My 1915 roadster has the wrong (later) rear spring. A trailer load of parts I bought at an auction happened to include a tapered rear spring that looked like just the thing. But it had nine leaves and the book said it should have eight. Easy enough to fix, I thought. Just remove a duplicate leaf. (Two were the same length.)
So that's what I did. I made new clips and bought a new bolt, and thought all was fine.
The bolt Bob sent me is NOS.
But it looks like the bolt is for a nine-leaf spring. The threaded part doesn't quite reach the spring.
Did Ford make some nine-leaf springs that aren't mentioned in the Encyclopedia? Or is it in there and I missed it? I'm wondering now if I should put that extra leaf back in the spring.
With Fords often times one question will lead to others. A good way to check on changes to parts is to look up the part in the encyclopedia. The main page at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/index.htm doesn't display the parts until I scroll down a little and then many of them are listed. Such as springs. But many are not listed but are still listed under the alphabet listing.
The question you asked – “Did Ford produce a 9 leaf rear spring” the answer is yes. Starting in 1922 they added another leaf to the spring used in the sedan (and also later that same spring was used for the roadster pickup. See:
http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#spring and the entries for 1922 and later.
All taper-leaf. 7 leaves in the front. 8 leaves in the rear, except for the 1911 Torpedo which used 7. Several types appeared. In one the spring clip was riveted to the leaf, with the bolt running under the spring. On another, the leaf was curled upwards and the clip bolt passed through the curl above the spring. Still another used a separate clip assembly.
Spring perch bushings were “X” bronze from 1909 to about 1912; seamed brass or bronze tubing from late 1911 to mid-1914; and steel from 1914 to 1927. The 1/4” oil hole was added in 1915.
FRONT: Springs slowly changed to non-taper design beginning in late 1915 or 1916 on some production. This was a 6-leaf, non-tapered type until late 1917 when a seventh leaf was added. Main leaf not drilled for oilers until 1917 (approximately).
REAR: 8-leaf tapered.
FRONT:7-leaf non-tapered. Main leaf drilled for oilers.
REAR: 8-leaf, non-tapered, with main leaf drilled for oilers.
FRONT: Same as 1921.
REAR: Same as 1921 plus 9-leaf spring added for the Sedans.
FRONT: Same as 1921
REAR: Same as 1922 but 6-leaf spring added for the Runabouts. 1925 Pickups supplied by the factory used the 9-leaf spring.
FRONT: New 8-leaf spring used on all cars.
REAR: 8-leaf spring for all cars except the Sedans that used a 9-leaf, both the same as used in 1925. The 6-leaf was discontinued.
So the NOS bolt could easily be for one of those springs.
Now – you did not ask – but the 9 leaf spring that you have – is it tapered or clip leaf? I believe from the photo it is the clip leaf style. If you wanted to go with the tapered style rear spring, there is a good chance you could trade out your nicely restored 9 leaf clip spring for and earlier 8 leaf tapered spring. Ok you probably would need to restore the 8 leaf tapered spring. But while you have it apart now might be the easiest time to trade it out.
And cutting a few more threads on the NOS bolt and for cosmetics – making it a little shorter and it should work fine with the 8 leaf rear spring.
Thanks for all your postings -- they add a lot to forum.
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Yes, it's tapered. It has the curled leaf ends for spring clip bolts. That's what has me puzzled. There's no mention of it that I could find.
It seems the NOS bolt is what is causing the question. Is it possible the NOS bolt you have is for a later 9 leaf. Also, was there a shorter tie bolt used for the 8 leaf or even a shorter one for the 7 leaf mentioned above.
Steve, do you still have the old, broken bolt? If you do, can you compare the unthreaded shank lengths of the two bolts?
As I mentioned in your earlier thread, there is a note in my 1925 price list book that says roadsters with six leaf rear springs use bolt part number 3838B, but it lists the applicable years as 1924-25.
Unlike most other parts where the base number stays the same as parts evolve…this bolt was T 2337 at 2-15/16” long for most all the early years and then T2338 at 3-1/4” long for the 9 leaf set from 22-27. (3838B for 6 leaf)
The wide track spring for some reason used a different bolt…3852 and that one was 3-9/32 long (which were all 8 leaf, I think ?????).
Put the head of the bolt in a vice and run a die on it to make more threads and move on to the next project!
The Price List of Parts information I have agrees with the length of the bolts you mentioned, but the part numbers and also when they were used are not the same for some reason. If you have a chance please let me know your source (Price List of Parts date or drawing date or other etc.).
Note Bruce in his Price List of Parts CD has:
[You can still let Santa know you would like a copy of Bruce's CD that includes the Price List of Parts, Model T Comprehensive Encyclopedia and several other items. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 ]
Ref your question, “Have I found a mistake in the Encyclopedia?” and “Did Ford make some nine-leaf [taper leaf] springs that aren't mentioned in the Encyclopedia? Or is it in there and I missed it? I'm wondering now if I should put that extra leaf back in the spring.”
If you are primarily interested in a safe good driving Ford, it doesn’t matter – 8 or 9 would work with 8 being more appropriate for your 1915 touring car.
If you are also interested in putting the car back together as close to the way it was originally produced as you can make it, then please continue reading the rest of the answer.
Bruce would have welcomed any correction or question about the Encyclopedia. He wanted to provide the best available information and he freely admitted that additional information would probably found in the future. From: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/intro.htm Bruce shared: “The information presented here should not be considered the last word on the subject. Just as the previous books have superseded each other, this too is destined for obsolescence.” He clearly understood that there is more to be discovered.
Additionally in that same paragraph Bruce shared, “It is also extremely important to remember that all Fords of a given year were not exactly the same. Modifications were made at the factory at Highland Park that were not necessarily made on cars assembled at the branches, and vise-versa. Even cars made at the same plant could (and did) vary from one to the next. Variations in the design of various components of the car, due to the varying suppliers of some of the parts, must also be considered. Keep in mind a comment made by a restorer some years ago: “How can we restore these things correctly when Ford never made them correctly?” ”
So if you did find something to document a 9 leaf tapered rear spring we could keep an eye out for other occurrences. And note, we know there are areas that Bruce updated in his CD version that to my knowledge have not been corrected in the printed book. And there have been additional areas noted that need correction even in the updated CD version. None of those are bad references – they are great. But none of them are perfect either. I believe Bruce would want the information brought to light in the case of errors or omissions etc. And his book and CDs are still excellent references but they are guides even as the MTFCI Judging Guidelines are a guide. In Bruce’s work there are areas where one section is in conflict with what is said in another area. Or an area where the original parts book appears to have printed the information incorrectly and that error from the original parts book was faithfully reproduced in Bruce’s work. Bruce has inspired several of us to continue looking for ways to improve the information and documentation he and others have previously gathered about our cars. And I’m very optimistic that over the next 5 years we will have even more information and more accurate information than we have today.
So back to your 9 leaf taper leaf rear spring. Was it ever offered by Ford USA? I don’t think so. Rationale: Looking at Bruce’s Encyclopedia he specifically limits the taper leaf rear springs to 8 leaf version only. He does not mention a 9 leaf version until the introduction of the 9 leaf used on the sedans starting in 1922 and those were a clip leaf style. This is also the same information in the Price List of Parts which first shows the 9 leaf rear spring in the Dec 1922 catalog for the 1922 Sedans. It is also stated (or implied depending on how you read it) on page 36 of Gail Rodda’s “Model T Ford Parts Identification Guide” vol 1. Note also that in the Price List of Parts – the different spring leafs may be ordered. And there was never a 9th leaf for the tapered leaf rear spring listed. Also the leaves for the 8 leaf clipped style and the 9 leaf clipped style springs were different – i.e. different part number for the main spring, second leaf, third leaf (also different for the 6 leaf roadster rear spring), fourth leaf listed an 8, 9, and 6 leaf version; fifth listed an 8, 9, and 6 leaf version; sixth listed an 8, 9, and 6 leaf version; seventh listed an 8 and 9 leaf version; eighth listed an 8 and 9 leaf version, and ninth was only listed for the 9 leaf version. Note that NONE of the leaves in a single spring were the same – they were all different. Note that only in the 6 leaf roadster rear spring were the first two leaves the same as one of the other springs. That leads me to believe that it is most likely you had someone who added two of the same spring leaves to the spring you were rebuilding rather than Ford did that. Based on the other springs, I believe “if” Ford had offered a 9 spring taper leaf spring it would most likely have had unique leaves also, like the later 1922 9 spring clip leaf spring had. And it would not have had two of the same part number leaves.
Note if the 9 leaf tapered leaf spring had been found under the Rip Van Winkle 1917 Model T rather than in your spare parts pile, then I would be encouraging folks to look in the archives for supporting information. That also happens i.e. John Regan was asked about the fossil evidence of the Pointy leaf FRONT springs and because of that evidence he looked in the archives for information about them and located references to them. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/43281.html?1198287177
Again thank you for posting the question.
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Just use the bolt! If it's short on threads, run a die over it. A lot of that NOS stuff today was factory rejects.
Hap and others....
Sorry on the part numbers, dyslexic old man who was looking into tire pumps at the same time
3838 is the 3-1/4...and 3837 as the 2-7/16 are the correct number.
I lean toward the theory that this bolt is for one of those later springs. I see more threads in its future.
Another reminder that the only time a Model T was correct is when it came off the assembly line. The next one in line might be one or two bolts off. And maybe more! The guys building T's on the assembly line would use what was available to keep the line moving.
I've got some of those bolts. I'll try to remember to measure some when I get home. BTW, I don't think Ford used that high head up to '27, in fact, I've only seen them on taper leaf springs.
That might be another item to add to the list for further investigation. From Bruce’s “Price List of Parts” comment above we know that Ford USA specified on Aug 4, 1910 to increase the height of the rear spring tie bolt head from 3/8 to 1/2 inch height. We do not have any other remarks noted after that – but your observation would indicate a lower head was used on many of bolts used on the later clip leaf rear springs. The part number 3837 remained unchanged and the factory number 1352 for the bolt was never changed to a “B” suffix. So while there could have been changes made to the bolt – they were considered minor. If someone has access to the Benson Ford Archives and looks up the Factory Number 1352 (for part number 3837) drawing and change card it may have a date when the thickness of the head was reduced. Additionally Ford may have accepted the lower head height if that became a standard size bolt head in the later years. I.e. Ford needed the bolt that did the job and may not have worried about an extra 1/8 inch one way or the other as long as the bolt fit and functioned well and was equal or lower in cost.
If anyone has additional information on the bolt head height – please let us know.
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P.S. My increased posting of some of the details the last few days is the result of a couple of things. First, we opened presents two days ago when our daughter was able to be with us. Santa was good to me – T books and no ties or handkerchiefs. Second, I’m off (not just mentally but from work for the Christmas holidays) and I’m having fun looking at T stuff. Third, I’m thinking about how we can better continue to capture information about the cars and make it readily available to folks? Again – some may only want to drive the cars and that’s great. A 1926-27 rear axle is under my 1922 speedster and I don’t worry much about what originally came on that chassis – it has been modified a little here and there and Ford would have voided the warranty on it anyway. But I am still very interested in discovering how the cars were originally produced. In the case of the 1928-1931 Model A Ford Foundation (USA – I’m not sure about the background on the Canadian one) and the Horseless Carriage Club Foundation both are more research, archival, etc. oriented rather than driving / touring / racing oriented. And both of them were formed as a separate organization for those who were interested in the research side of the hobby. Not a right or wrong – but for many of us it is more of an “and” approach. We like research “and” driving the Fords. Some of us support both the research organization as well as the original(s) driving/fixing parent organization such as the MAFCA and/or MARC as well as the HCCA. If you think that is a dumb idea or an idea that has some potential, please drop me a note. You can click on my name and my e-mail address is the third line down or you can use the Private Message feature – either should work. I would guess the majority of our club members and/or forum readers would not be that interested in the research side/information side of things. And that’s fine. But if you are interested in that sort of thing, I would appreciate knowing so I can stay in touch with you.
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Another item worth considering, is in later years Ford dropped the all leather spring pads, and used top material, with two thick leather pads at each end, which would not necessitate the use of a thicker head bolt. I used a thinner head bolt in my '25 9 leaf pickup, in fact it is the original bolt that was in the spring when I got it. Is it original, I don't know, but I assume it is, and with the LEATHER pad, it still went up into the square hole, but I don't remember how far. Perhaps that will help answer the high head question. But again, I don't recall ever seeing a high head bolt on a non taper leaf spring.