I finally got my first good look at a rear tapered leaf spring saturday at Richmond, and it got me thinking. Since I'm relatively new to Ts, I never got to see one up close until then. I was wondering, is there a difference in strength between taper leaf and the later leaf springs? Is one a softer spring than the other? I don't know a lot about leaf springs, so this may be an academic question for some.
Not much difference in strength, I think? The number of leafs has more importance.
If the tapered springs are a miniscule amount softer, then it's fitting the earlier cars tends to be lighter than the later cars.
Yeah, thats what I am not sure about. I am working on a hack/truck style wood body and there will be alot of weight with passengers in the back. So I am curious about the stiffness of them. Id like to be correct and use the taper leaf, but if the later style is stronger (as is with no extra leafs, which on either I can add), Id rather use it. I could be worrying about nothing, and could just add an extra leaf to the tapered one and be fine.
If you're talking about compression and rebound properties as "strength" then yes, the taper springs are weaker even though the actual steel properties are the same. The taper springs also have a different compression curve at start than say, 40-50% load to give a better ride. I would not use taper springs on a Hack unless it's just for show.
Good question Benjamin. I've often wondered why the MT500 boys want taper leaf rear springs on their late model race Model Ts. Been to Spokane a few times and noticed this unusual combination