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  #1  
Old 11-10-2014, 05:05 PM
shoebox shoebox is offline
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Default Front spring size

I purchased a new set of front springs from Mac's and they appear to be too long for my 1960 convertible with a 352 engine. They measure 17 inches uncompressed. The manual says that the spring should be inserted in the lower control arm and then jacked into position. However, the spring I purchased will not set in the pocket as it is too long. I have tried to use a spring compressor but it gets in the way.
It looks like the spring should be about 14 inches uncompressed in order to set in the upper lip of the lower control arm. I hate to cut these new springs but it appears the only solution. If I cut them with a torch does anyone know if that would affect the rigidity of the spring? Please help anyone.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2014, 05:25 PM
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According to the Ford parts book the free length should be 14 1/8; 8 1/2 coils.

John
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2014, 08:40 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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John:
My 60 Service Manual shows Front Coil Spring Free Height at Purple=15 1/2 and Yellow at 15 3/4". Is the slightly longer spring for the 460 Lincoln motor? Also, did they have different springs for the convertible? The manual doesn't specify.
Nyles
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2014, 07:39 AM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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don't use a torch to cut the spring; the heat will take the temper out of the steel
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2014, 10:00 AM
shoebox shoebox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopizz View Post
According to the Ford parts book the free length should be 14 1/8; 8 1/2 coils.

John
John:
Thank you for the information. When I measured it seems to be 14 " so 14 1/8 seems right. I was going to cut them with a torch, but have been advised that it will ruin the spring. I assume they can be cut with a cutting wheel. By the way, I called Macs about this problem and got no help. Their tec support is a joke- talked to a young girl who knew nothing other than what was in the catalog.
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2014, 11:02 AM
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Does it say on the springs what the load capacity is. I'd hate to see you cut them and find out they're too soft once they're installed. I would recommend returning them and getting the correct springs from another vendor. Mac's customer service has really gone downhill in the last few years in my opinion.

John
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2014, 02:32 PM
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Default Front spring size

I have been doing some research for you on 1960 front coil spring lengths. According to what I have found out talking with a couple of our Tbird parts vendors is this. 14 1/8" 8 1/2 coils uncompressed, or free length is correct for the Squarebird according to the manuals put out back then. If your coil springs from MAC's are 17" they sent you the wrong springs. What does the part # say on the box the springs came in? It should say this.

Ford Thunderbird Front Coil Springs, 352 V8, 1958-60 Part # 66-31099-1

or if you have AC (though the Bird Nest told me it does not matter if you have AC or not. The Squarebird uses the same coils. They said that the coil makers are used to specifying that they are non-AC coils or AC coils. It was explained to me that it does make a difference in coil construction for some cars, if a car has AC, but not for our old Squarebirds).

Ford Thunderbird Front Coil Springs, 352 V8, With Air Conditioning, 1958-60 Part # 66-31100-1

If they sent you front coil springs for a 430CI car, they are still the same length, just thicker, heavier duty springs.

I called MAC's, and talked with one of their reps. They cannot tell me what the length of those two springs are because they do not have any in stock. Same for the Bird House and Bird Nest. Apparently, like the Bird House, and the Bird Nest, and perhaps others, they do not stock them. When they get orders for coil springs, they order them in and then ship them. MAC's told me that the company who makes the coil springs is Coil Spring Specialty and I just talked with them. They said their coil springs for the Squarebirds, are constructed to OEM specs at 15 1/2" 8 1/2 coils. They also said that originally, Ford was putting 14 1/8" springs on the Squarebird, but then changed to the 15 1/2" length later in the Squarebird production runs. He also said that the information in the Ford parts book might have been correct at the time that book was published. He said many of the early Squarebirds had 14 1/8" front springs installed in them, but the front coil springs they supply to Squarebird parts houses are the later Squarebird production run uncompressed 15 1/2" springs.

He said that the '62 Bulletbird has 17" front coil springs so it is possible they sent you the wrong springs.. If the box they shipped those springs in says this...

Ford Thunderbird Front Coil Springs, Without Air Conditioning, 1961-62 Part # 66-33740-1 or 66-33741-1, then they shipped you '62 springs..

Then you will know that they shipped the wrong springs to you, or someone put the wrong set of springs in a '60's spring box. You can get the correct front coil springs from the Bird House or the Bird Nest. I hope this helps.
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Last edited by YellowRose : 11-11-2014 at 03:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:20 PM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
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The cars with AC, at least 58's, have a horseshoe shaped spacer that adds about 3/4". I did not reinstall the spacers in mine upon reassembly.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:48 PM
shoebox shoebox is offline
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Thanks Yellow rose -
I checked the part number and it appears that someone shipped the wrong springs as the number checks out for 1960 bird. However, Mac's has a no return policy for parts ordered more than 1 year ago. I bought these well ahead of my project and cannot return them. So, would you suggest I cut them or take the hit and order a new set from Birds nest?
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2014, 04:00 PM
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Default Front spring size

Robert, I see the part # on the box said they were Squarebird coil springs. But, apparently, someone stuffed the wrong springs in the box. As for cutting them, let some of the pro's here suggest what you might consider doing. One I see said not to cut them with a torch.. Cutting them with cutting wheel might be the way to go, but lets see what others have to say about this. I guess the next question is if you cut them, to what length? 14 1/8" or 15 1/2"? How many coils are on these 17" springs?
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