ForumFix: Saggy Leaf Springs

A good suspension holds importance for a host of different reasons, not the least of which being your suspension absorbs every bump you hit on the road, so you don’t absorb them with your lower back — trust us, that sucks. One forum user, under the name Christian68, had trouble with the leaf springs in his ’68 Mustang Fastback. Let’s take a look at Christan’s problem and some of the potential solutions to help you deal with saggy leaf springs.

A Classic With a Problem

You can’t go wrong with a ’68 Fastback. These classic ‘Stangs are the everyman’s muscle car and have retained their iconic status for decades. The older ones, though, tend to start wearing out after a while.  Parts you don’t normally think of as needing replacement, such as leaf springs, start to wear out, and that’s what happened to Christan68’s classic.

The leaf springs on his car were so worn he was afraid to drive the car with a full tank because the smallest bump would cause the car to bottom out.

A local shop sold him the replacement springs for around $350. He wasn’t sure about the replacements, though, because he couldn’t find any information about how that would change the ride height. The other option included adding an additional leaf to the existing springs, but Christian worried this was a band-aid over a problem that would happen again in a couple of years.

Possible Causes

What could possibly cause the sagging of solid pieces of steel like leaf springs?

They may look solid, but leaf springs have several moving parts that are prone to wear. The steel itself can settle with age — as in the case of Christian’s springs — which leads to suspension problems. They can also simply wear out over time, or the leaves themselves can rub together and wear out as well.

If you have suspension problems, take some time to clean off and inspect your leaf springs for wear or cracking.

The Solution

What did Christian end up doing with his classic Fastback? Thanks to a tip from another forum user, I6Ccoupe, he went to a local spring shop. They ended up replacing one of the leaves on each side and re-arced the springs to keep the car from bottoming out while being driven. Not only did this make the car ride a lot better, but it also helped to even out the balancing issue that caused the passenger side to ride even lower than the driver’s side.

Classic cars with leaf springs provide some decent rides, but they can fail after a while and might need to be replaced or re-arced. Finding a good shop or replacing the parts yourself are your only options if your springs start to sag. Thankfully, it’s a simple repair, and it can add life to your car that will keep you driving for years to come.

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