This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support Squarebirds.org. For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
  #11  
Old 08-14-2017, 08:58 AM
Frango100's Avatar
Frango100 Frango100 is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: May 2 2016
Posts: 378
Frango100 is on a distinguished road
Default

Interresting that you mention the U-bolts. I wondered why they are there, since on my axle the bracket is also welded to the axle. So on your Bird only the two U-bolts hold them together? That could be the reason that the clapper doesn´t close enough on my Bird.
__________________
Frank
1958 T-Bird "Trovão Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
Thunderbird registry #61670
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-14-2017, 10:56 PM
Astrowing Astrowing is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Jul 22 2009
Posts: 469
Astrowing is on a distinguished road
Default

The clapper separation is determined by the bushing between them. It is approximately 1 inch thick. I don't know if the axle is welded. The diagram only shows ubolt.
__________________


CLICK HERE for Jim's web site
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-15-2017, 09:17 AM
Frango100's Avatar
Frango100 Frango100 is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: May 2 2016
Posts: 378
Frango100 is on a distinguished road
Default

On my Bird the clapper separation is determined by the fixed length of the lower and upper control arms. I can close the gap of the clapper by fastening the vertical bolt, but this will put a lot of (unneccessary) strain on the control arm bushings. As soon as the axle is back from the welder, i will put it back in and check what the clapper separation does over the travel distance. There must be something not normal on my Bird.
__________________
Frank
1958 T-Bird "Trovão Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
Thunderbird registry #61670
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-15-2017, 04:32 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,158
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
On my Bird the clapper separation is determined by the fixed length of the lower and upper control arms. I can close the gap of the clapper by fastening the vertical bolt, but this will put a lot of (unneccessary) strain on the control arm bushings...
As I posted in prior threads, that 'clapper' MUST have free range of motion.

The '58 T-bird rear suspension is basically a parallelogram. If you tighten the clapper, you will snap one or more upper control arms or one of the welded mounting nuts will break. Why on Earth should an upper or lower arm break? All they do is pivot, right? In all my years I have NEVER heard of axle arms OR mounting nuts breaking, especially in a luxury car.

The best way to see 'range of motion' is by removing the springs. Then, you can manually raise and lower the axle while observing the moving parts. If the axle binds, you can easily find out where the bind is. Usually, it's in the clapper (from being restricted).

The axle housing has upper bumpers and the shocks stop the axle at the lower limit. Everywhere in the middle, the axle should move freely.

This axle is strange by all accounts. Ford never used it (the clapper system) before or since, which explains why no parts are supported. No other car company used it either.

I believe the axle system was designed by Budd, Ford engineering signed off on it (for production), and Budd built it. Ford quickly dropped this axle after one short model year, and went back to leaf springs in the '59 & '60. Warranty problems and complaints were overwhelming. That is why I suggest you retrofit a leaf spring setup. - Dave
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-15-2017, 06:24 PM
scumdog's Avatar
scumdog scumdog is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: May 12 2006
Posts: 1,355
scumdog is on a distinguished road
Default

I read somewhere that initially Ford intended to run an independent rear suspension in the '58 Thunderbird but changed their mind at the last minute hence the 'clapper' system as a substitute.
__________________
A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-15-2017, 06:47 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,158
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

Tom, I'd love to see that article because this system was a huge mistake.

I know that Ford was ready to install air suspension in high-end cars but that was cancelled at the last minute.

The T-bird started as a Ford design (Classic Birds) but Budd was contracted to design and build much of the Squarebird. At the same time, Wixom was cranking up. So, Budd built the Squarebird bodies. That meant, Wixom had no Body Shop. It also meant VIN numbers were stamped in various places around the car at Budd. Ford's role started with the Paint Dept., then Final, Trim and Chassis. Rear axles are installed in Chassis.

Ford had a good axle plant in Sterling Heights, MI. I believe Budd designed the original Squarebird suspension because although the axles are standard among many Ford models. This suspension is unique to the '58 T-bird. It really is a bad design which is why Ford pulled the plug on it. The production numbers never paid for all those dies and re-engineering costs a fortune, so this decision was hard to make. In short, somebody paid dearly for this blunder.
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-15-2017, 07:35 PM
Frango100's Avatar
Frango100 Frango100 is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: May 2 2016
Posts: 378
Frango100 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
In short, somebody paid dearly for this blunder.
I have a fuzzy feeling that upon today people are paying for the blunder they made in 58. I have installed new coil springs not so long ago, so will not be that happy to switch over to a leaf spring setup. Maybe for the future.
As soon as I have my axle back, I will check the movement without the springs and without the clapper bolts. Then I will see what installing the clapper bolts will change to the freedom of movement. There must be some way to make this working, even if it maybe is not the most perfect one.
__________________
Frank
1958 T-Bird "Trovão Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
Thunderbird registry #61670
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-15-2017, 11:24 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,158
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

Looking at the mechanics of the clapper, I see a very easy solution to this...

Leave the hardware out of the clapper and let it go along for the ride.

Your springs set your axle height and your shocks control the ride. Other than that, urethane has no business dampening motion, if that was their intent.

Many millions of axles use the four-arm, coil spring setup very successfully. The top and bottom arms simply keep the axle from rolling, so it is square to the transmission (without clappers).

I know many of our '58 Squarebirds have noisy rear suspension. If the arms are still intact, the noise usually comes from loose urethane and bushings. If the axle still has freedom to move up and down, loose bushings is not such a bad thing. Tightening those clappers will break upper arms because it seizes one of the four joints (on each side) in the parallelogram.
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-16-2017, 08:40 AM
Frango100's Avatar
Frango100 Frango100 is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: May 2 2016
Posts: 378
Frango100 is on a distinguished road
Default

I don´t think that it will work well without the vertical clapper bolt installed. The axle is hinged to the lower control arm, so when you accelerate, the differential will rotate backwards until the U-bolt touches the lower control arm.
The differential will rotate forward during braking, also stopped by the other U-bolt end. So there should be some medium in between the clapper ends to restrict the clapper movement, but still to give it some room to move during suspension movement.
I probably will need some new and softer rubber for in between the clappers, since the old ones look like stones.
__________________
Frank
1958 T-Bird "Trovão Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
Thunderbird registry #61670
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-16-2017, 05:14 PM
simplyconnected's Avatar
simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
Slow Typist
 
Join Date: May 26 2009
Posts: 7,158
simplyconnected is on a distinguished road
Default

Here's how I see it: Yes, the 'clapper' needs freedom of motion. The axle tube is 'U'-bolted to the upper clapper. The upper 'clappers' (axle and 'U'-bolt) pivot on a bolt through a pillow block. This is a pivot point, NOT to be restricted. The lower end of the pillow block is bolted directly to the lower arm.

(The shock absorber is bolted directly to the axle via the upper 'clapper' bracket so that part is good.)

This whole rear suspension is a parallelogram. Basically a box with the front side fixed to the frame, the back side is the axle and the upper and lower arms represent the top and bottom sides of the box (with the springs forcing the lower arms down).


The fixed frame is one side of the box. If you draw a line from A to C (or F to H) pivot points, that represents the stationary side of the box (with the upper and lower arms pivoting at the upper and lower corners).

Because the lower arms are so much longer than the top rods (these arms are the upper and lower sides of the box), the axle must be allowed to roll to compensate for the difference in swing radii.

The last side of the box is the portion the axle is bolted to. The upper arm is straight forward. The bottom axle pivot is a little harder to see because it uses a pillow block that bolt 45859-S goes through at "B". The back of our box can be seen by drawing a line from B to D (or I to G) pivot points; this is the axle.

Any tightness on that 'clapper' bolt will make the axle and bottom swing arm one peice. That would restrict the axle from rolling and it would transfer the torque to the opposite pivot point which is where your upper arm connects at the frame. They need to pivot independently. This situation would be better off with no rubber in the 'clapper'.

The very top bar is a panhard rod (E to J).



Think about this: It doesn't make sense to connect the bottom arm in three places, which is exactly what happens when the clapper bolt is tightened. If your "U"-bolts are hitting the lower arm, that is a problem. They should be safely above the pillow block with clearance all around the nut side. It is important that they pivot about the pillow block.

I hope this helps you understand. - Dave
__________________
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:34 PM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. Squarebirds.org and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The Squarebirds.org and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the Squarebirds.org, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of Squarebirds.org . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Squarebirds.org. Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by Squarebirds.org.