Leaf pack rebuild

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 09:17
ThreadID: 137696 Views:1476 Replies:6 FollowUps:14
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Hi Folks

Looking at rebuilding the spring packs on my boat trailer.

What do you put between the springs after rebuild, grease? I think ARB put a paper liner?

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks

Lyndon
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Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 09:50

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 09:50
Painting each leaf with a rust inhibiting paint would seem a reasonable idea.
Having paper will only cause/harbour rust if they get wet. Especially salty water from the harbour.

The areas where the spring leaves actually touch can be treated with moly spray or similar so the leaves can slide more easily and reduce interleaf friction as they move against each other. That allows the springs to work and be more compliant over bumps, less shock to the axles and bearings and boat.
AnswerID: 623300

Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 11:07

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 11:07
Did they have anything there previously?
I had trailer springs that were just metal on metal and did many thousands of km with no noticeable wear.

Another option is wear pads, a little mushroom shaped pad that goes between the leaves. The down side of them is that if there aren't holes drilled through the leaf already, then drilling them with standard bits will be a challenge.

AnswerID: 623302

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:34

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:34
Hi

I've yet to bust up the pack so not sure.

Cheers

Lyndon
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:01

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:01
Nothing is the best solution and especially NOT grease.
Leaf springs create considerable friction between the leaves as they work which leads to self dampening. That is their great advantage compared with other spring types. Grease will take away that self dampening and you will risk broken leaves.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 623309

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:33

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:33
I noticed new springs from ARB have been treated with some sort of lube. They even have lube holes in the bottom. Trailer has shocks to help deal with the rebound.

Cheers

Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:51

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 13:51
Don't know about the ARBs, but parabolics have no interleaf friction but the leaves are a totally different design and they will be "out of control" without dampers, as are coils which also have no friction. They both need good dampers and are typically much harder on dampers than conventional leaves which, at a pinch, can be used without dampers (but are much better with them)..
Cheers,
PeterOKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 15:07

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 15:07
Are they parabolic? If it has more than one leaf then there is interleaf friction.
The nylon pads reduce the interleaf friction so the ride is better. Doesn’t hammer the boat so much.
Coil springs are torsion bars and so require dampening.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 15:26

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 15:26
If the interleaf friction needs to be reduce to give a decent ride, then I suggest that the leaf pack is too short.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 17:11

Sunday, Jan 20, 2019 at 17:11
My HJ 61 Landcruiser benefitted greatly when the springs leaves were moly treated. Far more supple and comfortable and the shocks did the dampening. Worked that way for the 25 years I owned it.
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Follow Up By: Guy G - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 16:25

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 16:25
Peter OKA 196. Re your comment: "they will be out of control without dampers". I've yet to see a box trailer or boat trailer fitted with dampers and for that matter, most caravans, when conventional leaf spring or parabolic suspension is incorporated. Its only in the last 10-15 years shock absorbers have been used on caravans and camper trailers and that is mainly as a result of independent suspension using coil springs.
On a load sharing tandem axle set up using leaf springs and rockers where would the dampers be placed?
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 16:34

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 16:34
My 79series ute has +800kg constant load springs from Arb and they have the nylon pads as in Hoyks picture. There are gaps between every leaf and they are just as comfortable as standard springs.

Cheers Greg.
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Reply By: tonysmc - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 08:21

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 08:21
Hi Lyndon, I looked into doing the same as you years ago and ended up swapping them for a galvanised single spring. Despite the doomsayers saying they'll break, they have been battling corrugated roads for over 15 years now without an issue.
The claim was that the heat from the galvanising process weakens them, however the temps involved are nowhere near the temps that affects the spring and the reason I went to repack my original multi springs, is because a couple of the leaves had broken.
Tony
AnswerID: 623318

Reply By: landymick - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 11:12

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 11:12
Gday Lyndon
My method is split the pack, wire buff and assemble with grease. I have had no problems in 35 years with 4wds and boat trailers. When they look a bit dry, I open the leaves slightly with a screwdriver and spray motorbike chain lube in and good for another 12 months
Good luck Mick
AnswerID: 623321

Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 18:14

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 18:14
Hi Lyndon.

Was talking to a fella at king ash bay a couple of years back with a brand spanking new Quintrex and very sexy off road trailer. The springs were a greasy dusty mess. He explained that he opened the spring leaves up and coated them with cotton picker grease. A very runny sticky type of grease. He swore by it.

This was his first trip with the new boat but had apparently been using it on his old one for years.

Cotton picker grease might be hard to find in Darwin though !!! It comes in 200 or 1000 litre containers.

Cheers Greg.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:51

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:51
Cotton picker grease is a common, lithium-soap-based, "semi-fluid" grease, classified as "NLGI - 00" viscosity.

This semi-fluid grease is commonly used in the old "greased" track rollers of antique crawler tractors, spur and helical gear cases where high temperatures aren't encountered, in centralised automatic lubrication systems on earthmovers and mining equipment - and even in bearing hubs where oil is recommended, but where oil leakage is a problem.

It's available from any reasonable-sized oil company grease retailing operation, in containers ranging from 500g bottles and 450g cartridges - but only in packs of 6.

Penrite - Semi-fluid grease

The problem with using grease on spring packs is fine dirt attaches itself to the grease, forming a grinding paste - and the grease dries out relatively rapidly.

For this reason, many vintage vehicles had leather boots covering their greased spring leaves.
After a while, manufacturers realised there was no real benefit to coating spring leaves in grease, and enclosing them, it was an unnecessary cost without major benefits.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Guy G - Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 18:22

Monday, Jan 21, 2019 at 18:22
Without knowing your spring capacity, unless you have time on your hands, it may be a more cost effective option to consider new galvanised spring packs in lieu of wire buffing both sides of each leaf then reassembling each pack with a new centre bolt (which will still continue to rust) For example, a 5-leaf galvanised spring pack costs less than $50.00 and the preferable option of a single leaf galvanised parabolic spring costs approx. $55.00 with a 1400kg load capacity per pair. The cancer that expands and forces the leaves apart, if left too long, will lead to deformation of the leaves at the U bolts changing their inbuilt factory spring setting which leads to their eventual failure. At least with the single leaf parabolics the salt can be effectively washed off and being exposed to the air moisture entrapment is eliminated as is the concentrated liquid corrosive cocktail that builds up between the leaves due to the hygroscopic nature of salt sucking moisture from the air.
AnswerID: 623329

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 08:06

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 08:06
Hi Folks

I'm going to try and bust up the pack, wire wheel,paint, grease and re assemble. I'll let you know how I go. They only rusted due to lack of maintenance many years ago.
I should have bought a replacement set from Industrial springs in Adelaide (this is where I originally got them from), before they closed down. R.I.P another great Aussie business.
I probably should have posted a few pic's.
This is an off-road boat trailer. I can sit on considerable speeds over rough dirt roads. In fact, check out my profile. There are some old pic's of the trailer in tow.
Goes almost anywhere.
Now where do I find a 200 Litre drum of cotton picker's grease :-)
Not saying it's not good stuff, but 200L :-)

Thanks for your thoughts and idea's

Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 09:17

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 09:17
Northern Springs out at Gawler can make new springs to your spec.
https://www.northernspringworks.com.au/
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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FollowupID: 896580

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 08:57

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 08:57
Hi Peter

Thanks for the info. Good to see not all Aussie businesses have shut their doors.
A bit of a drive from Darwin though...... :-)

Pulled the leaf pack off yesterday and it's not in too bad a shape. Will rebuild.
Still not 100% sure what to stick in between the springs, maybe lanolin.

Cheers

Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:10

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:10
They can make them by description of course and freight them.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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