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Author Topic: 56 Ser 62 Rear and Springs Job  (Read 163 times)

Offline stzomah

  • Posts: 73
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #30309
  • Name: Wayne Elder
56 Ser 62 Rear and Springs Job
« on: August 28, 2017, 03:47:25 PM »
I had the front end done 2 years ago including new coils.  It brought the front of the car up about 2-3" higher than the sagging rear.  Everything mechanical was now fully restored, all that was left was the rear end!

I bought a set of leaf springs, shackles, and bushings from ESPO springsandthings.com.  Talked to Laura and she had everything but the rubber isolators.  I found them at Caddy Daddy.

I figured I would need a month of weekends to complete the work.  I have a small attached 2 car garage that the car barely fits into.  I had just enough room.  I bought a set of "car coasters" (saw another article on CL forum using them!) and 2 - 6 ton jack stands.  I had smaller stands but wanted another set as secondary protection.

I sprayed and loosened all the fastening nuts/bolts and wheel lugs with my impact gun while out in the driveway... pulled the skirts.  Drove the car partially into the garage then placed ramps in front of the rear wheels.  once it was up on the ramps, I chocked the front wheels and put my floor jack under the pumpkin.  Once i lifted the wheels high enough to pull the ramps, I put stands under the frame about a foot in front of the rear tire opening.  The Silvertown tires I have are a bit too wide so i needed to jack each side under the rear U bolt plate to allow the tire to clear the fender to remove them.  I put the 6 ton stands on both sides of the rear, under the frame (by the back bumper) as secondary protection.  As tertiary protection,  I slid the ramps under the frame towards the front and used wood to block it up.  I felt safe!

I put the floor jack under the pumpkin and took the load off the springs.  I took off the drums and removed the brake hardware.  Pulled the emergency brake cables out of the backing plate and stowed them underneath.

I started working on the rear shackles.  They were tough and took about an hour or two each.  I kept using a 3lb hammer and many crow bars.  I eventually won the battle.  I then lowered the jack dropping the rear, springs (still attached at the front), and rested the drums on the "skates".  Removed the U bolt nuts and broke the rear free of the leaf springs.  I rolled the rear out towards the back and into my driveway.  I then removed the front bolts and grommets to remove the springs.

I have a friend with short height trailer and asked him to borrow it for a week or two.  He came over and we humped it onto the trailer.  It’s not light by the way!  The skates were very tough to control and it fell off of them a few times.  I needed a board to keep the nose from flopping down (it’s nose heavy).

I also have a lifted 4X4 and had experience with a local rebuilder of rear differentials and driveshafts.  I took the rear and drive shaft to him.  He rebuilt both for $975.  He talked me into welding the vent closed at the top of the pumpkin and installing a vent by the brake line block (see picture).  It’s not stock but will provide a cleaner/larger vent that won’t clog.

Reassembly:
When I had the “nose job” done, the restorer did a great job from the firewall forward.  Everything was cleaned and painted.  Now that I had the rear and driveshaft out, I had access to the entire underneath rear of the car.  I read the debate of undercoating in the forum.  I decided my car is not a frame off restoration and I needed to match existing conditions…, I reapplied undercoating.  I found the 3M rubberized stuff to be very good.  I had to go to 3 different stores to get 6 cans!  I had access to ¾ of the frame.

Something I did not think about was how I was going to clean the underside of the car.  It was now inside my garage!  I wire brushed the steel frame but I needed to degrease everything and clean the floor pan.  I decided to use my 2200 PSI power washer while lying on my back under the car!  I used safety glasses and wore shorts and an old tee shirt.  I was coated black with dirt and grease.  My face looked like a raccoon!  Wife thinks I’m crazy anyway…

Now it was time to wrap everything in newspaper I did not want to paint.  I have a SS exhaust and a new gas tank.  Everything was wrapped.  I then painted the frame with a brush and a qt of gloss black Rustoleum.  Those of you with a vivid imagination that can picture this….Yes it happened…, lying on my back, I pulled on the drop light cord and dumped the entire can on the floor!  Luckily, I used plastic drop cloths and was able to “brush it” back into the can.  It would have never come up off the garage floor!  Now I needed to wrap the frame so undercoating won’t spray on the gloss painted frame.  It was another 2+ hours of taping and newspaper.

Now comes the fun part…  Spraying rubber undercoating in a garage with a white car….  I used my cover but put plastic drop cloths under the sides and let them hang to the floor.  It made a mini spray booth.  I used a fan blowing from the front of the car to keep air flowing out of the garage.  I bought a Tyvek suit, goggles and a spray mask (picture).  It turned out great!

Once the painting was done and the masking tape removed, I reinstalled everything.  I had a problem with inverted shackles but had a friend help me jack the car while I used a big crow bar to bring them around to the correct side (rearward).  I touched up the paint scraped with the crow bar and I was done!
1956 Series 62 Coupe
owned since 1975

Offline savemy67

  • Posts: 748
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #29202
  • Name: Christopher Winter
Re: 56 Ser 62 Rear and Springs Job
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 09:16:06 PM »
Hello Wayne,

Well done!  As someone who has "eaten" my share of undercar debris, I can appreciate all your hard work.  Your description only begins to hint at the effort you put into this project.  It looks as if it all turned out well.  Thanks for the photos.  By the way, is that a Brooks Brothers Tyvek suit?

Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline stzomah

  • Posts: 73
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #30309
  • Name: Wayne Elder
Re: 56 Ser 62 Rear and Springs Job
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 09:37:55 AM »
That Tyvek suit was the best investment.  It was $12 at Home Depot.  It even had the booties attached.  It was globed with undercoating when I was done.  I was in much better shape than when i had the 2200 psi power washer running!  It was 93 degrees though.  I lost a few pounds!

Its sits so nice now with the new leaf springs!  Here is a picture from 2 days ago.  I finished this project 2 weeks ago.  This past weekend, I replaced the front bumper with a re-chromed unit bought off ebay!  That story is next...
1956 Series 62 Coupe
owned since 1975