why is the car lop sided looking at it from the front? The floor is true. The rear is level. The rear sills are level. The front sills or door ledge is off half way, but the front cross member as way off! I did have the front cross member heated and banged on to straighten it, but this looks like a horizontal bend not a cross member bend??? Thanks for your help Bob
Both T's I have owned were lopsided like yours, to some extent. Yours is excessively so.
There are two possible reasons:
One, either the front or rear spring (or both) could be mis-aligned. There is a hole in the middle of the spring leaf, that should engage a bolt head through the frame. Often the bolt heads shear off.
Two, the spring could simply be 'tired' on that side. After all, it is probable that most of the time the load is off-center, especially since there is ALWAYS a driver, but not necessarily any other load.
My suggestion would be, since your car is obviously under work, remove the nuts from the U-bolts on either side of the crank, and lift the front of the car off the spring. Check the engagement of the spring with the bolt. Also check the rear spring for the same problem.
Actually, before you do that, take a measuring tape and compare the distance from the center of the crank to the bolt through the end of the spring, on both sides. I believe you'll find those measurements are different - and they should be the same.
By the way, what's with the discoloration of the front piece? It looks like maybe it was in a wreck, and it was heated and bent straight. It's hard to tell, but the right side almost looks like a piece was added to it. That would explain a lot.
For future reference, please let us know what you find.
Looks like your driver's side clamp is tighter than your passenger side clamp on the front cross member.
Make sure the spring bolt is properly seated in the hole in the front cross member so the cross member is centered on the spring. Also, is the leather pad properly installed on top of the spring?
Either the front end of the channel frame is racked. Or the front spring center bolt isn't in the frame cross member.
A measure to see if each distance from spring perch to crank would tell if the spring is off center. Otherwise you have a racked frame that needs to be straightened.
Did you install the correct leather spring pad? It should have square leather pads glued or riveted to the ends.
Leather pad? Where does it go. Under each leaf or only the top one or two? I'll call a vender. Thanks.
I fear it might be 'racked if I understand you correctly Dan.
Peter, the front cross member was heated to reshape it a little because the leafs were torqued a little. I did not like how the leafs lined up with the wheels when looking from driver side across the car.
I will measure the distances soon.
IF I measured correctly, all measurements are close enough. I did not loosen the leaf bolt clamps and lift the care so I do not know that measurement.
The front spring clamp looks like it is unevenly tightened down. I had that on the rear of my car and it made a big difference. Easy to fix too. Do make sure the bolt head is in the hole and the pad is in place. If all components are correctly shaped, this should be an easy fix.
Front Spring Pad:
Rear Spring Pad:
Ok, so I will take off the radiator and re-tighten the engine front bolts and simply take apart and put back together with leather pads and see what happens.
I just measured the top right rivet on the cross member to the top of the axle. There is a one inch difference with the right being lower.
Check to see if the center spring bolt (square head) is in the front cross member hole all the way and is lined up correctly before tightening. If not what you have is possible.
Erich has posted the drawing of the correct pad. It goes between the spring and the front crossmember. Notice how it's thicker at the ends. This is to prevent the frame from canting to either side. If this isn't installed, you will not only lose the necessary cushion but will be dependent solely on the u-bolts' clamping to hold the correct position. Hit a pothole just so, and the frame can shift completely.
Is the floor level??
Do I understand correctly, the pad does not go between the leaf springs, it goes behind the front of the u-channel of the cross member? I see the rivets on the diagram. I do not recall seeing rivet holes in the 1912 frame, but I will check.
The pad goes on top of the spring, the frame sits in it.
Look at the photo of the spring crossmember clamp. One side is tightened down more than the other.
If the photo is taken directly in line with the center line of the car then a person should be able to scale directly off the photo.
This is what I scaled:
This would indicate that the spring pin is not in the frame hole.
If the spring is lopsided a possible solution may be to reverse the spring or install a custom made spring pad. A spring pad can easily be made out of some heavy rubber belting.
As Ken and Jim pointed out in picture: get bolt centered in hole and then tighten the spring clamps evenly and you should be good to go.
Good idea Jim to reverse the spring. I will do that after I put the pads in. Thank you both for the arrows and explanation. I will not get back to the car till next week.
I hope you guys are right because I'd swear that frame is twisted but the spring/pad business comes first. Good Luck Bob.
Like I said, it made a big difference on mine not having the spring mount bolts even from side to side. Hope that is all it is.
The incorrectly installed spring is causing the frame to twist. Install the spring correctly and all is fixed.
From the photos, the main problem appears to be that the spring U-bolts are not tightened evenly. Probably an easy fix. The front cross member may or may not be exactly as it should be? However, the main thin is the U-bolts. Looking at the spring/engine clamp/mount, the bottom of it should be parallel to the bottom of the axle if the U-bolts are tightened evenly. It clearly is not. Something that will mess you up and confuse things is that there are several variations of those U-bolts. Some are longer than others because the later springs were a bit thicker than the earlier springs. That along with other variations means you need to measure and compare the two (side to side as well as front to back) to make sure the spring is pulled in square to the frame. It is very easy to get it wrong. More difficult, but not too hard, to get it right.
Do also check the center bolt and pad.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
To add some more Robert, jack/block the frame, and do remove both the front spring clamp-engine U-Bolts. There is some effort to do, as the center top of the spring needs to be viewed to be sure the square head of the spring center bolt is aligned to go into the square hole in the front cross member.
That is what keeps the chassis square to the springs. The bolt head must fit square up into the cross member square hole. If that is good, then place the front spring pad on top of the spring, with the center hole of the pad over the bolt head. Then assemble the U-bolts and tighten it all back up to stay centered.
Im not sure if this has been said, but make sure that the spring pad is all there. I had one that was missing on one side and caused lean.
When I picked up my 16 a couple of years ago I was standing back looking at it from the front and noticed the same condition. The front spring was misaligned from the index hole by an inch or so.
My g'pa drove it like this for years and I imagine the previous owner did too.
I ordered leather pads today for front and back and hopefully will do as suggested next weekend. I will report with pictures!
I think you are partly right. At 4.47 Robert tells us that he heated the front cross member and reshaped it. You can see where the paint has been burnt off.
However the main reason for the tilt certainly looks like the head of the square bolt is not engaged in the square hole in the cross member.
Kens first blown up picture says it all to me. Look at the lower spring leaf on the passenger side in relationship to the lower spring leaf on the driver side. Either the center spring bolt is not centered in the cross member hole, as indicated by the clamp bolt differences,or the front cross member has been seriously misshapen from all the blacksmithing.
I'm somewhat doubtful that Bobs problems will be solved by just installing a new leather pad... but I have been wrong once or twice.
Wayne S., I checked the front spring u bolts / clamps and found that they are two different year u bolts. That is why it appears as if one is not tightened all the way. Good call though.
In Ken's 6:34pm closeup view of the front, look at how the passenger side bottom spring leaf protrudes below the crossmember and is visible up to the clamp while, on the driver's side, the bottom of the spring leaf disappears up into the crossmember a full inch from the clamp. A sure indication that the spring is misaligned. I would guess that the center spring bolt head is to the left (from the front of the car as you are viewing the photo) of the crossmember hole and needs to be loosened and moved to the right (towards the driver's side) until it slips into the crossmember hole. Jim Patrick
Robert, are you SURE that the bolts are different lengths? From the picture that Ken posted at 6:34 on the 18th, they sure look to be the same, or nearly so, from here. Dave
You guys are definitely right or getting close!
I took the clamps off that hold the leaf in the cross member channel. As soon as I did, nothing happened, BUT a gentle lift of the left (driver side) head lamp bracket support and the car leveled right out!
So it probably was that the clamps were unevenly tightened down.
The pictures shows the worn threads. I thought I would take them to a machine shop to re-thread all the way to the base.
I ordered leather pads and when they come in and I put it back together and will report - with pictures. Thank you very much!
The picture shows the threads so worn that at a quick glance I thought I had two different sizes!
I've noticed some of the new spring center bolts have a head that is too thin, and will almost not fit into the front crossmember. A vendor should have a look at this problem and correct it.
Robert, check your rear spring clamps for the same issue - you may need to adjust how they are tightened in order to get the car completely level.