Good morning all.
I'm hoping to find some suggestions for my dad who has a 1924 Model T Depot Hack. He had a problem with his rear spring (car leaning to the left) so he replaced it with another spring and has the same issue.
Friends in his car club are dumbfounded, because the bolt is thru the center of the spring, as it should be.
Has anyone here dealt with the same issue? If so, what did you do to remedy it? Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
First to check is that there is the correct leather pad between the spring and the rear cross member and that it is the same thickness on both sides.
Then, make sure that the 2 big clamps on either side of that center bolt are tightened evenly and that they're the same length. It's really easy to tighten one more than the other and that will make any T tilt to one side with a quickness.
Posting some pictures would really help the forum diagnose your problem. Last but not least is if you have done all of those things and you still haven't fixed the issue, it may be time to start checking to see if the frame is bent somewhere, but I'd check that last.
Losen the ubolts which attach the spring to frame. Re tighten them tightening the passenger side first. Once the passenger side is tight check to see if and how the car is leaning. Adjust as necessary and tighten the left side of the ubolts.
Turn the spring around and see if car leans other way. Take apart and see if all the leaves have same curvature. Sounds like something is sprung. Might check front spring while you are at it.
Are you sure it's the rear spring?
If it still leans when jacked under the dead centre of the front axle, it is the rear spring. if not, then it's the front.
Thanks, everyone, for the input. As requested, here's a photo.
It appears that your spring to frame shackles are not in the correct places. They do not appear to be equidistant from the center spring bolt.
Hey Chris, your photo makes it look like the center bolt through the spring is not going through the center of the cross member. The bolt should have a square head and be pretty tall, it should go through a matching square hole in the cross member. Make sure that cross member hole isn't wallowed out.
Also, your U clamps are not on evenly and the accessory shock absorber arms look like they aren't quite even either. I'd make sure that the shackles that attach to the springs are not too tight and that they can move freely. Disconnect those shock absorber springs for now and with the U clamps loose get the body to sit straight. Then hook up your shock absorber springs and make sure that they aren't the reason the body is pulling to one side or the other. Then I'd make sure the U clamps are evenly matched and start tightening them down, do one a little then the other a little to match, keep going that way until you get them tightened up.
Could we see the left side behind the wheel? The license plate is blocking it in this pic.
I just looked and I don't have a photo where the left side isn't blocked by the license plate. I took these as an after thought and thought I'd find a Model T forum and could get my dad some feedback.
The weird thing is, it's been level for years without an issue. I'm thinking that maybe something has worn and is causing the issue.
Unfortunately, he lives about 3 hours south of me and is definitely not "computer savy", so he'll never get on the internet. Lol.
I'm going to send him this post and hopefully it will help him figure out the issue.
Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it.
Chris : [ because the bolt is thru the center of the spring ] But is the bolt also thru the center of the Cross member ??
You can't be sure from the picture, but the bolt appears to be centered properly. The U-bolts are another story. The right one is much too close to center. I suspect that getting them both positioned properly and tightened equally will fix your problem.
No problem Chris - I think Steve is right (he usually is). Let us know if your dad get's it straightened out!
Thanks a lot, guys. Appreciate the help!
The underside of the spring u-bolt should also have a small round lug projecting out that locates it in a corresponding hole in the frame.
Isn't it amazing that it took seven posts after mine to come to the conclusion that I stated?
What Steve said:
It should fit the hole in the frame.
William, An old physician friend of mine was taught a phrase in medical school... "When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras".
Your suggestion just wasn't sexy enough I guess but, Knowledge + experience = wisdom.
Yeah, I guess so. I realize there are people on here who've owned T's longer than me, but I suppose my owning a T for 16 plus having rebuilt it from the ground up practically by myself with no automotive training what so ever is nothing.
From now on, I will keep my mouth shut, even if I know the answer.
William I don't think anyone was ignoring you. I'm sorry I didn't say "What William said" but you were definitely right a lot sooner.
You were right (I think), so why clam up?
Don't fret over it William. Some on this forum will post the same answer so they can see their name on the screen. And it's always the same people. Perhaps they have a hard time reading.
I'm not gonna clam up. I just said that to see my name LOL
One might also surmise that because the photo posted above by Chris is not exactly centered from the rear, several other possible explanations were provided by other contributors - "chill" William.
What you described as "spring to frame shackles" are actually named "rear spring clip"- #3833 or #3833-B - not that it matters ;>)!
No, I will not "chill". Thanks, anyway.
Does it really matter what they are called, since a number of people on here do not call parts by the correct name? Now you're just being petty....pretty sure everyone knows just what I was talking about.
Now to lay down before the migraine I have causes me to use a silver bullet to kill it.
No,William wait, this whole silver bullet thing shouldn't be abandoned to fast. It sounds like a good way to cure a case of anal pain and suffering.
A closer look at the photo and counting leaves from the largest to the smallest, shows number 7 sticking out from under the frame on the right side, but no showing on the left. Looks like that is causing the leaning.
I suspect the bolt is centered just fine. The distance from it to the ends of the cross member is the same on both sides. I expect the misplaced clip(s) will prove to be the problem, as Jim's arrows show. That probably accounts for #7 showing on the right side as Tim noted.
Have someone with some heft sit in the passenger side seat while re-fastening the spring!
Remember the rear spring pad between the spring and the cross member.
Make one yourself out of leather or at least use a rubber substitute from the vendors - without anything you'll have problems.
See Steve's drawing in this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/426081.html?1393104241
From the marks on the crossmember it looks like the right side U-bolt has moved around a little. I wonder if the little peg on the inside just missed its locating hole on reassembly or if it's missing entirely and for lack of any means of retention that's where the U-bolt wants to be.
I agree with you'e assessment of leaf 7, could it be that #7 is broken and the left (in picture) half is missing causing the lean and loose U bolt movement?
Leaf #7 could just be hiding behind the cross member due to the lean also.
This is probably not the problem but a bent oil pan can put a lean on a car also. Had this problem years ago with my brother's hack. Pan out, no lean. Pan in, lean showed up. We fixed the problem and the lean went away.
I experienced a rear spring when removed, the top piece was cracked in half, the piece is very short and under considerable strain it is conceivable that the top piece has cracked in half and has separated from the vehicle therefore that could account for the 7 on one side and 6 on the other.
Even if you do everything "correctly" the frame may not be level when you are finished.
If this is the case, I believe there is a service bulletin that suggests adding leather shims to the offending side. This is in addition to the existing factory leather pad.
Chris. after you get the U-bolt fixed you may have the problem I had with my hack. The hack body is heavier and extends further to the rear than any other body. This tends to cause the body to be lower in the rear like it has a load in it and when you do have passengers it really gets lower. I finally fixed it by having the springs re-arched and then adding another short leaf. This leaf hides in the cross member so you don't see it. Mine is pretty level now and maybe a little high but looks so much better especially when carrying a passenger or two. We have a truck garage near that does the re-arching on big rigs.
Any answers on this problem, just wondering.