A formula for preparing graphite paint used to lubricate the leaf springs appeared in the Forum some years back. I include a screen shot of the post.
After preparing the the "paint" using this formula (I did use graphite powder rather than flakes), the result is a very thick, dry paste.
Can anyone verify that this is the correct result? Should it be brushable like paint or does it need to be applied with a spatula?
When I mixed up mine I carefully added thinner until the consistency was thin enough to be brushable but thick enough that the graphite would stay in suspension. I coated the top and bottom of the leaves where they contact and where they rub when compressed, but not the entire length or the sides since the mix was thick enough it left noticeable brush marks. Once it dried and the leaves were assembled I painted the assembly with the gloss black enamel (Rustoleum) as a finish coat. I was wondering if the graphite would effect the top coat's adhesion, but it went on well.
It's been 10 years since I used that formula, but I seem to remember a similar result and ended up making up a gallon rather than the needed quart. This time I just went to the local John Deere dealer and picked up a can of slip paint. One can was enough to do one set of springs. And that gallon of recipe paint? It sort of coagulated and was lumpy after a few years.
I just bought a quart of black paint at the store and mixed in graphite powder until it started to get a bit thick. Took quite a lot of powder but was still easy to brush. It dried to a greyish black so I sprayed black paint over the assembled springs and it works just fine
I usually just paint the bottom of the leaf. I put it on thick enough that it rubs on the leaf below. I make mine putting as much graphite in the enamel paint so still can be brushed on. I just use enamel paint and graphite.
Could you just spray graphite lubricant on the bottom of each leaf after painting with normal paint but before assembly?
The paint mix holds it in place longer then a spray on type graphite plus the coat would not be very thick. The spring leafs were never painted one leaf at a time. The graphite mix was put on, spring assembled and the whole spring was painted from what I have read and understand.
I think any paint where the leafs rub will just turn in to a gooey mess. The idea is metal to metal with the graphite in between lets the spring do it thing.
I was pretty messy with Slip I graphite paint.
Can anyone tell me how to get the gray graphite off the black leafs that are visible?
Bob - if you can't get the grey off, just paint it over with regular black paint
I do believe powder absorbs more liquid than flakes will.
By using powder instead of flakes you have changed the recipe (formula) somewhat....therefore, you have to change it even more - add more liquid (mineral spirits) until you get a thick, BUT brushable mixture.
OK, I thinned the clay-like mixture with more paint and thinner so it was brushable. It went on nicely and dried quickly. The color is a dark charcoal grey. Tomorrow I will assemble the springs and paint the exterior of the assembly if necessary.
Looking good, Eric! Please post a picture of the springs after they are assembled.
The black satin chassis lacquer paint crinkled when sprayed over the enamel. I have now removed the black graphite paint from the non-rubbing areas and painted over them with enamel. As soon as it's dry and the clips are assembled, I will attach pics.
I'm sorry to hear that.
If it is any consolation, you are not alone with that result...see
Lacquer will crinkle enamel when applied over it. I believe the crinkle finish paints utilize this effect.
I knew about the lacquer over enamel problem, I just forgot that the spray I am using is lacquer!
If it would crinkle evenly all over the spring it might make for a pretty cool effect. ;)
I have always wondered why some parts of the engine and transmission on the 27 were painted in pyroxolin-lacquer (hogshead for example) and others in enamel (oil filler cap). Any thoughts?
Ford started painting the engine and parts prior to installation in post-1914 production. The parts were painted on different production lines or as provided by suppliers. It gave a nicer look to the engine area as opposed to brushing everything at the end of the chassis line with a black wash that was one step above creosote.
OK Mark, I finally have everything together and took some pics to prove it.
After a lot of years working underneath a seeping radiator, the front spring was corroded and heavily grooved where the ends of each leaf had worn into the one below it. I took it to a workshop specialising in leaf springs thinking they would have specialised equipment for removing the worn spots and polishing the leaves, but they just used a grinder (across the leaves at that) to remove the wear marks and arched the leaves a little. I ended up hand filing and sanding the leaves myself and they came out acceptably smooth and bright.
The rear spring was in much better condition with minimal wear marking.
The leaves now have two coats of graphite paint between them (one on each side) and the outside of the spring is painted with the same satin black enamel as used to make the graphite paint.
I haven't painted the oilers yet although I think they will end up the same color as the springs. That will help to keep probing fingers off them at car shows. People are a bit like Magpies, they like to touch the shiny stuff.
(Message edited by Esole on February 02, 2016)
(Message edited by Esole on February 02, 2016)
Very Nice !
Eric, unless something has changed that I'm not aware of, I seriously doubt that you will be able to use those oilers on the ends of the main leaves when you go to install the shackles. I tried them on my TT about 12 years ago, and they were not even close to fitting, I had to leave them out and just squirt oil into the holes in the spring. On my mostly original '25 coupe, those oilers are WAY shorter, and even at that, they can just barely be opened enough to add oil. I don't know if any of the vendors have made that style available since then or not, I hope so. I have often wondered what the show car guys use for them, maybe NOS oilers? Also, you are right, spring leaves should NOT be ground crossways. Did you grind the lower ends of the leaves on a bevel so they won't wear into the leaf below them? That helps a bunch. Dave
I'll find out about the oiler height issue as soon as the rear axle is finished and back under the chassis. Thanks for the heads up on that.
I did file the bottom edges on a bevel too
I just slid the shackle into the spring and perch - the perch hits the oiler which means it will not work on the rear spring leaves.
Anybody have extra low flip top oilers on hand?
I found good results from the graphite grease / tread compound used in aviation. It is recommended for threads of spark plugs or use as anti-seize on bolts and nuts. I mix it with SAE 30 engine oil and brush it on. The oil makes it stick and penetrates between the spring leaves and keeps water away. It prevents rust too.