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Old 01-21-2008, 07:34 PM
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Leaf spring mounting question

Here's a question for somebody who knows more about suspension geometry than I do! I pulled the body off my "Fordillac" and pulled the engine today, and something struck me about the way I have the front springs mounted. They're parallel leaves, '35 Dodge or Plymouth. I have the rear spring hangers mounted in such a way that with no load on the springs, like right now with no weight on the chassis, that the shackles are hanging straight down from the hangers.

It occured to me that this isn't correct, that I should move the hangers to the rear so that with no load, the shackles would be at an angle towards the front of the spring, and as they are loaded, the spring will straighten, pushing the shackle back and down, so that fully loaded they would be directly under the hanger. Am I correct in this?

I looked at my '51 Pontiac wagon rear springs, the shackles are straight down under the hangers, 90 degrees to the spring. I recall when I built it, the hangers were almost paralell to the spring eye, pointing towards the front. My '00 Silverado hangers are also at 90 degrees to the spring, although the spring is above the hanger. It's easy to do this now, as I have the hangers just spot welded to the frame. This would also raise the frame a bit relative to the axle, which needs to happen as well. Any advice?


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Old 01-22-2008, 08:24 AM
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In general you are correct. However look at how the shackles are positioned with the full car weight. That is more important. As long as they support the weight and appear capable of deflecting with a big pot hole slam and not 'bottom out' or let the spring lock up by deflecting full back and strike the frame, then they are fine. Depends on how strong the springs are vs. their length. For example, my '53 Chevy pickup rear springs had vertical shackles at lo load but barely deflected back w/ load. There were so many leaves in the springs that they barely deflected! Of course those trucks were designed for carrying a ton or so of farm stuff over clod fields.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:30 AM
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this might be helpful for deciding how much your springs will deflect, in turn helping you decide how much travel the shackel needs.
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