I brought my new to me 26 Fodor home today
Now the problem. It is just a bit too tall to fit my garage comfortably. It has a 9 leaf spring in the back of it. Can I take out a leaf and what leaf would you recommend to remove? I need to lower it by less than an inch.
Let the tires 1/2 down!!
You know if you get about 50 feet from the garage and open the throttle the whole way I'll bet that sucker will go in there!
Great looking car! Letting air out of the tires will work for getting it in and out once or twice, but it will get old fast for the long run.
Steve, if removing a spring leaf isn't enough, or you decide you don't like the look after the change, take a good hard look at the structure at the top of the opening of your garage and see if you can raise the opening an inch or two without cutting into the header.
Even if you can raise the opening, you'll still want to check the clearance to the garage door and the door opener.
Good luck, let us know what you decide to do.
Thanks guys. Letting the air out of the tires will get very old very fast. I can get the car in with both the wife and I in the car but it will scrape with just me in it.
Still don't know which leaf if any to pull.
If it clears the door with two people in it then perhaps a couple of sand bag weights on the floor so you can get it in and out. Of course that will get old too. If you take a spring out and then add passengers will that cause you problems?
I was able to get my Hack in the garage by making a block that I wedged between the header and the garage door to hold the door a little further back on the track. From your picture it looks like that might just get you the extra inch or two you need.
Steve, here is a 2010 thread on removing sprin leaves:
If you have a parts book with pictures of the different spring packs, maybe comparing a picture of a 9-leaf versus an 8 or 7 leaf spring will help you decide which leaves to remove. You may need new, shorter spring clamps after the change.
One other crazy thought - Is there a spare tire carrier and a spare tire in the back? If not, maybe adding one will put enough weight on the back of the car to allow it to fit. Or, if there already is one, converting to a dual spare carrier and adding a second spare will do the trick.
Just trying to be creative here...
Most garage doors stop not at the maximum opening but at the point where the opener shuts off and that is adjustable. Call a garage door guy and ask him to get you another inch and my bet is that he can tighten up the torsion bar and adjust the opener to get you the inch you need. Absent that you can also simply put a buckle from the frame to the axle with a ratchet strap pull down. I know one guy who did that to get his T in the trailer. It is actually pretty easy to do at the front if that will get you enough since you only have to pull the front of the frame down by a strap around the frame and under the front axle.
Had the same problem. By chance is there a piece of 1x2 trim across the top of the garage door frame. Ours did and once removed, problem solved.
The door has been moved back, It is the header that is too low.
This is the back of the car.
The ratchet strap is something I did not think about. Need to check that out tomorrow.
Thanks to all for the suggestions. I may look for a 8 leaf spring at Chickasaw.
2 things to check; do you have the correct spring perches? Do you have the correct spring? Maybe you could take the spring out and have it re arched a little lower. I know it might be the angle of the photo but it looks a little high in the rear. I don't know if the 4 doors used the lower arched 26/27 springs or not, I don't have my parts book handy.
PS NICE CAR!
Steve, I was wondering if it would fit. Can you remove any boards from the top of the door frame? I wouldn't remove any spring leafs. It might make the spring bottom out against the backing plates especially if someone is sitting in the back. It would also make the car lean more on turns.
That header is not as weight supporting as under an eve. Check with a carpenter and see if you can remove an inch or two and add some additional support (scabbing on a 2X4 or 2X6) if needed. Been there, done that.
Stephan, the car is in the garage, had to have us both in and it still scraped a little. Don't want to continue to put it in like this as I do not want any damage. Do not worry, I will solve this. Thanks and we love this car.
Mark, Thanks, I would be interested to know if there is a different spring for this car.
I may swap the spring from my Tudor as it does barely fit.
The rear springs were the same height as the earlier ones for the improved cars - all lowering was in the rear crossmember. I've removed the top leaf in a rear spring without any problems, I just added washers under the nuts in the spring clamps to avoid the nuts bottoming out on the threads. If that's not enough you can try re arching the individual leafs.. I've done that too, takes a sturdy vice and a long pipe for leverage - A lot of work, but not much deformation needed, Tried with an already deformed scrap spring to lower four inches - that was too much even with a light car, only one inch of spring travel left
When I tried to lower another spring two inches everything worked out OK, that's the spring I use on my primitive pickup:
Steve, you should have a nine leaf spring, you can remove the top two with no problem , i did this on my 24 and use the leaves for tire tools, i don't think the upper leaves ever get used.Just my opinion.
Steve, You can replace the rear spring hangers with small drum hangers turned up side down. But be aware you will need to oil or grease the spring shackles another way than usual.
I'm going to be looking for a 9 leaf for the rear of my '25, as I plan on building a pickup. Let me check what I have when I get home, but I'm pretty sure it's an 8 leaf, and I'll swap you, if you want.
PM me if you want to talk about it.
Actually, Just saw that you have a '26 so I'm not sure if they'll be compatible. I do have a large drum Ruckstell though, so I don't know. Hopefully someone can chime in.
It's only the front spring that differs between 25 and 26 according to the encyclopedia.
Unfortunately I don't think it's possible to use small drum perches on a large drum axle for lowering, there wouldn't be enough space for the shackles to move between the perch and the axle housing.
If someone stands on the rear tire carrier, does that lower it enough??
Or you could make a little strap with some sandbags on it that you hand over the spare to lower it.
Makes taking the car in & out a bit of a "process" but. . . .
Oh, and if you're anything like me, you'll need a sign to stick in the window after you park it; "Is weight on back?"
If I have my wife in the back seat it will lower the car just enough to get it in our out. Or letting the air out of the back tires will do the same. This will get to old too fast. I want to correct this problem so it can be pulled out or in with out any dramatics.
This car was restored with a lot of love and attention to detail. I just want to bring it down a bit in back and I think I will try to remove the top two leaves.
If you plan to use the car for serious touring then removing the top two leaves is not a good idea IMHO. On bumpy roads and/or with a heavy load it will have a real effect on how the car rides and handles, therefore effect safety.
Sandbags inside large plastic garbage bags (to keep things clean) put on the rear floor will lower the car enough. A hassle yes, but how many times a day will the car go in and out of the garage?