Axle Bending



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Lowering the front of a Model T with lowering brackets, invariably leads to a clearance problem with the crank handle as shown in the left photo below.  If you look closely, you can see where the handle has been hitting the axle.  The photo on the right shows a curved front axle which avoids the clearance problem.

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Several members of our club set out to create a few curved axles for our projects. A jig was made using a large I beam with a curved fixture which could be pressed down on the axle with a port-a-power.  We used a leaf from an old Model T spring to give the gentle curve.  The spring perches and axle ends were held firmly to the I beam.  We found that it worked best to heat the entire center portion of the axle at once using four rosebud tips, and then press down on it with the port-a-power while it was still red hot.  After we got the hang of it, we could bend an axle every 45 minutes or so.  Much of the time was spent bolting and unbolting the axles from the jig.

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We found that if the axle was firmly bolted to the fixture there was no distortion created during the bending process, so the frontend alignment was not affected.  The fixture gave a nice gentle bend much like the axle we were trying to duplicate.  The far right photo shows our entire production run.  We spent about two full days on this project.  One day to build the jig and one day to bend the axles.

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