I want to remove the rear leaf spring assembly. My plan is to remove both rear wheels first. There is a U-bolt at each end that holds the spring. There are also 2 U-Bolts that hold a large bracket on top of the spring.
I read in the red T restoration book to be careful the leafs don't shoot off.
I cannot find a thread with pictures...would someone know if a thread exists. Is there another book I should buy?
I have the Black book and the red book.
There are several threads dealing with this, just hard to find among all the other discussions
Since you're removing the wheels, the easiest way to remove the spring without risks or expensive tools is to just loosen the perch nuts when the wheels and brake drums are off.
Support the frame just in front of the radius rods with stands and support the rear axle with a floor jack. If the perches doesn't pull in, knock them loose, as you turn the nuts off there will be no more spring tension, you can loosen the clamps to the frame and remove the spring as you lower the rear axle with the floor jack.
Chris -- When you remove the wheels, you'll see a large nut on each side which holds the spring perch to the top of the backing plate. Loosen both of those first, and that will let most of the tension off the spring.
Is there an echo in here?
You can leave the small U clamps in place and the center bolt as well. You can undo the large U clamps and drop everything as a complete assembly. No parts will spring loose or fly anywhere. The only caution needed is to be aware that the assembly is heavier than it looks and will come crashing down on your axle (or your head). Once removed, you can easily disassemble everything. There will be no spring pressure.
Great...thank you very much. I just noticed I have to purchase the wheel puller tool, then I can attack the leaf springs!
Yes, the wheel puller tool that screws onto the hubcap threads is not that cheap but, you will not regret it once you see how well it works. It is also not one of those tools you will never use again. Everyone who works on Ts should have one.
Christopher you might want to review this thread there is good info there for supporting the car and removing the rearend
Here's where you support the frame, as Roger says.
Here's a good way to drop the rear axle.
If the center bolt in the spring is toast, which is likely, contact Bob Bergstadt for a replacement with the correct tall head. The last time I checked, the bolt sold by the other dealers was inadequate.
You mentioned "perches", which part of the leaf spring assembly are the perches? I am not yet familiar with the terminology yet...getting there.
The 'perches' bolt into the 'backing plate' and are connected to the 'shackles' which are, in turn, connected to the 'rear spring assembly'. Looking at Steve's picture above; the rear end housings (left and right) reveal the 'perches' connected at the outer ends and at the top just inboard of the wheels. To remove these 2 perches you'll first remove the cotter pins the large castellated nuts.
Rear spring perch, oiler missing.
Chris, in answer to the last of your opening questions, yes. As far as I'm concerned, the MTFCA books are a must.
If that 'Black Book' is the Model T Service manual, then refer to Chapter XVIII, p 161.
Important, that rear spring is under tension, you must either lift the body/frame or support the body/frame on jack stands.
To relieve the tension, the safest way is with a spring spreader tool, avail from Lang's. The large tool releases the tension off that large spring by spreading it.
Another way is referred to in the Service Manual, to use blocks of wood under the perch/shackles. Regular finished 2x4's are a bit thin, (only 3 1/2" thick) so try for a real 4" thick piece of wood, apply a bit of grease where the perch/shackles can slide with ease. While the body/frame is elevated to help relieve the load that is apply most of the tension, with the wheels removed, and the brake shoes removed, access to the nuts holding the perch can be done.
Gently back-off the nuts and the perches will be pulled out by the remaining tension, so that you can remove the shackles from the spring eye ends and the perch hole. Lowering the body/frame can then place tension on the spring and spread it again (while the perch end and spring eye rest on the wood block) to line up the perch/shackle holes to place the hangers.
Once you drop the rear axle from the spring, then the rear spring can be removed from the frame rear crossmember.
Thank you so much! Actually my black book was lost in the mail and I am waiting for a refund. I ordered another one this morning.
This answers all of my questions!
I now understand why the tension must be released...this was my major concern.
The bell cap and universal joint has to be disassembled to remove the housing. I did something entirely different to the same end. I supported the frame and body with an over head chain block and removed the spring by using some fabricated large "U" bolts and clamped them around the springs and the frame and compressed the spring until there was no tension on the shackles, removed the shackles, let the tension off the "U" bolts then removed the spring. The body and frame are hanging on the chain block and the wheels are on the floor. This was an open car though.
Since you are new at this I feel you should be warned that you NEVER jack up the center section of a T rear axle with a floor jack. Notice in all pictures the support is near the ends of the housings. This is very important since you can bend the housings or at the least stretch the perimeter bolts that hold the 2 halves together. Modern cars are routinely jacked up under the center section but with a T that is an absolute "NO NO". You can jack up one side or both but you need to support the rear end at its outer ends.