View Full Version : springs from sasco

01-12-2008, 10:25 AM
I put the springs from dennis in the 59lark and can't get the rebound rubbers in , so I put the old 259 back in with tranny for some weight but it fails to compress the spring , so WE climbed up on top no compression. Took a bunch of weight plus us with the jack under the a frame no copression. here"s my problem could it be i have the wrong springs, the only markings on the spring is white and red paint, is this the way you tell what they are ? the coils measure .72 thick . They look like there is too many coils in there. The shocks can't hook up either. Any help? Thanks Joe

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1959 HARDTOP R2 clone
1960 conv
SDC member since 1972

Tom B
01-12-2008, 10:35 AM
My 55 President State sedan front springs are .66 in diameter. Yours are 20% larger, stiffer. And they're for a Lark? I'd want some thinner springs.

I stand somewhat corrected, the .72 springs are 20% larger in cross sectional area than the .66 springs.

Tom Bredehoft
'53 Commander Coupe
'55 President State Sedan (Under Construction) 99.5 hrs.
'05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
All Indiana built cars

01-12-2008, 10:36 AM
Off-topic here: who did you use for your disc brake conversion?

As for the very strong springs; it is possible that yours may be correct.

I few weeks ago; I had to install a 1" spring spacer on a 1954 Buick Skylark (basically a fancy Special) to get the car to level out. It took a bit of effort to sneak the springs in there.

That stated; when I sat in the car, the driver's side dipped down at least 1 full inch. I swear the car needed stiffer springs-----and, the ones in there were NOS.

01-12-2008, 12:00 PM
Hey 59r2
I put station wagon coils in my old 61 & in my current 63 Lark. Put your floor jack under the bottom of the king pin nut. With the weight of the engine & trans installed. Jack it up until the rebound rubber can be installed. Make sure that everything is secure and stable before putting your fingers into the pinch point. Use pliers or something preferably. [:0]



01-12-2008, 12:12 PM
I'm confused. The only definitive measurement I see in the original post is that the springs are".72 inch in diameter". This is not 20 percent thicker than Tom B's .66"--that's not even 10 percent thicker, but if the wire is 10 precent larger in diameter the stiffness increase is likely more than 10 precent. But .72" in diameter seems awfully thick, but then the composition (metallurgy)of the steel used would be very significant in the stiffness also--take 'em back.


01-12-2008, 01:42 PM
I posted this some time ago on the spring wire diameter:

I am not a mechanical engineer (just a electrical...), however... My copy of the machinery handbook gives a eqn for the spring rate (lbs/in) of a spring like this as:

rate = (G*d^4)/(8*N*D^3)

The inportant items here are d and N I think. d is the diameter of the wire used to make the spring and N is the number of coils. If nothing else was different between the 2 except for the wire size, the spring with the bigger wire would be about 25% stiffer using your numbers. So, a small difference in the spring wire diameter makes a big difference! The other variables G and D are the material "springiness" of the steel and the OD of the spring. The other thing that is interesting here is if N goes down (cause you cut off the coil to make it shorter to lower the car) then the remaining spring gets stiffer. For example, say N was 6 and you cut a coil to make it 5. Then the spring rate increased about 20% Again, a pretty big difference!

The effect on the stiffness due to changes in the diameter of the spring wire is to the 4th power! So, all else being equal, increasing the diameter from 0.66" to 0.72" is a 41% increase:


.2687/.1897=1.416 or 1.416 times as stiff, ie 41% stiffer. Spring "rate" means how much the spring compresses for a given load, expressed in lbs/inch. So, if a spring is 1.416 times as stiff as a different spring, then it will compress 70.6% percent as much with a given load (1/1.416).

Now, if there are more coils in the spring, since that factor works the other way, so more coils make for a less stiff spring (again, all else being equal). In practice, hard to compare 2 springs when the wire diameter and number of coils are different. Free length (uncompressed) comes into this too.

Make sure the pinch bolt on the top of the kingpin is not stuck under the flange on the frame. I have heard this can happen and hang up the suspension. If its not that or your suspension bushings being too tight/binding then your springs are probably too stiff.

Jeff in ND
'53 Champion Hardtop

01-12-2008, 08:44 PM
Doesn't that same formula hold true for sway bars too?

01-12-2008, 08:59 PM
One size does NOT fit all~

StudeDave [8D]

01-13-2008, 12:26 AM
If you tightened the rubber bushing cap bolts with the suspension not
at ride height, they can hold the car from settling down. You should
not torque the cap bolts until the car is assembled and ready to drive.
If they are tightened, loosen them all and bounce on the frame.


'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

01-13-2008, 12:46 AM
I had a similar problem on my 55 hardtop. The front spring wouldn't compress no matter how I jumped on the front end. Eventually I figures out that the upper outter pin bolt through the kingpin must only be put in one way, otherwise the nut sticks out too far and binds on the chassis or bouncer mount (can't remember which it was). Check that bolt, see if that or something else is catching on the chassis from the kingpin or upper A-arm.

Best Regards,
Eric West
"The Speedster Kid"
Sunny Northern California
Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
55 President State Sedan (Rusty original, but runs great and reliable)

01-13-2008, 08:51 AM
59r2- I'm following this thread as I am thinking of new front coils on my 63 Hawk, and had contacted SASCO about the units they sell- that's what these are, correct?
I think the "One size does NOT fit all" comment is very true...
For me, I was concerned that the SASCO springs may be "too" heavy duty and I would end up with the "nose up, gasser" look that I'd already been through on this car. We had put a set of EXTRA HD springs on years ago that would never compress much. I recall having a couple of neighbors sit on each fender with a jack under the control arm so I could get things back together.
I took those out a couple years back and put in some used springs- now it sits too low(plus they are too mushy from age..).
Not sure if I may have some made for the car, or take the chance on the vendors' springs. Any suggestions for Hawks(289, 4speed)?

Thanks and good luck with your project! Matt :)

1963 GT Hawk
1960 Metropolitan Convertible
1972 AMC Javelin/ AMX
1958 Cushman Eagle

01-13-2008, 09:40 AM
This seems like a REAL concern--that being you buy springs from one of the venders and NEVER know what you are getting as to ride, vehicle height, compressibility of springs, etc, until after you go through all the work of installing them. I wonder if the venders ever go on this forum and read some of our comments? And one "bone to pick" I have with one of them concerns his warranty.........or lack thereof.


01-13-2008, 10:03 AM
62larl- turner brakes
I do have the bolts with the nut facing in after this reply I am going to re verse them
with do respect to sasco I have not talked to him yet(I plan to call him monday).
While we jump up and down on the frame with the engine in ,the A frame nugged some. I don't think the bolts are the problem.I think ,AS I have been reviewing past treads with pictures. None seem to have the thickness of my springs or look as crowded as mine. Has anyone used the hd's from SI yet ?

1959 HARDTOP R2 clone
1960 conv
SDC member since 1972

01-13-2008, 02:45 PM
I contacted Eaton Springs some time ago, and they explained that they
have all the specs for Studebaker, and even offer lowering springs. I
remember their prices not being that high either.



01-14-2008, 09:42 AM
When I did the Hawk back in the 80's I installed "new" springs up front and the car sat way too high up in the front. Everyone told me that once the engine was in the car would sit right. Never did.

I wound up pulling the new springs and putting back the original 30 plus year old springs. The car sat right. It is now 20 plus years later and I have not experienced any steering or handling issues.

01-14-2008, 10:09 AM
Maybe the set they sent is for a 56 Golden Hawk.

01-14-2008, 05:44 PM
And........maybe "they" try to make one design of spring fit too many applications. I'm tempted to continue using my 45 year old springs, also, as I don't want to end up with a "front up" attitude. The bottom line is that we have a three way "marriage" here (two way is bad enough!) between the vendor, the SDC, and us (the hobbyist). The three partners need to work CLOSELY together to have reasonable expectations satisfied in the parts we purchase. One way to help in this area is to have (insist?) the vendor give us honest asnswers to the question "is this part produced exclusively for the model I'm ordering it for or is it a one 'size' fits all?" Too often we are at the mercy of the vendor. I guess I'm old fashioned (no, that couldn't possibly be true) as when I pay to have work done (or buy something) I expect the individual doing the work to perform to MY standards....inasmuch as I'm paying the bill. If I tell them what I want they are obligated either to work to my standard or decline the work. But I imagine neither vendors nor the SDC read items on this forum very often.


01-14-2008, 06:07 PM
I called dennis today he said they should fit, the reason they are not compressing is because i don't have the ends pointing perfectly pointing to the engine and at 90 degrees to the center of the A-frame(they are off slightly)( BOLOnegna). My next call to day was to dave tbo and ordered a set of hd he says will fit . I will compare the springs to the originals, sasco's, tbo when these come.I am in no rush now that I found out that the fly wheel 'bolts are for an auto so I have to swap them out with the old engine's. So I started installing the dual masterclyinder only to find out I have to cut a 2.25" hole in the body support and fabricate a plate to catch the return spring for the clutch pedal everdently the turner conversion kits are for auto's.So i started putting the new rear springs from jm they fit like gloves but the rear stablizer bar lower spring plates are for dana 44 rears which i wasn"t going to change till after YORK, Iwill will put the 44 ubolt's on the 27 so i can at least get something complete. I guess it is just another day working on studes (you gotta love them to go through this)

1959 HARDTOP R2 clone
1960 conv
SDC member since 1972

01-16-2008, 04:32 AM
Looks like you are missing the front fenders. What else is removed from the car that would make the front end lighter? I had the same experience once when installing new springs in a 56J. With the front fenders, bumper, radiator, hood, etc. removed, the car was too light to properly compress the springs. I called the manufacturer and he advised to wait till the car was reasembled to becoming alarmed. He was right, once the several hundred pounds of weight were back on, the car came down to where it should be. Also, bear in mind that it will sit high the first 50-100 miles, until the springs settle in; will likely drop down an inch or so.

Joe H

01-16-2008, 09:36 AM
I was talking to Dennis SASCO about a unrelated issue today and mentioned this thread. Dennis is as confused as the rest of us. Basically, the springs as described don't match anything Dennis sold or sells. Apparently they were purchased some time ago, and no one has a record of the part number, or when or where they were purchased. He has no record of the sale since he's been SASCO. He of course would replace them if he could find out that information.
Oddly, the springs he's now ordered from T-Bow will be dropped shipped from SASCO anyway. I don't know the history of the springs he has now, but I do know that trying to install them without a compressor and little weight on the front end may be impossible.

63 R2 SuperHawk (Caesar)
spent to date $54664,75
64 R2 GT (Sid)
spent to date $62,839.60
63 Lark 2 door
51 Commander
39 Coupe express
39 Coupe express (rod)

01-16-2008, 11:50 AM
How did you install the outer trunnions? Did you use the correct spreader-tool, or use something similar? If you did NOT use a tool of any kind, you have probably collapsed the outer control arm, and put the trunnions in a bind- the suspension will not move easily at all if this is the case.

While installing the front suspensions, I put the rubber jounce-bumpers in, but use a block of 2x4 to keep the upper control arm from squashing them when the spring is released. I remove them AFTER the entire front end is installed. Usually- just jacking the car up by the lower control arm will allow their removal.

The inner control arm bushings (rubber or delrin) and how tight their bolts are--- should have no bearing whatsoever on whether you have suspension travel.

edit: I also use the springs from Fairborn (Phil Harris)- and have never had any problems with them (4-5 sets)


Specializing in Studebaker Restoration

01-16-2008, 04:02 PM
Ray, Yes I installed the truions correctly, the outer bushing caps are finger tight . Yes I have also installed 4-5 pairs of front springs in my other stude and other cars with king pinns , which is making think these are wrong . As perviously mentioned I have a new set on the way and I will report back, thanks for your concern.

1959 HARDTOP R2 clone
1960 conv
SDC member since 1972

01-16-2008, 04:44 PM
I think you mean the INNER bushing washer bolts, right?
If the outer PIN bushings were loose, you would have to do the whole job over!

Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

01-16-2008, 08:32 PM
quote:Originally posted by StudeDave57

[size=4][font=Comic Sans MS][b]One size does NOT fit all~

I couldn't agree more. Just look at a Chassis Parts catalog and see the dozens of different part numbers for a single year.
Rather than replacing the soft, sagging front springs on my Daytona convertible, I just installed a pair of the 1/2" spacers that Jon Myer sells. One on each side raised the front about 1 3/4". That, combined with adding a well-used set of re-bushed six-leaf rears (the originals off my 130,000 mile Wagonaire) and a set of NOS Gabriel adjustable front shocks, made a remarkable difference in ride and handling.

[img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia
'53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
'64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
'64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
Museum R-4 engine
1962 Gravely Model L (Studebaker-Packard serial plate)
1972 Gravely Model 430 (Studebaker name plate, Studebaker Onan engine)

01-17-2008, 06:08 AM
Also bear in mind that spring manufacture is not the world's most exact science. Worked for a brand X company some years ago. They had to classify each spring "Light, Medium or Hard" (colour markings) and a Light and a Hard spring could not be fitted to the same vehicle (the body would lean to one side). And that was for seemingly identical springs.

01-21-2008, 09:39 AM
In looking at your first photo, I assume the white spring is the problem?? That particular spring does not appear to have a flat ground on the top coil of the spring which would be wrong to begin with. The flats keep the last coil from slipping over the following coil.
Is there a part # on the inside or outside of the first coil??
If you have any interest, I've used '72 Oldsmobile station wagon rear overload springs in the front of some of my Studes. They are inexpensive and can be bought from NAPA. The flat that I mentioned needs to be ground on the springs though. I did that with a right angle grinder.

02-03-2008, 05:39 PM
Sorry I took so long to reply on new springs, had a death in family.
The newer springs from sasco are .66" in dia. two rings less than stock and fit right in with rebound rubbers ,Ihope the are as heavy duty as I will like.



1959 HARDTOP R2 clone
1960 conv
SDC member since 1972

02-03-2008, 07:05 PM
So what did you do different this time?

Did you order Std. instead of HD?

These have the correct flats on the end of the last coil of both ends, where the first set did not, as well as a big difference in wire dia.

Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

02-03-2008, 11:08 PM
Sorry to hear of your loss.

I wonder if those were sliding roof station wagon springs? What is
the sway bar you are running? Is that the Tbow one?


quote:Originally posted by 59r2

Sorry I took so long to reply on new springs, had a death in family.
The newer springs from sasco are .66" in dia. two rings less than stock and fit right in with rebound rubbers