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Old 07-02-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
Bruce
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Default Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Anyone have experience using a dry film lubricant between the leaves of a new spring? It is a product, like thread locker, that wasn't available back in the day. It is slickery, stays in place, and doesn't attract dirt -- could it be the answer to squeeky, worn leaf springs?
Here's what a vendor (top of my GOOGLE search) says about their product

With our aerosol-can formulations, after merely spraying onto a surface and drying (which takes only a minute or so), the lubricant is attached to the surface and reduces friction while increasing wear-lifetime -- operating from low-temperature up to very-high temperatures [cryogenic up to 1000 C].

Thicknesses applied vary from less than a mil [<0.001 inch] upward. The aerosol dry-film lubricants bond to most any substrate -- metals, ceramics, glasses, plastics:
  • Stop galling/cold-welding/binding of metal surfaces
  • Adhere to surfaces that liquids/greases etc. cannot be used
  • Reduce friction and ease sliding motion when two surfaces contact each other
  • Prevent problems with dirt, dust, and other things that stick to liquids/greases
  • Are clean and easy-to-use
  • Applicable at temperatures where liquids/greases are not possible to use, such as very-low temperatures (cryogenic) and temperatures over a few-hundred degrees Centigrade
  • Have no issues with 'flashing' or burning after they are applied and dried.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Penophite from the Kroil folks travels horizontally. I would suggest giving it a helping hand by unloading the spring letting the lubricant travel a bit easier.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
Glenn C.
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Graphite dry lubricant in the spray cans works great between the spring leaves. Of course you have to separate the spring leaves to accomplish your objective.
Spring surfaces should be cleaned before application.
Graphite Spray lubricants are available at any jobber or farm machinery dealership.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

I've never tried it but I wonder how Bel-ray dry chain lube for motorcycles would work. It comes out as a liquid and dries as a white dust almost. Kind of like lithium grease except it comes out much thinner and actually dries. I use it in chains (obviously) as well as door hinges, windshield wiper linkage as well as anything else that needs lubrication in wet and dusty environments.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #5
Larry Seemann
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

For many years I've been using Slip-Plate with no complaints. It comes in a spray can and goes on like gray spray paint, but is actually graphite. It used to be a John Deere product but I think that's changed. You do have to disassemble and clean the leaves before applying.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

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I used the Graphite spray on my springs after reworking them. The stuff is real nice to work with. It dries very fast, and adheres quite well. My car is not on the road yet, but I did jump up and down on the front horns, and was amazed at how smooth and free the suspension was. GOOD STUFF! I understand it works really well as an exhaust manifold spray also. It is a very attractive finish that will not burn off.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

I Parkerize the spring leaves first and then spray them with ZepDryMoly.
It is a spray on stuff similar to graphite but is collodial molybdenem disulfide. It sticks better than the graphite products.
And no, I don't know where to get it any more.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #8
Herb Concord Ca
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Hi Bruce, I just rebuilt my front and rear springs and I used a graphite spray made by Mc Kay. Dries real quick. Got it at a auto parts store.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
Marco Tahtaras
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

When I did my Roadster years ago I used a "high tech" version that was backed on in a large oven (helps to have friends). I'm not sure it's that much better then Slip Plate from Superior Graphite. They also package it for other companies like John Deer.

In my opinion it's better to buy the brush-on version (it can still be sprayed) in pint or quart cans. A little build is better. The reason is the cross section of the spring leaves is cupped on both upper an lower surfaces meaning they are thickest along the edges. A little "fill" with a thicker application of slip plate should be beneficial. I would guess one brush coat of graphite would produce a film like five coats from a spray can.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

If they haven't changed the name, John Deere Slip Plate works great. Just be sure to clean the leaves good and spray it on.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Slip Plate is also available at online at www.slipplate.com or at Grainger and NAPA Auto Stores. Their on-line sites definitely carry it too. Just type in the key word "Slip Plate" or "Graphite"
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

I did both of my cars a number of years ago. I removed both springs, took them apart, bead blasted them, and ground the witness marks out of them. I then coated the mating surfaces with Slip plate in a spray can by John Deer. It goes on like paint and dries and leaves a dry lubricated surface. When bolted together the excess squeezed out the sides. I wiped off the sides with solvent and painted the entire assembly.

I am pleased with the results. There are no squeeks, and the springs stay relatively clean.

Later I discovered that the John Deer dealers here in California no longer carried the product. I think it is a Califorina clean air issue. I was able to locate the product in Chicago. Superior Graphite www.superiorgraphite.com . I ordered a case of it for our club and when received it had the exact same label on the can except all reference to John Deer was missing.

Bratton's carry a similar product, part number 7250.

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Old 10-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
Gary/IA
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

My experience with slip-plate is that it does provide a form of lubrication-up to a point. In an application where it can be reapplied on a regular basis it works great but it does wear off pretty rapidly leaving bare metal at points of friction. I used to use it on the large circle gear on a road grader, it really needed to be applied regularly to prevent wear.

The last springs that I recently did, I cleaned,painted, and applied Mystic jt6 grease. I plan to periodically lube the springs with oil and cover with spring covers. I believe this is the best way to prevent them squeaking and rusting. I am assuming that the applied oil will migrate into the springs. Our area experiences wet weather so our springs get a lot of abuse.

Your results may vary.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:55 PM   #14
Bruce Adams
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

I use PTFE Dry Teflon Lubricant and it seems to work well.
It is an amazing space age lubricant.
It doesn't permit dirt to stick, is not greasy, and doesn't wash off.
How can it go wrong?
It also prevents galling as its the best thing to use on Stainless to stainless turnbuckles and such. I DO now use silicon bronze turnbuckles on stainless threaded rods to absolutely prevent galling, but I still use Super Lube grease there, and Super Lube spray on my leaf springs and other places around the Model A like the door wher I want slip without filth.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:18 PM   #15
Rich in Tucson
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

For those of you who have used any form of brush or spray-on dry film lubricant (particularly spray Slip-Plate which I have):

A - Did you paint the springs before coating?

B - Did you paint the springs after coating and assembly?

If B, how did you keep the Slip-Plate from the spring sides or can it be painted over?

I was planning to assemble cleaned leaves, paint springs as an assembly, then disassemble to apply the Slip-Plate, or is that unnecessary work? Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:44 PM   #16
dave in australia
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

A product in Oz that my father uses on his A springs and I use on my springs is Molybond 122L. It comes as an aerosol and dries after about 2 min. No complaints so far.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

I make my own slip plate, rustolium and powered graphite. I paint on the under side of only the contact area of the spring, assemble then paint the whole spring. I just add the graphite till I think the pint can has enough and maybe a bit more. When it drys, looks gray like someone has rubbed it with a pencil. I got idea when reading how Ford make the same stuff in the Model T era.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:38 PM   #18
Brubaker
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

The Tractor Supply Company has a paintable graphite(EZ Glide) that I've had good luck with. A pint was only ~$14 and change. Dries quick. Nice thick coating.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:22 AM   #19
Cool Hand Lurker
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

If you are not going to disassemble your springs and just want to lube them with an oil can occasionally then graphite probably won't wick into the space between the leaves. I use an oil designed for lubing the "ways" on a metal lathe so it is designed for sliding situations rather than rotating situations. You can get it at McMaster-Carr or ENCO or probably have it ordered from an auto parts store. I use Mobil Way Lube.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:52 PM   #20
skryla
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Default Re: Dry lubricant for leaf springs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich in Tucson View Post
For those of you who have used any form of brush or spray-on dry film lubricant (particularly spray Slip-Plate which I have):

A - Did you paint the springs before coating?

B - Did you paint the springs after coating and assembly?

If B, how did you keep the Slip-Plate from the spring sides or can it be painted over?

I was planning to assemble cleaned leaves, paint springs as an assembly, then disassemble to apply the Slip-Plate, or is that unnecessary work? Thanks.
I didn't see a response to the above and have my springs apart. Any thoughts?
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