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C1 Rear Spring Restoration submitted by Chip Werstein #3F
Chip Werstein: Rear Spring Restoration.
Does your solid axle corvette have the correct rear springs? Original standard springs are quite unique being made up of four different length grooved leaves which are separated by wax impregnated fiber board liners with metal tipped ends. Each spring assembly includes a center bolt and three stainless steel strap clamps.
56-57 rear spring assemblies are part # 3711550 (I believe 53-55 are the same) and 58-62 are part # 3751438. There appears to be no difference between the parts and in fact, a 1964 Chevrolet parts book indicates # 3751438 for all 53-62 standard applications.
The bottom (short) leaf contains the part # as well as a Julian date code. Examples: 45 E 7– “45” equals the 45th day of the year; “E” equals Eaton Spring Mfg Co. and “7” equals 1957, for a date of February 14, 1957. 345 E O – “345” equals the 345th day of the year 1960 or December 10, 1960. I have seen examples where the E was not the center digit, as in 175 2 E, which is the 175th day of 1962. Sometimes both springs on a given car will have the same date and other times they can differ. The date code typically precedes the build date of the car by approximately 60 days.
After 40+ years of service, these springs tend to wear and sag. Liner and bushing kits for springs are available from reproduction sources and can be rebuilt by reputable spring shops. The pictures below indicate two 3751438 springs. The upper has 28 E 0 indicating 28th day of the year and year being 1960. The lower spring is 349 E 0, 349th day of 1960.
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