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Leaf springs-to grease or not to grease


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Hello,

I'm in process of chassis restoration on a 1929 Stearns Knight H-8-90 sedan. Inline eight cylinder and nearly 6000 lb car. I'm currently reassembling the leaf spring packs after having sand blasted and repainted the individual leafs. What is the prevailing thought on greasing springs between the leaves? I haven't done so on my other cars and haven't had any squeeking trouble etc. However they were oiled or greased originally and then wrapped in gaitors. I have new leather gaitors to install but question the necessity of greasing springs. Thoughts? Thank you,

Peter Woyen

1929 S-K

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When I took my springs apart on the'32 Packard, there was still remnants of grease in places. After cleaning them I repacked everything with a waterproof grease. Then, as per original, covered them in heavy canvas which was greased well, and then the metal covers put on. It is still undergoing restoration, so I can't tell you how it does on the road. If there was grease there originally, it was there for a reason. ...B

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I would think it would be a very good idea to grease your springs. It will improve the ride no end.

A lot of people use Moly grease for this purpose.

All the pre-war Rolls Royces (and some of the later ones I believe) used an oiling system on their leaf springs to ensure a smooth ride. All the leaves were highly polished and nickle plated to prevent corrosion and to help them slide. They also have full leather gaiters on them.

Even my 47 Mercury coupe has factory wrapped springs with grease nipples on them so it must be a fairly common thing.

David

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Peter -

One thought - It is important when lubricating springs is to be sure the shock absorbers are functioning well. The potential for spring breakage increases once the damping effect of dry leaf upon dry leaf friction is removed. With OEM shocks, lubed springs are great. With no shocks, lubed springs can bring some trouble.

I hope that helps a bit.

Tom Rasmussen

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I tried graphite grease on my springs, which was suggested in some old books. What a mess. Luckily, the springs were painted black. I've heard dry graphite spray lubricant recommended as well. Kroil sells this, and you can get it at Tractor Supply.

Phil

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I remember thinking about this question when rebuilding my springs...I might have come to the conclusion that light oiling was okay but the springs were finished...each leaf and painted...but the originals had a waxy paper between the leaves,sorta like you would find in a chicken box,but I think I also concluded that it would have a short life span like the stuff that I removed from the old springs. If the springs are rebuillt and like new,there should not be as much movement up and down as the old ones and thus sliding between leaves is not so much as you may expect. Graphite should be okay.

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  • 1 month later...

If your springs will not have gators, then be sure each leaf has a small clean radius at each end so it will not scrape across the adjoining leaf as they work... Then use a coating of SLIP PLATE on each leaf where it will meet the next leaf... Slip Plate come in quarts... It is a dry graphite product.

The easy way out is to grease them up and cover with gators and be done with it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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