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Old 01-19-2019, 01:19 AM   #1
Steve Plucker
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Default Front and Rear Spring Restoration

What is the best way to restore the leaf springs?

Electrolisis...Sand blast...wire wheel...all the above ...none of the above...

Followed by painting each leaf or not?...or use graphite grease...

Assemble....

What have you done in your restoration to have a good looking front and rear spring?

Thanks.

Pluck
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

I have the spring leaves sand blasted, then I grind out the steps left by wear in the top of the leaves and taper the under sides of the ends. After that, prime them with as much graphite as I can put in the paint and it still spray. The paint holds the graphite on the spring and is dry so dirt does not adhere to it. Once assembled, I give them a squirt of black paint. It has worked well for me over the years.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

I did EXACTLY the same thing to my rear spring and it came out beautiful. Actually found a graphite spray lubricant called Slip Plate that I sprayed on. Critical thing is grinding off any wear and putting the taper the undersides of the points so it doesn't happen again.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

We blast the leaves in a blaster followed by reworking the tips like others with a flapper wheel. Then we use a press to re-ach them. We spray each leaf separately with a thin coat of 2k Epoxy primer. Then assemble with grease or graphite (-your choice as it really does not matter) followed by a a vigorous scrubbing with wax & grease remover and then a scuff with a Scotchbrite pad. From there, one medium coat of a 2k urethane Black and go clean your gun. The thing that you find is if the mil thickness of your paint, grease, or graphite is too thick (-and it doesn't take much) then as the leaves begin to rub against one another, the spring pack becomes loose which affects the rebound along with making the car lean.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:16 AM   #5
Steve Plucker
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Thanks guys for the tips...will go from here.

Pluck
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

In an attempt to save money I have re arched several model A springs .If a person reads all of the posts in this thread you can see that it is a hard dirty job . The springs can be cold arched but I have found that already weakened 90 year old springs don't hold up very long . Springs can be sent off and re arched with heat that is said to hold up well . Shipping springs two ways gets expensive . My cars are just fun cars . Repro springs don't all look like original equipment . For national judging , OEM type springs will probably be necessary . For my driver model A's New repro springs are the better way to go for longevity . No harm meant, just my experience re arching model A springs .
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

If you buy the repo springs you still need to round the lower edges of each leave and do the graphite/paint prep before installation. If your springs need re-arching, and your not interested in fine point judging, then the repo springs are your best bet.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Both Eaton Spring of Detroit (web site)and the manufacturer for 'A Springs' (direct phone call) have said their new springs should NOT be lubed.


Different spring technology ??


Passing along what I was told, do your own research.


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Old 01-19-2019, 04:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

I am not into fine point judging for my cars.

However, I do really like to admire a very well restored Model A. Different strokes for different folks.

Driving and enjoying the car is what gets me going.

Safety and smooth running proformance is paramount to me.

I replace springs with new USA made ones. The best that I can get. Old ones go to the scrap yard.

It’s a 90 year old car. Springs have a life span. Enjoy.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb-ob View Post
Both Eaton Spring of Detroit (web site)and the manufacturer for 'A Springs' (direct phone call) have said their new springs should NOT be lubed.
Different spring technology ??
Passing along what I was told, do your own research.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Hello,

I painted the single leafes with especaially MoS2 (Molybdšndisulfid) paint. To dry with a hot blowing pistol. That's a dry "grease" that takes not dust or dirt.

I think, that gives a very good dry moove for many years.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Eaton Spring … that was a "blast from the past" . Last time I was in their shop was about 60 years ago. I bought a piece of annealed spring steel from which I made a cross bow
(plans in a Popular Mechanics) .. after shaping they heat treated if for me. Their shop on Michigan avenue is a block away from my grand parents old house in Cork Town.
Has anyone purchased a set of Model A springs from them? How was the quality?
Joe B
PS, might be an interesting place to visit when folks are in town for the "grand tour"
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

WOW, Aliens have spring lube issues as well ?
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Here is a more extensive version of what has already been said.

Reconditioning an early Ford spring.

To completely recondition a spring, after it is out and on the bench, I use two large C clamps, one on each side of the center bolt.
I pull them up tight and take the nut off of the center bolt. I then SLOWLY LET THE C CLAMPS OUT EQUALLY till the spring is relaxed.
I then glass bead all of the leaves to get rid of all debris. Then inspect the eyes for wear. If worn, discard that leaf and have a new one made at the spring shop OR, find a good used one to replace it.
Then I magnaflux them. If all is ok, I then take them to a spring shop to have them
re-arched and re-heatreated.
Steel does not wear out, it just gets fatigued. Re-heatreating returns it to original.
After I get the leaves back, I inspect the top of all the leaves for grooving.
If grooved, grind and taper the tops of all the leaves for the last 3 inches back from the ends.
The number of leaves you use will depend on the final weight of the car and the "ride" you want. On a typical early Ford it is possible to get a 100 lb. per inch spring rate which will give a very comfortable "touring ride". Have the shocks disconnected when checking spring rates.
The easiest way to check spring rate is measure the height of a point on the front bumper.
Apply a known weight to the front bumper such as a 200 lb. person. Measure the same point again. say it went down 2 inches.
You have roughly a 100 lb per inch spring rate on the front.
Adjust the spring rate by removing one leaf at a time starting with the 3rd leaf and trying it in the car.
DO NOT USE GREASE BETWEEN THE LEAVES. It attracts dirt and dirt is very abrasive. DO NOT use paint on any working surface of a spring. Paint is a very poor lubricant.
I Parkerize the leaves and then spray them all over with SlipPlate (trade name) which is a graphite spray or Moly Kote (trade name) which is a molybdenem disulfide base spray.
This step is optional but I use 1/16 UHMW plastic between the leaves. This is similar to Teflon but about 1/3 the price. This really decreases friction and prolongs spring life.
It is also the main item for making a spring work smooth and provide a soft ride.
Contrary to some beliefs, it will not forge out from between the leaves in NORMAL STREET USE. This stuff is NOT for racing and high performance applications.
After determining the final configuration of the spring I wrap it with black electrical tape from the eyes to the U bolts. This keeps dirt out.
There are commercial spring covers available also.
If you use a reversed eye main leaf, be sure the second leaf is short enough that there
is no way it can bottom on the eye when at full compression.
Sometimes the original spring clips will not reach over the spring after the UHMW is added.
It is a simple matter to fabricate ones that will.
The inside top of the cross member where the spring seats, usually has a radius.
BE SURE the top leaf of the spring has a radius to match. a sharp corner on the spring
leaf can cause a cracked cross member.
I use moly filled Delrin shackle bushings because they have almost no friction and they never wear out. No tools required to install them also.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

For a non-driver show car, rebuilding the springs is reasonable. For a driver, rebuilding original springs is a NO NO, and here is why:
> Remaining fatigue life is an unknown, and little can be done to enhance the remaining life;
> Failure of the main leaves while the car is in motion is dangerous because the springs are parts of the support system attaching the running gear to the car.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
For a non-driver show car, rebuilding the springs is reasonable. For a driver, rebuilding original springs is a NO NO, and here is why:
> Remaining fatigue life is an unknown, and little can be done to enhance the remaining life;
> Failure of the main leaves while the car is in motion is dangerous because the springs are parts of the support system attaching the running gear to the car.




Hey Bob, your wisdom and advice about replacing vs. restoring may definitely be prudent thoughts here (...especially for guys that do not have the proper skills/resources/tools to restore) but let me add some food for thought and play Devil's Advocate with you for a sec.;

a) It would appear that all of the reproduction springs available today are manufactured off-shore. It has been my experience that steel being manufactured offshore is greatly inferior to US manufactured steel, -especially when compared to steel manufactured back in the Model-A era. (a great example is Model-A original bumpers vs. reproduction bumpers. The spring steel in both is of no comparison!) So with that mindset of old manufacturing quality, how many oscillations of the Ford-manufactured springs is the life expectancy vs. the life expectancy of imported spring steel? Is it still possible that even used Model-A era spring steel is equal to, --or possibly a tad better than the new import spring steel??


b) From my experiences, the reproduction springs have the same leaf count, but they are not the same thicknesses and shape as the original spring, are they? While this may not seem important, why do you suppose Ford took the time/expense to manufacture three different 10 leaf springs, --and even 2 different main leaf springs for use on the rear?


c) Steel has memory, and I was taught a trick from old-time metallurgical guys that when straightening anything such as tensiled steel, it should be normalized after the molecules have been rearranged (-i.e.: straightened). This is why a crankshaft that has been straightened is usually peened in a cheek to normalize it so that it does not return to its former bent shape. In the case of a vehicle spring, the normalizing can either be done with a hammer & anvil after straightening or even with a torch by an experienced craftsman. Done correctly, the re-arched spring should hold its shape for many years to come in the environment that most of us drive our vehicles.


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Old 01-20-2019, 01:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Ford alloyed vanadium steel made at the Rouge is superior to any foreign contract made springs today,the quality of the steel is better.

Spring leaves used in spring pack like the model a spring should not be coated with anything between the leaves,clean steel should contact clean steel for the spring pack to maintain center bolt tension.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Snyder’s, Mac’s, and A Spring all have USA made springs.

There more money, but worth the extra cost.

Springs can and will break. We all have our own option on different things, but you can’t change the fact of age and ware and tear.

Would you want a dealer to put a used spring with a new coat of paint on your family car?

Show, maybe OK.

GO, I won’t take the chance.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Snyderís, Macís, and A Spring all have USA made springs.

There more money, but worth the extra cost.

Springs can and will break. We all have our own option on different things, but you canít change the fact of age and ware and tear.

Would you want a dealer to put a used spring with a new coat of paint on your family car?

Show, maybe OK.

GO, I wonít take the chance.

I have heard conflicting info on this so I will yield to your knowledge but when you do go to their website it shows that due to tarriffs being imposed, there will be a price increase. Wouldn't those tarriffs only be imposed on imported raw goods?


As for a used spring being installed, how many original springs have you ever seen broken on a restored vehicle rendering the vehicle and its occupants in a dangerous or life-threatening situation?


I have disassembled plenty of spring assemblies with one broken leaf, and in all instances that I can remember the tie-bolt was broken too. This is generally caused by loose spring clip nuts. Maybe others can cite specific instances however the only broken main leaf
(A-5313 or A-5563-*) that I have ever seen or heard about failing is on springs when the eyes were heated and rolled the opposite way. Outside of that, you just do not find broken main leaves. The Ford design of the properly tightened spring clips and the spring clamps installed would keep a spring from coming apart even in the event one leaf did break (which happens in the tie-bolt hole area). One additional thought, how many Model-T springs have you ever heard failing, ...and remember these vehicles are between a decade or two older than the A springs with potentially subjected to more life cycles under more compromising road conditions?!?!!


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Old 01-20-2019, 06:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Front and Rear Spring Restoration

Has anyone used springs from Posies? Look like a great thing for a driver.
http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/...28_43_springs/
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