I am building a 1914 speedster with the grandchildren and have the following questions about the front and rear leaf springs
1. I bought a brand new front spring. How many leaves should I use. Do I take it apart and paint each leaf and then use the special leaf lubricant. Which spring do I remove.
2. How many leaf springs do I require for the rear springs. Do I take apart and paint each spring.Which spring do I remove
I know that a speedster with a Syverson body (similar to Rootleib) is much lighter that other Model T's and I want a smooth and safe ride. I do not plan on lowering the front or rear axles.
Thanks for the advice
Don't remove any leaves. It will change the way your car handles. I nearly got in an accident due to this.
I paint each leaf separately and put a thin layer of grease between each.
Ford used a graphite mixed black paint for the springs. The best coating is the lubra-plate graphite paint you can get at the tractor stores. Take the spring apart and coat it with this stuff using a brush. It will look like pencil lead and allow the springs to glide like they should. I used 3 coats.
The front end is about the same weight on a speedster as an ordinary open T, so the front spring should indeed be standard. The rear end is lighter on a speedster and at some times Ford had softer rear springs for the light models, like a 7 leaf rear spring for the 1910 Torpedo and a 6 leaf spring for the 1923-25 Runabout according to Bruce McAlleys Encyclopedia.
I took off the top leaf making a 7 leaf rear spring to my light primitive pickup and I'm very pleased with the way it works. I may add some period shock absorbers when I get around to it - that's a great safety addition if you're driving fast on bumpy roads.
My brand new front spring has 7 leaves. Is this correct for a speedster
My rear spring has 8 leaves. Is this correct for a speedster
I appreciate the comments from the forum members in the foregoing replies
Please advise me of your opinions and recommendations
There is nothing "correct" for a speedster since they're all one-off affairs. There is only what is safe. Removing a rear leaf on my car allowed the rear end to bottom out. It also caused the rear to bounce very easily on bumps, or to induce severe rear end hop while braking hard, (this is how I nearly broadsided a Mustang). Removing a leaf may give better ride comfort but it will also change the vehicle dynamics in ways that you can't always predict or would want. It doesn't matter much what your car weighs, a mushy spring will allow way too much motion.
Garry, the 7 leafs in the front spring is standard for 1909-25, so I'm sure it'll work fine. As for the rear, 8 leafs is also standard for most model T's over the years, so you may as well use it as is and try how you like the handling - it's just a couple of hours work to change it if you think it's too stiff in use.
Garry - My two cents: When I rebuilt my speedster, I found that three of the original eight leaves had been removed - all from the top of the spring pack. I also found that with this many leaves removed, the U bolts didn't clamp the spring pack tight enough to keep the square head of the center bolt in the square hole in the cross member, causing the body to tilt to the left (driver's side). I had to correct it by adding a short leaf to the bottom of the pack. It's sole purpose being to insure clamping pressure to keep the bolt head in the cross member. The ride seems fine to me, and I rarely bottom out.
Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but you get the idea. The angle iron in the center is my spare tire carrier.