I'm considering options to lower the rear of a 26/27 roadster chassis by three inches. The best option considered would be replacing the high arch rear spring with a modern replacement that is arched similar to that of the front spring. Has anyone already tackled this issue?
I think if just changing the spring was an option it would have been a popular option in the past, it was not. You would likely soon run out of room for spring action. This of quite common:
See more options by google searching this site for "lowering rear roadster".
Thanks Jim. Nice lowering job on the frame. Pretty sure that will not work when using a stock roadster body though. Also, looks as if your rear spring has been highly modified as you have very little clearance between the rear spring and the frame. Currently, I have about five inches clearance. I did entertain making brackets to place the spring behind the rear axle. Of course, that would require lengthening the frame and making the crescent shaped brackets to mount to the backing plates.
Mark, Here is a suggestion, Build a high arch rear cross member, this can be done by stacking one cross-member on top of another and cutting out the inside. this gives about a 2" drop then you can reverse the eyes on the rear spring to get another inch.
The frame in the middle has the stacked cross-members. you may need to weld in a lager hump in the turtle deck.
I never measured or did any research, but I did see in Speedway Motors T bucket catalog they offer 3 different spring heights measured from the floor to the top of the arch. If the spring width is correct, that should work to lower the car
Three inches is a limited lowering, you may be able to achieve that by rebending the spring leafs.
I once tried to save a deformed rear spring by bending it to a 4" lowered shape. Since that spring may have been in a fire, it's a bit soft and was comparatively easy to bend, but won't work as a spring - 4" lowering got it just 1" from the axle housing and it would have bottomed out in use. But with a standard strength spring on a roadster I think it would work with 3" lowering if used on modern roads.
Here's the 4" lowering try I did compared to a standard spring:
Later on I reshaped the leafs on the standard spring for 2" lowering in my primitive pickup. It never bottoms out even with a full load of people and stuff, so I certainly think 3" would be possible.
It's hard work to bend rear spring leafs cold in the vice, but with a long pipe as a leverage it's possible when standing on the bench A press would have helped and I have learned to never bend over the center hole - the leafs can take a lot of gradual deformation, but nothing there.
Option #2 in Mike's photo may work by placing the rear cross member further up inside the trunk area. However, it would no longer allow the rear of the body to be supported on top of the rear cross member as before. It also appears the body brackets have been reversed. Great idea for a speedster body, but won't work with a stock 26/27 roadster body as the frame rails currently sit about an 1/8 inch below the body.
Doug is more inline with what I have been considering. I just need to find a replacement rear spring with the proper measurements similar in design as a front spring only with a bit more arch and a width of two inches. Again, just wondered if anyone else has tackled this problem in the same manner.
That may be another option to consider while also considering reversing the eye which would gain about another inch.
Mike's good looking idea to increase the arc looks a lot like the english Fords in 1925-27 that also were sold over here - with LH steering. Only body modifications needed is a larger hump in the floor over the crossmember. The english Fords were lowered 3" compared to the US '25:s and about 2" compared to the US '26/'27:s.
Reversing the eye isn't needed on the rear spring since the same lowering can be achieved by bending the leafs?
If you're not running fenders, I would do something like this picture posted by Dan Treace in a previous topic here. http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/187392.html?1316562082
Mark, Rootlieb has listed a high rear crossmember that I believe was 2 inches. the frame rails and the outside ears of the crossmember would remain in the stock location. Along with a reverse eye rear spring this might get you where you want to be.
A long-time good friend of mine has a '26 T roadster affectionately called the "turtle" because it is lowered about that much in the back. If I recall correctly, it was a simple rear spring re-bending. It actually looked okay like that.
While a lot of speedsters get simple bends to lower the rear spring, and it can work quite well, if care is not taken with the exact amount and placement of those bends? You can wind up with serious problems from the spring hitting either the backing plates or housing tubes.
The better way is to do like Roger K shows, EXCEPT, have a spring shop cut the ends a bit short and roll the eyes in to standard width. The exact amount to cut back varies with how much the spring is re-arched lower. Cut about 1/3 of the way around the original eye, then rolled in should be close. It will also be necessary to cut the next leaf up back almost an inch.
I had a spring years ago that had been done that way, and was cut just slightly too narrow. Got it cheap. For a speedster (lighter weight), I cut the spring perch nuts down 3/16 inch thinner, and used heavy washers to shim the perches in to make the shackles fit and work. It worked great! But I would not put a full body on perches shimmed that way.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Mark, the reason for removal of the rear ear was to place a slight channel to a stock body. Flipping the body mounts isn't necessary to lower the chassis. Reversing the spring eyes is a great way to lower without sacrificing ride.
Andy, I checked the Rootlieb website, but could not find the rear cross member you mentioned. That sounds like another possibility.
Ron, I'm aware of Bill's lowering brackets, but they raise the cross member and do not allow you to support the rear of the stock roadster body on top of the cross member.
Mark, I think the crossmember was listed in the speedster kit. May have been in one of the other catalogs. The reverse eye leaf comes as just the main leaf. I have seen a lot of speedsters with the spring bent up the last 4 inches or so, never liked it.
The Rootleib rear cross member is listed in the "speedster kit" they sell. Page 39 of their catalogue. Part #823, $65.
Sorry about not reading the full content of the thread before I posted pics of Bills Brackets. I've used them on my speedster project and got carried away.
Mike R. has the right idea. My friend Riley, is a great welder and he lowered his race car by building a higher arch rear frame member. He lowered the front by building Laurel style brackets. He is real proud of this car and he should be. He runs 2 jetted down Stromberg 97's. It is a beautiful car.
I bought the Rootleib rear cross member and it was great but too narrow and I had to grind the hell out of my spring to make it fit. At the same time I bought the dropped front axle and had to send in a core. I sent in the best axle I had and got back a dropped axle with bad threads on one side and a hole in the center where it had been used on a farm wagon. I complained and they said sorry you didn't like it. I was not impressed with quality control or customer service, basically it was just here is our mess you paid for and you can fix it.
I didn't think about whether the dropped crossmember would fit the late wide spring. You may have to fabricate your own.
That gives me a whole lot of options to consider. Thank you for the input.
Mark, Get Clayton Paddison to respond. He's got a good lowering system worked out. I couldn't find the old thread. 2010,2011,2012 maybe. He still gets on here from time to time.
Failed to mention, that is a great looking chassis Jim.
Kevin, If Riley would have lowered it a little more he wouldn't have to carry that step stool around with him.
Nice car though. It really looks like a racer too.
Aaron, The stool is for his wife.
Rootlieb's rear crossmember works great. You won't have to alter the spring or re engineer anything. Just swap the crossmember and you're done. It will pop up above the floor of your roadster deck.
Mark, I made these brackets to lower the rear on my speedster. Had to lengthen the frame about 4" to use the stock drive tube.
I have done essentially what Duane has done above. However, I did not lengthen the frame or shorten the torque tube. I had a plate of steel rolled to match the radius of the rear cross member. The plate attaches to the top of the cross member and extends back to sit over the spring. The spring was then u-bolted to the plate. This also requires some additional frame bracing as the arrangement would tend to twist or torque the rear cross member.
Duane what thickness steel plate did you use?
I used 3/8" plate.Still had plenty of room to clear the brake drum.
I saw this setup on a chassis at Hershey a couple of years ago.
Similar brackets as Duane used, these just mount on the other side of the backing plates.
If I remember correctly the driveshaft was shortened. It may have had an aux trans as well.
Sorry I'm late to the party
I used an old Laural racing design that I needed up a bit more then stock. I know I have pictures, will dig them out and post up what I have.
Here we go. I designed this setup based on the Laural design....so that I could lower it, yet not cut the frame..
Clayton. Good to see you back! Dave
Hi Dave! Glad to be back! Had a lot of stuff going on in the ol' life lately. I was working on another late model project, but I was getting burnt out..so I gave into to my pre-war desires and am tackling some final stuff on the T, my '16 Hupmobile and a '25 RPU for the wife
Clayton, welcome back from the "dark side". <g> Dave