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Author Topic: rear leaf spring  (Read 8357 times)
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rodney3010
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« on: 19 November, 2011, 09:24:08 PM »

I'm currently dismantling the rear suspension and never having done this before would welcome some advice. The manual shows the leaf springs being paced under compression before being removed with a special Lancia tool. Is this tool specifically required or is there a simpler way?
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LanciAlan
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« Reply #1 on: 19 November, 2011, 09:58:24 PM »

No doubt others can advise from a more methodical perspective but, for what its worth, I have not needed special tools for this work. There are no "deadly" spring loads involved, unlike the front spring.

I would say that removing the back end of the spring (or re-fitting it last) can be a bit tricky as the spring does need to be under load for it to stretch to the length necessary to uncouple from/attach to the spring hangers. This can however be assisted during fitting and removal  by placing a length of wood (something like 2x1 inches and about a foot long) and some smaller packing pieces in the gap between the hangers, the spring and the chassis rail so that the spring doesn't whack off the chassis rail when it comes loose (when re-fitting, the spring can be allowed to slide along this piece as it is placed under tension until it lines up with the hangers). Finer positioning of the spring can be controlled by a lever inserted in the same place Starting at this end can also mean that the spring end can come into contact with the lower end of the inner wheel arch which is slightly delicate.

SO I have found it better to detach the front end of the spring first, and ideally by way of removing the 4 nuts from the mounting bracket on both sides with the springs under full load and then lowering the axle and springs while keeping the car body elevated on blocks. This allows the springs to decompress in a more controlled manner and so that they pull backwards away from the mounting brackets and then downwards as you lower the axle.

If the front mounting bracket nuts won't come free, you may have to start at the rear end as described above since the front shackle pins are quite substantial and bear the full load of the spring whereas it is shared between two shackle pins at the rear and you have two options of approach to detach the spring. However I would not rule out the possibility of removing the front pins first with the use of levers between spring and mounting.

Finally, when dismantling the removed spring, the small (10mm I think) nut and bolt that holds the leaves together is, again, more tricky than life-threatening and requires only the help of an assistant or two to hold and compress the spring while removing and fitting the nut.

If you are removing the axle too, you won't need to loosen the 4 nuts and bolts that fix it to each spring until the whole assembly is off the car. Lifting and lowering the axle is the way to tension and de-tension the spring during removal. You can do one side at a time however. I supported my car on blocks and wood placed under the 90 degree corner under the rear seat where the rearmost part of the floor turns up into the boot floor

The transverse bar fixing nuts and bolts can be tricky too as the bolt side has only a very shallow 17mm flat to grip and can also be seized in the bush.

Hope that helps. Maybe someone else can do better/different.
« Last Edit: 19 November, 2011, 10:12:31 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

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rodney3010
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« Reply #2 on: 19 November, 2011, 10:07:14 PM »

Brilliant, thank you Alan
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LanciAlan
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« Reply #3 on: 19 November, 2011, 10:13:11 PM »

I made some mods just there now. On reflection, re-fitting may not be quite the reverse of removal as lining 4 wobbly mounting bracket bolts up with the mounting bracket still attached to the spring and the spring under tension will be a challenge. However by the time you come to re-fit, you should hopefully have separated the front end of the spring from the mounting bracket and be able to fit the bracket to the car first and then fit the spring to the bracket using levers to line it up in order to fit the shackle pin (having already fixed the rear end of the spring to the rear hangers). Otherwise, you may have to start the re-fit at the front and fit the rear end last. Not a big deal anyhow. Good luck.
« Last Edit: 19 November, 2011, 10:23:17 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

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« Reply #4 on: 19 November, 2011, 10:43:06 PM »

Rodney

I have removed the rear springs as Alan says without too much trouble, And dismantled and rebuilt.... Then bought some new ones...

Tim
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rodney3010
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« Reply #5 on: 20 November, 2011, 08:23:45 PM »

Tim
Interested to know before I start, why did you discard after rebuilding?
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Peter W
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« Reply #6 on: 21 November, 2011, 12:17:55 AM »

Last year I changed both rear springs without too much trouble and no special tooling.  The only difficulty was achieving the 80mm dimension to the bumpstop.  I had to load the boot with a large canvas bag of rubble, which proved to be insufficient so I had to persuade my wife June to stand in the boot as well before I tightened the bushes.  She was not amused.

Peter
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« Reply #7 on: 21 November, 2011, 08:28:11 AM »

Rodders

The rebuilt springs had lost a lot of metal due to rust but interestingly had not lost their temper nor profile. I could flatten them by standing (15 stone) on one at a time and bouncing. I decided they were not up to the job I was building the car for so ordered some new from Cavalitto. My standing and bouncing test on the new ones demonstrated how weak the others had become as I couldn't compress the new ones at all!

Tim
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1955 Aurelia B12
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rodney3010
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« Reply #8 on: 21 November, 2011, 04:36:15 PM »

Ah! Thanks Tim I shall do the bounce test.
Thanks for the tip Peter. I think my wife will be even more unamused at the idea. What are the chances of June volunteering to come and stand in my boot?
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Scott
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« Reply #9 on: 21 November, 2011, 05:05:23 PM »

I had mine done a while back when I was (self) restoring the car.

Taking them off wasn't too much of a problem and they weren't that badly gone in terms of corrosion so I took them to a specialist who confirmed they could be 're-tempered' and did the job of dismantling them, re-tempering the leafs and reassembling them for a reasonable cost.

Now of course the re-tempered springs had a more pronounced 'U' shape so getting them back on the car wasn't the piece of cake that getting them off was. However using a bit of lateral thinking I utilised an old car lifting jack and a length of steel (both loosely held in place on the top of the spring between the mounts with two big U exhaust clamps so nothing could 'fly off'!) and then by gently extending the jack could precision 'lengthen' the spring until it was aligned with the mounting holes and slot the bolts back in. Hey-presto!

Good luck!
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fay66
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« Reply #10 on: 21 November, 2011, 10:59:19 PM »

I had mine done a while back when I was (self) restoring the car.

Taking them off wasn't too much of a problem and they weren't that badly gone in terms of corrosion so I took them to a specialist who confirmed they could be 're-tempered' and did the job of dismantling them, re-tempering the leafs and reassembling them for a reasonable cost.

Now of course the re-tempered springs had a more pronounced 'U' shape so getting them back on the car wasn't the piece of cake that getting them off was. However using a bit of lateral thinking I utilised an old car lifting jack and a length of steel (both loosely held in place on the top of the spring between the mounts with two big U exhaust clamps so nothing could 'fly off'!) and then by gently extending the jack could precision 'lengthen' the spring until it was aligned with the mounting holes and slot the bolts back in. Hey-presto!

Good luck!

Any photos please.
Brian
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« Reply #11 on: 22 November, 2011, 09:23:18 AM »

Unfortunately not! Looking back at invoices I keep with the history of the car I had the re-tempering work done back in 1999. This was before the prevalence of snap happy digital cameras and I didn't think to take any normal photos of my Heath Robinson leaf spring extender at the time! Shame.

The attached mock up I've just created however is what I was kind of talking about. Clearly this is a bit of a pants illustration but gives the gist of my solution!

Looking at that old invoice I used a company called Brost Forge (London N7).



* leafspring.jpg (5.08 KB, 300x98 - viewed 218 times.)
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fay66
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« Reply #12 on: 22 November, 2011, 09:36:57 AM »

Unfortunately not! Looking back at invoices I keep with the history of the car I had the re-tempering work done back in 1999. This was before the prevalence of snap happy digital cameras and I didn't think to take any normal photos of my Heath Robinson leaf spring extender at the time! Shame.

The attached mock up I've just created however is what I was kind of talking about. Clearly this is a bit of a pants illustration but gives the gist of my solution!

Looking at that old invoice I used a company called Brost Forge (London N7).


Thank you, exactly what I was after.
Brian
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« Reply #13 on: 22 November, 2011, 10:05:23 AM »

I did similar, but placed a piece of bar across the inside of the spring and used a large G clamp to compress the spring.


* Slide1.JPG (16.1 KB, 960x720 - viewed 158 times.)
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Scott
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« Reply #14 on: 22 November, 2011, 10:22:43 AM »

No problem Brian.
I'm working at home today so have just had a peak in the garage at my 'random tools' collection to remind myself what I used.
It was an old simple lifting jack as per the illustration ... and the 'metal bar' was a long iron chisel type thing I happened to have (imagine a big long marquee peg with a pin head shape and a tapered point). I had angle grinded a groove in the head so that the bar slotted into the moveable lifting part of the jack neatly and reduced the tendency of the bar to otherwise slip under load. [Clearing any sturdy metal bar would suffice but the chisel shape was ideal as the tapered end then wedged firmly into the end of the leaf spring].
I correct myself in that the exhaust clamps were used simply to keep the bar and jack together (not to keep them near the leaf spring itself). This doesn't have to be a tight clamp but there will be a natural tendency for them both to arch slightly and you don't want part A and part B separating under load! But a bit of rope would do for this I guess - I just had those exhaust clamps lying around.

I found this simple set-up very effective as it allowed accurate alignment simply by turning the handle of the jack. The wife and friends in the boot option isn't one I had considered ... but then my garage is rather small.  Wink
« Last Edit: 22 November, 2011, 10:24:55 AM by Scott » Logged
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