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Preserving leaf springs


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What's the best thing do you chaps think to preserve / prolong the life of leaf springs?
I have the opportunity during the rebuild to dismantle them if needed.

1. Dismantle, sand-blast and epoxy paint each leaf.

2. Sand blast exterior, epoxy and squirt oil into the gaps after.

3. Do nothing.

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Gut instinct says that epoxy/epoxy faces in the interleaf zone isn't going to be successful, I would think that  hard etch/anti rust and eventual oiling  would be a better sliding combination. The top, bottom and sides can get painted with what ever when clean and dry. I remember leather jackets on some series to keep the sand and cr*p out. I think the right primer  and oil/maintenance will be be the thing in the interleaf faces.

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Leaf springs don't really rust through to failure, unless you seriously neglect them for 40 years.

So, as far as paint goes, if aesthetics aren't a consideration, then don't bother.

Oiling between the leaves works well, and will resist the main corrosion risk point, such as it is.

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In a normal leaf pack, I've yet to see them produce enough of a gap to let anything in.

Either way, stuff wears quickly in sand.

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My 3 leaf rear pack has massive gaps its more like a parabolic, the front more like an LR one. I'm tempted to do plan 1 on the rear and 2 on the front.

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8 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Leaf springs don't really rust through to failure, unless you seriously neglect them for 40 years.

Must admit I have not touched my springs and I have owned the S1 for 40 years! Normal off road and on road work has kept them looking OK. My previous barn find S1 was completely knackered though.

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Yep, I reckon they mostly fail through lack of use.

Oil between the leaves helps to give a cushier ride, I find, and helps stop corrosion when laid up for extended periods.

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Rover's instructions were to smear the leaves with graphite grease when re-assembling - and it seems to have worked well while the stuff was still there.  Gaiters or binding may help keep it there.  The advantage of graphite is that it leaves a residue on the leaves - so I suppose some modern lubricant working on the same lines could be better - but none springs to mind.

Otherwise cleaning the mud off the sides, jacking the vehicle up and spraying from the sides may help.  I've had good results dribbling a line of oil on top of the top leaf and letting it drain down the sides and between the leaves when I've been in a hurry.

 

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39 minutes ago, secondjeremy said:

some modern lubricant working on the same lines could be better - but none springs to mind.

Molybdenum disulphide grease operates very similarly.

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Copper is hard, and work hardens, so should never be used where things are moving, or will increase wear significantly.

It is an anti-sieze for bolts, pins etc only.

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4 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

Molybdenum disulphide grease operates very similarly.

The readily available source for this is swivel grease.

 

16 hours ago, missingsid said:

What does oiling do when used in sandy conditions? Can it turn in to grinding paste?

Yes it can, and that's precisely the action needed.
Anyone who has ground valve seats in a cylinder head should be able to confirm that when abrasive grit is mixed with grease the grit rapidly moves away from the point of highest pressure, between the seat on the valve and the seat in the head.
In a multi-leaf spring the grease and grit excluded from between the leaves will collect on the outside faces, where it will intercept dust and grit being washed over the spring by road spray.

To preserve the 'carapace' don't pressure wash the coating off the spring.

Regards.

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