My 1929 Plymouth Model U

Chet's Old Plymouths

          Current Work

The Rear Suspension

With the structural wood framing completed I decided to work on the rear suspension before starting on the floor.  It is a lot easier to work on the drive train and suspension without the flooring in place.   The rear springs didn't appear broken like the front but were rusted, impacted, and not working as effectively as they could.  I checked with a local spring shop and inquired about the costs of dissembling, cleaning, and repacking the springs with lubricant.  The cost quoted to me was an open labor charge approximately equal to the same cost as replacing the springs.  These estimates were hourly based and did not include any needed repairs.   Since the front springs came out so well and true to the originals.   I decided to have new springs made.  Below are pictures of my original rear springs.

In removing the rear springs I noticed that the Driver's side of the car had a different shackle then the one on the passenger side.  The passenger side’s shackle appears to have the same form, fit, and function as the Tryon Shackle but was marked WME with PAT. 1921 - 25.   Definitely another mystery but if these parts are not original to the manufacturing process, they may be a repair that used the availability of these vintage parts.  The picture below shows the rear shackles which were on the passenger side of the car.   The passenger side of the car is the same side that had the welded front spring and another similar but different type of vintage front shackle.   Maybe these were an early repair from a road accident or a later repair using available vintage parts.  At this point I think it is impossible to know which.

The picture below and to the left is a picture of the new rear springs made by Eaton Detroit Springs.  Once installed the car should be set for the next 100 years.  I was preparing to install the new rear springs but when cleaning up these parts I noticed that the rear shackles were different in length.


It appears that my car had some early suspension repairs.  If you recall the front passenger side had a different shackle and a welded top leaf.  Now I find that the rear springs have different length shackles.  Passenger side (WME) approximately 3" between pin centers and the Driver's Side approximately 3.5" between pin centers ?? After a little research I was able to determine that the 3" center to center distance was the correct shackle length for my car.  Since my car always appeared lopsided to me I am sure that correcting these suspension issues will provide for a better ride and correct look, more in keeping with a factory fresh 1929 Plymouth 4dr. sedan.

I installed the new springs with the correct shackles.  Everything appears to be good and there doesn't seem to be any additional stress on the driveshaft pads.  Once I get the fenders installed and the car back on it wheels I will try to fine tune the pressure adjustment on the shackles to loosen the ride a bit.  Right now everything is a little tight but once the car has all its install weight and the springs are broken in a bit I can fine tune the ride.