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Old 02-08-2014, 05:49 PM   #1
Heard
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Default Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

I've read a bunch of posts about spring spreaders. I tried to use Old Henry's idea of leaving the suspension hanging and using a bottle jack to relieve tension so I could take the shackles off. I couldn't make that work at all so I just pulled the whole thing out intact. Will the all thread through the center hole work now or not? I'm having a hard time visualizing how this will relieve the tension.

I'm sure there will be opinions about how to proceed...and I'm interested in hearing them. BTW, I apparently have 2 different axles in there as the nuts holding the hubs on are 2 different sizes. Also, the hubs were not torqued anywhere near the 200 ft. lbs I've read about. They pretty much just popped right off without any special effort.

Here is what I have now. It is completely free of the chassis, I just didn't have the room to move it anywhere so I slid it back under the car.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:56 PM   #2
Bassman/NZ
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

All thread and good G clamps will do fine.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Curious, what's your plan? Rebuilding the rear axle assembly?
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

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Curious, what's your plan? Rebuilding the rear axle assembly?
Yes. I want to put 3.54 gears in there. This is just part of my project that started out as a leaking master cylinder and crappy brakes.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Heard i used a car bumper jack. I am not recommending it, but i did do it and it worked. I could have gotten killed to. Desperate men do desperate things.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

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Originally Posted by Heard View Post
Will the all thread through the center hole work now or not? I'm having a hard time visualizing how this will relieve the tension.

Once you use the "C" clamps and all-thread to remove the loose spring leaves, you can manipulate the remaining main leaf with your hands.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

You are right about getting different opinions on this one. All-Thread has very little tensile strength and as such will not bend too far without failing.
Being a retired tool & die maker, I would hope I have a better understanding than many in regard to various metals, what they are designed for and when NOT to use them. Yeah, All-Thread has worked for some. However, do you want to be the guy that it doesn't work for?
Do yourself and your family a favor - round up a spring spreader.

The fact that both axle nuts came off with little effort tells me you'd be wise to check those axles very carefully for cracks (developing) before reinstalling them. I'd hate to see you go though all of this work only to have one or both fail in the future.
More often than not, those nuts, not being properly tightened set up the process of axle failure.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

c clamps and a center bolt will work fine, dont use c clamps from harbor frieght, the metal in them can be questionable, buy a long center bolt stack the springs and tighten them with the clamps and the center bolt at the same time, when done just cut off the exta length from the center bolt, as was said, the main leaf can be installed by hand, then stack the rest and tighten
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

OK, Heard, since you proceeded to plan B out of turn,you can no longer use Old Henry's method even if you did understand it. Now you can either get a spring spreader or a Porta-Power, or use the long all-thread as described above. That method entails the use of large C clamps to hold the leaves together, then to remove the center bolt and replace it with the allthread. Keeping the C clamps now only for safety, unscrew the nut from the allthread to relieve pressure from the leaves.

On your axles, if the housings match, the axles match. I suppose it would be possible to mismatch housings, like to use a '42-'48 with a '41 on the other side, but for no good reason I can think of other than some racing application.

You wanna go with a 3.54, do you know what's in there now? Looks like a recent build from the picture, you might be surprised what you find.


With respect to Kube's post, he is referring to the use of allthread as a home made spring spreader. What I and I believe the rest of us mean is t use allthread as a means to dismantle the spring pak.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

...here's a little snippet that "Pete" posted yesterday in another thread on disc brakes...

"More will spend a lot of time trying to convince you that you should do it their way. Most of the info these people offer is usually useless."

....most of the above replies go a long way towards proving Pete's point ( except for Kube)....get yourself a decent spring spreader if you value your limbs. There is an astounding amount of stored energy in a back spring , don't make the mistake of taking poor advice and then finding out the hard way that,yes,you do need one!
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

To use the all thread method:

Put c-clamps on both sides of the center bolt
Remove center bolt
Put all thread in center bolt hole with nuts on both sides (flat washers under the nuts make them go easier). Tighten nuts.
Remove clamps
Loosen one nut on all thread until all tension is off the leaves
Remove leaves
You can now remove main leaf by hand

To put spring back together:
First put main leaf on
Put other leaves on in order
Put all thread ( with a nut on one side of leaf package) in center hole, lining up the leafs.
Put nut on other side of leaf package and tighten until fully compressed
Put c-clamps on both sides of all thread.
Remove all-thread and insert center bolt
Tighten to spec.
Remove clamps.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Ok so you dont come up with a new handlebar name of Toothless this is the simplest way to remove your spring without a spring spreader. Take two heavy duty Clamps and clamp them on each side of the spring stack about 1" off the spring center bolt. With the springs clamped tightly, loosen the center bolt and remove the nut leaving the center bolt in place. Now slowly release the clamping pressure on the spring by alternately loosing the "c"clamps 1 to 2 turns at a time. When the stack tension is released you can then undo the spring shackle nuts and place a little body weight on the main leaf to relieve tension and pop off the spring shackle bars freeing up the spring. To reinstall the spring, reverse the process, stack the leafs in order on the center bolt and position the pack over the center bolt main leaf hole and draw the spring leaf back down tight with the "c" clamps and tighten the center bolt nut.

Backyard mechanics 101... You can make a simple spring spreader out of 1 1/2" water pipe about 2.5' long and 1" threaded rod about 2' long that will fit inside the pipe, a couple nuts and washers. Smash one the end of the pipe down to a V and taper grind the threaded rod down to a deep taper V point. Run the nut down to the V point on the threaded rod and place 2 flat washers on the side of the nut with the longest threads. Slide the threaded rod inside the pipe and adjust the nut to spread the threaded section to the span of the spring, holding the pipe in place rotate the nut to expand the spread of the threaded rod until you can easily clamp the shackle bars in position.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Heard,
I just did a fast check on eBay and there is one advertised for $129 or best offer. Looks pretty beefy and the seller has sold 80 of them. He has 100% feedback.

You may want to ask him a few questions about his product if you are interested. I am glad you understand the danger.

Bud
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Model-A...b003b0&vxp=mtr
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Basically I follow Dick's first paragraph ^ but with one difference. I apply clamps as he does, but then push out the center bolt and replace it with a length of drill rod, or even plain round stock. Same for assembly, I use the drill rod and my C-clamps are 8" and stout. Always works fine and safely.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

I've got a homemade spreader ( built as Dick describes) that gets passed around locally. Actually, we have lost track who really owns it but it lives in the corner of my shop....

Are you using a 10 spline pinion set? I put a really nice used set of 3.54s Six spline in my 35 coupe from a 46 Ford rear. I used a 39 driveshaft to avoid the usual problems.
I don't know your car but tha 3.54 pulls kind of hard with a stock mill...
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

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Heard i used a car bumper jack. I am not recommending it, but i did do it and it worked. I could have gotten killed to. Desperate men do desperate things.
Marv, you cracked me up with that. I'm not sure what to say.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

Dang it, Alan. I did move to plan B. It wasn't my plan B though...I think someone else recommended that in another thread featuring my inexperience.

Seriously, thanks for all the input on this. I'm very appreciative. I'll let you know how I proceed. Having a spring spreader sounds appealing in some regards since I have a few of these springs I want to work on. So I might buy that one on ebay. But I may try the all thread method first with extra safety clamps.

Stay tuned....more questions to follow.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

dont use all thread, its not strong enough to be safe, get a long center bolt, get a center bolt an inch longer than the uncompressed spring, the center bolt keeps the spring in position and you dont have to install it when the spring is fully compressed, and please dont use cheap c clamps
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

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dont use all thread, its not strong enough to be safe, get a long center bolt, get a center bolt an inch longer than the uncompressed spring
Well...while I might agree with you...you are going to have to tell me how long that should be, cause I've never seen this particular spring uncompressed.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Do I really have to find a spring spreader?

lol i wish i could, but you will know how long when you disasemble the spring
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