I ordered the front spring tie bolt for my '27 Runabout (8 leaf spring) from a popular vendor. It has a square head but when the rubber pad (purchased from the same vendor) is installed, the square head does not reach the hole in the frame. My understanding is that the head must reach the frame in order to center the spring/axle assembly on the car.
I suspect the thick rubber pad is not correct and that it should be made of a couple of square leather pieces riveted to the ends of a rectangular piece of top material?
This has been discussed on the forum previously. I don't remember how the high the head was on the original bolts but it seems to me that it may have been higher than the spring clip might allow. There is no hole in the front spring clip, only a dimple.
I need the Part No.3811C for the 8 leaf spring and while I'm at it, I'm going to refurbish the rear spring so that requires Part No. 3837.
It was discussed that someone was going to reproduce these bolts to Ford factory specs. Somebody also had NOS parts. I would appreciate any help for finding either of them. Thanks!
(Message edited by esole on March 08, 2015)
I am not sure what he still has after the business turnover, but I bought my NOS front bolt from Bob's http://www.bobsantiqueautoparts.com/ , but it was for my '25.....not sure if it is the same for '26-27.
I will say that even with the correct leather pad on with the NOS bolt, it still had very little head of the bolt coming through the pad. I suspect once the leather is squashed down when tightened, all would be well. I had to reach my fingers around and feel for the bolt head through the hole just to verify it was in place.
I bought a NOS bolt off Bob for my 27 front spring, was too short! Ended up using the vendor repro bolt and making up a square washer to fit under the head to make it taller.
Eric, I suspect the bolt you received is the one shown on top here. It's the one commonly sold. It's not only incorrect. I consider it inadequate. The other one is an original. The bottom end is broken off, but the much taller head is obvious. The last I knew, Bob was planning to reproduce the correct ones. Maybe he'll see this and comment.
If I were going to adapt the incorrect bolt I'd weld the top up taller and grind it square, rather than take up shaft space with washers under the head.
I've made my own pad from a piece of old tire, and I've made the correct leather one from John Regan's drawing. Either one will work, but either one should have the high-head bolt.
You don't need a square washer, use one with an O.D. The same as the square.
Eric : I always weld a square nut on top of the spring tie bolt.
good luck Toon
The 26-7 tie bolt is longer than the 25 and before. the vendors sell both lengths, but the head is too short. I installed a short head bolt on the speedster project. I had a 26-27 spring and used the longer short head to assemble the spring. I also used the correct leather pad. I laid the pad on top of the spring assembly and slid the spring and pad up into the cross member. I then took two large c-clamps to "compress the spring into the cross member and short head tie bolt into the hole. It only went into the hole about 1/2 way. I then took a large punch (or blunt straight screwdriver) and bent the sides of the cross member hole down into the leather pad. It just took a few hits to have the cross member flush with the top of the new tie bolt. You are only bending the sides of the hole very little. I then installed the front spring clamps. This will only work if the motor is out of the car.
Ford never used a rubber pad. RV is in the process of making new bolts, unless he decided not to do it. The bottom bolt that Steve posted is for a rear spring, and yes the current bolts are not adequate. I have some NOS spring pads that are made of top material, with the square pads riveted to the ends just like the leather pads. I don't know when Ford switched from all leather to the top material, but I prefer the all leather pads. I have several NOS front spring bolts and haven't had a problem with the heads on them, on either a 7 leaf spring or an 8 leaf, and the length was ok for both.
When I restored the chassis under my 1915 I never took the front spring out for some reason. I had the frame sandblasted then primed and painted everything.
Fast forward to 2012, I took the spring out to replace it with a re - arched one. Here's the original leather spring pad:
The bolt does not extend far into the square hole in the frame. It barely extends into the hole.
Royce, That is about how far (maybe a smidge more) my NOS bolt and reproduction leather pad stuck through for my '25.
Are the head heights on the '26/27 bolt any taller vs. the earlier ones, or is just the length the major difference?
I know the number of leaves increased as time went on so the 1915 bolt would not work on 26 / 27 for example.
I think the picture Steve J posted above is of a rusty broken rear spring center bolt.
Yes, it came out of a rear spring. Maybe somebody has an original front one to show.
That repro bolt looks suspiciously like it might not even be grade 2, let alone a grade 5. Also, threaded the full length takes a lot of strength out of it, as well as providing a poor surface to keep the springs in alignment.
POS, in my opinion, or maybe it's just a BSO (Bolt Shaped Object).
As soon as the good bolts come out, I have at least 2 cars that I will change out the bolt right away!
The bolt I got from Lang's measures 2 27/32" long. The threaded portion is 1" long. I don't know what grade it might be.
When tightened on the 8 leaf spring there is 1/2" of threads exposed:
I bought this "early style" pad for the rear spring over twenty years ago but never used it:
So judging from your comments, I gather that the bolt I have is pretty much like the factory original.
Regarding the pad sold as a 1909-1920 style, it should allow the square head to just barely protrude above the frame top which is all the spring clip will allow anyway. The rubber pad sold as a 1921-1927 style is 1/8" thick and won't even allow the bolt head to reach the upper frame surface.
So I'll order the "early" spring pad (incidentally, the Ford Parts List offers the same part for 1909 to 1927) and hope that will allow the spring tie bolt head to just clear the top of the frame which is all the spring clip will allow and is all that is necessary to center the spring anyway.
If there is anything else to know about this, I'm always open to comments.
Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions!
I used the early leather pad from the vendors too.
These are the 2 NOS bolts I received:
The heads are taller than the bolt you have, but only a few mm.
The front bolt on the left only had 1 or 2 threads sticking out on an 8 leaf spring.
Caution: Just because the 8-5-28 Ford parts list shows a part for 1909-1927, that doesn't mean it was actually the same part over all those years. There may have been several versions of it, all with the same part number.
Good point Steve. Thanks for the reminder.
Steve, you mentioned that John Regan made a drawing of the spring pads.
Would it be possible to obtain a copy of that?
Russ Furstnow makes the leather spring pads that some of the vendors sell. I have them in all three of my T's, and would recommend them to all.
When I was younger, and had no money, I made my own out of leather. As I mentioned, I don't know when Ford started using top material, like the one Eric posted, but I doubt if it lasted long!
We make the spring pads with the top material like Larry said ant the bolts work fine, I was going to make the bolts but thought R.V. was making them, sent him a I m but never heard back yet, Bob
Yep. Here's John's front pad.
And here's my rear pad drawing. I don't remember whether I copied it from John or some other source.
Bob, sent you a PM.
"That repro bolt looks suspiciously like it might not even be grade 2, let alone a grade 5."
I suspect the grade of the bolt is not too important because once it's in, the spring clips and tie bars do all the "holding together".
Maybe that's why so many of them are broken.
So, RV -- How about letting the rest of us in on the secret. Are you making the spring bolts?
I just talked with R.V. I am having them made next week, Bob
Bob and I had a conversation. I am cancelling my orders and Bob is taking over the project.
R.V., I don't have a pending order with you, but for the information of those that do, will their orders be transferred over to Bob without any action required on their part, or do they need to contact Bob themselves?
Ken, that's true once the springs are installed, but not until then. I have had bolts strip while assembling springs, even when using C-clamps to hold them together!
Bob, put me down for two!!
BTW, I remember reading years ago that the tapered wedges on the front spring were to help level the spring to the frame & provide a larger support area.
I will transfer any orders to Bob, but I will have to look and see if I have any. I think all I had were informal requests.
Bob will be able to get them quicker and, since he is ordering more than I was able to do, they will be a bit less $$$.
I appreciate the effort on both R.V. and Bob's part to get these made. We need good correct items, and you two make sure of that.
Yes -- Kudos to both guys!