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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw a long post about leaf springs that got me thinking about something I had done to my car about forty years ago. My car's back end had been sagging over the years, and when I was living in CO I had something done about it. Guy took my rear springs out, disassembled them, and beat and pressed every leaf back into its original curve. He had a set of templates, one for each individual leaf, to match them up against. He reassembled and reinstalled the springs, and my Mustang's posterior was perky again! Of course, after several years it started to sag again, and I put on some half leaf helper springs. Those have held up well for the last 25+ years. Anyway, I was wondering if spring re-arching was a lost art, or are there still people that do that sort of thing.
 

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Not a lost art but has gotten pretty pricey. A few years back I inquired at a long time San Diego shop about re-arching the leaf springs on my 65. I was told a new set from, I think, Eaton Spring would be cheaper. So did nothing. New set of KYB's seem to be all the help they needed. Brian
 

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Some 20 or so years ago I recall searching and found evidence against re-arching Mustang Leaf springs (no clue what that evidence was other than a strong admonition to NOT re-arch if you wanted them to last). When the young body guy suggested it while examining the car I mentioned the admonition and he shrugged it off. Hours later he called (having spoken with the owner) and said he recommended new springs as opposed to re-arching.

Now take this as it is offered, an old man with increasing holes in said memory ; )
 

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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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I always wondered how long a re-arched set would hold up. I figured once they flattened out they were never going to hold their original strength again. A guy up the street from me had an original set on his 64 Fairlane re-arched; he was happy with them and his car does still sits like new. For me though I bought new Eatons from NPD.
 

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Bet that would be expensive now to find a person who still does that. If it's important to you to keep it all original then you maybe able to find someone through this site. Mine were sagging and were original to the car but my car was far from being all original. So I opted to buy a good quality set from Eaton Detriot Springs and NPD had the best price on them. Not sure on the shipping as I lucked out and there is a NPD warehouse in Charlotte, NC near where I live. I could've gotten a cheaper import set for half what I paid for the oem style Eaton leafs. And that didn't include spring hangers, bushing bolts etc . But I wanted a quality set that will last a long time. I opted for the stock ride height with improved handling. My car had heavy duty tow shock on the rear and a trailer hitch that was put on maybe by the dealership. So sometime in it's lift it was used like a truck and towed a trailer lol. I still have the trailer hitch.
 

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I've heard that it's hard to get them back to equal height on each side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll say one thing, the guy that did my springs back in the day really knew what he was doing. I didn't drop my car off, I watched him work while I waited for it. And I didn't wait long. He was fast not by cutting corners or being sloppy, he was a craftsman who had done this before. Yea, that kind of skilled labor intensive work won't be cheap today. And for something that can't last. If the original springs sagged over time, re-arching them only resets the clock, and maybe not all the way. Unless you do the whole heat treatment thing, that might improve them over the original temper. Mine were worked cold. But re-arching does save the original parts, if that's your thing.
 

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I would be interested to learn how to re-arch them myself....mainly because its a skill I dont have, I try to pick up as many as possible as long as they dont take insanely expensive equipment.
 

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I've done a few on my own and a few at Global. Best to start with new springs. (stuff that hasn't taken
a "set" over many years- using this approach, things have a greater chance of lasting because once
springs have been in use for awhile it's very hard to get longevity if you start radically changing the arch)

We did them cold at Global...... but we were never trying make major changes. Doing it takes disassembly
and a hydraulic press.

I put a set together for my '68 that was one there for about 20 years..... only recently did I "spring" for an
official set of L-10 springs.....
The ones I put together had a mixed bag of donors, including a Camaro. I also slightly changed the arch.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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Has anyone ever heard of and seen Metal Fatigue?!?? I have. Has anyone ever seen Broken Leaf Springs???? I have.

Only time that I would even consider re-arching springs is if the car was a Museum Piece or Concours Caliber Trailered...

Otherwise, Buy NEW EATON Made Rear Leaf Springs...

That's all I am saying.....There's really Nothing more to say on the subject....

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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I see a few socal posters in the thread. Just thought I would throw a name out there that I've had good luck with. Deaver springs in Santa Ana. Despite the way the website looks they do more than off road trucks. https://deaverspring.com/
And will re-arch springs.
 

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Has anyone ever heard of and seen Metal Fatigue?!?? I have. Has anyone ever seen Broken Leaf Springs<img src="http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/images/smilies/question.gif" border="0" alt="" title="question" class="inlineimg" />? I have.

Only time that I would even consider re-arching springs is if the car was a Museum Piece or Concours Caliber Trailered...

Otherwise, Buy NEW EATON Made Rear Leaf Springs...

That's all I am saying.....There's really Nothing more to say on the subject....

<img src="http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/images/smilies/blush.gif" border="0" alt="" title="blush" class="inlineimg" />)

Tony K.
Sure have seen a few broken. Never on a vintage Mustang though.
They’ll put up with serious abuse before failure....... lots of way more “failure critical” parts on a Mustang that I’d worry about before leaf springs.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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"Sure have seen a few broken. Never on a vintage Mustang though."

Then I'll take you out to my Garage. I have a whole section missing from one of my '65 Original Rear Leafs... It broke off due to "Metal Fatigue".....and it's totally obvious.

I have seen others that have failed too over the past 3 decades... It's not a rampant thing, but they (Originals) do in fact break sometimes.

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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"Sure have seen a few broken. Never on a vintage Mustang though."

Then I'll take you out to my Garage. I have a whole section missing from one of my '65 Original Rear Leafs... It broke off due to "Metal Fatigue".....and it's totally obvious.

I have seen others that have failed too over the past 3 decades... It's not a rampant thing, but they (Originals) do in fact break sometimes.

:eek:)

Tony K.
Then you sure are unlucky, as I've worked on way more Mustangs than you guaranteed and it's not a rampant thing.
I've had my '68 since '68 and it was only with a way radial 289, a stage 3 shift kit and major abuse that I was able to
start to crack an original leaf. Had plenty of time to get it into the shop for replacement in 1993 prior to catastrophic
failure.

With the leaves, a bigger problem than metal fatigue is corrosion on vintage Mustangs.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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I would be interested to learn how to re-arch them myself....mainly because its a skill I dont have, I try to pick up as many as possible as long as they don't take insanely expensive equipment.
Getting it done right is expensive. The springs must be diassembled, annealed, arched, heat-treated, and reassembled, otherwise they will just sag again, and probably quicker. The process is still done for 53-62 Corvettes, as they had grooved springs that are NOT reproduced.
 

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"Sure have seen a few broken. Never on a vintage Mustang though."

Then I'll take you out to my Garage. I have a whole section missing from one of my '65 Original Rear Leafs... It broke off due to "Metal Fatigue".....and it's totally obvious.

I have seen others that have failed too over the past 3 decades... It's not a rampant thing, but they (Originals) do in fact break sometimes.

:eek:)

Tony K.
Interesting. Since it's been mentioned, I've never seen a broken Mustang leaf spring either. Considering the number of Mustangs I've been exposed to (when I worked in restoration) that's a lotta non-broken springs. Of course, they varied. Early six-cylinder rear springs tended to sag when the car was less than a year old.
 

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Yes, It was the 2nd Upper Leaf on the Driver's side on the FRONT side (towards the Front of the car ahead of the wheel well) .. A 1/3rd of the leaf, it literally just broke in half....and got lost driving... not under my ownership of course....and I noticed it about 6 months ago while I was under the car doing some work.. I said to myself when I noticed it....Whoa! What is this?!?? I hadn't seen anything like it in at least 20+ years......Definitely NOT a common occurrence, but my point is, They do break. ...if old enough...if stressed enough. I'd hate to have been the person that ran over the broken off piece on the road!......It probably shredded someone's tire and they probably said...WTF?!?!? is this?!?

Coincidentally, If you look up '65-'66 Factory Leaf Springs in the Original Ford and Eaton guides.... They are NOT the same Leaf Springs as the Hardtops and Fastbacks... I think that they are actually a higher rating than the Hardtop and Fastback Rear Stock Leaf Springs....Oddly enough. I never could find out a definitive answer...just different stock numbers than the Hardtop and Fastback Rear Leaf Springs. Maybe someone at Eaton knows. Someday, I'll have to give them a call...especially since I'll be buying new Eaton 4 Leafs for this '65 Convertible to replace its Original Stock Leaf Springs.

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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Coincidentally, If you look up '65-'66 Factory Leaf Springs in the Original Ford and Eaton guides.... They are NOT the same Leaf Springs as the Hardtops and Fastbacks... I think that they are actually a higher rating than the Hardtop and Fastback Rear Stock Leaf Springs....Oddly enough. I never could find out a definitive answer...just different stock numbers than the Hardtop and Fastback Rear Leaf Springs. Maybe someone at Eaton knows. Someday, I'll have to give them a call...especially since I'll be buying new Eaton 4 Leafs for this '65 Convertible to replace its Original Stock Leaf Springs.
Anyone buying Eaton springs should buy them from a dealer with a sound return policy in the event they have issues. On the same '66 Fastback I had to install two brand new pairs of Eatons (same part #) to get the ride height within an acceptable range. First pair rode so damn high it wasn't funny. And, yes the eye bolts were tightened with vehicle off the lift, etc. All things were equal on both installs except springs supplied by Eaton. Eaton could not have been worse to deal with on the phone and blamed the vehicle for the first set of leaf springs riding ridiculous high, which turned out NOT to be the case once second set was installed.
 
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