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Welding a main leaf? Can you do that?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by maddog, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

    I have several springs but the main leaf is too long in all of them. Could the main leaf be shortened, them put back together (welded) and clamped into the center perch? It could also be pinned next to the weld for extra piece of mind.

    Is this ever done?
     
  2. toddc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2007
    Posts: 982

    toddc
    Member

    In a word, NO.
     
  3. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,338

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Absolutely a No No!!!
     
  4. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,237

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

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  5. Jeff Walker
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 494

    Jeff Walker
    Member

    Like the other two said, NO. The weld would never handle the flexing that a spring is submitted to.
     
  6. temper_mental
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,718

    temper_mental
    Member
    from Texas

    The spring is heat treated .No it would not work
     
  7. fuzzy bunny
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 448

    fuzzy bunny
    Member

  8. gnarlytyler
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 1,004

    gnarlytyler
    Member

    hey bro check out Atlas Spring Company. 127 S 4th Ave Ste B La Puente, CA 91746

    they'll make you one for decent $$ and it wont be no china made crap as he puts it.

    And like everyone else said. NO.
     
  9. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,188

    publicenemy1925
    Member
    from OKC, OK

    Do not cut and weld it. Go have a new one made.
     
  10. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,879

    Crease
    Member

    What they said, but at hell before it. :)
     
  11. Yes, you can weld a spring!.......................There are a few reasons why you should not weld one. If you really need to know, PM me.
    Very few people are as cheap as me........I know where the deals are, check out any spring shop, you may be surprised. Be safe.............................
     
  12. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

    Soooooo, I guess the answer is no, or Hell No. Which is it?:D

    Thanks for the connection to Atlas Spring, Gnarly
     
  13. Southfork
    Joined: Dec 15, 2001
    Posts: 1,463

    Southfork
    Member

    This thread has got me wondering about how back in the day they used to torch the ends of Ford springs and let the weight of the car bend them. This, of course, lowered the car serveral inches. I have some of those springs in my parts pile. Were these heated and bent Ford springs safe? A lot of ppeople did that years ago.
     
  14. Nimrod
    Joined: Dec 13, 2003
    Posts: 856

    Nimrod
    Member

    The consensus seems to be no. If you're a good welder and know a little about what is going on when welding then it might be OK. My A roadster on 32 rails with a 32 rear spring (with it's compound curve) needed to be about an inch narrower. I couldn't find a spring shop that could do the compound curves of the main leaf (and I'm beyond a cheap bastard). So I cut an inch out of the middle (where it is clamped and dosn't flex) and welded it back together (preheating the weld joint and keeping the spring ends cool. I've got over 100K miles on that spring now with no crack.

    -Jeff
     
  15. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

    No? Where did you get that?
    No usually just means they need more information.

    I do understand what you are saying. The fact that you have 100K miles, proves it can be done. Sometimes certain tasks when fabricating takes more experiecne, equipment and skill than the outspoken masses have access to. Even after every single person said NO, I still will persue it. I am sure that there were many people that thought you cant spend a few days on the moon and come home again too, but it was done.

    Let me make one thing perfectly clear, If I can break it with my forklift, I wont use it. I am an excelent stress tester, I have to do it all the time professionally. I am not stupid or unsafe or irresponsible. I do fabricate stuff for a living, and I am pretty good at it.

    Funny it came up again this evening, I have been thinking about it all day. I see some stuff on some cars that the owner, driver, builder has no clue how unsafe it it, but I see it all the time.


     
  16. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    used to see that stuff done on farm equip etc. have heard about guys welding springs in old stock cars and jalopy racer,s backintheday.
     
  17. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 518

    GuyW
    Member

    Weld a spring?

    Yes - if you're a blacksmith

    Yes - if you're a spring company (but I doubt they would)

    Otherwise - no.
     
  18. Spedley
    Joined: Mar 5, 2004
    Posts: 392

    Spedley
    Member

    IMHO, its not just one, 2, or even 20 stress tests, its the work hardening that happens when the spring moves throughout its motions over time that will give probs... I see where Nimrod is coming from, but i also think that that spring has its clamps spaced further apart, therefore putting less stress on the weld. I think if it wasnt the main leaf, I'd feel muuuuch better about it, thats kinda whats holding the car up. But in all actuality, I really cant see myself doing any kind of welding or putting heat to a spring I was planning to use. Once again, just my humble opinion....
     
  19. kelzweld
    Joined: Jul 25, 2007
    Posts: 294

    kelzweld

    Short answer, yes you can weld spring steel. IMO, for use on a vehicle you shouldn't. Also IMO, it's probably cheaper to have a new main leaf made than go through the correct procedures to do this job properly. For lots of opinions, google welding spring steel.
     
  20. 1932tub
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 375

    1932tub
    Member

    Yes have done that on my 34 sedan, broke the main leaf then welded it together with stainless steel arc rod, ran a bead to the next leaf as a strengthening thing, worked like a treat probally still there, lasted me for thousands of miles. Don't listen to people who say you cant do this or that, you will never go anywhere.
     
  21. rodder001
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 22

    rodder001
    Member
    from Omaha Ne

    a number of years ago I welded a KW cabover road truck front main spring for a friend that was in a pinch.he ran the truck for another four years then traded it in and it was still holding.just take your time in doing it..
     
  22. GizmoJoe
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,296

    GizmoJoe
    Member

    8 years ago I broke a main leaf on the Mazda truck I was using as a daily.
    I work at a college. The welding instructor was busy at the time so the auto insturctor welded it ... with a MIG... so I could hopefully get it home.
    One thing lead to another and I forgot about it.
    Drove it for a few years.
    One day I remembered it and freaked. Stopped driving the truck on the road (it was time anyway).
    My brother used it after that to haul loads of firewood around the property for a couple years.
    Would I suggest it? Nope!
    Has it bee done? Yup.
    Am I proud of it? Nope.
    Do I feel lucky? Yup.

    Get thee to a spring shoppe!
     
  23. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,237

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Reading this post, all I can think about is my family on the road with some guy trying to save a couple of bucks or pride to attempt to weld up sprung steel. Pretty ridiculous. Come on guys...
    I think if you are going to drive it around your farm, go ahead.
    If you are not certified and a professional working with sprung steel, then no.
    And if you were, you would most likely just get a new inexpensive spring and not even consider it.
    If you are going on public roads, there are people and families who did not sign up to be crash test dummies.
    Do it on your rockcrawler.
    We have to remember in this hobby that other peoples lives on the road are far more important than us saving some bucks or wanting to know if we can do something.
    take care
    wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
    p.s. I am not slamming the original guy for asking, respect to you for being considerate enough of others to ask before just trying it and using us as guenea pigs.
     
  24. I work at a shop that has built many custom leaf springs. Sakowski is on top of what he said.
    DO NOT WELD ON A LEAF SPRING. That weld is where it will break. Take it to the bank.
    Spend your time and money wisely.
    The only exception to the rule that I know of has to do with heavy trucks. Some use a threaded spring pin and bushing. To prevent the hard spring bushing from hogging out the spring eye, the bushing is welded to the main leaf through a machined slot at the proper place outside the spring eye or on the outside edges of the pressed bushing and spring leaf. The weld has to be ground to prevent wear to the spring hanger or shackle at the same location.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  25. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

    Well said.
    Thats precisly why I have decided not to do it. Just cant afford to take that risk to myself but, as you mentioned, mostly to others on the road.

    Please understand that I consider all kinds of things, then I ask other people that should or could know, then I sleep on it. I got enough reasonable feedback against doing it, I agree with it.

    Thanks for all your help.

     
  26. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,237

    SakowskiMotors
    Member

    Maddog
    Thanks for your civilized, thoughtful, and considerate thought process. A breath of fresh air.
    With respect
    Wil
    www.sakowskimotors.com
     
  27. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,879

    Crease
    Member

    Not trying to be rude, but this is about the worst advice I've ever seen on the HAMB. That's the kinda attitude that's great for stuff that's NOT gonna kill anyone if it's done even slightly wrong. Even worse, what does a spring cost, $200? I know my life is worth a bit more than $200. I would guess most folks value life at more than $200, but I could be wrong. So I would completely agree with this advice when it comes to just about anything that's not likely to kill you or others if done wrong. I would not follow this advice with regard to activities which include, but are not limited to brain surgery, the development of nuclear power plants or vasectomys.
     
  28. About 15 years back my neighbor asked me if I could weld his trailer,I said sure i walk out and see the spring is broke right by the shackel . I told him it would break right away. He started to bust my chops saying come on I see you weld all kinds of things,try it . So i say ok he is just going to take it down the end of the street to store it. I pre heated it and a nice bead on it looked good .He went to take it out the driveway as soon as it hit the street it broke. I just said I told you so.
     
  29. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,933

    leon renaud
    Member
    from N.E. Ct.

    Anyone that thinks a spring can't be safely welded is wrong ,But and this is a very BIG BUT there is absolutely NO REASON today to even think about doing this a new leaf of the correct size is way cheaper and easier than welding a leaf and SAFER!Safer because if I were to post a tech "how to"on here or even just want to explain basics of how it is done Somebody reading on here that has gotten a welder and run more than 3 beads with it would think they could "give it a go"In todays age we tend to forget that stuff like this was the norm.I am both a modern Weldor and a blacksmith working in the "traditional" manner (now theres a HAMB friendly word)using 18th century techniques.Spring making was tought as parts of many trades back then
     
  30. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Maybe a spring shop could anneal and shorten the spring then re heat treat it.
    Don't they reverse eyes on soring?

    Ago
     

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