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Old 10-28-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
Ruth
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Default Sagging Front Spring.

My front spring bottoms out when I go over a bump. I think my spring is getting weak and sagging (or maybe I broke a leaf).

In Les Andrew's 'Red Book' it states "measure the front end height from the center of the bumper to the ground. 1930/1931 should be 18 +/- ".

So I measure from the center of the two bars (center of the 'air space') to ground. Is this the correct spot?

I get 17", meaning my spring is sagging 1"?

I'm just checking because I'm not sure I am measuring in the correct spot.

Thanking in Advance...
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

I've often heard people say you should look at the spring shackles. On an ideal spring they're nearly horizontal, whereas on a worn-out spring they'll be nearly vertical. In extreme cases the shackle will hit the front axle and you'll see the wear marks. If there's less than 1/4" clearance between the axle and the shackle, people often consider that the cutoff point for spring replacement.
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

Hallo Ruth,

I can not say anything about the reference points.

But it is unusual that a leaf spring tires. Is grease between the sheet layers? Are the suspensions freely movable on the outside?

When a single leaf is broken, it rattles in deep waves. Sometimes you can hear a break when you tap the hammer against a single spring leaf.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

alexiskai, Yes looking at spring and shackles it clears the axle OK but I can see where the spring came into contact with the spring perch. At rest, the shackles are at ~70, just short of being vertical.

I believe it is time for a new spring.

Werner, The current spring is lubed with graphite and has gaters to keep water & dirt out.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

They do get old and loose their ability to support the weight. Re-arching is when each leaf is run through 3 rollers cold to bend into a taller stance. Usually only 1/2 effective and only for a short time.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

My advice would be to replace front spring with a correct USA made one.

How would your TV recliner feel after 90 years of use. 24/365 not just 5 to 10? Enjoy.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

Thanks Guys. I pulled the old spring and ordered new shackles and a USA made spring. I installed new bushings in the spring perches also.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

If you have time, I'd love to hear which shackles you ordered and what tools were required for the bushings, as well as details of the install process going forward. I will need to replace my springs soon and I'm curious what level of expertise is needed.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

Hallo Alexis,

I have completely renewed the rear spring; that's comparable, I think?

The shackles and the spring were from Don Snyder III. The shackles fit without reworking in the bronze socket eyes of the spring. I have coated the individual spring layers with dry bonded coating with MoS2.

This work can be done well with some technical understanding.

For the front spring it shoud not necessarily to use a spring tensioner, there are some tricks. But I do not know if that can be dangerous.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexiskai View Post
If you have time, I'd love to hear which shackles you ordered and what tools were required for the bushings, as well as details of the install process going forward. I will need to replace my springs soon and I'm curious what level of expertise is needed.
I have a hydraulic press that I used to remove and install the bushings in my spring perches (no doubt overkill). You could probably press them in with a large vice or 'C' clamp. The spring comes with the bushings installed. I may have to ream them, I don't know yet because I don't have the spring or shackles, yet.

Our club has tools we can borrow. I used their spring spreader to remove old spring. They also have a reamer for the bushings.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

Hmm, OK, not going to be be super instructive for me. Likely will be doing it without spreader or press.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

I just changed my front spring. Not particularly difficult if you read Les' book. No spring spreader required. I had to get new spring perches as well as shackles and the new spring. All from Bratton's. No reaming was required.
I understand that the rear spring does require a spreader. I have had no need yet to do that spring so I cannot comment.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sagging Front Spring.

You may find the steering is much better after installing the new spring. When the shackles are almost vertical, the car car swing from side to side over the axle, and cause instability as it waddles down the road.
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