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I Forge Iron

Springs on a Lincoln

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There is an old Lincoln Continental here (probably 15 to 20 years old). It has done a lot of work and one of the springs has snapped. My boss is going to replace the spring. I have told him he should replace all 4 of course. Needless to say I have a home for the old springs!

What steel would old Lincoln springs be made of?

I want to make a rack of punches, drifts, chisels etc. and hoped to use these springs.

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It is hard to detirmine what steels were used in applications unless you actually have the engineering specifications sheet for the part.

It is likely that they maybe 5160 which is a chrome alloy steel and this was a common steel for this application. They could be 5160 or 1050 to 1080 or other alloys with similar properties.

If you use "junkyard steel" it is a good policy to expirement with the heat treat. If you think it may be a alloy steel quench in oil first to see if hardens as required. If it does temper it to the required hardness. If not reheat and quench in water and check to see if hardens as required and temper.

Even if the hardness does not need to be reduced, always temper at a low temperture 350-400 deg F. This will only reduce hardness slightly but increase toughness significantly.

Remember use an kitchen or toaster oven for tempering. Set the oven for the tempering temperature you desire and leave the item in for at least 1 hour per inch of part thickness. This is much more accurate than a doing it with a forge or torch and has multiple advantages.

It is probably best to do this when your wife is gone.... But evaluate the risk..... or buy your own oven for the shop.

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