Author Topic: 1956 Rear spring problem  (Read 1281 times)

Offline Rob Leech

  • Posts: 50
  • Name: Rob Leech
1956 Rear spring problem
« on: July 22, 2012, 12:37:29 PM »
Well all you veteran Cadillac restoration gurus, once again I need some advice. Every time I jack up the rear end to remove wheels, when I let the jack back down the rear spring hangers are cocked up against the frame. Makes the rear end stand up about a foot, and is a bear to get them pointing back down to the ground. My bushings are original but they still move OK. Any Ideas about whats wrong or what am I doing wrong. I use jack stands on the frame rails because you can't get a rear tire on an Eldorado if you jack it up by the rear end. Thanks Rob :-\
Rob Leech 1956 Eldorado Convertible

Offline Jeff Maltby 4194

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  • Posts: 1987
  • Deceased Member.
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 01:31:23 PM »
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 01:36:44 PM by Jeff Maltby 4194 »
Jeffo 49er chapter

CLC 1985
Honda Gold Wing GL1500

Offline Roger Zimmermann

  • Posts: 4541
  • Switzerland
  • CLC Number: 21015
  • Name: Roger Zimmermann
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 02:41:40 AM »
"Interesting" problem. I have 2 '56 cars, I don't have this problem. However, I remember when I restored the Biarritz, it could happen before I installed the shock absorbers. Maybe your shock absorbers are too long, allowing the rear spring hangers to flip over?
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

Offline Rob Leech

  • Posts: 50
  • Name: Rob Leech
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 10:40:02 PM »
It has been a few years since I started this thread, and I continued to have the problem with my springs flipping up. I retired, so I had the time to dig into the bushing job and see if that would stop the problem. Must say, that was a lot of work. It didn't fix the problem, but all was not lost. I got my springs painted, new bushings and pads, new lock nuts and cleaned up everything as I went. Not sure yet what causes the problem, but I know now, you don't jack the car up on the side frame unless you jack up the rear end with it. Thinking about making a couple of short chains to secure the shackles when I do need to jack up the side to remove the rear wheels. I read a lot of ways to pull the shackles back down if you have this problem. Crow bar wouldn't work for me. Four wheeler winch works like a charm.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:42:08 PM by Rob Leech »
Rob Leech 1956 Eldorado Convertible

Offline Lexi

  • Posts: 1997
  • CLC Number: 28634
  • Name: C.R. Foley
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 01:11:26 AM »
When removing the rear wheels on my '56 I always place a hydraulic jack on the frame rail plus one under the differential. Have not had any problems with this method. Clay/Lexi

Offline cadman56

  • Posts: 609
  • CLC Number: 5820
  • Name: Larry Blanchard
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 10:35:08 AM »
Roger is dead on with his advice.  Two things:  your shocks are too long; or what I found when this happened to me the shock bushings were worn out and the shock was loose.  New bushings top and bottom of the shock solved the problem.
1956 Cadillac Coupe deVille (sold)
1956 Cadillac Convertible (sold)
1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville (sold)
1967 Cadillac Eldorado (sold)
1968 Cadillac Convertible (Sold)
1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham dElegance
Larry Blanchard CLC #5820

Offline carguyblack

  • Posts: 850
  • Name: Chuck Dykstra
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 02:35:16 PM »
My previous 56 Coupe De Ville which had been lowered 4 inches had that problem with the shackle kicking out and reversing when the car was raised and then lowered. I just thought that was the price I paid for modifying it. Interested to note that others experience that with an original setup. The shock length that Roger suggests seem the likely culprit to me, too.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 02:15:51 PM by carguyblack »
Chuck Dykstra

1956 Sedan DeVille
1956 Coupe DeVille (2 sold)
1957 Oldsmobile 98 (sold)
1989 Bonneville SSE

Offline J. Gomez

  • Posts: 2376
  • CLC Number: 23082
  • Name: J. Gomez
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 06:49:10 PM »
Hmmm thinking out loud and I can hear my rusted brain gears already..!  ;D

Could it possibly be that the leaf springs are mounted in reversed ??? I’m not sure if the length from the center bolt to each side at the center of the eye are the same or not. ???

If both have the same length it should not be an issue, but if one side is shorter just by few inches and is place in the wrong side the weight of the tire+ drum+ differential shaft would force the spring to move forward causing the rear shackle to flip.  :o

I may need to take the measurements on mine tomorrow that is if I can stand the cooler weather for a long periods.  :(
J. Gomez
CLC #23082

Offline J. Gomez

  • Posts: 2376
  • CLC Number: 23082
  • Name: J. Gomez
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 01:13:06 PM »
Well had a small break from the urgent honey-do-list and took some quick measurement.  ::)

From the center bolt to the rear center eye (were the shackle is inserted) I have about 31 ½” and on the front I have about 26 ¼” (all measurements were taken from the bottom leaf) give or take a pinch.

Rob, may be worth taking a quick measurement on yours to verify they are mounted correctly.  Others may be able to confirm these measurement but these are what I have on mine and I do not experience the shackle flip-over.

Good luck..!
J. Gomez
CLC #23082

Offline 5390john

  • Posts: 213
  • Name: JAdams
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 02:11:30 PM »
I have a '55 CDV, doing a full restoration and had the same problem with new springs.
1) the springs only install one way.
2) correct rear shocks will hold the springs in the correct position once the shackle is pointing the correct direction.
3) I found the best place to position a floor jack is under the diff.
John Adams
1955 CDV "Marilyn"

"Panic Accordingly"

Offline Rob Leech

  • Posts: 50
  • Name: Rob Leech
Re: 1956 Rear spring problem
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 01:38:06 PM »
 The springs were the originals, almost sure they had never been off the car. Took a lot of map gas to free up the hardware and break things loose to remove. My shocks are a question mark, I did replace the shocks about ten years ago, I can't remember if I bought them by application or had an actual part number to order them by. The problem with using two jacks,(one on the side frame and one under the rear end) still leaves you with a problem getting the rear tire out from under an Eldorado. Does anybody know what the correct shock number should be?
Rob Leech 1956 Eldorado Convertible


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