Author Topic: Leaf Springs  (Read 1045 times)

roadking77

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Leaf Springs
« on: June 09, 2021, 06:03:26 PM »
Pulled the rear from my car. Leaf's are pretty rusty, I had a crazy idea to pull them apart, clean, paint and put back together. First clip broke rather than bent. Decided that it may be better to replace with new.

Any recommendations of a good place to get a new set. I would like to stay factory correct.
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77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
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85 T/A - Sold
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jonathonar89

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 08:07:23 PM »
Everyone here with probably recommend PTFB 1LE springs

Wallington

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 08:41:44 PM »
You can get leafspring pads and  retainer clips, Norwood on the other forums perhaps? But they are for the restore and never drive crowd. Most that come on anything since will likely be better. Possibly had to reuse original pads.

Your springs are now 45 years old, so likely sagged and will sit lower currently than most stock replacements of same. There's not a lot of weight in the back so the height is fairly consistent when dealing with known brands as above, easy to tweak slightly. Give them a blast of cast iron paint first if you like, most are just coated quickly in black. Good excuse to treat the car with heavy-duty shackles and all new bushes regardless. Note the other topic about shifted rear end in pad mount also.

I have the PTFB GT set on mine, and they've done a brilliant job of keeping the body off the floor during the ten years since installed and not driven! So my opinion and advice is based on others who have!

roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2021, 07:10:14 AM »
That was one of my concerns with getting new, was that the rear would sit too high. I got over that look in 1980!  From the beginning when I got this car I thought the rear sat a bit lower than usual and was frankly surprised that one of the springs was not broke when I pulled them out. I am leaning towards a factory replacement, I did see that jegs and summit has them, I have also heard of 'detroit springs' (maybe?), that may have been the original supplier. I think they still sell stuff. I dont want to break the bank on a set of leafs but I think any may be better than what I have.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
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JJ 109

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 07:48:07 AM »
DSE, they have 2” and 3” drop
JJ
76 pro tour project
Twin Turbo LS1
Detroit

Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 07:48:07 AM »

FormTA

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2021, 10:10:55 AM »
I can tell you the PTFB GT springs are pretty low. Maybe a bit lower than my stock, broken and sagging springs. Maybe the 1LE would be closer like Jon said. The two locations of shackle holes might get you close to stock.
79 Trans am low buck LS swapped
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (This one is next)


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roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2021, 11:46:36 AM »
I guess Im a bit naieve, but I didnt realize these things cost that much!  I was thinking maybe $200 for a set but looks like that much for one!  Thinking twice about redoing mine?  Not sure its a good idea. They are not broke, just rusty and nasty. I did find a place on amazon that sells the little clampy things for cheap. I may go that route and see what I come up with. IF I'm not happy after putting them back on I guess I can change at that point. Another thing was, as typical of todays climate, most that I looked at are back ordered or weeks out to get (not that I am in a hurry :grin:)
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
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81Blackbird

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 11:51:59 AM »
Have them media blasted then paint or powder coat them.  They will look good as new

JJ 109

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2021, 08:38:31 AM »
Depending on how deep you wanna get, you can also just brush on some POR 15
JJ
76 pro tour project
Twin Turbo LS1
Detroit

roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2021, 08:51:23 AM »
I think I have decided to get my blaster out and clean them up and paint. If I find them to be 'bad' once the car is on the road I will change them at that point. I have a method in doing cars that I dont want to 'cheap' out just because. I like to get the best product I can afford, even if it means waiting a bit longer to save up for. I also like to use as much as original product as possible so it becomes a delicate balance. I'll roll the dice with these for now.  I do need to get one clamp as I jumped the gun and broke one. Same with the diff cover. I was planning on getting new, again just because I wanted the oem look and mine is too pitted to polish. But all I have seen are coated and would need painted anyway, so I will just paint mine and save $100.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
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81Blackbird

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2021, 10:01:58 AM »
If the leaf springs are pitted, would something like JB Weld or similar placed in the pitted areas after blasting and sanded smooth before painting work?  Not sure if the constant flexing would knock them out.

stros

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2021, 11:20:57 AM »
I think pics can help.  Here are my PTFB GT front and rear springs.  255/285 17 tire combo which will have a bit more gap than a taller combo. 

Darryl

'77 black TA Hardtop LS3 / 4L70E swap
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5th T/A

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2021, 01:35:15 PM »
Kerry,

If you are looking to maintain the factory ride height I would try to reuse your original leaf springs. I had some concerns that my car might be sagging a little with 41 year old springs, but so far I am happy with the stance.

I want my car to look stock, so I used my original factory springs. This picture of the backend with about half a tank of gas, running on stock 15" Rally II wheels with stock size tires P225/70R15. When I measure the ride height the right side sits almost 7/8" higher than the left. Since I am kind of an obsessive person I thought about switching the left and right springs, to see if there is any difference.

IMG_8196 by Lawrence Alexander, on Flickr

I am not sure about 1979 cars, but feel confident my 1980 leaf springs were not painted from the factory. Here are a couple of pictures of them after removing most the undercoating. They are not black, more of a natural dark metal finish.

IMG_6856 by Lawrence Alexander, on Flickr

IMG_6857 by Lawrence Alexander, on Flickr
1980 T/A with a Pontiac 461

Gone but not forgotten;
1973 T/A 455
1975 T/A 400
1978 T/A W72
1982 T/A cross fire injected

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roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2021, 06:56:46 AM »
Thanks for the pics. Wow, those look brand new Larry. I assume you are correct regarding finish. Natural spring steel finish. Looks like a good coat of flat black will brighten mine up a bit.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
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Wallington

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2021, 01:56:53 AM »
If referring to my mention of black leafsprings, I was talking about replacements. Likewise, the only factory types painted appear to be with underbody spray coating.

Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2021, 01:56:53 AM »

roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2021, 05:59:30 AM »
2021-06-15_07-26-44 by Kerry Grubb, on Flickr

Pass side. Coming up nicely. I sanded the surface rust off with my die grinder, then soaked with rustoleum brand rust remover gel. Its similar to evaporust. I think the evaporust works better but the store was out. Plus this comes in a gel which is nice as it can be applied to non horizontal surfaces and pretty much stay in place.  After the rust removal, hit it with the die grinder again and brass wheel. Still a bit of work to do.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

RamblerRacer

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2021, 06:53:16 AM »
I see you are restoring yours but I was going to suggest Global West. I have them on my TA but when going on their site it looks like most leaf spring applications are gone. Not sure if it is temporary due to C-19 or if they just got out of the market. Mine are a 1” drop I think with extra length in the front on a couple of leads to help limit axle wrap.  Yours are looking good Kerry.

JT

roadking77

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2021, 08:32:57 AM »
JT, one of the problems I found was availability. Second being sticker shock. Yes, the plan is to continue moving forward with the originals, so far so good. Hoping to get an order placed today or tomorrow for some new bushings and mounting hardware so I can get the rear back in and move on to bigger and better things!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

scarebird

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2021, 09:12:49 PM »
I run a set of these on the TA - work very well:

https://www.hypercoils.com/leaf-springs/

Grand73Am

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2021, 07:53:13 PM »
I bought these stock replacements from ClassicIndustries.com . The cost is reasonable and they've been working fine for me, and sit at the stock height.  https://www.classicindustries.com/product/rl12.html  . The link isn't going to the page, so when you get to Classic Industries, search for RL12 .
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 07:58:07 PM by Grand73Am »

rkellerjr

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2021, 08:56:30 AM »
I went with PTFB's GT suspension kit (front & rear), nothing wrong with the product, I just didn't like the ride height of the rear end so I swapped the rear springs with stock, before and after pics...

First pic, before suspension replacement with air shocks, 2nd pic with PTFB springs, 3rd with just changing the rear springs..


Greenbird76

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2021, 04:14:11 PM »
I went with the Classic Industries Rl12s about ten years ago.  They were made by Eaton and have been great in my application.  The car handles awesome along with the TRW front springs, PTFB welded in sub frame connectors, Bilstein shocks and solid body bushings. 
BUILT THE WAY GRAMMA WISHES SHE COULD HAVE ORDERED IT!!
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FormTA

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2021, 03:31:48 AM »
Rich, what shocks are you running. I think the ones I have are the cause of my harsh ride.
79 Trans am low buck LS swapped
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (This one is next)


Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

jvmagic

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2021, 04:58:44 PM »
I went with the Classic Industries Rl12s about ten years ago.  They were made by Eaton and have been great in my application.  The car handles awesome along with the TRW front springs, PTFB welded in sub frame connectors, Bilstein shocks and solid body bushings.

Hi, I'm about to install solid body bushings.  I have the installation doc but can't make enough sense out of it (for me at least).  Do you have any photos, advice, etc?  I want to go with stock height.  thanks

langss

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2021, 07:59:59 PM »

tiggershark

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Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2021, 07:53:18 AM »
I agree Eaton springs made my car sit level instead of the rear end stock sag. love the looks too.

Re: Leaf Springs
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2021, 07:53:18 AM »
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