Leaf Springs

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Leaf Springs
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garry Potter on Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 09:33 pm:

I have just finished taking apart the front springs from my 1913 touring. All of the springs are tapered except 1 spring has square ends. This square ended spring is the first spring from the bottom i.e it sits on top of the bottom spring that attaches to the perches.
I am wondering if this is correct for 1913 or did someone replace a broken tapered spring with a square end spring at some time in the past.
Should I look for the proper spring or leave this spring as is unless it affects performance. I just removed a set of Hasslers.
Also, should I grind down the ridges in the end of each spring caused by the next spring above rubbing on the next lower spring for many years. Will this give a smoother performance
Thanks
Garry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Sunday, December 28, 2008 - 10:52 pm:

Garry,

The #2 leaf is square ended in 1913.

Royce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garry Potter on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 12:29 am:

Royce
Thank you. This saves me the trouble of seaching for a replacement leaf. Now I must decide between slip coat and teflon.
Garry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 12:44 pm:

Gary,
I have used a product called "Dry Lube" which should be baked on. It been used in the areo-space industries for many years and is a great product. I first sand blast each leaf and then coat both sides of each leaf only where they are in contact with each other. After coating, I re-assemble the spring and remove (Using Lacquer Thinner) any exposed coating in areas that will be painted. It has worked great for my cars. One of which has a cream chassis (Restored In 1978) with no chiping,rust or any dis-coloration noted when looking at the springs.
Using grease between the leafs creates a continuing messy problem as it workes out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garry Potter on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 12:58 pm:

Les
After sandblasting do I put primer paint on all of the bare metal springs before I brush on the "dry lube", or do I leave the contact surfaces bare metal (which would rust over time)
I do not have a bake oven. Are you suggesting I ask the wife if I could use her kitchen oven....I know her answer now.
Your further suggestions
Thanks
Garry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 01:10 pm:

Gary: Use the oven. Its easier to get forgivness than it is permission. JP


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 01:33 pm:

Slip Plate is the easy way, you brush it over the bare (disc sanded or blasted) spring contact surfaces. Air dry a few hrs, then rub it to a sheen, as the graphite gets slick when rubbed.

It's somewhat messy, so spread out the newspapers and use the dispo gloves or your hands will be graphite silver for a while. A dispo foam sponge brush works well.

Clean off areas by using a knife or sand paper that will be covered with finish paint,like the edges of the leaf, then prime and finish paint the spring after assembly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 01:37 pm:

Slip Plate between each leaf on this tapered leaf spring, no greasy leaks or residue.


(yea, those Mae Wests are upside down :0


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 07:01 pm:

Gary,
You apply dry lube directly over the bare sandblasted areas. During the summer, I let the sun do the bakeing. The "Slip Plate" product that Dan Treace is using sounds like it may also work. It may be easier to get and less $$$. From the pictures provided by Dan ...."Slip Plate" looks like a good product. If you live near Fallbrook, Ca. I would be happy to provide some dry lube "Free".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garry Potter on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 07:40 pm:

Dan & Les
Thanks for the advice. I have ordered slip-plate which is available in Canada. I was having some confusion because I did not realize you applied the graphite product directly to bare metal. I live about 1 hour North of Toronto.
Congratulations on your San Diego Chargers. I was hoping they would win and they sure blew Denver away.
Garry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By eric o'hara on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 03:49 pm:

I do not have much T experience (but I am learning) I do have some thoughts that I have applied through general spring and pre war restoration work.
I always try to dress the wear ridges of the spring leaves. I feel that if possible it is best to reduce the fatigue concentration area that may be caused in the ridge. I always try to dress by hand or apply a light powerfile along the lengthwise axis, not across the spring. By dressing this way it is easier to avoid rounding and tapering the edges... power sanding with a disc can cause this too. I always try to blast the leaves, as well as the cleaning aspect the blasted surface immediately shows any sign of cracks, especially look at the top 1/3 of the leaf stack. If in doubt especially on the main leaf, apply some form of crack detection. Blasting before file dressing is best.
Interestingly the spring leaves generally form a slight trough along their axis from the camber setting. You may see this when you commence filing of the worn section. Springs that are lubricated perhaps benefit from this trough to act as an oil or grease reservoir area. Sanding across the leaf may lose this.
Rolls Royce (pre war) allow .020" max wear or pitting on a leaf thickness (nominal leaf thickness.175 / .250"). Also keep in mind the surface of the leaf will have an effect on damping. Again RR used cadnium plating (very low friction) and oil lubrication to each of the working leaves, other manufacturers do not apply any lubrication or perhaps a steel shim to allow a greater form of damping. Damping at high road speeds on beam front axles is very important.
Sorry if this is non T, but I thought it may be of interest.
Eric.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 04:48 pm:

I've taken apart many Ford T springs, the ones in better condition have the residue of the factory graphite paint still on the inner leaf surfaces.

Here is the formlua (From MTFCA on-line Encycl)

SPRING PAINTING
(Accession 166, Box 3, Folder Model T T260—T-686C, Ford Archives)

Ford painted springs with the following mixture: “Mix 1.62 lbs. or one quart of special spirits (for thinning enamels); 5.5025 lbs. or three quarts of M-170 Black enamel and ten lbs. of M-1012 flake graphite. One pound will lubricate 75 springs.”

The 'Slip Plate' brand or the 'EZ-Slide' brand of graphite paint is very much like the original.

EZ-Slide: Part #RB 9512
http://www.vansicklepaint.com/miscproducts/ezslide.html

Got mine at the friendly local tractor supply store, got a new pair of Wranglers while there too.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Zahorik on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 04:54 pm:

I agree with Dan, EZSlide seems to work well. I too purchased it at the Track Supply Store. They have quarts and gallons. A quart (which is enough to paint many springs) ran me about $15.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush on Thursday, January 08, 2009 - 05:45 pm:

I made my own. Started with the smallest can of black Rustoleum paint and added graphite till I thouth there was plenty. Mixing as I did so. I have done 4 springs with that little can and still have leftover.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 03:12 am:

Eric,
OK, but RR also put leather covers over their springs with felt pads, and a fitting to put more oil in. I have seen accessory spring covers for As, assume they were available for Ts too.
T'
David D.
PS, And then there was the "one shot" chassis lubing system. . . a plumber's nightmare!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grant Baker on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 08:50 am:

There was a thread on here a couple weeks ago that touched on this. The timing of it corresponded perfectly with my spring rebuilds. I decided to go with the adhesive backed UHMW tape. My springs have better "action" with this tape than any I have ever seen. Others said that it held up really well too, but I can't speak for that yet. I do know the installation was very clean and I am pleased with the result. After grinding down the worn sections, I blasted and painted each leaf with good quality paint, applied the tape to each side of each leaf, trimmed the edges, and put them together.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By eric o'hara on Saturday, January 10, 2009 - 03:53 pm:

David,
Yes you are right about the gaiters and even the little boots for the shackles and linkages.
I hope that it doesn't look as if I trying to "push" the RR stuff too much, I just find that they have some nice and clear rules that can set a bench mark if making decisions in the restoration work of anything mechanical. As you say tho some of it may be unecessarily complicated.
I love this forum, there is such a wealth of experience, I always learn something with each visit and its a friendly group. Thanks to all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey on Monday, January 12, 2009 - 02:36 am:

Eric,
You're right, this sure is a bunch of great folks! I think the three best researched and most documented cars are Ford's As & T's and RR's--and we're still finding new stuff about them!
T'
David D.


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