I have never done any spring work on a Model T, but with the later Fords you need a spring spreader to remove and reinstall the leaf springs unless you do not have a high value on your life. Is there a spreader for the Model T? At some point in the future I want to remove my 27 Ts rear axle for a (hopefully) routine overhaul.
This guy didn't use a spreader, but note that he supported the frame up high enough to let the rear axle hang down completely, then he loosened the spring perch nuts enough to allow the spring to completely relax before he removed the spring shackles.
I recently removed my rear axle exactly as Steve Jelf did in his video. Worked perfectly. Is there something different about a later Model T that makes this method not practical ?
I have always used this method and never needed a spreader.
I especially enjoyed Daisy Jelfs's cameo appearance in this well made video!
You can get by without one. Several different versions do exist. Here is one of them.
If you have to fabricate the bracket, then bolt it to your floor jack, then why not build a spring spreader? It's pretty simple and most of us have the scrap metal around the shop.
Once finished, write your name on it because Model T friends like to borrow it.
I have a CAD drawing done by a friend- send me a PM and I'll email you a PDF of the plans.
(Message edited by 6volt on December 05, 2016)
You can also support the car as Mark described but instead of loosening the perches put short pieces of 2x4 between the shackles and the axle tube. Place a jack under the differential and raise the rear axle until the weight is being carried by the 2x4's. There is a point when doing this that the shackles are completely unloaded and can be tapped out with a hammer and punch.
I made the two-point jack attachment because I didn't want to put all the weight of the car on the pumpkin. That may not have been necessary, but why risk bending the tubes?
I've done it with and without a spreader. The spreader was a little easier and quicker for me but the "spreaderless" way was not a big deal. I used my Model A spring spreader. I should mention, I only did the rear spring.
I'm only going to "do" the rear spring, but as I am currently pretty much out of comission due to a busted leg, I don't want to give up 2-3 months again. If a spreader costs $150, it's a hell of a lot cheaper then my current series of medical bills which are already north of what I could have purchased another decent T for.
I dont have a model T, but I collect the tools. Here is my early 1930's Snap On spring spreader
I have an ARPCO spring jack (spreader), made in New Holstein, Wisconsin. It is for Model T and Model A, and may work on the early V-8 models, too. I have owned it many years, but only have used it a few times. It works great!
New Holstein is where the Snow Flyer, Snow Bird, and Arps conversion kits were made to convert Model T's, Model A's, and other early cars into snow machines for winter travel. Some of them were narrowered axles and springs to travel in the sleigh and bobsled tracks. This spring spreader will adjust down to fit those springs.
Thanks for all of your replies, guys. I will find a good spreader somewhere.
John, I bought a new spring spreader from Snyder's about ten years ago. It works good on Model T and A rear springs. They currently list them for sale for around $75.
I had a Meily- Blumberg road maintainer made in New Holstein, powered by Farmall H. Had an opportunity to visit New Holstein 20 years ago, the plant was still there. Dave in Bellingham,Wa
John, I guess you missed it but you do not need a spreader. The safest way to remove springs is the Jelf method, in the opinion of many.
This may be a bit outside the box, but I made myself a pair of long "U" bolts around the spring and the frame and gradually tighten them up until the spring was aligned, it worked and was safe.
Been taking T's apart and putting them together for a long time. Never once needed a spring spreader. Those are for Model A's. Read the Ford shop manual.
They did not use a spring spreader at the factory. Here is a video of them using the same method Steve Jelf uses.
Note the liberal use of hammers! Somebody else down the line must do the final tightening and cotter pin installations.
It would be nice to have those factory films in new prints. All the ones online look like several generations of copies.