Tag Archives: Hot Rod

  • How to separate a Transverse or Buggy Spring

    If it's one thing I learned as kid from my dad was that you need to fear and respect the suspension, specifically the springs on a vehicle. They can have a lot of built up tension in them when still mounted together that can be very dangerous if released uncontrollably. There's a lot of different ways out there take apart a "buggy" spring found on older cars. Henry Ford used these through the 40's and they are common place when building a hot rod or restoring an antique car or truck.


    After building our DIY chassis table I've been gathering parts to put together a custom chassis for my 30 Model A Coupe project. I want this car to "sit right" so I HAD to hit up the spring gurus over at Posies Rod and Customs for a set of front and rear reverse-eye drop springs for the front and rear. Since this car is going to be built in a "traditional" manner keeping with an old school theme, I opted for the front spring that has their patented "Super Slide" cups hidden underneath with rolled and tapered ends to keep that "old school" look. Those cool little moly-nylon button helps reduce friction between the springs making for a smoother ride.

    I needed to take these apart for two reasons, the first being that since I asked for the reverse-eye drop springs a traditional leaf spreader won't work any longer, the other reason is that these come in bare metal and I wanted to hit them with a coat of paint to avoid rust from forming while putting the chassis together. I decided to document the process to hopefully help some of the beginners that may have never messed with this type of suspension before.

    The first and most important thing you need to remember when taking apart a transverse or buggy spring is that you can NEVER be too careful. Getting lazy, cutting corners or dropping your guard at anytime can be VERY dangerous. Below we have my front spring pack from Posies that I need to disassemble. I like to set the pack up in a vice first with it clamped down on the center of the spring pack.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 15 30 PM

    I first take two medium to large sized C-Clamps and tighten them down pretty tightly on the spring on either side of the vice jaws. I then take the spring clamps on either end off and carefully remove the center bolt from the spring pack.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 15 42 PM

    Once the bolt is out I take a piece of threaded rod that is the same diameter as the center bolt and put two nuts with washers on either side and snug them up against the top and bottom of the spring. The second jam nut on either side is for safety in case the threads on the first nut fail (never had it happen but safety is key here!).

    I then take this entire contraption out of the vice and set it on the shop floor. I then start slowly alternating between loosening the threaded rod and the C-Clamps. I always try and make sure I leave a tiny bit of tension on the c-clamps so the threaded rod isn' taking the full force of the spring all at once.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 34 06 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 34 12 PM

    As you can see below after a few rounds of loosening the spring slowly starts to separate until the it gets to the point where you can loosen the threaded rod by hand and the clamps can be removed.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 35 45 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 36 00 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 36 33 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 38 04 PM

    With the springs apart I can now prep and paint them with Eastwood Chassis Black Primer and Satin Chassis Black Paint. The result is a subdued, but finished looking spring I know won't rust the first time it gets humid in my shop.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 39 44 PM

    Keep an eye out for another post showing assembling the spring on the axle and the process. Thanks for reading along!


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  • Step up your Hammer Game! Using Intermediate Body hammers and Dollies

    Back when cars were made of heavy metal and had lots of beautiful curves guys took the time to repair a fender rather than just replace it. Any good metal worker will tell you that you need to match the hammer and dolly as close as possible with the shape of your panel you're working on. When you're working on a curvy car like something from the late 1930's through the 1950's you will be hard pressed to find a flat panel on the vehicle. This means that you will need to use tools to match. Back in those days the selection of specialty hammers were vast, some being specifically used for one type of car or type of repair!  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Build a chassis/fixture Table on a budget

    In a effort to make my life easier I decided I would build a table that I could build and modify chassis on in the future. I only had a few simple rules; it needed to be mobile, I needed to be able to easily level it, and it needed to be AFFORDABLE. If you haven't checked, the metal required to build a heavy fabrication or chassis table new is big bucks. I'd rather save that cash for my project cars and repurpose some metal from my local scrap metal yard.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to Fit Seat Sliders to Your Hot Rod Seat

    The older the car you're working on, the harder it can be to find usable parts you need. This becomes increasingly difficult when you get into cars that were short production or year runs. The iconic 1932 Ford is the most covenanted cars to build a hot rod out of. Being that they are a one year only body style, parts get expensive quick (especially original parts!). The seat slider mechanisms for an original '32 Ford seat are as rare as hens teeth and command a pretty penny when you do come across one complete! Recently my friend Ace asked me to help with the task of getting his reupholstered original seat to bolt into the car AND slide easily. I decided to take some photos along the way and show our low-budget (and fairly low tech) fix.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Ditch Those Leaky Header Joints

    After you've been building and modifying cars for a while there's some things that you become pretty particular about. It could be just how you like something to look or function, or just an extra step you take to save yourself headaches in the future. One of mine is an exhaust system that's leak-free and sounds good. I've had bad luck over the years of header unions leaking over time. It seems either they crack at the welds or they just fit poorly and leave much to be desired when fitting the rest of the exhaust.   Click Here To Read Full Post...