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Sagging rear in my '58

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  • Sagging rear in my '58

    In conjunction with my engine swap, I figure I may as well attend to a minor, but noticeable (by me) rear end sag in my '58. The sad thing is, I replaced the springs 3 years ago. At that point, it perched beautifully, but that old sag seems to have returned. I may do a shock swap anyhow, but my gut says the springs have simply worn out again. Do you gents think a spring replacement is the best solution? Please advise.

  • #2
    Peter, do you have any wheel well measurements that we could compare to other '58's . Perhaps it is o/k in the rear , but the front end is sitting high ? Assume you still have the rear coil springs . Rims are stock and what is the tire size ?

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    • #3
      I had a similar problem with the right rear side of my '59 Squarebird. The right rear side sat lower than the left side did by several inches and it was very noticeable. A close examination of the problem revealed that there is a U bolt mounting bracket on the left side of the axle, and one on the right side on the axle. The ends of the left U bolt was bolted on with the ends down. The one on the right side was bolted on with the ends UP! My mechanic said, that was the problem. The right side was pulling the right rear down. So he reversed the bolting on of that U bolt, to match the left side, and as soon as he did, the right side went UP and allowed the axle to level out and match the left side and stayed UP.. It was as simple a fix as that....

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #4
        Ray : Remember that the 58 has coil springs in the back whereas your '59 had leaf springs .

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        • #5
          I'm headed to the shop this aft - I'll take a look. I'm pretty sure I'm running stock rims/tires. Yes - my 58 is coils all around - as per original. By wheel well measurements - do you mean surface to fender apex?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by baronsass View Post
            I'm headed to the shop this aft - I'll take a look. I'm pretty sure I'm running stock rims/tires. Yes - my 58 is coils all around - as per original. By wheel well measurements - do you mean surface to fender apex?
            o/k, surface ( flat area ) to highest point of fender / quarter opening . Easy area for hard to get to when in storage .

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            • #7
              the measurements may be off atm - the transmission is out of it, but any discrepancy in the heights will still show up. Stay tuned!

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              • #8
                So... measured it up. I'm essentially even in front, but out by a 1/2 inch in back - passenger side was 19 1/4" floor to fender; driver side was just a 18 3/4" floor to fender. Bear in mind, the tranny's out of it. I wonder if I left something in my trunk?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by baronsass View Post
                  Bear in mind, the tranny's out of it. I wonder if I left something in my trunk?
                  Maybe it's the tranny..... sorry, I needed a laugh

                  There is an insulator (B8S 5536B) that sits on top of spring...could one be damaged..or missing?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by baronsass View Post
                    So... measured it up. I'm essentially even in front, but out by a 1/2 inch in back - passenger side was 19 1/4" floor to fender; driver side was just a 18 3/4" floor to fender. Bear in mind, the tranny's out of it. I wonder if I left something in my trunk?
                    Sorry Peter, but I can't simulate your situation . Best to wait till you get the car put back together .

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                    • #11
                      Hello, Do check the items that other members have suggested and also consider these questions before you change the springs:

                      Depending on how much of the history you know about the car...Have either of the fenders been replaced or has the car ever had back-end damage? Try measuring it from different locations near the rear of the car and see if you get the same results?

                      Also other simpler issues to consider: Have you measured it on/at different surface locations (i.e. parking lots, other driveways..etc)?
                      Are the tires inflated to the proper psi?

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                      • #12
                        Hello, I have a 58 conv. I recently rebushed the rear suspension and replaced the coils. I pulled new coils out of the boxes and seen right away the were shorter than the originals. So I called the seller and they said the springs are thicker in dia. and that ride height should be the same in which I'm not really sold on. I don't have the car down on the ground yet. I'm still doing a disc brake conversion. I'm just wondering if the quality of these aftermarket springs aren't holding up. (no pun intended). Also I tried locating springs the correct height as originals , but no luck. So time will tell for me.

                        Now on the other hand I see your doing a engine swap. Are you putting in a 430? And if you are did you get the mating large case T-bird transmission? Why I ask is because I have a friend that purchased a 59 T-bird with an original 430 and down the road someone installed a Lincoln trans. and the tailshaft and housing is to long. And if you do have the original trans may I have the Tag # off of trans so we can find the correct one. Thank You

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yurky58 View Post
                          And if you do have the original trans may I have the Tag # off of trans so we can find the correct one. Thank You
                          Jim,

                          Here's what the tag should look like with the correct code for a 1959 Thunderbird 430.

                          John

                          430 trans tag.jpg

                          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                          Thunderbird Registry #36223
                          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                          • #14
                            Thanks John . We have a PPB-AE. So I'm sure we have to be in the market for the correct trans , and not a tail housing swap that we have had no luck with! This was the problem child that I had when I called the other day. And Carl Heller didn't have a housing.... now I know why!! Thanks so much! I knew I came to the right spot when I joined!

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                            • #15
                              A PBB-AF out of a 1960 Thunderbird 430 should also work if you can find one.

                              John
                              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                              Thunderbird Registry #36223
                              jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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