Semi-Sprung

I took advantage of a lazy Sunday afternoon to finally crawl under the back end of the ‘Bird and attack the leaf springs. I’d had penetrating oil on the shackles and pivots for about a week, but it’s hard to say if that helped or not. In any case, I was able to move the bolts on the shackles with some effort using a breaker bar. (I tried an air-powered impact wrench, but it didn’t have enough power, sadly.)

The passenger side leaf spring, liberated.
The passenger side leaf spring, liberated.

The three bolts for the rear bracket—like so many on this car—are awkward to reach, but were not difficult to turn. There are four very large bolts holding the bracket at the front, and they gave me a bit of a scare—I thought I felt the tell-tale pop of a caged nut breaking free on a couple. (Always a disaster!) That was not the case, fortunately. With the last front bolt, the spring came off gracelessly, in a shower of rust and dirt.

Disassembly of the spring was pretty straightforward after a glance at the drawing in the manual.

The mounting pads: old vs. new.
The mounting pads: old vs. new.

I had ordered new bushings for this project well over a year ago (maybe two, even…) and it was quickly clear that I got the wrong type for the front eyelet and the bottom of the rear bracket. These are now on order. Unless there is a surprise waiting on the other side, I should be able to get both springs done in less than a weekend.

Before I can test drive it, though, I’ll need to swap out the fuel pump (the new pump is already on my bench) and reinstall the spacer under the carb. Hopefully, I can carve out an hour or two for that sometime this week.

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