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Leaf spring overhaul...


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Guest diesel_jim

I'm just stripping down the leafs off of my sankey trailer, they were rusted into more or less a solid lump!

Once i undid the center bolt, they flew apart and lots of flakes of rust fell out, nearly a shovel load per spring :o

anyway, i've cleaned them up with the angle grinder, taken the loose stuff off, given them a good coating of aerosol paint, and am about to re-assemble.

I was wondering, should i coat the leaves with anything beforehand? grease? coppaslip?

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No & Yes. Leaf springs are designed not to be lubricated. The internal friction of the spring acts as a form of damping, and reduces the work the shocks have to do. Also, road dust mixes with the lubricant into a sort of grinding paste and knackers the leaves. And the increased travel of the lubricated spring results in high wear at the end of each leaf where it bears on the leaf above, as lubricant is rapidly lost at this point, so the leaf gets thin and eventually breaks. And of course knackers the shocks.

However, having said all that, if ride quality is important to you, and you don't mind replacing the springs and shocks more frequently then Yes, lubricate them with something like a moly grease. You'd need to clean them out say, annually, and regrease, due to the dust/grinding paste thing.

On a trailer, which I assume won't be dragged thru muddy holes, you could do like they did on Rollers n'such, and put gaiters round the springs to keep the dust out, altho this is getting a bit twee for a Landy, in fact if you're a real perfectionist you could even put oil nipples in the gaiters....

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Guest diesel_jim
If there was a lot of rust removed then you might find they are now significantly weaker Jim.

Les.

Yeah, i wondered if they would be. although there isn't great "thin" bits where the fust has flaked off from, so maybe they're not too bad.

like i say, it;s only for my sankey, and it has those huge great rubber spring assistors anyway. so i don't think that they'll be much of a problem.

worst case i'll make some series springs fit (they're only about 2" longer) or convert it to coil spring! (i saw a coil spring sankey at Eastnoor years back being towed by the "new" 2.5 TD.... dead neat!

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Or perhaps wrap them in Denso tape - gunky horrible stuff that it is. :)

Les.

That's a thought!! Would certainly keep most of the carp out, but it would make them very stiff. I wonder if the upper leaf might fracture?

Old-time car racers used to stiffen their springs by wrapping them with whipping cord, or perhaps whipping them with wrapping cord..... :rolleyes:

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