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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The famous front springs !!

In the beginning my plans was to street rod my truck but as the years past with me just driving it as it was stock from factory and quite worn I learned how to enjoy the stock feeling, so when the day came when I decided to tear my truck down and instead of street roding it, I decided to go for a stock (ish) resto with a few updates. One of the important updates I wanted was to use some modern leaf spring technology that would give a stock ride height but with these plastic buttons between each leaf spring that would give me a slightly smoother ride but not compromising on the stock appearance. So I went ahead and visited the web page of one of the most well know and well reputed F100 part suppliers on the market. If found a long lost of parts I needed for my complete restoration among other things a set of front multi leaf spring that was advertised as a stock ride height spring that would give me a smoother ride. The model existed in two different models, for big block engines and small block engines. I didn´t really knew witch one to choose when I had the y-block as a goal, so I sent them a question on there e-mail. I got a quick answer stating that the person had sent the question to there spring specialist and that person would give me an answer as soon as possible. The days went by without any answers. about a week later I e-mailed again and then I got a response from their  "specialist".


They told me I needed the small block springs.

I found this a bit strange so i looked the weight of the most usual engines, it turned out like this (approx)


239-312 Y-block = 635 lbs

221-302W = 460

302 Boss = 500
351W = 525
351C-Boss = 550
351M-400 = 575
332-428FE = 625
427 HEMI = 680
429-460 = 720
429-Boss = 635

 It showed that the y block is closer to the big block than it is to the small block.

So I sent them a nother email questioning there response:

This is what I got:

I Spoke with xxxxx and xxx said that all original engines are considered small block engines, but when deciding which springs to go with, you are correct, the weight should be the determining factor. The xxxxxxxxxxxxx springs for big block are going to be "beefier" to support the 625 lb engine." Right about here the alarm bells should have started make some noice...but now.

I ordered parts for around $3000 dollars, and the waiting started. As I live in Sweden I send all the parts to a contact in San Fransisco that ships containers a few times each years to car enthusiasts like me in Sweden. Then we can get the shipping a lot cheaper than regular shipping. so I takes about 2 months before I got the parts.

So the say came when I was mocking up the new parts for the front suspension and I take a closer look at the new spring together with the old once. What the F....U...C...K!!! what are these......they must be the wrong springs

These springs have the revered eye and a lower arc than the stock once. The ones I ordered should have stock eye and same height. Gave the company a nother e-mail and it turned out that there sub-supplier (manufacturer) had sent out the wrong springs to my contact in San Fransisco. They had sent me the same springs but lowering spring instead of stock ride height springs..... BUMMER.

They said they would order new spring and have them sent to my contact in San Fransisco (original shipping address). I tried to explain that he wouldn´t have a container heading my way for another 6 months, and I asked if they couldn´t have them shipped to my address in Sweden. But that was a big no no!! that would cost them a lot more than having them shipped to the original address. I told them that their mistake would increase the cost for me as well. Shipping of the primary springs and also shipping of the second springs incl taxes and toll fees here in Sweden, So eventually I had convinced them to ship them to me in Sweden given that I would pay half the shipping and they would state that it would be a "part replacement" (then I don't need to pay the taxes once again), I specifically told them not to drop the value of the shipping declaration to 0$ but instead make a "part replacement". The weeks paced and finally after 3 months of wait UPS showed up. They had declared 0$ value and the custom didn´t buy it and they wanted $200 for tax and toll and UPS handling fees (YYEEEAAAAYY) I said I would pay the UPS guy if I could take a look of the springs before, making sure its the correct parts.
And what do you know, THEY HAD SENT ANOTHER SET OF LOWERING SPRINGS!!!! JUST HILARIOUS!!!.

Stock from the factory spring is the light grey in the rear.
The middle steel grey is the one the UPS guys showed up with.
The closest light gray was the one that was delivered the first time.


The only thing they got right the second time was that the spring eye was facing the stock direction, BUT (there was this small BUT) the spring arc was lower (higher) so the spring had the (from spring eye to axle mounting face) exact same height.
Right about now I had figured out that these people at this company just didn´t have a clue about what they where actually selling.
So I gave them a call and asked them straight out if this was some kind of sick and twisted joke.
They told me that this was the part number I had ordered and they had delivered the correct springs, END OF Discussion!!
Then I asked them if they insisted to the fact that the first spring they sent was a 3" lowering spring. They confirmed once again over the phone that the first spring was indeed a 3" lowering spring.
Then I sent them these photos above and asked them to explain how the second spring would give me a stock ride height when the first spring would give me a 3" drop.
They then told me that the two springs had different spring stiffness and that, that would make the difference of 3" in ride height.

I then showed them this formula.


Then I told them that what all of the parameters meant and that each and every one of these parameters where the same on both spring sets. So that means they have the same spring stiffness.
Then they told me the springs had different steel in them giving different Youngs modulus.
Well bummer again, I have been work with solid mechanics calculation as a professional for about 10 years, so I explained that steel, no matter what grade or heat treatment still have pretty much the same youngs modulus, its the tensile and ultimate strength that you can change, and that doesn´t affect the spring stiffness.
Then they got mad and told me that they had been selling these spring as a stock ride height spring for 15 years and that now one had complained about it earlier.
I just replied: well I have been working as an engineer and with solid mechanics calculations for 10 years and that means you have been fooling people for 15 years and gotten away with it. It didn´t really make them any happier.
So they refused to send me any other springs and they wouldn´t refund me any money either. Then I became furious and told them that I would make people know how they treated their customers and the lack of knowledge. This was the first time they actually did something good, they turned on a dime and would refund me my money including all the shipping fees, the problem was they wanted to refund me with a check. The check system has been abandoned for decades over here in Europe and Scandinavia, I told them I wanted the refund on my Pay pal account, but that wasn´t possible as it had passed to much time since the original transaction. So they would sent me a check. I tried to tell them the fact that that check would be worth the value of the paper it had been printed on over here in Sweden. NO RESPONSE!!! About now I had about $1000 down the drain. I told them several time over e-mail that I wanted the refund to the Pay pal account not as a check, NOTHING Until one day I said fuck it! I don't care if I don't get my money back but I will tell them how they look like.

You want us customer to pay with Pay pal or credit card, but when you refund the money you do it with a paper check.

from my perspective (not having the check system for decades) that´s the same thing as if a native Indian entered your facility wanting to pay with animal hides.

A couple of days later I got a confirmation that the check had been canceled and that the Pay pal transaction was done.

This is just one example, I have found a load of missinformation on there webpage stating parts are like that or like this and it later turns out they ARE NOT!!

I don't buy anything from these people any longer.........there are better places.

Thanks


4 comments:

  1. very interesting tale Jimmy.
    we still use cheques over in the UK but they are slowly being phased out.
    When I started on my truck I got talked into reverse eye lowered monoleafs and ended up with about 1/2" suspension travel so I will be in the market for near original springs so would appreciate it if you could name names. I got them from Midfiftys (it was my fault for not doing enough homework not Midfiftys)
    I am wondering, if I could obtain dimensions/parameters if a local spring manufacturer could make them.
    Love what you are doing. Keep up the good work
    stuey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stuey

      I dont want to name any names here in public, as they after all stepped up and made a full refund, BUT, if you shoot me an e-mail (you have it up in the right hand corner on every webpage) you can have all of the details over there.

      Regarding stock springs it feels abit like a gambling if one order aftermarket parts. I gave up and ordered NOS stock springs by Dennis Carpenter. However a search on the part# on google will give you a few company that might still have them. There are two types of NOS springs.

      1: The factory stock original springs has the partnumber and Fomoco logo stamped in on the second to last leaf.

      2: Then you have the service replacement springs, that counts as NOS but can be made by any spring manufacturer for FORD.

      Both springs has then same dimensions and spring rates but they appear to be designed in two seperate ways.

      Stock NOS, has pretty much the same arc on all leafs, this will under ordinary load have the highest stresses on the main leaf

      Service replacement NOS: Do not have the same arc on each leafspring but will have the same total arc when assembled as the Factory NOS spring. This spring is a bit harder to assemble then the Factory NOS but will have a better service life of the main and second leaf. These spring can be identified (most probably)
      by the fact that the partnumber is painted on top of the main leaf.

      Delete
  2. Can you get springs made locally?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well yes, but its really pricey over here

      Delete