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Restoring a Model T Rear Spring - By Tony Cimorelli
Step1 - Compressing Spring with C clamps

Step2 - Replacing center bolt with threaded stock

Step3 - separating leaves

Step4 - Closeup of raised script

Step5 - Scraping goo

Step6 - Sanding leaves

Step7 - Leave before restoration

Step8 - After painting and lubricating

Step9 - Inserting threaded rod

Step10 - Tightening rod

Step11 - Placing C clamps on spring

Step12 - Inserting new center bolt

Step13 - Final product - top view

Step14 - Final product - side view


The spring in my 1923 Touring was really beat looking, pitted, and covered with ugly bright red paint.  I needed to restore it.

First, I used paint stripper (Pro Stripper from Lowe's) and coated the spring, scrapped and wire-brushed it off.  Then hosed it off.

Now the real work begins.  After consulting with the MTFCI forum, Reid Welch gave me the most excellent advice of using a threaded rod and C-clamps to disassemble and reassemble the spring.

Step 1 - Disassemble the spring.  I put a pair of C-clamps on either side of the center spring bolt (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Compressing the spring with C-clamps

Step 2 - Replace the center bolt with a piece of 3/8 inch threaded stock.  Put a nut on either side of the spring.

Figure 2 - Replacing center bolt with threaded rod

Step 3 - Undo the C clamps and unscrew the nuts to expand and separate the leave springs.

Figure 3 - Decompressing the spring

Step 4 - Here is a closeup of the stamped and raised Ford script on the top leave.

Figure 4 - Ford script on top leave

Step 5 - Now we scrape the crap and goo of the leaves.  One at a time and is time consuming

Figure 5 - Scraping goo off leaves

Step 6 - Now we sand the leaves and try and remove as much rust as possible.

Figure 6 - Sanding the leaves

Step 7 - Here is the bottom leave before restoration.

Figure 7 - Bottom leave before restoration

Step 8 - After painting, the leaves are laid out and lubri-plated between the leaves to prevent any future rust and deterioration.

Figure 8 - Laying out reassembly

Step 9 - Inserting a threaded rod between the finished leaves.

Figure 9 - Inserting threaded rod

Step 10 - After inserting the threaded rod, put a nut on either side of the spring. Tighten the threaded rod until the C clamps can be placed on.

Figure 10 - Tightening the threaded rod and compressing the leaves

Step 11 - Place the C clamps on either side of the threaded rod.  Compress the spring until the C clamps slide over and then tighten the C clamps which will compress the spring, allowing insertion of the center bolt.

Figure 11 - Compressing the spring with C-clamps

Step 12 - After spring is compressed, insert the center bolt and tighten.  Then remove C clamps.

Figure 12 - Compressed spring with installed center bolt

Step 13 - Final assembled spring, view from the top.  Notice the raised and stamped Ford script on the top leave and also a stamped Ford-X on the right-side next to bottom leave.

Figure 13 - Final product - top view

Step 14 - Final product - side view.  Plan an afternoon to completely restore a spring if you have no power tools, and need to do by hand.

Figure 14 - Final product - side view