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Old 11-21-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
Lopez Mike
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Default Weird front spring

A friend gave me a front and rear axle (model A). They came out from under a coupe (don't ask!). Complete with radius rods and springs.

The front spring is something I've not seen before. It has ten leaves and the leaves are grooved lengthwise such that they nest into each other. This is not wear. They were made that way.

It looks like it would support just about any weight. AA? Must have made the coupe ride like a Bulldog Mack.

I have a vague recollection of seeing something like this on a later model Ford.

Inspirations?
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Weird front spring

hmm got a pic? AA's in 28/29 had a leaf the same width and # of leafs as an A but each leaf thickness was much thicker.

they also had an 18 leaf pack for the 29 AA's.

their pretty basic in design, flat leafs that are arched and the corners cut off except the leaf that had the holes for the spring clamps to sit in.

30/31 AA's would not fit on a car as they went to a wider spring (which means wider shackles and perches)
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Weird front spring

These are normal width and thickness as far as I can tell. I'll measure and take a picture tomorrow. But the really odd things are these longitudinal grooves. By longitudinal I mean from one side of the car to the other. If the spring is, say, two inches wide (picking a number here) the grooves are about three quarters of an inch wide and an eighth of an inch deep. Female on top and male on the bottom of each leaf. The leaves nest into each other such that there isn't a chance of them getting out of line. Probably wouldn't really need the clamps. They were extruded that way. Or stamped.

I was looking for a replacement spring for my 30 Town Sedan as it is resting on the axle and I'm not sure new shackles will save it. This looks like it will be at least twice too stiff. Maybe I can change the stack by leaving our a few. But if it is a rare bird I'd rather it go where it is needed.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Weird front spring

In the 50's Chevrolet used Grooved Springs in the Corvette. Jeep did too in the early CJ series. Maybe someone "built" a spring pack somewhere along the line. Is the Main Spring grooved or just the arches?

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Old 11-22-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I've seen them quite frequently in early jeeps as well.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I'm surprised at this crowd. I was sure someone would know what they were!

I took some pictures. Now I'll have to deduce how to post them on here. The groves run full length even around the eye.

I hope I can use them or trade for a proper spring for my car as I just looked again under there and the frame is resting on the spring. Sad.

I'll post the pics in a few minutes as soon as I figure it out.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Weird front spring

Here are some pictures:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN1420.jpg (355.9 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1421.jpg (383.9 KB, 138 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1422.jpg (386.0 KB, 131 views)
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Weird front spring

Well, like was already said. They are not uncommon, but not model A.
Willys MB, CJ2A, CJ3A, Military M38 and CJ3B all used them. The military version used 10 spring pack.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I'm surprised that they would fit between the perches on an A. Something new to me. I'll see if anyone else comes up with an idea.

I suspect I will have to remove some leaves to use this spring on my Town Sedan. Funny to go from way down in the front to way up. Looks like a hot rod now and rides like an ox cart.

Now I need some numbers for axle to frame distance in the front in order to get things right.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Weird front spring

What is the distance eye to eye and the width?
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I'm out of town tonight but I'll take some measurements tomorrow or Sunday.
It fits on a stock A front axle so it can't be too far from stock numbers. Just hell for stout.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Weird front spring

Measure in a straight line eye to eye as if you had a taught string on it, not along the spring itself.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I have a willys cj2a and I may be able to compare those lengths, as for the inside diameter of the eye, I hadn't thought of it before .
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I remember having a model T with a front spring that looked like that. I'm sure it was an after market spring of some kind.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #15
Lopez Mike
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Default Re: Weird front spring

The center of eye to center of eye spring length is 30 5/8".

I don't mind having these groves in the front spring if I use it under my town sedan but it will be a hassle to experiment on how many leaves to use. Time for some research, again.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Weird front spring

The Jeep connection may not be that far off. The original Ford-built prototypes for the US Army Jeep utilized a Model-A transmission and possibly a few other Model-A bits. Supposedly, the revised specs called for a synchromesh unit so the older transmission design was dropped, although I think the Model A tranny was far more durable than what ended up in the WWII era Jeeps. I have a cluster gear that was given to me by a vintage Jeep restorer. It was tagged "FORD GPW A7100".
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #17
Lopez Mike
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Default Re: Weird front spring

According to the various on-line catalogs, the length is right for my car. I guess I'll ease this one apart and start seeing what is worn out or busted.

Unless someone really wants this one and will trade me for a stock looking spring!
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #18
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Default Re: Weird front spring

I would say it was a replacement spring that was made up some here in the past. Or as mentioned it was from another car but it fit, so it was used. During the Depression of 29 people used what they could get. I remember my Dad talking about running a Graham on 5 cylinders because he couldn't get a piston and rings. Removed the piston and pushrods and drove a block of wood in the cylinder!!!

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Old 11-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: Weird front spring

Thanks for all the notions and ideas. My current plans (highly mutable!) are to make a drawing, including tracings of the spring as it is and of each leaf after disassembly. Then electrolytically strip, smooth up, lube and reassemble.

Then swap out with the collapsed one see how the car sets for height.

If all is well, I can use my drawings and measurements to re arch the old one.

I've never seen one as collapsed as this old one on the car. The eyes are resting on the axle. Part of this is due to the worst shackles I've seen that haven't actually fallen off. The frame is resting on the spring out near the ends of the spring. You would have to drive it to truly appreciate how rough it can be.

The effects of this on the steering and handling are startling. I had to drive it home from the ferry landing ten miles in the dark. I once raced a 180 m.p.h. motorcycle at the Isle of Man in light rain and this was more frightening. Evil!

As a friend of mine once said just before the start of a race where he had to win, "Wish me luck! I love Gardenias!".
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