Leaf Springs for 62 Ranchero

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Steve Naranjo, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. Steve Naranjo

    Steve Naranjo In First Gear

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    My son and I are restoring a 62 Ranchero. It's had multiple owners and lots of odd things done to it over the years. We need new leaf springs. We ordered a set from MacAuto and though they claim they are for a 62 Ranchero they are about 5 inches too short. WHen installed, the rear shackle it almost parallel with the farm rail and when under load I am certain they will bang into the frame rails (see below). One of the previous owner tried to rake the car and had huge drop shackle and had even reversed the rear hanger so when MacAuto told me those were not original and started to believe them - until we installed their springs! The original spring in the car measures about 55 inches with 24" from front eye to pin. These seem to be the right size. The after-market ones are 50" total and 22" from front eye to pin.

    So, are the springs that were in the car correct? And if so, where might we get a new pair. MacAuto clearly does not carry the correct part. I checked Stengel Brothers and their Ranchero springs appear to match the MacAuto ones. Very odd. Several good springs shops in the Phoenix area so I suppose we could have our originals rebuilt, but not sure if they can be rescued. Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.

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  2. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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    do you have a picture of the front mounting. Are they the same width and the ones you pulled out? Picture of springs side by side every thing I can find says 62 should be 22/28 2 inches wide
     
  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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  4. Steve Naranjo

    Steve Naranjo In First Gear

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    Chero, the new springs fit fine in the front mounts. They are both 2 inches. I found specs for a Falcon Station wagon in the shop manual and is says 50 inches. Ranchero not listed but I believe it is based on the wagon platform. So it appears the new springs we bought are the correct size. Now the question is why they don't fit on our car!! Did a previsous owner had five inches to the frame rails? ;). In any case, the new springs are not going to work in our car. Does anyone have a picture of the rear hanger bracket. Maybe the original one was much longer?? Here are a few photos of the "original" spring and the new one

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  5. RancheroRandy

    RancheroRandy In Fourth Gear

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    IMG_20160322_122813910.jpg I always avoid Mac's from previous posts about their "service". That said you can't go wrong (well, harder to at lest) with these folks: https://www.generalspringkc.com/Leaf_Springs_s/1817.htm
    I had Mustang leaf springs on my '62, but, they are longer and wider than stock '62 springs so modification was necessary. IMG_20160322_122813910.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  6. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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  7. Steve Naranjo

    Steve Naranjo In First Gear

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    Yep, RancheroRandy, that is exactly what are rear hangers look like. A PITA to tighten down that one bolt that sits underneath the curl. This must have been a bottle neck in the assembly line back in the day!

    And Chero, I found that thread and that is EXACTLY what are shackles are doing. Unfortunately, that Jalopy thread did not seem to offer a solution. I think the solution is rebuild the original leafs. But then I wonder if the axle is positioned properly as the mounting pin is 22 on the "correct" 50 inch spring and 24 on our original spring. Maybe that 2 inches is no big deal - the wheel well is generous front to back.
     
  8. Steve Naranjo

    Steve Naranjo In First Gear

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    I thought I would share a set of photos I gathered at a local salvage yard that has a pretty good collection of early 60s Rancheros and Falcon Wagons. Our spring situation is clearly not unique. A couple of things to note about the photos. 1) the shackles all point forward rather than down or back as they should, and 2) note the condition of the frame rails where the shackles have been crashing into them over the past 50+ years. In a couple of the photos you can see the shackle essentially locked into place against the frame rail. I was able to verify from the shop manual that Falcons had holes through the frame rails for mounted the rear of the spring (like the photos posted earlier in this thread), but Wagons and Rancheros had a little hanger that was bolted to the bottom of the frame rail, I presume to raise the rear end a little bit and permit loads in the rear of the car. The only thing my son and I can surmise is that one would try to flatten out the spring (like clamping it between a couple of 2 x 4 when mounting to the car on stands. Once lowered, perhaps the shackle would settle into a quasi-correct position with the weight of the car flattening out the spring. However, as soon as you hit a speed bump or any other road hazard that would cause the rear end to jump up, the position would be lost and you'd be left with a situation depicted in the photos. All I can say is that this is apparently the way Ford engineered these cars and that the engineering was completely pathetic! We plan to install the old (not stock) springs in the car and take it to a local spring shop so that they can modify the new (and apparently correct) springs with a longer first section so that they mount correctly. Old cars are often a mystery, but this one has got to win some sort of prize for worst design!
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    Freestyle Don likes this.

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