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Project A: Leaf Springs Removal and Arching

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  • Project A: Leaf Springs Removal and Arching

    Leaf Spring Arch measurements:
    Ok, axle is pulled, blasted, primed and in the "Drive Line Services" shop for highway gearing.

    Next item:
    Leaf Springs (this is a '63 Avanti) looked low to me. But then again, how would I "know". I understand that Avanti used leaf springs from a Studebaker Truck for better control.

    Questions:
    1. What is the height of the top of the arch,top of the highest leaf(in inches) with the springs upside down on the ground?
    2. Who do you recommend in North Central TX, or just TX, for spring re-arching? URL/Phone number please!
    3. Where Can I get extra long springs for the do-itself approach?
    4. bet I forgot something!

    thanks!


    Terry,
    1963 Avanti R2, 63SR1065 http://sterkel.org/avanti
    1985 Kubota L2202 (Diesel)
    2000 VW Jetta GLS

  • #2
    Terry, I had the springs in my Grand Wag re-arched a few years ago. There should be a spring shop in your area; just check the yellow pages under "automotive services." There's usually one shop that's been around forever that can do this work without any problem.


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      In central Pa that's Penn Public Truck & Equipment in Altoona. They have specs for many older cars and may be able to build new springs for less than you think, and they also re-arch and re-bush. Since I don't know where you're at, that may or may not help.

      Brad Johnson
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      33 Rockne 10
      51 Commander Starlight
      53 Commander Starlight

      previously: 63 Cruiser, 62 Regal VI, 60 VI convertible, 50 LandCruiser
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

      Comment


      • #4
        I live in northern Texas, yee'haw!

        quote:Originally posted by tsterkel

        Leaf Spring Arch measurements:
        Ok, axle is pulled, blasted, primed and in the "Drive Line Services" shop for highway gearing.

        Next item:
        Leaf Springs (this is a '63 Avanti) looked low to me. But then again, how would I "know". I understand that Avanti used leaf springs from a Studebaker Truck for better control.

        Questions:
        1. What is the height of the top of the arch,top of the highest leaf(in inches) with the springs upside down on the ground?
        2. Who do you recommend for spring re-arching? URL/Phone number please!
        3. Where Can I get extra long springs for the do-itself approach?
        4. bet I forgot something!

        thanks!


        Terry,
        1963 Avanti R2, 63SR1065 http://sterkel.org/avanti
        1985 Kubota L2202 (Diesel)
        2000 VW Jetta GLS
        Terry,
        1963 Avanti R2, 63SR1065 http://sterkel.org/avanti
        1985 Kubota L2202 (Diesel)
        2000 VW Jetta GLS

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting, I have had little trouble with removing suspension nuts/bolts. Spray on the Kroil, turn, if it does not turn easy to medium-hard, spray again and wait a few hours.

          This does not work with the Leaf Springs. While I can remove the nut, the bolt is frozen in the bushing, I think, even after one week.

          Other than me getting out the Sawzall, what are my options.

          Terry,
          1963 Avanti R2, 63SR1065 http://sterkel.org/avanti
          1985 Kubota L2202 (Diesel)
          2000 VW Jetta GLS

          Comment


          • #6
            Sawzall or cutoff wheel really is your best option. Just plan on buying new spring bushings. The problem is that the spring bushings are like really big shock bushings with metal sleeves; the metal sleeve has rusted to the bolt and you are not going to get it free if it's really rusted. This is not as horrible as it sounds; you probably should have bought new bushings anyway.

            Like the front suspension bushings, don't tighten down the leaf spring bolts until the car is on the ground and "settled."

            nate

            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              Do the bolts come out of the shackles or do you have to replace the whole shackle?
              I have been looking for new shackles and have not found a source.

              Neal

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              • #8
                quote:Originally posted by Neal IN

                Do the bolts come out of the shackles or do you have to replace the whole shackle?
                I have been looking for new shackles and have not found a source.

                Neal
                my plan is to cut through the bushings, preserving the brackets/shackles

                Terry,
                1963 Avanti R2, 63SR1065 http://sterkel.org/avanti
                1985 Kubota L2202 (Diesel)
                2000 VW Jetta GLS

                Comment


                • #9
                  You will, most likely, have to sawz-all the bolts the release the springs. That's the easy part. Replacing the bushings, especially the one in the frame, will be the challenge. I've done a half dozen cars and none have been able to be removed, with the threaded rod/socket trick.
                  What I resorted to, was to destroy the rubber and punch out the center steel collar, then remove the balance of the rubber and carefully cut through the outer bushing shell with a hack saw blade.
                  You can install the bushing with the threaded rods, etc, in both the frame and spring loops. Use some anti-sieze, on the shell, for the next guy
                  Re-arching the springs isn't always a permanent fix, but on the light end of an Avanti, it may stay for a while. One alternative is to add a leaf or two, which will stiffen up the original pack and get the car back to the original height.
                  Be sure you note (on both sides) which holes, the front bushing was mounted in.
                  64 GT Hawk (K7)
                  1970 Avanti (R3)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by 55Prez

                    You will, most likely, have to sawz-all the bolts the release the springs. That's the easy part. Replacing the bushings, especially the one in the frame, will be the challenge. I've done a half dozen cars and none have been able to be removed, with the threaded rod/socket trick.
                    What I resorted to, was to destroy the rubber and punch out the center steel collar, then remove the balance of the rubber and carefully cut through the outer bushing shell with a hack saw blade.
                    You can install the bushing with the threaded rods, etc, in both the frame and spring loops. Use some anti-sieze, on the shell, for the next guy....
                    I just went through all this yesterday and today. I followed Bob's good advice and sawed off the bushing bolts with a Sawz-All. I went through five bi-metal heavy metal-rated Sawz-All blades to make four cuts. I only did the lower rear bushings for now. I could see that they were really bad and I didn't want to go through removing the entire springs so I did this on the car. I didn't have any trouble getting the rubber off the out sleeve of the old bushings. I pushed out the rubber with my finger. Do these bushings look like they were shot?

                    I installed the new bushings pretty easily with a pusher/puller made of a long bolt, nut and washers. I used a socket that lined up with the outer sleeve of the bushing on the pusher end and another socket on the nut and washer end to allow the "snout" of the bushing to go to its proper depth.

                    I dread trying to get at the front bushing. With a "X" frame... And, it looks like the gas tank has to be dropped to get at the shackle to frame bushing in the back.[xx(]

                    [img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/64%20Daytona%20Convertible/Copy%20of%20DaytonaConvert7-20-06.JPG[/img=right]

                    Paul Johnson
                    '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
                    '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
                    '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
                    Museum R-4 engine
                    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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