a spreader and make sure the center bolt is replaced before I start. I plan to keep the car for a long time - I am in the UK where they are rare and everyone who sees it thinks it's great (although a well used example!)
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:23 AM   #20
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Default Re: Rear Spring Removal

do it the way Tom spelled it out. replacing the center bolt is next to impossible to change out with the spring in place. better to be safe than sorry.
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