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Thread: A broken rear spring

  1. #1 A broken rear spring 
    club member
    Join Date
    May 2021
    An unexpected repair of the rear suspension occurred the other week when I heard a crack behind me from somewhere underneath the car. Inspecting the rear leaf spring showed the problem, the lower leaf had fractured. Dismantling the suspension took some time, firstly using an electric wire brush to clean the threads on the four holding nuts under the shock absorber mounting plate. Despite lubricating with spray one leg of the U bolt sheared. The whole lot consisting of two clamps with rubber inserts and an aluminium wedge and aluminium spacer block came to pieces and each was polished with a rotary sander to get forty years of underseal, dirt and paint off and back to bright metal. Grey primer followed by black enamel spray. The important part was to clean the underside of the axle mount against which the aluminium spacer block fits, as well as the top steel clamp with its central hole which fits into the spacer block. This ensures a tight fit when reassembling. The two spacer rubbers were condemned and two new replacements ordered as per the photo. These required some cutting and sanding and were then glued inside the clamps. Two new U bolts were fabricated by a local engineering shop as there are no spares available off the shelf.

    The front spring bolt was removed by using a disc cutter to cut the nut off on the inside of the chassis having removed the seat. The bolt was rusted into the spring centre bush. The disc was then used to cut the head off the bolt by sliding the disc between the spring and chassis. This left the rear bolt to undo which came out easily and with much juggling of the spring it finally came out. The lower leaf clamp was cut and that left the top leaf. Thirty minutes of a rotary sander had the leaf like new.
    The rusted bolt required the services of a friend and his pillar drill. The bolt is 7/16 so a series of drills were made increasing the size until there was just the outer skin of the original bolt, A drift was machined to 7/16 and a couple of hefty clouts with a club hammer and the offending bolt came out.

    The spring top side was primed and sprayed black while the underside was marked for the replacement leaf and coated with copper slip. The leaves were bolted together with their round locating dowels and refitted with new end bolts all well greased and locked together with a bolted saddle either end to keep the two leaves in line. The whole unit was reassembled remembering the aluminium wedge has the step facing forward and a coating of black on the threads to stop rust and its all back together again. But that’s only half the story. The other side was also dismantled cleaned and a matching leaf fitted and the whole thing reassembled.. It has been an interesting hands on experience and if any one would like a spare Marina lower leaf its yours for the postage. Since purchasing the car it has been a big learning curve sorting out small issues but its been a pleasure to get down and dirty and have the satisfaction of knowing its a job well done when I wouldn’t touch my daily run about.
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  2. #2 Re: A broken rear spring 
    club member Club Member boustrophedon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Been there done that some time back. I used Escort U-bolts, they are slightly bigger in diameter so I had to enlarge the holes in the plates. As it was a suspension lowering kit it came with new ally spacers too, that were identical to the ones fitted before.
    All this was to change the rear axle.
    Formally DonSayers on here.
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