New Leaf spring shackle question
Hi everyone,
Been a while since I have been on here. I hope everyone is doing well. This past weekend i replaced one leaf spring shackle (drivers side) on my car. It was bent up pretty bad from the car getting hit from behind years before i bought it. Anyway i got the old shackle out (with help from my sawzall) and replaced with a new one. Everything fit in fine, but when i lowered the axle to the leaf spring, the guide pin and the perch do not line up. My question is: is the shackle supposed to be left loose until i line everything up and seat the axle correctly? Is it supposed to just line right up with the shackle tightened down? Or am i supposed to "muscle" the axle into place (the passenger side is still all together, i did not remove anything on that side, just the driver side)? It is not off by much just about the width of the pin itself. Should i jack up the other side too and remove all that hardware, line up the axle and then bolt everything back together? Not sure where to go from here.

By biggest fear is that the frame is bent and I am hosed.

Anyway, any suggestions, thoughts or ideas will be appreciated.


Glad to hear from you.

The "normal" procedure would be to install the springs and then install the axle to the springs.

It sounds like your driver's side spring took quite a hit back in the day. Look for obvious damage to the spring pocket at the front of the driver's spring. I would think that the impact would have been absorbed by the spring but one never knows.

I would jack the car (positioning jack stands) so that the rear axle is swinging free. Loosen the spring plates on both sides and see if axle will then fit in place. If not loosen the spring shackle on the passenger side as well. Once the axle is placed and tightened re-tighten the shackles on both sides.

If there is too much of an alignment problem you will see it. You may want to take a measurement between the front spring perch and the rear shackle point on both sides and compare the measurement. It should be the same. Also once the car is back on the ground - how does it sit? Also take a measurement from the front hub to the rear on both sides. Again, it should be the same.
Thanks Steve I will give that a shot this weekend. I am going to measure first like you suggested to be sure nothing it too out of whack.

ok i got the car back on the ground, and it looks to be ok now as far as the distance from hub to hub on both sides. Again I knew the car was hit from behind, however long ago, before i owned it. But now that it is back on all fours and pretty square i noticed that the back of the car sits approx 1.5 inches higher on the drivers side than the passenger side. I measured from my garage floor to the frame just behind the leaf spring shackles on both sides. The driver side is much higher. I knew eventually i would have to replace the trunk floor because of the damage. But now that i see the frame is bent upwards i dont know if it is worth it. I know i will have to have the trunk removed, the frame straightened and possibly the transition panel replaced as well depending if that is damaged too. So basically whoever had the car before i did replaced all the body panels and made them as level as possible without fixing the frame or trunk floor.

So now for the advice, what do you guys think i should do? Has anyone done something like this before? is it worth the headache or should i just take all the parts off this car, scrap it and find something else to put my parts on?

Also, if i kept right on going from where i am (leaving everything as is), would there be an issue of safety? Is it ok to drive with a bent frame?


Gos, that is a tough call and it really requires more information. Is it worth the headache to rebuild?

If I remember right your Mach 1 is a 1970. So yes ..

What is the general shape of your car? Little rust - yes. Some rust - yes. Really rusted - maybe.

Where are you located? That may make all the difference in your cars specific worthiness.

How much do you all ready have invested in the car?

What are your capabilities or will you need to hire the work out? How deep are your pockets? What are your plans for the car?

Is it a safety issue? Not necessarily, has it affected the weight distribution of the car? If it has then safety is involved.

Depending on the answer to these questions you may want to consider selling it honestly to someone more prepared to tackle such a project and starting with a better base.

If the car has sentimental value it is always worth the effort. If you purchased the car for a project to work on - you have one. If you purchased the car to enjoy then you will not necessarily enjoy having to work on it instead of driving it.

Share some more specifics and opinions will fly freely.
I had one of my girls pony badly bent , the body shop put it on a frame rack and pulled it back, we are talking 2 inch out of sq.It took him some time and about a grand but it was better than junking the car. Maybe have a rep. shop look at it first, might be less than you think. Of coarse the doors and fenders needed relined.

Steve had some very good points, how rare is the car, have you done a check in the Mustang by the numbers or a Marti report?
One thing, most people will never see it if you don't point it out. unless it unsafe, drive it. look at how many years its been driven like this. you've got a Mach 1 not everyone has one.
Thanks guys,
68 you are right i guess no one will really notice unless i point it out. and Steve does indeed make great points. I have not gotten a Marti report yet.

Steve, all valid questions you have and thanks for opening my eyes. I was looking at this from a frustrated "JEEZ what now"? point of view, not a what do i have here, and what will i have when done point of view. The car physically (aside from the trunk damage) is 90%. I know the floor boards were replaced, and the fenders, quarter panels, and doors are all in perfect shape no rust at all, and painted too. Could be all bondo for all i know but it looks good to me. Biggrin so if you were to look at it you would see a pretty nice car. That is why i bought it, honestly. I didn't know too much about cars at the time. So i never bothered inspecting the undercarriage. I bought it and over time as i have been learning and peeling back each layer i find more things wrong (which with a car this old has to be expected). This being the worst of it.

Anyway, I am going to continue on from where i stand now. And see what i have when i am done.

One more question, how would i be sure if the car is safe or not? Anything specific i should look for?

Thanks again guys i appreciate it.
I feel your pain. Like the previous member suggested, bring it to a frame shop to assess. It may give you a piece of mind. How is the overall panel alignment on the car (i.e. fender to doors, fender to cowl, doors and trunk to quarter panels)?
Everything looks to line up pretty well. Nothing immediately noticeable as far as the gap being larger from one end to the other on any panel. But i have to look closer.

Does anyone know of a good reputable frame place around Long Island?


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