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Old 08-11-2014, 05:49 AM   #1
Kraton
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Default Model B front end question

I have noticed some issues with the front end of my 1932 Model B Roadster.
The most important issue is the state of my brakes. The levers sit vertical so I need to repair or even overhaul the brakes so the levers sit on an forward angle. That I can manage. The left brake lever/actuator however sits lower (picture 1) than the right one (picture 2) and because of that the bottom of the lever is almost worn through where it touches the shackle.
I cannot figure out what I can do to remedy this. Is my perch bent or otherwise wrong? I can also see that the bottom nut is not flush with the axle so the perch does not sit correctly in the axle (picture 3).
Besides the brakes there is more to do to this frontend that is not immediately clear from the pictures. The shackles need new bushes and the front spring is sagged so the bottom of the shackles almost rests on the front axle. All of the components need some cleaning to. Shock absorbers need an overhaul because of leakage so there is plenty of work ahead.
Does anyone have some advice on how to raise my left brake lever/actuator and did I overlook something else that is not right on my front axle?

Greetings, Dick Verboom from the Netherlands
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #2
DavidG
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Once you have adjusted the front brakes so that the operating levers are in their normal position they will be forward of the spring shackles and will not touch one another when the brakes are applied. Your spring perches do not appear to be bent, but you may have more wear inside the brake drum (thickness of the drum, wear on the brake shoes, and/or wear in the parts that actuate the shoes) on one side than the other.

The problem with the front spring is not that it is sagging as it appears in your photos to be okay in that regard. There are two problems with your front spring, however. One is wear in the shackles, as you observed, but the other is that the main or bottom leaf of your spring appears to be thicker than an original spring (9/32"). This apparent extra thickness brings the bottom of the spring eyes closer to the top of your front axle than original even with all new shackles. I suggest that you obtain a new main (bottom) leaf (the rest of the spring is likely okay judging from the arch indicated in your photos).
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

David, thanks for your reply. I could not find the thickness of the bottom leaf. The 1932 Ford book mentions gauge #5 but you have given me the correct thickness in inches. I have measured my bottom leaf. The leaf is still on the car so measurements are a bit difficult. According to my measurements it seems to be 8/32. Because I can only measure the side of the leaf and not the full thickness it is possible that the full thickness is indeed 9/32. It surely does not look like it is much thicker.
I did a measurement of the height of the front spring as well. According to the addition to the 1932 Ford book the free height of the the front spring should be 6 3/8" to 6 1/2". Mine is 5.11 inches. Seems like my spring is a bit flatter than could be.
I do have an additional question about the castle nut on the bottom end of the left spring perch. I cannot get the nut tighter than it is now. This means that the nut does not touch the underside of the axle. The Green bible does not show a washer between the nut and the axle. How can I get the nut to tighten to the axle?

Thanks, Dick
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Hi Dick, Welcome to the FordBarn Forums.

I don't have any advice on your problem but I'd suggest you listen to everything DavidG has to say. If I'm not mistaken, he's the author of the V8 Club 32 Book!

https://www.earlyfordv8.org/store-pr...fm?id=15&pid=2
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Dick,

As for the spring perch nut, it sounds like either the threads on the spring perch or the nut are damaged. As you likely know, the nut is special with a taper on the axle side to fit into a corresponding countersunk area on the underside of the radius rods. See if chasing (cleaning) the threads on both the spring perch and the nut. (It is a fairly large thread and you may have to borrow the appropriate thread chasers or tap and die. Ford rarely used washers beneath castle nuts and this application was not one of the rare exceptions.

Spring free height refers to its unattached height, not installed. Is that how you measured it? I do not have the engineering specifications to translate #5 gauge into some useful English or metric dimension handy where I am at present; perhaps someone with that knowledge will chime in with it for you.

David G. (Rehor)
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Model B front end question

To me it looks like you have the wrong perch bolts on there they are sitting to close to the axle ,Model A ? .If so it could solve all three problem's with retentioning the spring
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:56 PM   #7
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Thanks guys,

I will take the front end apart next winter to inspect more closely. I know I have to be very careful if I want to take the spring apart.
I indeed did measure the spring height installed. That could explain the difference.

I know for sure I have to install new bushings and I have to tackle my brakes.

Thanks for the advice. Greetings, Dick
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Are they the original shock absorbers? If so, be careful because they stopped making the original needles. I have been looking everywhere and found ( they tell me ) the last set in Ca. Being shipped and hope they are correct. Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:03 AM   #9
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Well, the reason the left brake actuator sat lower and made the lever touch the spring shackle turned out to be rather simple. I finally thought about checking all the bolts. The bolt that attaches the actuator to the perch was a bit loose and the forces of braking caused the lever to sag a little. Doing up the bolt straightened everything out. Again thanks for your advice and I hope you like the followup.

Greetings, Dick from the Netherlands
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Is it just the photo or am I looking at it wrong? In the third photo in OP the perch appears to be leaning inward. With the nut not fully tightened wouldn't you want to check the axle bore for ware? Maybe it's just my eyes!
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Kraton....5 gauge = 0.212 inches. Hope that helps ?
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:14 AM   #12
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Hi guys,

It is 5 years later already I noticed. Time flies. I only recently got to dismantling my front spring and I would like to keep you informed.
I have done some measurements. All the measurements of the individual leaves were done with the spring disassembled on the bench. The measurements of the free height and the distance between the center of the eyes were done with the spring clamped tight in the vice at the place of the top bolt to simulate an assembled spring.
The thicknesses of the leafs are a bit odd. The leaves 1-4 that should be gauge 5 are 0.25 ; 0.21 ; 0.23 and 0.23 from 1-4. They should be all the same. Someone sometime ago probably used what he had at hand.
David mentioned the thickness of the first leave as 9/32 (0.28 inches). My measured thickness of 0.25 means the first leaf is thinner and the other leaves even thinner.
The leaves 5-12 are 0.22; 0.23; 0.23 ; 0.23; 0.17; 0.17; 0.17; 0.17 but they should all be 7 gauge.
The free height is 7 inches to the top of the spring and that is more than the book of David mentions so the mix of thinner and thicker leaves seems to cancel one another out.
The distance between the eyes is 30,75 inches.
As long as the free height and the distance between the eyes is correct I am planning to use the current mishmash of leaves. I have already cleaned off the rust of them. Most leaves have a little pitting but when I get to grinding the wear grooves out of them the pitting should be gone too.

I think I need to correct two faults in the pack.
Leave 4 is touching leave 3 only in the center when laying on the bench. Other leaves touch the lower leaf at the ends (see picture). I think I should give leave 4 a bit more curvature.
The top leaf is as wide as the other leaves and it should be narrower. I will grind it down a bit and give it a chamfer.
I have new shackles and new U bolts so I think I am going the right way.
What do you guys think of this approach?
Bottom line: my spring is certainly not perfect and I am only considering the minimally necessary steps because sourcing a better spring or a new spring within Europe is next to impossible and shipping one from the USA is going to cost me. I have thought about getting a new spring made at a local company but to do that the company needs the engineering drawings and I donít have those.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Dick,


If you were to elect to have a new spring made locally, microfilm copies of the original engineering drawing(s) are available at the Benson Ford Research Center and they can be ordered on line. If you do not have the requisite twelve part numbers, I can furnish them to you. (Going from memory, there are only one or two drawings involved as there wasn't a drawing for each individual leaf; it is a chart with all of the relevant dimensions for each leaf listed). You can explore that possibility at https://www.thehenryford.org/collect...parts-drawings.


I agree with your plan to alter leaf #4. At present it is working against rather than with the other spring leaves. Also, an original top leaf did have chamfered upper outer edges, as you surmise.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:16 PM   #14
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Thanks a lot, David. I will look into that.

Greetings, Dick
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:35 AM   #15
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
Dick,


If you do not have the requisite twelve part numbers, I can furnish them to you. (Going from memory, there are only one or two drawings involved as there wasn't a drawing for each individual leaf; it is a chart with all of the relevant dimensions for each leaf listed).
Thank you, David.

I think I understand what you mean by one drawing. I have once seen a drawing of a model A front spring. Almost the same as the model B but not exactly if I understand correctly.

I am now looking at the chassis parts green book. I am not sure I understand the parts numbers correctly. There is the part number B-5310-B for the spring assy of a 1932 but it says it is for a 10 leaf spring so that would be a very early spring if I understand your book correctly and not correct for a later model. The green book shows it was replaced by number 40-5310-C and that is for a 12 leaf spring.
The 40-5310-C however has square end leaves while a 1932 should have tapers.

You mentioned in a different post that most likely only the newest engineering drawing is available so that means I better use 40-5310-C.

Can I use this kind of part number to order drawings or do I have to use every individual number from the front spring leaf chart?

When ordering the spring fabrication I suppose I can specify a taper on my own accord? I have one leaf in my current spring pack that has tapered ends so I know the measurements.

Am I correct?

Greetings, Dick
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Model B front end question

The tapers on the Model A through early '34 leaf ends are proportionally the same from the #2 leaf upward to and including #12.


I am assuming that the green book that you are referring to is the 1928-48 version and not the 1928-32 version, dated December 20, 1932, which while it also has a green cover, it is smaller in size, measuring 5 1/2" by 8 1/2". Its cover is shown below. It was reproduced years ago and likely still in print as an inexpensive reproduction. Original and reproduction copies show up frequently on ebay and Amazon.


With few exceptions, the green book that you are referring to is pretty much worthless as a reference source if your interest is in originality of pre-WWII vehicles. The reason is simple, it is a catalog of service parts, not production parts and over time the difference between the two can and often does become significant. Further, with each passing year, fewer and fewer parts were/are continued in inventory and eventually the parts aren't serviced at all and have no listing in the then-current parts catalogue



I have a copy of the front and rear spring engineering drawings (not with me at present, unfortunately) and other than the very early 10-leaf version, which I believe was originally numbered B-5310 and became B-5310-A when the 12-leaf version (B-5310-B) was released, all twelve leaves are accounted for. In other words, the catalog listing indicating that B-5310-B is a mistake (not the first, nor the last in that catalog and those that followed it in subsequent model years). The error went uncorrected until the spring was no longer serviced in the late '40s or early '50s.



My advice is to order two prints, one for the assembly, B-5310, and another for B-5314, the #1 leaf. With those I believe that you will have everything that you need to duplicate the original spring locally.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:35 AM   #17
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

I see now that I my reply did not get through. Thanks for the info, David.

Greetings, Dick
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:56 AM   #18
Kraton
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Quick update. I have found out that the left perch is bent. The top end has a tighter curve than the right one. This is the cause of the brake actuator sagging. I am now looking for a new spring perch. Are the reproductions any good or should I try to find an original one?

In addition to this I found a reinforcement plate inside of the front crossmember just above the front spring. Upon removing and cleaning I noticed cracks in the front crossmember. Never a dull moment. The cracks appear to be tight so the reinforcement plate seems to work. I know this car since 1990 and I am sure the plate was in it before that time.
I will try to find a replacement crossmember but in the mean time I will reuse the reinforcement plate. I have a question though. The crossmember is riveted in. Is it possible to bolt in a replacement because I don’t see myself fooling around with hot bits of metal.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Model B front end question

Dick
I have a very saggy front spring on my 32 Tudor (V8), and have had it in the back of my mind to find/make a new spring.
I have had springs re-set on other old cars I have owned, but found they all too soon regress to their old saggy form. Even though the steel is re-tempered during the process, it never seems to have its original strength.

Like you, I baulk at the cost of having one sent from the US, as I am in the UK, and I have not spent any time trying to find an original spring over here that is in better condition.
If I go down the route of having one made, I would be grateful if you would share any design information. Bearing in mind you are the other side of the Channel, I dont suppose there would be any saving in having 2 done by the same spring maker either.
I do know of a good spring maker over here, who I could approach for a quote.
Regards Tom.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:28 AM   #20
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Default Re: Model B front end question

its forged---straighten it
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