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How do I rebuild a '48 Ford rear spring?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mogara, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. mogara
    Joined: Mar 10, 2006
    Posts: 143


    I am building a chassis with a '48 Ford rear spring. Right now, it's completely stock with metal bands around the leaves and grease zerk fittings. I'd like to clean it up and possibly rebuild it with a more modern material between the leaves. I am guessing I would also have to clamp the leaves together if I do away with the metal bands.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,406

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    One are to concentrate on is the area where the leaves slide on each other. I don't put any "modern materials" in there, instead, I used a sander to chamfer the bottom edge of the leaf on top so it doesn't dig into the lower leaf. I clean them all up with a sander/wire-wheel to remove hardened grease (if any is left) & rust, then I coat 'em liberally with never seize. Messy, but seems to work better than grease for me.

    I've only ever unwrapped on leaf spring with original tin covering - it had a clamp on the lower three or four leaves & that was it. That doesn't mean anything - once is not a trend! ;)
  3. mogara
    Joined: Mar 10, 2006
    Posts: 143


    Okay, thanks. I kind of dig the tin covering, so I may just clean it up, shoot a little paint on it, and re-grease everything.
  4. mogara
    Joined: Mar 10, 2006
    Posts: 143


  5. HotRodFreak
    Joined: Mar 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,935


    I concurr with Earnie except I haven't used 'never seize'.
  6. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,169

    Automotive Stud

    I just did the one in my '47. I cut all that tin off, it was greasy as hell under it. After thuroughly cleaning it all up, I beveled the edges of each spring with a grinder so they would slide smoother and I added spring liner from speedway between the leaves, leaving two leaves out to make up for the liner.

    I don't think that it really needs anything besides the center bolt but I remember hearing guys use regular hose clamps in the 60's, but these are on parallel leaf cars where the clamp will not want to slide down as easily.

    I don't know if I'd do it again, I might just leave it. With all that grease the springs were barely worn at all, and everything was still in good condition. If I had known that I might have just painted it and left it.
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Yeah, stock it doesn't need anything between the leaves unless it was run a long time without greasing. The spring leaves and center bolt are designed to distribute the grease, and the tin keeps it all free of grit. Perfect, but ugly, which is not an issue when it is buried under a '48 Ford outtasight. Liners are I think a neatness issue for exposed springs because proper lubrication would be very messy. I have heard of but never actually seen a special paint-like lubricant from John Deere tractor parts is a fairly neat semi drying paint that contains graphite or something and is said to produce a decently neat lubricated spring.

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