The bad Shackle Revisited

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules
User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:47 pm

6 years ago I posted the failure of my rear spring shackle. The photo became the "poster boy" for this style and it's problems. Several others mentioned their disappointments with them. I didn't want to be the complaining customer and have reported that even though I had bought some of the better shackles the 3 remaining shackles were in place and working. This weekend I finally got around to replacing the rears. While the remaining rear shackle was doing it's job it had worn the hole in one side larger and oval.
Shackle01.jpg
Part of my procrastination was that I was avoiding having to spread the spring. I decided to make a spring spreader out of some old pipe. I found some 1" (1.315 O. D.) and some 1/2" (.84 O. D.) and slid one inside the other. One heavy wall pipe would be better but this is what I had. The one inch had been a u-shaped hoover wagon tongue for a Model T chassis. I thought that appropriate but on bending it where a hole had been drilled it cracked and seemed like it was cast iron or something brittle. I thought a patch brazed there might give it strength.
This is the part of the story where I ask for sympathy of forgiveness for stupidity. Grinding the patch piece I let the bench grinder grab it and sucked my finger in with it. It only took part of the nail and a couple layers of skin but was a warning to be more careful and made the rest of the work awkward with 3 layers of bandage to keep the dirt out.
At any rate the spreader did work to some degree but needs some refining. The 1/2" threaded rods in each end were not long enough and cocked to an angle. I used some wood wedges under each spring eye. The cotter pins in the nuts behind were merciless to get out. These shackles are best installed before the read end assembly is put under the car.
Shackle02.jpg
I found the loose shackle bolt was greasy but the other had lots of red rust on it and in it's bushing. Further more a piece of felt was still in one oiler. I had thought this was a good idea to keep the oil from running though too fast but evidently it caked and wasn't letting much oil through at all. Shown is a hooked tool to remove the felt. This very well may be what led to the failure 6 years ago. If the shackle bolt seized in the bushing and the link rode on the serrated part it sawed it's way through. If so I need to take responsibility for the failure rather than blaming the design.
Shackle03.jpg
Before the day ended the new shackles were in place. Between the heat and shaky old man I have become it was a trial. But another item I can cross off my list. Getting the job completed always makes it worth while.
Shackle04.jpg
When did I do that?


Norman Kling
Posts: 475
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:39 pm
First Name: Norman
Last Name: Kling
Location: Alpine California

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:12 pm

You shouldn't even need a spring spreader. Just put small 2x4 blocks between the ends of the spring and the axle housing. Put in one shackle and then lower the body/frame. The spring will spread until you can push the shackle right in. You might need to add some weight to the back of the body to do this, but either someone in the back seat if it has one or old engine block or flywheel etc You should be able to push the shackle right in and bolt things up.
Norm


Erik Johnson
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:25 pm
First Name: Erik
Last Name: Johnson
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:48 pm

To add to what Norm posted above about resting the spring on wood blocks:

Also, loosen the perch bolts as much as possible so the perches are further inboard. This will make installing the shackles easier and you should be able to avoid the need to spread the spring on the wood blocks by adding weight to the car. Once the shackles are installed, align and tighten the perches. This is how I installed the shackles in my dad's touring and my roadster.

User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:26 pm

OK.
When did I do that?

User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:45 am

Those are very good suggestions. I have installed springs and replaced shackles several ways over the years. Several techniques were used including Norman and Erik's. Perhaps my model A days put me in the wrong direction. The photo shows how I did my A in 1963.
A-spring.jpg
I inherited a Model A spreader and gave it to a Model A guy thinking I didn't need it and he could lend it to other model A guys rather than me lending it out. Sometimes we forget what has worked in the past. On a new installation off the car I simply install the main leaf and then add the other leaves using a long threaded rod instead of the spring bolt. Sometimes c-clamps are added. I guess if I had researched the subject here it would have made the job easier.
P. S. the finger is healing well but I misspell words more often with the bandage.
When did I do that?


MWalker
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:49 am
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Walker
Location: NW Arkansas
MTFCA Number: 314
MTFCA Life Member: YES

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by MWalker » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:05 am

I have posted this before, but it has been a few years. The new shackles are drilled only halfway through, rather than all the way. Since the shackles are at about a 45 degree angle when in place, only one on each end of the car gets oil through that hole and to the bushing. You need to drill them all the way through, so there will be a hole on the bottom side of each one when installed. I haven't bought any new ones for several years; maybe this has been corrected. But I doubt it.


Rich Bingham
Posts: 811
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:23 am
First Name: Rich
Last Name: Bingham
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:46 am

I have never understood why so many reproduction parts are not made to original specifications. ?!?
We have to be our own quality control, and the sum of forum experiences is a huge assist in doing that. For many restorers, anything that fills the hole will do, for a car that's rarely driven. Those of us who actually drive a lot find out sooner or later how sub-standard parts may fail due to poor materials, bad workmanship or bad design.
"Get a horse !"

User avatar

Steve Jelf
Posts: 1805
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:37 pm
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Jelf
Location: Parkerfield, Kansas
MTFCA Number: 16175
MTFCI Number: 14758
Board Member Since: 2007
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:56 am

IMG_4186 copy.JPG
I quit bothering with a spreader or blocks when I learned about loosening the perch nuts. That relaxes the spring for removing or installing shackles.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


Original Smith
Posts: 1013
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:43 am
First Name: Larry
Last Name: Smith
Location: Lomita, California
MTFCA Number: 121
MTFCA Life Member: YES
MTFCI Number: 16310

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Original Smith » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:03 am

Our parts guys have no business selling inferior parts. Swap meets are loaded with good used original genuine Ford shackles. All you need to do is come with a micrometer and a rag. I got on a friends case a few days ago for having replacement shackles on his car. These were made probably 50 years ago, and the company used the same patterns for front and rear, which almost allows the front spring to lay on the front axle!

User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:30 am

I believe this is the choice I had when I purchased the shackles in question. At that point in time my budget opted for the less expensive ones. Who would have thought they would fail? The price difference and the similar illustration did not convince me.
This was before the forum. We owe a lot to the folks who make the better parts but don't always support them with our dollars.
SkackleAd.jpg
When did I do that?

User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:03 pm

Another problem folks may be having is installing new bushings and not reaming them. Either type of shackle can be forced in place and be too tight to rotate properly. Eventually they should wear to fit but reamers are offered by the vendors for some reason. I didn't see anything in the Ford manual about reaming bushings.
When did I do that?

User avatar

Steve Jelf
Posts: 1805
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:37 pm
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Jelf
Location: Parkerfield, Kansas
MTFCA Number: 16175
MTFCI Number: 14758
Board Member Since: 2007
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:14 pm

In some cases reaming may be needed just get the shackle into the bushing. That goes for both kinds of bushings.

IMG_3955 copy 2.JPG
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

User avatar

RustyFords
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:16 am
First Name: Don
Last Name: Allen
Location: Houston, TX
MTFCA Number: 50001

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by RustyFords » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:16 pm

On my front axle, the shackles fit very nicely into the new bushings I got from Langs. However, the bushings seem to be way too oversized for the new spring perches.
1924 Touring

User avatar

Topic author
Rich Eagle
Posts: 1730
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:51 am
First Name: Richard
Last Name: Eagle
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
MTFCA Number: 1219
Contact:

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Rich Eagle » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:57 am

I finally replaced the front shackles after buying front and rears 5 years ago. No problems or surprises except I still wonder why the old shackle bolts are magnetic. One is stronger than the the other three.
In all fairness to the maker of those, they did work fine for many years but were all loose in the crossbar.
FrntShkl.jpg
When did I do that?


jab35
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:28 pm
First Name: James
Last Name: Bartsch
Location: Dryden, NY 13053
MTFCA Number: 30615

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by jab35 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:15 pm

IMHO, Removing a rear wheel and monkeying to loosen the perch, plus putting that all back together is about as much extra work as using the spring spreader. jb


Scott_Conger
Posts: 1813
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: The bad Shackle Revisited

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:54 pm

A block of wood under the spring eye is even faster.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic