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1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#1
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jwblazek
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I am in the process of replacing the 6 leaf spring bushings on my 39 Six. Since it will be a quick task to remove the springs, I plan on taking them off, cleaning them and painting them. I noticed what appears to be remnants of some material between the leaf's. What is that material and anyone have a source for it?

Posted on: 7/21 14:12
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Re: 1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#2
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39SixSedanMan
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Those are noise insulators (alemite ? or some other awesome sounding name). I replaced mine with rubber inserts from a local auto garage. Look up the service manual and salesman literature on this site.

Posted on: 7/21 14:32
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Re: 1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#3
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JohnCobb
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I used the rubber pads made for that from Steele Mfg. Some models also had a leather wrap around the leafs but I don't think the "six" had that covering.

Posted on: 7/22 5:34
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Re: 1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#4
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HH56
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There are at least 10 service letter articles on spring inserts in the 37-42 suspension category. Those mention the use and development of "rubber" "Silenite" "lead" and formulations of "lead-antimony" and then how the various combinations thereof are placed at specific locations in the same spring to tailor the ride for a particular model. One constant theme thruout those articles is do not lubricate the springs because the rubber type inserts would be destroyed or friction characteristics would be changed resulting in detrimental changes in ride quality.

Kind of makes it anticlimactic that todays insert replacement description and availability is reduced to "rubber". I have wondered how important the role of inserts actually was. It would seem Packard went to extraordinary lengths in developing, testing, and installing their various combinations of inserts. Installing "rubber" which is probably a different compound than Packard used in all locations today and not have ride quality seem to suffer terribly would make one wonder if the difference in Packards inserts is something that only instruments or someone with a very discerning posterior could feel or was the ride in a fairly new suspension with the various inserts that much better back in the day and the present owner is missing out.

Posted on: 7/22 10:00
Howard
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Re: 1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#5
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jwblazek
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Excellent input everyone, thank you ! Some of my research indicated some restorers using a dry graphite paint that is quite durable. Others just used POR 15 (of which I think is fine for the exterior of the springs but not the rubbing side

Posted on: 7/22 20:08
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Re: 1939 Packard SIX Leaf Springs
#6
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Mechagon
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I had a 1957 Oldsmobile with liners and had them replaced with new custom leaf springs (no liners that I could see) from a local truck shop with no noticeable difference. Some manufacturers used to cite the damping effect provided by leaf friction as a reason for using leaves over coils. I would presume the difference is fairly minor for most late pre-war cars and on but it would have probably made a big difference before hydraulic dampers were in common use. Usually I'm just glad to have springs that aren't all saggy and cracked anymore 😅.

Posted on: 7/23 1:06
Alberta - Canada
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