My friend has a 1917 runabout which has just turned up in his workshop for some maintenance. It is a former museum restoration purchased on ebay! We are going through the problems one by one but this one needs some forum help please. The front and rear springs on the runabout look completely wrong. The front one has many excess leaves in it causing the front end to sit way to high and really messes with the way the car steers. The rear spring is a compilation of heaps of leaves and sits the rear of the car way to high also. Could someone please supply some specifications of what size/shape/compilation the front and rear springs on a 1917 runabout should be? Thanks in advance.
The rear spring on my '17 torpedo runabout is 7 leafs. The leafs are tapered, except of course the bottom main one which is rolled. This differs from a touring, which would have an 8 leaf rear spring with a single square cut leaf just above the rolled end main leaf.
The front spring is a clipped end leaf spring. It has six leafs.
From the Encly on the club homepage:
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.
The encyclopedia is wrong about this time, which is rare but not unheard of.
The main leafs were drilled for oilers on my car, which was built about the middle of June 1917.
Thanks, will add that correction to my ref.
Think most of the later taper leaf rear springs have the 2nd to the main leaf as a sq. cut one.
As for the front spring, 6 leaf, is your 1917 with the 'pointy' clip ends or with sq. clips ends? The pointy style was shown to be correct for some of 1917,maybe transitional?
Mine has the normal kind Dan. I think weird ones like those were used in late 16 / early 17. Kind of rare.
My May 1917 roadster has an eight leaf tapered rear spring no different than my dad's July 1917 touring. It has the non-tapered squared off leaf (which has a radius before the corners). The major difference between my roadster and his touring is the roadster front and rear main leaves are not drilled for oilers. The roadster has figure eight shackles with spring oilers. The touring was equipped with the rectangular shackles.
According my copy of the February 1917 "Price List of Parts," the rear spring is 8 leaves. There is no separate spring listed for runabouts.
There's a difference in ride between the roadster and touring due to the roadster being lighter. It's possible the second leaf was removed from your roadster 97 years ago to alleviate bounce.
Regarding the "pointy" front spring. I've seen them on 1916 Fords. The only 1917 Ford I've have seen equipped with one is Warren Mortensen's touring (fall of 1916).
Thankyou guys for your responses. Excellent speedy response as always. If at all possible when convenient could someone please provide a measurement between the shackle eye centres on the front and rear spring in position in the car? It will be a good reference for final set up. Currently both springs have barely flattened out at all and the shackles are near horizontal!
Here are some dimensions from previous forum posts, haven't verified these, but they are align with springs in my garage.
Distance between shackle holes:
31-5/16" to 31-1/2" 7 or 8 leaf
7 leaf front (early: 1918-'25)- an average of several springs measured. First dimension: Length of Spring Leaf Overall Measured by tape over the length of the spring.
Second dimension: Height of Leaf, Measured from level surface to top of spring.
7 Leaf Front Spring, clip end style, '18-'25
8 Leaf Rear Spring, clip end style, '18-'25
It would be neat to see a photo of the 6 leaf spring they had from 23-25, especially the bars that held it in the rear cross member.
Thankyou Dan. A picture does tell a thousand words! I will try and get some pictures to share of the terrible set up on the runabout as it is now.
Did this one come from Minnesota?
Mine came from Minnesota. My dad bought it from the original owner in 1951 with about 1200 miles on the odometer.
Here's a picture taken by Erik's dad in 1951:
Here is some info taken from the archives on the front spring used from late 1915 to end of production. The focus of this data was to identify the various springs by their spring leaf shape. Bear in mind the dates given are the drawing dates and not the dates that the manufacture of the spring began nor when the item detail might have first appeared on the car but of course a given detail should NOT appear on a car prior to the dates given. The leaf with the 7/8 radius at the corners at first glance looks like a simple beveled corner but the leaf had a radius at that place and was not a straight snip off of the corner.
The leaf end detail I posted was taken from leaf #4 which was the same for both the 6 leaf version and the 7 leaf version. For the 6 leaf spring the spring shackle hole centers were 31-5/16 to 31-1/2 and the height of the spring was measured from the center horizontal line of the shackle centers to the bottom center surface of the main bottom leaf and that dimension was spec'd at 4-3/4 to 4-7/8. The spring leaves were spec'd as #3 BWG which is thickness of .259 for each of the leaves.
Other details. The pointy leaf spring was first stamped with Ford script on 5/19/16. Since this spring is such an odd duck it could easily have been mistaken for an aftermarket part and discarded by many of us. What prompted the "NOT SO FAST - wait a minute!" return to the search was that Warren Mortensen found a Ford script on his early '17 front spring and it was the pointy one. He pointed me to it (pun intended) and I verified it on my next archive trip. My son's 16 has a pointy leaf front spring on it. The oiler hole was in place above the bushing end on 9/30/16 but it is unclear but possible that hole was there earlier than that since the change talks about a change to a different oiler on that date so it may have been added on that date or modified on that date but the oiler hole was for sure there on 9/30/16.
Dan: I don't see any evidence of the flat ended somewhat pointed spring as being genuine Ford - is there a Ford Script on that part near the center bolt hole on the top leaf. I have now seen 4 of the pointy leaf springs and they all look the same with the point being rounded and very smooth looking shape.