Durant Mike

Snubber belt material. Is there a supplier out there?

33 posts in this topic

Turning up some dead ends in my search and figure someone out in the AACA world might have some suggestions on who I contact. I have 4 Gabriel snubbers shock absorbers from my 1928 Durant. These use the 1 1/2 inch snubber belt. I've contacted Restoration Supply and Restoration Specialties who both say that 1 1/2 inch belt is not longer available and it is not being manufactured anymore. Both say they've received quotes on making it but it will be $60,000 to $100,000 to have it made. Someone out there in the restoration world has to have a supplier for it or know where some is. What are you other restorers using as a replacement?

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The last I bought came from Tom Hannaford at Then and now automotive. It has been a few years ago though.

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Classic and Exotic Service in Troy, Michigan just supplied straps for my Watson Stabilators. Perhaps it's the same material you are seeking.

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The snubber belting is made and sold by the same company that makes the woven hoodlacing. This material is going the way of some windlacing and the old cork glass setting tape. There aren't enough sales anymore to warrant manufacturing this material. Sadly ,only a few companies still have the machines to manufacture this type material , some being in England. I'm afraid that a lot more "specialty" items are going to disappear from the market in the future unless some one can get their hands on the machines and restart manufacture, but I don't see it being profitable or probable. Unfortunately, the passing of time can kill needs and interests; try buying Conestoga wagon parts today!

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Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. I'll start making calls and trying to see if anyone has enough for my restoration. Thought of a seat belt material, but that is mostly nylon and would not offer the same friction and not pass AACA judging. True you can't get many consetoga parts anymore, but there are many more teens and twenties cars left that need this snubber material.

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Posted (edited)

Consider the webbing from McMaster-Carr: McMaster-Carr Their extra strength is 3/32 inch thick which is less than the original, but it's in the right width. The tan can be dyed if needed.

Extra-Strength Cotton Webbing with Nylon Core 1-1/2" Web Width, Tan, 2200# Breaking Strength. I think this is more than just the regular cotton which has a breaking strength of just 440#.

You may also get away with a lighter tension spring and use this webbing. Todays roads are more foregiving than in the 1920's.

Edited by Friartuck (see edit history)

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That's probably a canvas strapping if it's white and not suitable for snubber. Snubber belt has a different weave pattern than the regular flat hoodlacing and canvas strapping and has an extra woven core for strength. Snubber rand hoodlace is also treated witha preservative to prevent rot from moisture.

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Snubber belt is a specialty item woven with closed sides to give it strength. If you were to cut a piece down you would expose the inner core and weaken the cut edge causing it to fray and come apart. Snubber is heavier(thicker) than the standard flat woven material due to the core that gives it greater strength.

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Thank you so much everyone for your input on this. I've got a couple of emails out to several places to see if they have what I need. I have found a place that has body webbing the right width, but it's 1/8 inch thick, not 3/16 as the original. Looks like the same stuff I have though. I wouldn't think that 1/16" would make that much difference. I'll keep everyone posted on what I find.

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Again I say, body webbing is the same as flat hoodlacing, it is NOT snubber belt. Body webbing will tear apart very quickly and is not a substitute for snubber.

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Which is more important? Working shocks or judging?

If working shocks trump judging may I suggest leather covered nylon core flat belt (Leather with Nylon Core—0.185" Thick) as offered by McMaster-Carr >>> McMaster-Carr

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Just a thought.... you might look into various tow straps and load hold downs. Some are nylon, some are probably organic.

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Again I say, body webbing is the same as flat hoodlacing, it is NOT snubber belt. Body webbing will tear apart very quickly and is not a substitute for snubber.

I've called a dozen places so far and have found one that has what I need. It isn't cheap and is quite expensive though. As stated earlier here is the problem. No one is making this snubber material anymore. Supplies are dwindling if not gone and depending on the size you need, maybe already gone. Various parts dealers such as Restoration Supply and Restoration specialties etc all say that the manufacturer they were getting their material from is not making it anymore and to make a run of it is about $60,000 to $100,000 dollars set up and manufacture. Most of these businesses cannot afford to put that kind of money out on something that will take many many years to get their money back. That being said, those of us who like and restore the late teens and 20's cars will have to find something else to replace it for the future. I am restoring this car as original as I can get it and will enter it for judging. These belts will be visible to the Chassis Judge so they have to at least pass the eye test. Future restorer might be forced to use the body webbing material if that is all that is available. The stuff that I've seen is identical except it is not treated like the original and is a bit larger, 1/16 of an inch wider. Anyone doing a restoration with snubbers or anticipating doing one in the years ahead better start shopping now and stock up on what you need. FYI.

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Does anyone have a sample available of the correct "snubber", NOT Watson Stabilator strap, material? I supply Stabilator straps 1-1/2 wide and would like to compare the material.

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60 to 80 thousand dollars?????????.....this is easily made; spun yarn and a braiding machine.

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Harry

I found my snubber material and have started the restoration of my four snubbers. I agree that it should be easily made, but I believe the cost of tooling for this and the lack of a market probably pushes the price up. It is a very heavy cotton belting materal, very similar to the old WWII army belt material but double stitched in places with what appears to be a leather core. It also is impregnated with what I believe to be a graphite or other type lubricant to keep it flexible and lubricated.

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Harry and Durant

Unless you have experience in the industrial fabrics manufacturing business, which I do have, you have no concept of what would be required to set up to weave, NOT braid, this type of webbing, The yarns are special, also the looms, and the market is very limited compared to the cost of materials and labor involved. Also the treatment probably used on snubber webbing is so environmentally bad that the millls that used it stopped doing so as the cost of the equipment etc, to meet EPA regs could not be justified. In selling Stabilator straps I ran into this problem back in the '80s. Even now there is no dye house that wants to just dye the Stabilator straps so I had to come up with my own method to make them black.

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Mike, can I ask what supplier you are using for the snubber material? I just bought a 28 buick and the passenger side front snubber is broken. Just want to replace all of them with new if I can locate the proper part.

thanks, Maury Parrish

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Posted (edited)

Durant,

Can you let me know where you got your material. We have 4 snubbers for my 1922 Studebaker Big Six that need repairing. Two need 1-1/4" and two need 1-1/2" material, a total of 13 feet for each size.

Thanks,

Lee Elsner

PS:

I found it so contact me if anyone needs some

Edited by LeeElsner (see edit history)

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Lee Elsner, Hi, Hope you have found some snubber belt material. If not I can supplier the material or put it on for you. have 1 1/2 and 1 1/4 and 2' Andy Garage 302 245 -7276

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HELLO THIS IS JEFF AT RESTORATION SPECIALTIES 

THE SNUBBER BELTING MACHINE IS BROKEN AND IS NOT REPAIRABLE 

WE HAVE TRIED BRIBING THEM WITH VERY LARGE ORDERS AND THEY WILL NOT BUDGE 

I DID FIND SOME 1 1/4 INCH  AND 1 3/4 AND 2 INCH  AT THE MANUFACTURER AND HAD THEM FINISH IT FOR ME 

THIS IS THE REAL TIGHT WOVEN  3/16 INCH THICK CREOSOTE SOAKED MATERIAL  

THIS IS ALSO VERY LIMITED  I HAVE THESE IN STOCK 

814-467-9842

 

 

 

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This is the wrong group to tell a machine is un-repairable.:)

1 person likes this

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