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Rear Leaf Spring Replacement - "driveline angle issues" ?


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In the quiet of fall, I'm considering replacing the rear springs on my '63 (now arcing down at both ends, both sides).  Eaton Detroit Spring can supply 5 or 6 leaf springs (standard or HD, I presume) in 3-4 weeks.  Some have told me in replacing the springs I "may" run into a driveline angle issue, resulting in vibration.  Further, I am told, when Studebaker would receive a spring shipment of 50 or so units they would road test to determine what size shims would need to be placed where to settle driveline angle/alignment on that lot of springs/vehicles and this the number of shims and shim sizes could vary considerably from one lot to another.

Suspect my 57 year-old shocks are original and I'd replace at the same time.

Comments, please...   Thanks!

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If you replace the springs back to the stock ride height, you should be fine. As the springs settled over the years, did you constantly change the shims between the bell housing and the motor mount? (of course not) If everything is as it was built, then you will have no problems. On Automatic transmission cars, there is one   3/8"  spacer under the drivers side of transmission mount between the mount and the crossmember. On manual transmission cars there are two  1/2" spacers between the bell housing, and the top of the mount.  You will never need to change them. If you develop a vibration, then either your mounts are soft and collapsed, or your U-joints are bad, or a weight fell off the driveshaft where it might have been spot welded on. 

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Jack, to clarify - ideally there should be a straight line (180 degrees) between the trans output shaft and the pinion angle.  Correct?

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No, If your pinion angle is 2 degrees up, then your trans yoke angle should be 2 degrees down. You ideally do not want a straight line in a drive line, you need some angle to grease the u-joints. 

drive-shaft-angles-1024x.jpg

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