I'm scrounging the attic for my next project and I dragged down two rear springs. I'm thinking the shorter one with less leaves is a 26-27 open car, and the taller one is for an earlier sedan? Am I close?
The taller one might be for a truck
8 leaf is for touring,9 leaf is sedan.
Are roadster and touring rear springs different?
Norman TT Truck rear springs are 2 -1/2 springs, not 1 unit
I'm probably wrong but I keep trying to get consensus on 'generally accepted practice" on forum questions, and then try to look at the exceptions in the Q&A part of forum follow ups.
My understanding on springs is...
Up until sometime in 1918, they were what is called tapered springs and the arrangement was that the front on all was 7 leaf stock; the rear was 8 leaf stock on open cars, and 9 leaf stock on the closed cars once they figured the extra weight caused the rear to bog down.
When they went to the clipped springs, the following was the general arrangement. Front was 7 leaf on open, 8 on closed. Rear was 8 leaf on open, 9 on closed. [but there are some who claim 10?] and that the 26-27 had a different crown to the springs to help in the streamlined 'dropping' of the bodies?
For those more in the know......comments? My own problem is that I have both brass era and black era, both open and closed, and as I work on them I try real hard to keep from 'mixing' the spares that I do come across. Not trying to be a purist, certainly a far cry from that, but if I do do something 'politically incorrect' during a repair/rebuild I then find myself having the need to set out to try and correct it. Would be nice to know 'generally accepted practice' BEFORE undertaking any work.
So if someone shares some light it helps us all and I can then mark my 'teasure' finds when I come across them!
George & Tom :
My understanding from the part #'s on the main leaf is that the longer spring is for the improved '26-'27 cars with the stub perches. The # of leaves depended on the application.
The front taper springs were pretty much phased out by the first part of '16 (I think), but the rears were used well into '18.
The 9 leaf rear springs are also used on the Tudors, and the roadster pickups.
Tom,if you decide to take the 9 leaf sedan spring apart be careful.Even if not shackled to a rear end they can be 'wound up' tight.They are not as lethal as a model A but that 9 leaf you have looks like it has plenty of tension.When I remove a spring center bolt I loosely wrap dog chain around it.Once on a Model A Pickup I had the whole rear end rolled out from under it for some reason.As I about to roll it back under I decided the spring center bolt looked a little loose.I got just about a half turn on it.Bolt twisted off.One helluva 'sproing' sound.I was doing this in the center driveway of a hip roof barn that is 40' to the comb of the roof.At least a coulple of the upper leaves made it that high and clanged against the track for the hay clamshell. Real glad my face wasn't in they way.For their return to earth trip I cowered under the edge of the south haymow.Then I went and got a nice cold Ballantine Ale out of the cooler....my luck with any spring is not always good.Edison cylinder phonograph springs among 'em.
I had Victrola spring let loose on me. Never knew there was so much spring stored in that little can.
I have a small scar above my eyebrow as a souvenier.
It's a suprise,isn't it, Howard? Another old car spring that will smash through the shed window and sail out into the soybean field never to be seen again is the spring on a Model A shifter.At the time I pulled that stunt,many years ago,I was a weekend warrior deputy sheriff.My then girlfriend,who hated the cop thing,had just come in to tell me that dispatch had called asking me to go help out at the scene of a drunken fracas only a couple miles from where I lived.She said--hurry up,go!You'll be safer playing cop than working on this stuff!
What Jim says is so true....
The guy I bought the '15 from wore 'choppers' and his excuse was that he learned about spring energy the hard way...he didn't know how to take a rear Model T leaf spring apart the first time he tried and just did the obvious...ouch, it hurts to just think about it!
Thanks for the identification on my springs guys. I will assume the less tall one with the longer distance between eyes is 26-27.
I have no recollection as to how the heavier one came to my garage.
Thanks for the reminder about the center bolt. I'm a veteran on disassembling and reassembling them but safety reminders are always a good idea on this forum because I'm sure a few new guys also read these threads and there's always something I've forgotten over time.
I don't think T rear springs are quite as dangerous as mentioned, but it sure doesn't hurt to be careful. I use a large C clamp to hold the spring leafs tight while I unscrew the nut. Then, I just unscrew the c clamp, no big deal.
Tom & All,
I think the literature says the "Improved" 26-27 cars set 1" lower than previous years. The 1/2" drop in the front spindles would account for half of that. I believe the remaining had to come from the springs. I can find front springs in my pile that have less of an arch. When you set these next to earlier individual leaf's, they obviously have less of an arch. It has been a while since I looked at them, but I think there were some front 26-27 springs that had more leaves than others. Probably due to heavier body styles or maybe TT's? As for the rear springs, I can't say about 26-27. I have tried to look for ones that were shorter in height for a 26-27 but can't really say that I have found a distinguishable feature. Here's another thought...on the rear springs I have installed on early cars (taper leaf), they don't require the use of a spring spreader to hook them up to the shackles, but some of the clip leaf's do (like the one in your photo). Does that mean the longer clip leaf rear springs are earlier than the shorter ones? If the 26-27 T's set 1" lower, how did they accomplish this in the rear if it wasn't done with the springs? Perhaps some good research of the original parts catalogs would lend some answers. I don't think I could say, without a doubt, that the short (vertically) spring in you photo is 26-27.