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57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 2:47 PM (#566286)
Subject: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Posts: 71
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Are these bent leaf springs factory? Or did someone do this to stiffen them up to avoid buying new ones?



Edited by imperial2100 2018-07-08 2:50 PM




(re_800_20180706_181435.jpg)



(re_800_20180706_181447.jpg)



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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-07-08 2:52 PM (#566287 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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You've a big problem with the leafs ... On my site ther's a page on the '57/58 rear springs http://www.ch300imp.com/rear_spring.htm
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 2:58 PM (#566289 - in reply to #566287)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Phil_the_frenchie - 2018-07-08 3:52 PM

You've a big problem with the leafs ... On my site ther's a page on the '57/58 rear springs http://www.ch300imp.com/rear_spring.htm

It doesn't look factory to me. Looks like someone slipped in a short extra leaf on each one. The back end is riding very stiff, it is not a very smooth ride. When going over a speed bump, the front end mostly glides over... the back end makes the whole car go up and come down.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-07-08 9:40 PM (#566314 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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Those are aftermarket overload springs that someone added to your car. If you don't like them, you can try taking them off and see how it does. It may lower the backend down a bit, as well as make them less stiff.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-08 10:55 PM (#566321 - in reply to #566314)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Powerflite - 2018-07-08 10:40 PM

Those are aftermarket overload springs that someone added to your car. If you don't like them, you can try taking them off and see how it does. It may lower the backend down a bit, as well as make them less stiff.

Thanks, are they easy/safe to remove or are they under load with tension and waiting to rip my fingers off?

I assume step one would be to jack up the back end in a place other than the leaf springs to let them extend downward? Never worked on leaf suspension before.
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-07-08 11:04 PM (#566323 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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That would be best to relieve the pressure on the bolts before you turn them, but there is no real danger of it springing on you because the bolt is so long, it will relieve itself as you loosen it.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-14 9:13 PM (#566601 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: RE: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Took a few additional pictures of the leafs today before I take off the overload springs. These leaf springs seem to be pretty flat under the weight of the car. Can anyone tell if these are worn out or are they supposed to bend this much? The car isn't riding too low or anything, but it still has those overload springs on it, so thought I'd double check by sharing a few more pictures before I change anything.



(re_800_20180714_183344_HDR.jpg)



(re_800_20180714_183402_HDR.jpg)



(re_800_20180714_183352.jpg)



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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-14 9:18 PM (#566602 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: RE: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Looking at the last picture, it almost looks like they may be missing one leaf. Anyone else have a 57 they have some pictures of or can double check by counting them?
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-07-14 9:51 PM (#566609 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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I agree. It looks like you are missing the second leaf, which is the second most important one, and the whole pack is bending upward quite a bit from the strain of the overload. The overload springs are a band-aid here. I wouldn't remove them or it could be much worse. Just purchase a new set of springs from ESPO Springs 'n' Things. The originals are too soft even when new anyway.

Edited by Powerflite 2018-07-14 9:56 PM
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-14 10:07 PM (#566613 - in reply to #566609)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Powerflite - 2018-07-14 10:51 PM

I agree. It looks like you are missing the second leaf, which is the second most important one, and the whole pack is bending upward quite a bit from the strain of the overload. The overload springs are a band-aid here. I wouldn't remove them or it could be much worse. Just purchase a new set of springs from ESPO Springs 'n' Things. The originals are too soft even when new anyway.

Thanks for that great tip, they don't seem to be too expensive compared to other places. (maybe around $300) They don't have the year/make/model for these 57 Imperials listed - I assume I just call them up and they should know exactly what I need, yes?

Should I get any of the extras from them such as the axle pads?
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1960fury
Posted 2018-07-15 9:25 AM (#566630 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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That is a "helper spring". I think I saw those in old (50s) ads, Whitney, etc.
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KcImperial
Posted 2018-07-15 5:15 PM (#566644 - in reply to #566613)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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Here's the original leaf springs on my 1958 coupe with 7 leafs
Sedan may be different and also 1957 may be different
give ESPO Springs n Things a call, they make them for Imperials and will know what you need
I bought a set from them about a decade ago (but still haven't installed them)
Make sure to check shackles and replace the bushings while you're doing the springs





(1958CoupeLeafSprings1.jpg)



(1958CoupeLeafSprings2.jpg)



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60 dart
Posted 2018-07-15 11:36 PM (#566663 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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looks like overload addon springs for sure and by the looks of the space between the leaf clamps on top[ and top leaf , there's been a leaf removed ----------------------------------------------later
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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-07-16 4:46 PM (#566691 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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Beware, '57 and '58 springs are different, the '58 are 2" longer ... http://www.ch300imp.com/rear_spring.htm
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KcImperial
Posted 2018-07-16 9:14 PM (#566708 - in reply to #566691)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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Phil_the_frenchie - 2018-07-16 3:46 PM

Beware, '57 and '58 springs are different, the '58 are 2" longer ... http://www.ch300imp.com/rear_spring.htm

good to know. thanks, Phil!
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-16 10:20 PM (#566711 - in reply to #566691)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Phil_the_frenchie - 2018-07-16 5:46 PM

Beware, '57 and '58 springs are different, the '58 are 2" longer ... http://www.ch300imp.com/rear_spring.htm

Thanks! I'll call them up and make sure the dimensions are right.
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-16 10:28 PM (#566712 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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How difficult is it to change out leaf springs? I know with coils it's a pain, but leaf springs seem to be pretty tame and straight forward. I must be missing something here.
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billy
Posted 2018-07-17 1:30 PM (#566742 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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I'm in the same boat as Don...I have a new set of leaf springs in the trunck waiting to go on...I also purchased from ESPO...laurie very helpful...don't have a picture handy though...sorry
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51coronet
Posted 2018-07-20 12:42 PM (#566888 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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Just checked mine on a 57 2 door. Looks the same other than you may be missing some of the dampening material. My car is currently on jack stands on the frame so the slight bow you see is from the axle weight, the shocks are fully extended and holding the weight where you see it otherwise it would bow downward more. When the car is on the tires the spring is nearly horizontal like yours.

If its sagging too much in the rear you can add the coil over type shocks that are available as a stock replacement.

Edited by 51coronet 2018-07-20 1:02 PM




(leaf spring.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2018-07-20 2:27 PM (#566889 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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ohh disc brakes
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51coronet
Posted 2018-07-20 3:05 PM (#566891 - in reply to #566889)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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mikes2nd - 2018-07-20 2:27 PM

ohh disc brakes :)


Indeed! You saw them before http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=65789&...

It all works including parking brake! Overdrive trans swap very soon.
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59 in Calif
Posted 2018-07-20 8:25 PM (#566902 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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I'm with Chuck on this one. Those clamps look like there is room for another leaf. And what is now the 2nd leaf isn't extending out far enough under the main leaf. Seems odd someone would take that leaf out unless it was broken or cracked. and I only see 6 leafs where KcImperial's pic's are showing 7 leafs. when I did wife's 59 Dodge I took the springs to a local truck shop that deals with leaf springs. They had the specs for those springs and told me they were ok. Also they no longer re-arch springs as it is no longer cost effective. Jerry
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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-21 12:55 AM (#566918 - in reply to #566888)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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That is odd that 51coronet's springs also have the same look as mine with that bent leaf tucked in there. It almost looks like they took one of the leafs out to make it as it appears the same color, size, style, as the others.

It has me wondering if this was a stock modification that was done at the dealership? Or was it simply a common change to simply stiffen up the back end?

I guess my main concern is the ride - right now the ride is not smooth at all in the back end on my 57, so if I replace with new leaf set, will it suddenly ride nice and smooth again, or is it just common for the back end on these cars to be very stiff and ride hard?
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Powerflite
Posted 2018-07-21 2:01 AM (#566920 - in reply to #566286)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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If your goal is just to make it softer, then remove that helper spring and give it a go around the block.
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KcImperial
Posted 2018-07-21 9:52 AM (#566933 - in reply to #566918)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd



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imperial2100 - 2018-07-20 11:55 PM
That is odd that 51coronet's springs also have the same look as mine with that bent leaf tucked in there. It almost looks like they took one of the leafs out to make it as it appears the same color, size, style, as the others.
It has me wondering if this was a stock modification that was done at the dealership? Or was it simply a common change to simply stiffen up the back end?
I guess my main concern is the ride - right now the ride is not smooth at all in the back end on my 57, so if I replace with new leaf set, will it suddenly ride nice and smooth again, or is it just common for the back end on these cars to be very stiff and ride hard?

That "bent leaf tucked in there" is an aftermarket leaf spring helper.
https://www.autozone.com/suspension-steering-tire-and-wheel/leaf-spr...
It's a very common "quick fix" for any car or trailer with sagging leaf springs. I've never seen or heard of a legitimate dealership installing these on cars.

An Imperial should not have a very stiff and hard ride. It was one of the top luxury cars of it's day.
Replace your leaf springs, bushings, and shocks. It will feel like a different car afterwards

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imperial2100
Posted 2018-07-21 9:56 AM (#566934 - in reply to #566933)
Subject: Re: 57 Imperial - leaf springs look odd


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KcImperial - 2018-07-21 10:52 AM

imperial2100 - 2018-07-20 11:55 PM
That is odd that 51coronet's springs also have the same look as mine with that bent leaf tucked in there. It almost looks like they took one of the leafs out to make it as it appears the same color, size, style, as the others.
It has me wondering if this was a stock modification that was done at the dealership? Or was it simply a common change to simply stiffen up the back end?
I guess my main concern is the ride - right now the ride is not smooth at all in the back end on my 57, so if I replace with new leaf set, will it suddenly ride nice and smooth again, or is it just common for the back end on these cars to be very stiff and ride hard?

That "bent leaf tucked in there" is an aftermarket leaf spring helper.
https://www.autozone.com/suspension-steering-tire-and-wheel/leaf-spr...
It's a very common "quick fix" for any car or trailer with sagging leaf springs. I've never seen or heard of a legitimate dealership installing these on cars.

An Imperial should not have a very stiff and hard ride. It was one of the top luxury cars of it's day.
Replace your leaf springs, bushings, and shocks. It will feel like a different car afterwards


Thanks KC. You are probably right, just need to do this right and enjoy the results. I'll go ahead and order the new set of springs and rubber mounts. I think the bushings come pre-sleeved.

What shocks do you recommend?
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