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Interesting question for you all


DLKauf23
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I couldn't seem to find a better place to ask so I figured I would ask here. First I am a Manufacture of springs, and we have been getting more and more requests for springs for classic autos. We would like to be able to fill these request better than we are now. So my question is how hard is it to find a spring for a restore project and I am sure that a replication part is better than one that is close enough to work but is not made for the aplication it is being used for. Any input would be helpful.

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I've purchased replacement springs for a 1950's GM car.

They seem to be fine.

However, engineers originally were very careful about

spring rates and other details. If these specifications aren't

duplicated, you're not getting the ride which the car had when

new. I don't know whether replacement springs are

approximations (more likely) than exact to-the-mark duplicates.

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well Just for example we have been manufacturing springs in ohio since 1947, We make parts for some of the largest Companies in the country from tractors to big rigs. We have made some auto springs before. This is not something we are new to just trying to expand the realm of business, and meeting a demand, if there is one, for hard to find parts. It is posiible to make exact to the mark duplicates, we do this on a daily basis.

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Besides being manufactured to the mark, I would imagine that the weight of the vehicle plays into the equation, although I needn't tell you that if you've been at this a long time. There's got to be a formula to be followed with all the variables considered.

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Some makers discovered ways to improve the ride of cars before others knew there may be a problem. The former Rolls Royce engineer who Cadillac employed may have been the first person to apply scientific testing and analysis. In the early 1920s Duesenberg achieved notable improvement in ride by making the leaf material of the front springs much thinner than that of the rear springs. More leaves for the same total stack height will give a slower spring rate because there will be more rubbing friction between the leaves, but similar load capacity. This likely arose through racing their cars at Indianapolis, where running on the bricks was not ideally smooth.

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All,

My teens and 1920's Kissel and Chevrolet cars were each restored with brand new leaf springs made by "Eaton Spring" in downtown Detroit. I just gave them the rusty, crusty old ones and said "make new ones". Eaton's quality and replication are excellent. They do custom spring jobs as a business. I would recommend them.

RON HAUSMANN P.E.

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I couldn't seem to find a better place to ask so I figured I would ask here. First I am a Manufacture of springs, and we have been getting more and more requests for springs for classic autos. We would like to be able to fill these request better than we are now. So my question is how hard is it to find a spring for a restore project and I am sure that a replication part is better than one that is close enough to work but is not made for the aplication it is being used for. Any input would be helpful.

There doesn't seem to be a shortage of reproduction springs. As to whether they are exact reproductions, other than dimension wise, I doubt it. For example the parts book for 1955 Buick lists no less than 10 front coil springs for different body styles and equipment. most likely they all look identical but have a different capacity and rate. Very likely the repro spring makers take a "good enough these will fit" approach. One of the largest repro spring makers who trumpet "exact to factory specs" in their advertising don't even take the trouble to flat grind the upper end of the Buick coil as the factory did. This bows the loaded spring causing it to rub in the frame spring pocket.

So, I would say if you take the time and effort to differentiate yourself from the pack by making a truly exact replacement spring, over time the word will spread. In the mean time I would not quit your day job..........................Bob

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Suspension springs are not what we are looking at doing. We are looking at the smaller stuff that seems to not be available any more. More along the lines of hood springs, clutch springs, and etc.

Curti Lee spring Does more stock spring manufacturing. We build springs to a customer blue print or to a sample someone may have. I know that making one off parts can be very expensive that is why I am looking to make some of the springs that are hard to find that lots of people are looking for. That way it is not as costly as making a one off.

And Bob this is our day job we have been doing this since my Great grandfather started the company in 1947, I am a fourth Generation Spring maker.

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For example. Just looking through ebay with a very generic search. I found hood springs from various 50's and 60's era cars. Most of which looked like the picture I provided. And ranged from anywhere from 11.00 up to 50 dollars. Would someone rather have one that looks like the picture or one that is built to match the factory specs and I mean all the factory specs, or use something like this.post-106463-14314296487_thumb.jpg

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My gut suspicion is that lots of what's out there "for sale" might not be correct for some of the applications they are claimed to fit. Reason is that many springs can LOOK similar, but act differently. Load Tension can be one aspect . . . many times determined by the spring's wire size and coils length, plus its weight capacity. I do suspect that there can be many similar springs, once the coil diameter and coil stack is determined, just needing the "end design" to customize it to the particular applications, plus the weight capacity.

It could well be that expanding your business in this area might be "nice", but not be financially sustainable. Pricing would be key in this situation.

Best of luck,

NTX5467

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"And Bob this is our day job we have been doing this since my Great grandfather started the company in 1947, I am a fourth Generation Spring maker."

Yeah I know. I was just being a smart ass, as is my wont. Seriously, a good place to start would be hood springs. Almost all of them are extended when the hood is closed and get weak. That means drooping or propped open hoods and used ones are usually no better than what you have. I imagine it would be fairly simple to copy an OEM spring but getting the correct strength and rate might take a few tries. I imagine hooking up with a parts vendor would be the way to go to get economies of scale rather than onesy twosy production. I don't think you would have trouble getting sample springs if you offered a free pair for an example. Good luck. I could use a pair of 56 Chrysler's..............Bob

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Yeah I know. I was just being a smart ass, as is my wont. Seriously, a good place to start would be hood springs. Almost all of them are extended when the hood is closed and get weak. That means drooping or propped open hoods and used ones are usually no better than what you have. I imagine it would be fairly simple to copy an OEM spring but getting the correct strength and rate might take a few tries. I imagine hooking up with a parts vendor would be the way to go to get economies of scale rather than onesy twosy production. I don't think you would have trouble getting sample springs if you offered a free pair for an example. Good luck. I could use a pair of 56 Chrysler's..............Bob

That is a great Idea. That would be a way for us to get the basic dimensions off the spring and then the rest is just math to figure the rate and load. I will have to work out the logistics to be able to get the parts to me and then sending new parts back would not be a problem. I am sure if I did something like this I may have a lot of parts coming in so I would have to limit the amount of springs coming in so I could turn the rest first. Then I would stock parts and be able to sell them off the self for the specific make and model, or as most go the range of models that that same part fits.

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Well, sounds like a nice project. Keep in mind most guys like to keep as close to original looking as possible including paint color. Of course you could always just sell them primed. Might be a good idea to see whats already out there . Repro's might be readily available for Ford & Chevys. In which case you could compete or specialize on less popular makes. Good luck .....................Bob

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There are specialist parts sellers like Andy Bernbaum for Chrysler, Year One for muscle cars, many early Ford places etc etc. They would be the logical place to sell your wares, they could tell you what springs they get calls for and also, things like a certain spring was used on hoods for 10 years and would therefore be the most popular. They would buy them by the 10's or maybe even 100's.

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Are you a company similar to Lee Spring?

Funny you should mention Lee Spring Company. I worked as an engineer for them in Brooklyn for a very short time about 30 years ago. One of their major contracts at the time was for the spring that went on the electric cord for Proctor-Silex steam irons.

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There are specialist parts sellers like Andy Bernbaum for Chrysler, Year One for muscle cars, many early Ford places etc etc. They would be the logical place to sell your wares, they could tell you what springs they get calls for and also, things like a certain spring was used on hoods for 10 years and would therefore be the most popular. They would buy them by the 10's or maybe even 100's.

We make some parts for a couple early ford places, and that is where we kinda got the idea. It seems you can find parts for Muscle cars, highly sought after ford and chevy, but not many for some of the other cars that are out their that are just as nice as the others. There may not be anything in this but I think it is something worth a shot and maybe be able to help some people looking for some parts they cant find.

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Funny you should mention Lee Spring Company. I worked as an engineer for them in Brooklyn for a very short time about 30 years ago. One of their major contracts at the time was for the spring that went on the electric cord for Proctor-Silex steam irons.

I have met some guys from Lee, they are a great bunch of guys.

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A friend bought a pair of reproduced hood springs for his 64 Impala and they would not hold up the hood. He had them replaced and the new ones would just hold it and that is all.

Well that can happen if things are not made properly. We have the ability to make parts to the factory load. If the factory load is not correct we can always make them a little stronger. We are a manufacture that strives to meet and exceed customer expectations, we do this by being more focused on the Customer service aspect of it than anything else

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Out of curiosity do wind the spring with "soft" wire and then spring temper or use already tempered wire?................Bob

Most springs are made with pretempered wire. You can still make them out of untempered wire and have them hardend. The pretempered wire is more uniform in its strength. We are working on making some videos for our website that I am redoing that will show how it is done. Once I have the new site up I will let you know so you can check it out

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We are in the process here looking into how we would do this. I should have an Idea within the next week or so and then I will be able to get back to everyone that is looking for parts. This seems to be something that people are interested in. Any more questions or requests please let me know.

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I just thought the wire might be a bit heavy for pretempered. Always looking to learn..................Bob

You can get pretempered wire up to about 0.750, Over that is another story. For example Suspesnsion springs are coiled hot and then hardened off the coiler, to give them their temper

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I have made springs like the one Mark has shown using stiff wire and a home made mandrel. Some types refrigeration swedging tool have a series of diameters to work with.. If someone made a bending mandrel with a bending arm in a range from 1/4" to 3/4" I would buy one. A tool like that and a selection of wire might be a better seller than trying to meet thousands of individual needs.

Although it is not an exact science, I don't remember the last one I made. I would have remembered if it didn't work.

Bernie

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We make most of our small springs with a kit bought from McMaster-Carr as mentioned above. We would be interested in a service that could produce orders of single springs that we can't make. Of course you would have to charge a premium to provide this service but folks would gladly pay it to get an unavailable spring that is badly needed to complete a restoration.

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We make most of our small springs with a kit bought from McMaster-Carr as mentioned above. We would be interested in a service that could produce orders of single springs that we can't make. Of course you would have to charge a premium to provide this service but folks would gladly pay it to get an unavailable spring that is badly needed to complete a restoration.

We can make anything from 1 part to millions. Part of this is figuring out how to make this a good deal for all. If I make one part for someone here I could sell 5 more to someone else that has the same part. I know there are going to be instances where there may only be that one part and one part only. We have had people pay the premium on a part that they cannot get, for example we made some parts for a German Car from the 30's, I believe it was, That there was absolutly no parts for that car left, or at least very little.

Now when it comes to making your own springs it is possible with many hand tools. There can be a certain unreliability to doing that. I am not saying dont do it but I would watch the aplication for what you are making a part by hand

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