15 August 2011

front spring clamp rant

You know when your thinking something is going to be a slam dunk,
easy peasy.
Most likely you just jinxed yourself.

Last year when I pulled the 40 to the house,
there was no front spring.
A modified chunk of angle iron acted as a temporary spring.
It was very sketchy to say the least.
The road home is a little bumpy and there are many turns,
and since gravity was the only thing holding the frame and spring together,
by the time it was home the fake spring had slid out of the positioning hole in the crossmember.

So one of the few things I did do while it was in the garage was find a front spring.
With the engine in I couldn't install spring clamps as I never made the holes.
The tow back to the shop was much better,
at least the spring gave a little suspension.
The car would rock from side to side since it was pivoting on top of the spring center,
and again the spring bounced out of the locator hole.

Now needless to say,
front spring clamps have been one of those long awaited mini projects.
With the engine out I could finally throw them in.
Quick and easy.

donor spring clamps

I've got milk crates full of this old junk.
All separated into like things.

Some day I need to get a 12-pack,
and sit in front of the bead blaster cleaning all this stuff up.
Everything always needs a little rub down.

Thankfully when I was building the crossmember,
I had measured for the use of stock u-bolts.


See those big pads on the outside of the crossmember?
Those are the motormount bases for the stock flathead running gear,
just in case.

The holes were easy,
other than the battery dying at the start of the last hole.
No problem.
I needed to clean up the bases anyway.

ford spring clamp bases

I love using real FORD pieces.
Someone designed these things and made molds to reproduce them.
There are many variations but this dog-bone style is one of the best.
Too bad they're underneath the car.

Anyway they seemed to fit well so I painted them up after wirewheeling them.
They were so beautifully painted,
obviously they weren't going to fit.
The crossmember was a little tight,
so the uprights on those bases had to be shaved just enough to slide in.

I was lucky to find some u-bolts with nice threads,
but I didn't plan on there not being enough thread as some spring leaves were removed.
By now my quicky after work job had been dragging on,
so instead of making a shorty filler leaf underneath the spring,
(which would have solved the grinding of the upright problem)
I half-assed some fat aluminum hole-saw-scrap washers to fill the gap.

half-assed front spring clamps

they were finally in.
Usually when I sat on the running board,
the body would rock to the side.
With the engine out it was more pronounced as the spring has more of an arc.
Way different with the clamped spring.


one not-so-quick job 90% done.

Now the front shocks should go in really quick...


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