I always thought things were not right with the rear spring on my 1919 Runabout. It didn't look right and rode hard too. Yesterday, I had all day to compare mine with another Runabout beside me at a car show. His spring looked normal and compressed easily when pushing down on the car. I decided to remove my spring and found it to be a 9 leaf unit, way too much for a Runabout. From the top, leaves 3 and 4 are identical. Same with 5 and 6. For sure, I will remove one of each to make it a 7 leaf spring. I read that in 1923 to 1925, Ford changed to a 6 leaf spring for Runabouts only. Should I go 6 leaf for a cushy ride? Would I remove leaf 2 or one of the others? My top leaf has the name "Ford's" in raised letters and has "MATHERS" stamped on it. Was Mathers a Ford dealer perhaps in the north eastern U.S.? Thanks for any help with this. Dave.
I meant to say MATHER was stamped on it, not MATHERS.
I removed the two shortest leaves on my 25 roadster and replaced them with a thick rubber pad to make up the thickness so that the clamps would work. I also put a spacer of the same thickness under the head of the centering bolt and made the hole in the pad large enough to clear the spacer. In three years the spring has never bottomed out and the ride is great.
PS. I also used some tape bought from McMaster Carr between the leaves. No grease required and the spring flexes great.
I'll try to find a link to the tape if you would like.
Thanks Robert. So how many leaves do you have now? I did a search and found more info. Looks like the correct leaf count is 8 but some sources say 7. It's hard to believe Ford would change from 8 to 6 for Runabouts. I'm gonna try 7 leaves I think. What about the MATHER name stamped on my top leaf, anyone have a guess?
Producer of the spring.
Dave, if you remove the 5th leaf from the bottom, the stack will go together with less of a gap. I would then take out one of the next two and see how it goes together. One or the other may sit better in the completed spring.
I would not go down to 6 leaves. I did that on my speedster and it handled like a bucket of wet slops.
Hope this helps,
Allan from down under.
Thanks Michael and Allan. If you look at my second photo, you will see that I have two springs the same length and two more the same way. I will be removing one each from those areas to bring me to 7. Obviously the ride will be way better than with 9. 8 might be best with the rough roads of the day but not nowadays. I agree, 6 would be too risky.
One more thing, Michael, you're right about Mather being the maker of the spring. They were from Toledo Ohio and are still in business today. http://www.newmathermetals.com/history.html
Dave, I now have 6 leaves in my spring. Bear in mind you not only have less bodywork to carry around than the touring and fordor models but you also have less bodies, like 2 or 3 weighing 180 pounds each! That's a whole lot less weight pushing on that spring.
Here is a link to a 2011 discussion
In '24-5 Ford had a 6 leaf spring available. It takes a special spring clamp bar which I've never been able to find a part number for.
While you have it apart, see how much the bottom of the springs have worn into the top of the spring below it. If there is wear, use an angle grinder to smooth it out so the above spring moves freely over the lower spring. Then you can put in your surface protection tape, or slip plate, or grease and graphite, or your spring lube of choice.
: ^ )
A lot of good info in that link Robert.. I find that the only combo that looks normal and evenly spaced for my spring is 7 leaves and it's the safest bet for a good ride I think. If you check the link I posted for Mather spring, you will see a Model T pic and they mention Henry Ford as well. Thanks again guys. I will be sure to post what the ride quality is like once I'm done.
I finished reducing my spring leaf count from 9 to 7 and am posting the results as promised. It now rides as I expected in every way. I can easily push down the rear of the car where it used to barely move at all. The car used to sit high, now it sits level. The shackles are not far from their limits but I have been unable to bottom it out. The ride is way more comfortable, probably perfect and not bouncy. It is more like other Ts I've been in. I can't corner as hard anymore which is fine. I think 7 leaves is about right for a Runabout. If it were a Touring, 8 would be needed and of course 9 for a Sedan.