I have a 1925 Fordor Model T. I purchased a Ruckstell rear end to put in it, but it doesn't seem to fit, it appears that the springs are to short. So my question is do I need to change the rear springs in order to attach the Ruckstell to the vehicle.
use the weight of the vehicle and a 2/4 under the spring to spred them out to get the shackles in.
No. You need to spread the springs. This is how I do it. The spring is already attached to the rear frame member and the body is on the car. I put a short 2x4 between the axle housing and the spring eye on each side. Then I insert the shackle in one side and add weight to the car until the spring spreads enough to get the shackle in the other side. If the wheels are off the axle, I can loosen the nuts which hold the shackle perch on both sides and let the perches move toward the center of the car. Put the shackle on the other side and then tighten up the spring perches to the backing plates and put in the cotter pin.
Anyway that's how to do it.
Thanks Guys I'll give it a shot. The body isn't currently on the frame, I'm hopeful I can get the springs spread with some human weight.
You could get a spring spreader, or make you own. http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/120657.html?1263244476
Norm's second suggestion is probably easiest. Take off the wheels, loosen the perch nuts, install the shackles, tighten the perch nuts.
I would also recommend you check out the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/203184.html?1302225423 It shows a case where a previous owner of a 1919-25ish rear axle had installed the 1926-27 rear spring perches on the earlier backing plates. The will fit the hole just fine but they are too short for the spring to line up properly. Be sure you have the correct spring perches for the axle you have.
It also shows a technique I have used before where a scissor jack can be used to compress the spring.
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Thank you for all help. I got the rear end installed this morning with help of a makeshift spring spreader. Thanks again everyone, I'm sure I'll be back on hear with more questions, and hopefully a few answers for others.
On my 21 Touring I attached one side then used a large C clamp and pulled the other side into place.
If you want to build an easy spring spreader than get yourself some 5/8 steel pipe and 5/8 all thread rod. I measured the distance between the two eyes with it in the spring in the fully relaxed position and then subtracted 6" from both sides. Then take your allthread rod and "sharpen" two 18" sections to resemble a cold chistle on one end of each section. Then using a nut and washer you can slide them into the steel pipe and tighten them against the spring in the notch formed between the top of the eye and leaf. I then measured took a 3.5' section or so and slid it in the center of the pipe and then put it on a shop press to put a bend in the center of the pipe to go around the rear end. The pipe is now essentially 5/8 bar stock with the all-thread inside of it and it is very strong. and an easy 30 minute project that will outlive all of us! :-)