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Ohio Rusty

Unusual spring I found

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I often find pieces of leaf springs and coil spring pieces from cars and trucks along the berm. I usually stop and get them the next day after making a mental note where they were. They are a good source of FREE 5160 steel.  Here is a pic of a couple of springs I found this week along I-270. Nothing remarkable looking in the first photo. But the other two photo's show the one with the curl on the end is really thick !!! The common leaf spring shown is 3/8's thick. The thick one I found yesterday is a hair over 3/4's thickness !!!  I've never seen a leaf spring this thick. I'm not sure what I'll do with that one. It would take a power hammer to move it. I may cut it in thinner 1/4 inch slices and try to make usable items from those.  I need a bumper sticker on my car that says 'This car stops for spring steel!

Ohio Rusty ><>

The Ohio Frontier Forge

springs1 (2).jpg

springs2 (2).jpg

thickspring (2).JPG

Edited by Ohio Rusty

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That is a slipper spring, and I usually see them on trailers. The front is attached to a mount, the axle is in the middle, and the back slips against the frame as the suspension travels up and down. 

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Just remember that broken pieces of spring often harbor cracks as the failure mode is for multiple cracks to form and one to propagate catastrophically.  Do I use the stuff? Sure I'm cheap!  BUT I don't use it for blades or for stuff I'll sell to others. (you are welcome to show up at my estate sale with a magnaflux system...)

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You don't need a power hammer to work 3/4" material, but a striker does help a lot.

​You might not need a power hammer to move 3/4" carbon steel, but I certainly do!

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Another great use for My Harbor Freight hand held grinder with the cut off wheel.  Whack off about 1/2 or 3/4 inch from the break into good steel, and you are good to go with the other 99% of the 5160 steel stock for what ever you want to make .....

Scavenge everything ...... The current bolt thread ?? I pick up those huge bolts all the time along the highway ..... No sense in letting them go to waste rotting along the highway .........

Ohio Rusty ><>
The Ohio Frontier Forge

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Sorry but fatigue failures don't work that way, cracks could exist anywhere in the piece, not just the place that failed catastrophically.

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Yep, in welding, you can create cracks in the center of the material, where neither end of the crack reaches an external surface (yet)...

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a dead cow laying on the side of the road is still beef, but do you really want to eat it ?

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a dead cow laying on the side of the road is still beef, but do you really want to eat it ?

Nope. But I might feed it to my dogs. Just like I would ONLY use mystery steel from the side of the road for practice pieces and purely ornamental projects that are not for sale.   

I do like Mr Sell's analogy there. 

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Fortunately ... 5160 steel doesn't bloat up and get maggots like dead cows.  I do get fresh road kill deer occasionally. So would I eat a dead deer that got hit by a car along side of the road and given to me by the sheriff ??   HECK YES !!!..... I eat alot of wild game all year long.

  So ... based on comments from Thomas and other listmembers here about the dangers of mystery metal ....  I don't advocate anyone on the list picking up any free steel, free shovels, free crow bars, free tools and free hammers, free wheelweights or any other useful objects they see laying along the road.  They may be faulty and might hurt you if you use them due to stress cracks or fractures. As for me ... It's my personal preference to use mystery metal, not any one else's on the list. 

I'm sorry for trying to share some good ideas with other folks here ...... Probably best if I keep my mouth shut on here anyway ...

Edited by Ohio Rusty

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We just don't want you competin' with us as we scramble to be first to grab that crowbar from the side of the road!

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Fortunately ... 5160 steel doesn't bloat up and get maggots like dead cows.  I do get fresh road kill deer occasionally. So would I eat a dead deer that got hit by a car along side of the road and given to me by the sheriff ??   HECK YES !!!..... I eat alot of wild game all year long.

  So ... based on comments from Thomas and other listmembers here about the dangers of mystery metal ....  I don't advocate anyone on the list picking up any free steel, free shovels, free crow bars, free tools and free hammers, free wheelweights or any other useful objects they see laying along the road.  They may be faulty and might hurt you if you use them due to stress cracks or fractures. As for me ... It's my personal preference to use mystery metal, not any one else's on the list. 

I'm sorry for trying to share some good ideas with other folks here ...... Probably best if I keep my mouth shut on here anyway ...

That is ... -sigh-.

I believe that the point trying to be made was that there is an inherent risk in using broken springs, so for anyone who chooses to use them, just be aware of the risk. 

Can people realise that when someone mentions there is a risk in something that was posted, IT IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK. It is just cautionary information.

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never heard of a hammer getting stress fractures, but they are very common in springs, but I will butt-out and mind my own business now, and wont bother you again.

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Naw, you're right Steve hang around it's a good warning. One of the guys in our club has a turning hammer made during a Brian Brazeal clinic a couple summers ago. The beginning stock is 4140 loader pin stock we got from a local Machine shop. A while after finished it split full length along one side of the eye and one half has since split lengthwise. The pin was replaced for wear, not bent or failed.

Salvaged stock is always questionable. If you don't, good luck.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Isn't it that you often get what you pay for? Naw, stuff it I like cheap and prefer free :D but I share the concerns on previously 'stressed' stuff , So I went to the local Injanga(witchdoctor/wizard) he recommended that one sands down the item with a baby grinders and 'flapdisc' then wave the tail of a cow over said piece, say the magic words" Robert & Grace" then spray with 'crack & flaw detector' and you may magically know of 'potential problems' in your life:rolleyes:.

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Dr. Zyglo? 

I know car/truck/trailer springs can break, because I have seen broken ones. Having said that, I have never had, nor known anyone who has had one break on them. Maybe it is due to the rust free West I live in...I just don't see them that often.

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Isn't it that you often get what you pay for? Naw, stuff it I like cheap and prefer free  but I share the concerns on previously 'stressed' stuff , So I went to the local Injanga(witchdoctor/wizard) he recommended that one sands down the item with a baby grinders and 'flapdisc' then wave the tail of a cow over said piece, say the magic words" Robert & Grace" then spray with 'crack & flaw detector' and you may magically know of 'potential problems' in your life.

​Sounds like the Injanga knows what´s up, dye penetrant testing could reveal hidden cracks :D

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The key word being "could," as in, "may."

Completely encased cracks...not so much.

Edited by Crunch

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BGD, i chock it up to abuse and pre existing flaws. Off road, over loaded, highspeed combined with potholes.... 

I also have seen more broken springs in extream high milage vehicles such as million mile plus over the road tractors and such.  

Great grand dads old half ton is a prime example. Old truck is working in its third or forth mottor (the first two were in line sixs) old half ton has been worked like a one ton, all the kids, grand kids and great grand kids learned to drive it (thats why you cant keep a cluch in it and it grinds going in to first and second)  half a milion miles on the old truck, abused and used.

my old 78 one tone came to me with a cuple of leaves broken. It was a hyway department dump truck, 4 wheel drive, crew cab from the mogillon rim area af arizona (mountans) the two broken springs were added to the spring pack. Old GM corperate 14 bolts are as strong as dana 80 rear ends, they used to use dana 80's in ton and a half and two ton trucks, now they use them in one tons. One of GM's screw ups, selling off their corperat axle divisian along with selling off detroit and allison. A DEDAC 4, allison and 14 bolt would beet the duramax hands down, and run with the powerstroke and cummings, better milage to boot

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Around here any pickup over 50k miles stands a good chance of having a busted leaf spring.  Even on normal (not abused) usage.  Over 100k if it hasn't had one the seller is either lying or it will break on the way home.  Over 200k why are you worrying about the springs, everything else will have rusted out so bad it'll look like you have been driving in the ocean.  Auto engineers just don't know what real world rust conditions do to things.  

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They used to grease the leaves for a reason, the do make an adhesive backed teflon liner to reduce pack friction as well. Most modern manufactures use polly end pads and pack spacers for the same reason. You might want to get some dryslide and paint the leaves inside the pack. 

Here, even with the farmers and oilfield workers it isn't very common. 

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All of my current cars are over 200k miles, with my 2001 Cummins 3500 coming in at 327k+, no broken springs yet. I have driven over 500,000 miles since 2005.

So I think you have a point Charles about abused vehicles, and I can see how rust can be a major issue. But still, in over 30 years of messing with cars, scrounging wrecking yards, automotive swapmeets, etc I have only seen a handful of broken springs.  I have probably seen more bent leaves than broken ones. Bent from accidents, the forklift in the yard, and overloaded trucks.

So maybe the best advice for wrecking yard springs is the same for engines, and transmissions. Yank them out of wrecked cars instead of the cars that you wonder why they are out there.

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Big Gun, my Isuzu only has 302,000. Just broke in good. But then again Isuzu recomends an Inframe at 500,000. 

But as I come from Arizon, and now live in Oklihoma salt and calsium clorate ion the roads isn't such an issue. Used to be a booming traid in sending southwest used cars to the north east.

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