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Yesterday I began taking my front suspension apart so I can clean, inspect and paint all parts before putting the fenders back on so I can safely drive the car a bit.  I got all the moving parts off except the link from the steering box to the steering knuckle. I could not get the slotted nut loose yet from the end of the link to drop the link off the steering box arm.

 

Also noticed a lot of rust and deterioration on the spring clips and nuts on the right side of the car.  The left side looks fine so far(until I try to take them off and clean and paint them).  There must have been a leak through the tarps sitting there for years because I had a lot of rust on the bottom of the right hood lower piece and on these spring clips where water ran down.

 

By the looks of the big parts book, the spring clips are the same from 1918-23 6-cyl and 25-26 std.

Does anyone have extras of these spring clips that you would like to get rid of?  I think I may need at least 1 replacement(maybe 2).

 

I should not have any issue cleaning up and putting new bolts on these spring clamps.

Rusty nut.jpg

rusty bolts.jpg

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Mark,

The first picture is of the shackel bolts.  Heating up the nut and removing it should not be a problem.  The bolts should be fine, just look at them closely after you have them off and cleaned up.

 

As for the bolts for the spring clips, I might be able to help you.  I need to know the exact diameter/size of the bolts and length.

I have a large selection of old bolts that goes back to the 20's or earlier with square nuts & heads.  

 

I know the current trip that you are getting ready to do with your springs.  I did that trip on my '08 last winter rebuilding the springs.  After glass beading the spring leafs, and basic painting, I used Sta-lube Moly-Graph grease between the spring leaves.

 

image.jpeg.52c003c1e87e700bc3e637828fc47996.jpeg
 
 
 
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35 minutes ago, Mark Kikta said:

Did you end up with too much bounce after lubing the springs?

 

I don't know yet as I am still putting the '08 back together.  I now have the engine and transmission installed.  I am in the process of putting parts on the engine.

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Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Mark,

The first time I drove my restored ‘18 after bringing it out of hibernation I was appalled and frightened by the ride (and still puzzled by all the BLACK smoke which didn’t make much sense with the ‘good compression’). In the hilly backyard it did just fine, but out on the hard-surface road anything above 20/22 mph the car sounded (and felt) like it was going to blow itself apart. Bouncing down the road in a 55gal steel drum might have been an improvement.

At any rate, after my questions on that Larry invited me out to get a baseline from a ride in his sorted out ‘13. I also got to see his ‘08 chassis and he demonstrated those springs with 3 sharp downward shoves — like he just said, it’s not yet all back together to judge ‘too much bounce’, but I can tell you it was DEAD silent. I could’ve fallen over. Step on the running board of mine and there’s all kinds of noise.
My springs looked perfect, but exactly where I could see a tiny trace of Moly-Graph on Larry’s newly painted red springs I could see a tiny trace of red rust on mine — and I mean tiny. Nearly imperceptible.

 

Ben P.

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Mark, 

   My 1925 Buick shop manual states

"Do not put lubricant of any kind between the leaves.  If the leaves are lubricated the ride qualities of the car will be spoiled and steering will be affected.  Care should be exercised  in drawing up the spring shackle bolts not to bind the spring ends in the shackles.  Tight shackle bolts cause breakage of springs near end.  All spring clips should be well tightened.  Use a good fitting shackle wrench on these nuts.  Loose spring clips cause breakage of the spring at the center."

 

You can do something with the springs at any time.  I would think about wire brushing, Ospho , then Por 15.  The reason I mention Por 15 as that very few coatings can handle any flexing.  POR 15 has a little give to it.   This would let you clean it up, put some miles on the car, and then assess if you want to do anything different or are good with how they operate.  

Hugh

 

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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As always, there’s quite a bit of useful information in what Hugh just shared to consider.

Buick hadn’t ever bothered to produce a shop manual when my ‘18 was produced but when they came out with one for the 1922-3’s they claimed it ‘useful for 1918 to 1923’ (I’d say the jury’s STILL out on its usefulness, but it does give a good idea of what the engineers were thinking in those days).

Here are a few shots from that covering springs - where they did describe using a ‘graphite grease’ between the spring leaves under the inspection and replacement section.

 

While I’m not an engineer, physicist, or a chemist (and have proven to be quite good at mucking up my own car in very bad ways) I’d also suggest that at nearly 100 years old these springs have pitting and other forms of wear that didn’t exist when they were brand new steel and perhaps the specs on how to lube them are just a little different?
Also, as is OFTEN pointed out here, it’s generally not a good idea to try to out think the original engineers on these cars, but in the one area of lubes there are products available today that simply didn’t exist then and some of them just might be appropriate for 100 yr old steel...?

 

Just some thoughts - read them or throw them away.

 

Ben P.

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Edited by Ben P.
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6 hours ago, Ben P. said:

 

CFB8C189-B41D-4C81-8B27-C654F62FCBE7.jpeg

 

 

I like it when a plan comes together.  Note the recommendations on the bottom of the page under "replacement"

 

"Graphite grease is recommended"

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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It is good that you have the manual right there. Some springs want lube, others not. It is technically better to use a plastic lining rather than graphite grease. As Spinneyhill always used to point out, graphite will set up galvanic corrosion. That is most likely why graphite is no longer used, however plastic may not be appropriate in all cases, for one thing liners might make the springs too thick for the hardware. I am still using graphite grease in my 1936 springs which have never been apart and still have zinc gaiters.

 

One thing I would point out is that graphite grease you are likely to find today (grease with a little graphite in it) is not the same as the graphite grease of the prewar era used on leaf springs. That was more like graphite with a little grease in it. Penrite still makes something similar, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

 

In the 1936 Pontiac shop manual G.M. defined graphite grease (as used on leaf springs) this way:

 

Quote

Graphite Grease is No. 2-1/2cup grease to which has been added 40% to 50% graphite by weight. G.M. Number 4529m

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Mark, 

     As Ben suggested, I am just going to kick the dirt around this one and provide a little data.  

Attached is taken from the 1926 Buick Standard and Master reference book (With the snubber picture).  Also a page taken from the 1925 Buick General specification regarding Snubbers. 

 

Snubbers were found on the front only of I believe 1922 Buick (on up) long wheelbase models, as I bought the pair that was on Jerry Toews car.  By 1925 they were still on the front of Buick's larger cars.  All Buicks (at least in 1925) had the frame drilled for snubbers front and rear.  

 

I have driven a model A ford with no shock absorbers (as many were removed after they needed rebuilding) and then after installing rebuilt originals.  Two completely different cars.  

They taught us in automotive class to push down on the front corner of the car and then let it come up.  If it bounces more than once, a person needs new shocks.  On these old cars with front leaf springs, it is very difficult to get them even moving.  These leaf springs have a lot of friction preventing movement built in. 

My 1925 Buick Standard currently only has springs.  I have not put any lubrication between the leaves.  I can tell that I think the ride would be improved with shock absorbers, but Buick used Snubbers at the time.  I have a set that I plan to rebuild and I can report one day how effective they are.  Interesting that they would drill the holes for snubbers, and then not recommend installing them in the generals specs. 

 

I do not know if greasing a spring makes it act like a softer spring.  I can only guess that it probably does to some degree.  Was the earlier note about greasing springs in reference to models with snubbers?  

 

The snubbers do work differently than shocks in that they only slow movement in 1 direction.  A shock slows motion in both directions.    

 

  I think shocks were added to Standard cars in 1928, but those may be the lever action dampeners.  I have seen front and rear snubbers on 1927 Standards.  Not sure if they were standard.  

 

This is why my suggestion is to clean up what you have with a minimal amount of effort.  Work on what really adds value to the car and enjoy it.  Sweat the details on the smaller stuff for a later day.  I am glad that you are so close to going for a drive.    

Hugh

1361729802_IMG_78641926BuickStdandMasterreferencebook..thumb.JPG.5cff183d76374cda193d59984073f351.JPGaao_sized14.jpg.4f7032570ef426a250fa12c469ce0808.jpg

 

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Hugh,

 

You mentioned a shackle wrench .....

What is that?  I don't think I have ever seen one.

A wrench I don't have?

Maybe I need to get one?

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Mark, 

   No clue what a good fitting shackle wrench is.  Given what I have seen of vintage tools, it probably means anything but a plumbers wrench, which seemed to be the tool of choice. 

The other interesting comment is the last note regarding lubrication in the 1926 reference book.  They are still on no lubrication, but added "In case of squeaks, there is no objection to oiling the clips and placing a small quantity of lubricant at the ends of the leaf springs."

So maybe the intention is that you should have no grease where the springs are clamped together at the center.  You definitely do not want them moving here.  Then the majority of the spring provides some friction to accommodate dampening, then just a little lubrication on the tips where it could reduce some noise and prevent the greatest amount of wear.    

 

Hugh  

 

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I took the axle and springs out tonight after work and the bolts were as rusted as I thought on the large Ubolts.  After I get all of these parts blasted I can assess what I have better.  

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DAADA5D0-6554-498E-8A2C-1CE3F5D8E774.jpeg

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For what it’s worth, I was taught when I took an automotive chassis engineering course in college that leaves are not to be lubed. The reason being is you need the internal friction of leaf to leaf to provide dampening in both direction. 
 

Never lubed mine and I have no squeaks. 
 

Above it was asked about snubbers.  They were not standard on any 1923.  Can’t speak for other years. 
 

I'm just one data point. 

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I have been soaking these bolts for 6 months with liquid wrench which really helped.  My large impact wrench took them off like butter where there was enough nut to grab.  Otherwise the old large chisel and hammer did the job. 
 

Only one U bolt had any threads rusted away.  Not sure if I can make that one work or not.

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2 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

 

Above it was asked about snubbers.  They were not standard on any 1923.  Can’t speak for other years. 
 

 

Brian, 

     As far as I know, only standard equipment on the very top of the line cars.  The 128" frames of the likes of 7 passengers and Broughams and Sport models.  You should have the holes in the frame.   Perhaps they started this in 1924?  

One other thing that I wondered about was the effect that balloon tires had on their operation.  Some snubber cans are marked Balloon.   

  Hugh

Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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After getting my parts back from the blasters,  I believe I do need one spring clip for my front suspension due to corrosion.  I have provided a drawing of it below. 

By the looks of the big parts book, the spring clips are the same from 1918-23 6-cyl and 25-26 std.

I also listed this is parts wanted section

 

Hugh did you say you have one like this for sale?

Front spring clip drawing.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I clean everything up good, I am about ready to start putting things back together. Here is my drag link all cleaned, painted and ready to assemble.  In the second photo you can see the end that attaches to the steering knuckle.  There shown is the screw-in plug which is concave on one end, and both spacers for the ends of the spring with one being concave to go against the ball.  In the third picture you can see the screw-in plug and both concave spacers to go on each side of the pitman arm ball.

 

I plan to use a liberal amount of anti-sieze on the screw-in plugs so they are never so hard to remove again.

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Mark,

In the one photo, the ground ball contact button is different than what I have with the 1916.  Looks like you got those parts good and clean.

 

Terry Wiegand

A Hot and HUMID Doo Dah

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well today I finally finished getting my front suspension put back together. I’m quite happy with it.  It seems to work very smoothly especially after I lubricated all fittings well.

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Mark, 

   Looks really good.  Did you grease between the leaves, just on the end of the leaves, paint them all individually, or paint as a stack?     Hugh

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