1917 Chassis 'leaning' help.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: 1917 Chassis 'leaning' help.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 02:52 pm:

Hi guys...me again. The 2nd issue I am looking at...after the headlight wiring thing....is the definite Chassis lean syndrome.
Facing the front of the car, it definitely lean down towards the drivers side. It is very obvious when looking at the top of the windshield frame, but it is the whole front passenger area of the car.

Info: Looking at the rear of the car, the chassis seems level until the front passenger area, then leans down to the drivers side. The rear seat seems pretty level.
I have crawled all underneath the car and checked for bent frames, attachment brackets, etc. but all seems straight.

I have read a zillion previous posts and came across a couple of threads discussing this issue. The leaf-springs are all evenly spaced, the shackles are all good and angled the same....
I saw mentioned where washers can be used, placed between the frame rails and body. Is this a possible solution. None of those threads had any follow-up to how well it worked.

I have purchased several Ford T manuals, books, and how-to booklets but can't quite figure out exactly which frame bolts would be included in this fix. I would sure like to straighten this lady out a bit if possible.


I hope you guys can help once again. So glad I found this group. Reading previous threads and copying the info has been so helpful.
Thanks,
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By ROBERT BERGSTADT on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 03:14 pm:

Check to see if spindles are the same sounds like you have one off set 26-7 spindle or front spring has shifted, Bob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 04:49 pm:

The U bolts which hold the chassis to the springs might be tighter on one side than on the other. Also the through bolt in the spring might not be centered in the hole in the chassis.

You could also try reversing the front spring. If it leans the other way, the problem would be with the arch of the spring. Putting washers or shims between the body brackets and the body will help with sag in the chassis and in aligning the hood and doors, but the best thing to do if the body is now off the chassis would be to carefully check the chassis for sag and for diagonal straightness. That is take measurements from one corner to the other diagonally. The measurement should be the same for each side. Then raise the low side of the front of the frame to the point it is level with the other side and also level the back. Then on a level pavement, measure the center height from side to side. If it sags on one side, that side must be bent to straighten the frame. Anyway, you need to get the frame as straight as you can before you do any other thing such as shimming it up.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 05:46 pm:

If I recall correctly, the Ford Service Bulletins show how to use leather shims between the offending side of the frame and the spring to correct a leaning frame. This is in addition to the existing leather pad.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 06:48 pm:

OK, thanks a lot Robert, Normal, and Erik.
I guess I will get out there and start doing more measurements. I remember reading about the spring reversal in one of the other threads so I can be thinking about that one too.
I did forget to mention that indeed, I found the doors don't close and latch well. Also, the bottom front of the left side hood slides forward over the radiator when trying to latch. The paint has all been rubbed off.

I found if I push hard against the Drivers-side windshield frame the car levels out nicely, the hood falls into place and the doors latch ok. Hummmmm, I obviously have a lot to learn......

Thanks again for the kind help,
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 07:17 pm:

Ken - From what you just said, I would have somebody with sufficient size & strength push on the driver's side windshield frame as you mentioned, while you are watching from underneath for any visible movement, such as a cracked frame or something. Watch especially around where the rear motor mounts (dog ears) attach to the frame. Even if no movement or crack in the frame is detected, also try to sight along frame rails to note any excessive sagging. Hopefully, you'll not discover any such defect, but I would certainly look,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 07:19 pm:

Oops! Sorry Norm,....I did not read this thread carefully enough,....you already pretty much suggested what I was talking about,.....harold.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Barker - Dayton, OH on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 08:06 pm:

Ken - From your posts, it sounds like your car is assembled (body on and motor in the frame).

If that is the case, it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, to determine - and correct if necessary - any frame sag. Don't know how far you want to go to solve the problem, but if it's significant, it may cause additional problems in the future, such as drive line alignment problems, excessive 4th main (ball cap) wear, etc. It's already causing body fitment problems that will only likely get worse. Norm's advice regarding checking your frame for sag is good, but will likely mean removing the engine and body from the frame. Not sure there are any less involved ways to check and correct frame sag.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 04:19 am:

Oh boy guys...sounds like I have some work to do!
I will do just as you all describe and see what I can find out. Yes, this car was driven by my late father in law for the past 10yrs...only been sitting for a couple of months. He didn't care much except that it was driveable...everything else was beside the point.
I have been a long-time Mustang restorer as a hobby, so this is my first "T" endeavor. I love it so far for it's supposed simplicity, but feel over my head at the moment! So yes, the motor is installed, body on frame, etc...just got a case of the leans.
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 04:21 am:

Sorry for the extra post....could you guys describe exactly what you mean by "frame sag" as it relates to the T? I want to make sure I'm looking at the correct things and not letting my imagination run wild.
Thanks so much,
Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 07:08 am:

The frame members can be bent slightly, usually by the rear engine mounts. If the car is running good and the only problem (from the frame sag) is bad fitting doors, then I would have considered fixing it by shimming the body mounts to the frame (trial and error)

But the front crossmember can sometimes be fatigued and cracked, causing first the leaning problem and also perhaps the door fitting issues, so first you must inspect the cross member and perhaps even remove the front engine mount/spring clamp and check under it for cracks.

If there are no cracks under the front motor/spring mount, then loosening the part wasn't all for nothing - retightening everything with the car correctly positioned with stands under the frame could possibly fix the leaning issue? A new leather pad between the spring and frame should also help.

I think it's possible to take out the early style front engine mount without full disassembly of the car - removing the radiator and lifting the front of the engine slightly with a jack could perhaps be enough to get it out?
Disconnecting the drag link for the steering would make it possible to let the whole front axle with spring fall down when the front of the frame is raised and the spring clamps are removed. Then it's possible to replace the spring pad with a good leather one.
https://www.modeltford.com/item/3823L.aspx
I think Bob's has the proper center spring bolt with a high head that is easier to get into the square hole in the crossmember to make sure it's centered.
http://www.bobsantiqueautoparts.com/index.php/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Broyles on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 03:14 pm:

I'm still looking things over. One thing that has bugged me since I first started looking was the possible missing items all around the car. I had noticed early on that there were 2 unused holes, near the bottom on each side of the wooden firewall. Come to find those appear to be the holes that the firewall brackets mount to. I guess someone thought they weren't needed?
When I do push on the windshield frame I notice I can see the firewall moving around...it seems to slide left and right pretty easily. Not knowing how many other 'brackets' might be missing....I'm wondering if this is contributing to the 'lean' issue? It can't be good?

I'll be looking things over carefully this weekend. Thanks for all the inputs.
Ken


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