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23 Dodge suspension


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After getting my dodge back from the panel beater, who straightened the front chassis rails, I new the next project wild be spring bushes and shackles.  I have never seen bushes and shackles so worn. Only one of the front spring bushes had not worn all the way thought on the thrust side. the font pins were ok but the bushes complet3ely worn,. The shackle arms  had worn oval and the pins were very badly stepped. The rear holes in the springs were badly worn.

 

I could not get new imperial buses for the front springs so have ordered 12x16x50 bushes so i can machine them.

 

Yesterday I checked the rear springs and the shackles appeared to have no wear but the front bushes had plenty of movement. Those front pins seem ok but the bushes are worn, but nowhere near how much the font ones were worn.

 

More to come.

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You can see from the pictures how worn the front pins, bushes and shackles are. My intention is to bore out the worn holes and press in steel bushes which I will make to size. New pins will be HT steel 1/2 in bolts which I will drill out and fit grease nipples.

Some of the eyes in the springs have taken a pounding as well, but I can fill that with a metal filler.

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Had a bit of trouble getting the right HT bolts for the shackle pins. Finally some arrived on Friday but when I checked that night, I found the finish on them was as rough as guts.  No good for me.  I have one good black steel HT bolt that is perfect. Everyone tried selling me plated ones but the plating will wear off too quickly.

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Mark. The original pins on this car were not hardened.  Ron. Getting original parts can be a problem without knowing what the part number is.  In NZ however, the overseas owned companies think we are a bunch of patsies, and charge through the nose for genuine parts. Maybe they do that where you live as well.[ I know because my background is auto engineering ]

Picture below shows the drilled put and re-bushed shackles [ top left one has yet to receive the bushes ], as well as the  new smooth 1/2 " bolt. You can see how the locating  flats for the shackle pins have worn. Wasn't the most ideal way to make these but hell, that was 100 years ago.

 

One of the threads in the chassis for the rear springs has taken a flogging as well so when I have in my possession the 2 new 5/8 bolts, I will buy a Heli-coil kit and repair the thread.

Its all a lot of work but we still have the original parts working.  Could have been quicker to make new shackles  and make up stepped pins that can be tightened against the shackles to prevent the wear that goes with the originals where the pins a just pushed through the shackles. I have some ideas about how to make the pins more rigid in the shackles but will let you know later how I go about it. Main thing at this stage is to get the chassis back on the suspension so I can refit the engine etc when it arrives. I will find out tomorrow how much longer the work will take, as the line boreing has not been started yet. You will notice the shackle pairs are held together. I have drilled one end of each shackle, then bolted the pairs together so they are matching.

 

The bolts are longer so that I can fit two nuts together and lock them to the bolts. Outer nut to be nylock. Originals were just wound on to reduce end play then split pined. Hence the wear marks.

 

The front bushes in the rear springs were 5/8 x 3/4 x 2 inches, but I can only source 16x20x50 mm bushes.  16mm is 5 thou over 5/8 so I will machine the bushes down to 3/4 plus 5 thou in order to close the clearance up a bit.

All bolts to be drilled out and tapped for the grease nipples. Because my Dodge has been converted to a truck and the rear wheels reduced to 21 inchs, I need to adjust the rear guards a  bit as I noticed they were rubbing on the rear shackle bolts.

 

 

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I have seen guys that welded up Ford Model T shackle bolts then turned them down. They commented on the fact the welded area wore quickly and if they had then at least case hardened, they would have lasted longer. Using the original bolts, you all ready have the threaded hole for the grease fitting and internal passage to start with. 

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Hi Mark. If you look at the original photo, you will see most of the wear is where the bolts were inside the shackles. Because the locking system had failed.  I intend to fix the bolts into the shackles so they don't move. The area in contact with the bronze bushes did not wear as much, so hopefully, they will all outlast me. I think in NZ, it is frowned apon to weld steering or suspension parts..

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Posted (edited)

Finished remaking and rebuilding the suspensions on the Dodge today.  A lot of work. When boring the bolts for the grease supply, I must have had to re-sharpen that 1/8 drill 40 times.  Lots of hard spots in those HT bolts. It was a good drill though because I tried using what must have been a cheap set for DIY and it wouldn't look at it.

Only problem with the rebuild was when removing the left rear guard. The idiot that put it together used ordinary slotted screws with square nuts. He had fitted the screws from inside the housing that covers the 5/8 bolts at the front of the rear spring. Could not get a screw driver onto the heads apart from at right angles and the square nuts, being close to the chassis edge meant only 1/8 turn of the nut at a time. To cap it off. One of the bolts was 1 1/2 inch long. I did manage to get vise grips onto that nut  but it was a hell of a job getting it undone. Bugger me though,  when I got the nut off, I discovered the lovely chap had put 2 nuts on this bolt.  The bottom bolt would not come loose so I had to hacksaw it partly through in for positions them get the vise grip to break the nut away from the bolt.

 

Too much bending over has given me a sore back so wont be doing to much over this weekend.  

 

Spoke to the engine reconditioner again on Friday and not definite time for completion so probably another 2 weeks to wait.

 

 

Edited by cutdown (see edit history)
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On 5/21/2022 at 5:50 PM, JFranklin said:

A lot of times in similar situations I just tighten the nut till it snaps. It works if you can get any leverage.

You have to be able to hold the bolt [ and nut ]  in order to snap the bolt.    If you cant when access is impossible. .???????

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

 

 

I had to remove the rear guards to enable better access to the front of the rear springs.  since they have fitted 21 inch wheels on the rear, in order to have a lower deck, it has put the access to the front of the springs out of alignment with the access hole in the box section.

 

I had another look today and decided the tray is a bit too low so will remove it and see if a 20 wooden space will be enough to lift it in order that the guards will fit again giving better access to the spring mounting area .  As I have used new 5/8 UNF bolts for the pins, they have a bigger head that the original and hence not enough room to get a socket on them. If I have to replace the bolts in future, it will make the job easier.

 

Buggered if I know why the image is upside down,. It's the right way up in my computer. Just turn your monitor over.

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Edited by cutdown
more info (see edit history)
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