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Old 06-13-2013, 06:45 AM
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rear end movement - tires rubbing

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I recently took ownership of her uncles 32 ford roadster. Im a bike guy so I have a lot to learn when it comes to cars/hotrods.

I am having issues with the rear tires rubbing on the body. I put blue painters tape on the rub spots and found it only seems to happen when I am hard on the throttle. Another thing I noticed is the distance between the side of the tire and the body changes after driving it. Sometimes the left side is tighter, sometimes the right side.

I assume its something in the rear suspension moving. I used a metal marker to mark all the points that could potentially move but after some driving and close inspection I found nothing. Also jacked the car up to see if I could find any movement, nothing.

Please see pictures below. Is this a transverse leaf spring rear suspension? What in the rear end is moving? What can I do to fix it? Do I need rims with more offset? Eventually I would like to get even more power out of the otherwise stock 1960 401ci buick nailhead so I want to make sure I fix this issue correctly.

Thanks,
Sean
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:50 AM
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move'n

most times with the spring set up u have a pan hard bar is not used.. but u may want to consider it.. i really can't see what u have attached to the rear for front to rear suspension. u have a 4 link or something.. maybe worn heim joints ??? guess bottom line is what is on the rear... ??
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:03 AM
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Welcome to the forum!
Nice ride!!

Looks like P&J's ladder bar set up. Your rear transverse spring is about an inch too long. The shackles should be at a 45 degree angle. Yours are close to straight down. That's why it shifts side to side.
A panhard bar might help but you need to move the brackets the shackles bolt to or install a shorter main leaf.
Offset wheels will stop the rubbing but not cure the side to side movement.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:10 AM
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The shackles on the transverse leaf allow some movement side to side. As torque is applied one side of the car is pushed up and the other down. That rotation pushes the shackles in opposite directions causing the sideways shift. A panhard bar would control that. It looks like you have a parallel 4-bar which keeps the axle from rotating, but does not prevent side to side movement. A triangular 4-bar would control that, but would be much harder to build than just adding a panhard bar.
Wheels with less backspacing or using spacers (good ones that bolt in), would prevent the rubbing, but it would be much better to prevent the axle from moving side to side.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:36 PM
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'Nuts is right , the spring is too long for the distance between the mounts...properly set up there is no need for a panhard on a transverse leaf suspension , the springs tension keeps the axle aligned.
dave
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:56 AM
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axle width

Is there enough space between the brake backing plates and the spring eye to move the mounts out. If not either a panhard bar or sell the axle and buy one a couple inches wider and have new bracketry made. In th 50's they sold longer shackels as the cheap way to lower a car, and then you got a lot of front and rear axle movement and scarry handling.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:08 AM
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It also looks like your tire is closer to the body on the right than the left, that's not good.
A simple fix may be a spacer behind the wheel (I ran them for years in my truck) a quarter inch can do wonders, that and a little narrower tire, that may be all you need and the problem is fixed. Not the best way, but the "Bestest" way.

Brian
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:14 AM
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Look at the shackle angle Brian. THe frame/body are shifted to that side. He needs the right spring. Shorter and installed in tension and a few less leafs too. That must ride quite stiff.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:04 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

How do I go about selecting the correct leaf spring? The current leaf spring is 6 leafs, 2.25" wide, 42" eye to eye with the car sitting on the ground.

RWENUTs, what does it mean to 'install in tension'?
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:12 AM
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I dont understand why there is a transverse leaf on,,,,,,, anything? have you considered switching to coils?
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:20 AM
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Vinnie....as I'm sure you know it's called tradition or old school.....whether it works very well or not. I'll take the coil overs .....by the way, nice looking roadster and the nailhead is perfect.

Last edited by 327NUT; 06-16-2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:30 PM
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spring spacing

With the wheels on the ground is the best way when you don't know the design length. Just measure the distance spring eye to eye and then layout those dimensions and figure out how far apart the mounting brackets should be with the shackels you have to make the shackle at 45*. a soft spring with a lot of arch will flatten out when loaded and spread more. to spread the spring to install it several people have homemade a spreader, usually an end piece to fit in the area between the eye and leaf, a long piece of tubing with a length of threded rod that telescopes into the side pieces, nuts and washers to turn to expand the spring until the eyes line up with your shackles.
I searched leaf spring spreader and I got a rod and custom article about a 40 ford that has picts of a home made one. in tension means the spring is stretched to install .

Last edited by timothale; 06-16-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for the compliments, here are more pics of the motor.

timothale, Moving the brackets is a good idea because at the same time I can move the gusset that goes from the axle to the bracket, it hits the frame on big bumps I do have bump stops to install on the underside of the frame.

How far out do you think I need to move the brackets? The brackets would hit the tire first, I only have 1 3/8" btw the bracket and the tire. I would also have to find a different way to attached the upper shackle because its attached now by a bolt and nut that sticks out the other side. Any idea on the best way to do that?

Thanks,
Sean
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:02 AM
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Rear bracket rework

You have the bracket coming off the rear axle made from flat plate and the 2 tabs with holes in them for the spring shackle. I think you could pull the rear axle, remove the brakes, backing plates, then cut off the tabs and weld a piece of heavy wall tubing directly below the flat plate . for the shackle bolts, . First I would get the didgtal level and get the angle on the pinion then the angle on the spring so you could line up the tubing pieces. It seems like everyone wants a Ford 9 out of a 57 Pass car because they are narrow. The 36 Plymouth coupe my son has, needed wheel spacers to keep the tires from rubbing. If you need it lowered a bit when done you could pull a couple of the top short spring leafs.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:14 AM
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side to side adjustment

When you get the shackle mount figured out, the side to side is located by the bolt going thru the spring fitting in the square hole in the crosmember. I have seen a few cars where the bolt was broken or missing and that would not center the spring, also if the car was driven with loose U bolts holding the spring to the crossmember it can crack and wear the hole. One of my Model A frames has an enlarged hole and short cracks in that area.
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