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Powdercoating leaf springs

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Has anyone powdercoated the leaf springs?  Were they disassembled or a complete unit?  Any other parts not recommended to powdercoat?

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I wouldn't powder coat a leaf spring made up of multiple leaves: The leaves rub against one another as the spring flexes and that is not a good thing for powder coating. Nor, for that matter, will the ride be correct as it will change the amount of friction between the leaves.

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Some Rolls Royce springs are covered with an oil soaked leather sewn around the springs. Makes it look good and classy too.

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As the powder coat wears, it will produce a fine abrasive dust. Good for wearing the powder coat then the springs. As for graphite, no way. Unless you keep it moist with grease (NOT oil, which will attract dust) it will promote galvanic corrosion.

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You can put layers of spring film in between the leaves on driver cars without issues.

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Yes I have seen those composite  things on some springs before . Does it accomplish anything ? I do not know because I have seen them well worn out and broken too. 

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The back springs on the '31 Imperial are covered with a tin shield and not visible. Did squirt some WD-40 in there a year ago.

Fronts are out there for everyone to see. Gave them a coat of black Krylon a year or so ago.

No rust crunbles have spilled out so they still look good.

Buick has coils all round, so no maint. here.

 

Mike in Colorado

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 1:17 PM, Spinneyhill said:

As the powder coat wears, it will produce a fine abrasive dust. Good for wearing the powder coat then the springs. As for graphite, no way. Unless you keep it moist with grease (NOT oil, which will attract dust) it will promote galvanic corrosion.

 

Isn't galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals?  I would imagine each leaf spring would be the same grade of steel (carbon content) and therefore no galvanic corrosion.  Perhaps there could be small areas of concern ie spring clips, u bolts  and shackles but in the overall scheme of things would there be an issue?

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I use graphite grease as original on my Pontiac springs. They have metal gaiters and have probably never been apart. The sort of graphite grease used on leaf springs is literally almost all graphite, and not what is usually called "graphite grease" today. It is not readily available from most sources anymore, as the automakers abandoned the idea of graphite greased springs over 50 years ago. Restoration Supply (of California) has it if you need any.

 

Chistech's idea is much better. If you can get liners (film?) in and still get everything together with the extra thickness, it is a MUCH better solution, probably no one will see it, and you don't need to keep adding graphite.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, Bloo said:

I use graphite grease as original on my Pontiac springs.

I hope you keep that grease moist, to exclude any dampness from the graphite-steel interfaces.

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

I hope you keep that grease moist, to exclude any dampness from the graphite-steel interfaces.

 

Lubricated with graphite grease every 10000 miles. as outlined in the shop manual. :)

 

I have only done it once, but am about to do it again. It has been 2 years. Graphite grease is defined a "No. 2-1/2 cup grease to which has been added 40% to 50% graphite by weight, GM Number 4529-M". Penrite still make an old fashioned graphite grease for leaf springs. It does not meet that specification, but is probably the closest thing available. A "lubroclamp" tool is used to get the grease inside the spring covers, as per the shop manual.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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22 minutes ago, Bloo said:

A "lubroclamp" tool is used to get the grease inside the spring covers, as per the shop manual.

Yes, I have one for use on my 1939 Studebaker front spring.

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The old timer that taught me autobody paint work had started out as a mechanic back in the days when leaf spring covers were still in use. He showed me an adapter for the end of a grease gun.

 

It was a flattened tube about 18 inch long, that screwed onto the grease gun hose and it had a hole on the other end.  It would be slide between the cover and the sides of the leaf springs to pump grease into that space as it was slowly drawn back out. Worked with sheet metal or leather covers

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Do not paint the layers of leafs in springs  and do not sandblast them either.  Clean up with a wire wheel, tape up contact area, paint edges, remove tape, and assemble - I have never met a old time spring guy/shop that approves of anything other than bare metal to bare metal contact. 

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On 11/5/2019 at 4:53 PM, Stude17 said:

Isn't galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals?

Graphite = Carbon is the dissimilar metal. It is at the bottom of the galvanic series so promotes corrosion in any metal in contact with it in the presence of an electrolyte.

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3 hours ago, MochetVelo said:

Carbon and graphite are both non-metals, so will not promote galvanic action.

Sorry Sir, Graphite is the most noble (cathodic) and at the top (or bottom) of the galvanic series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_series

http://www.designbyinitiative.com/files/8514/2711/8760/Galvanic_Table.pdf

https://corrosion-doctors.org/Definitions/galvanic-series.htm

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I tried graphite grease on a set of springs one time. What a mess; black stuff everywhere. I then tried graphite paint, which was much neater, but still allowed the leaves to slide against each other. Click on the link to read about it. I think the bottom line is the springs are designed to move. They would rust badly when splattered with mud and rain, but our cars probably get better treatment. 

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