Video... Tour of spring factory

(Jim XK140 FHC) #1

I think you will like this vid ?
I live in "The Black Country " an area of towns in the West Midlands near Birmingham UK . Historically it was home to hundreds of heavy engineering companies causing soot , hence the nickname .There are still many metal bashing companies although they are disappearing .
Today I took my old springs to Jones Springs , about 5 miles from my home , to see if they can refurb my old springs and they kindly gave me a tour of the factory .
The cost of new springs from the usual suppliers range from £150 to £600 per pair . I expect the refurb to be about the same cost as the cheapest replacements .
I will put some pics on when I get them back , about 2 weeks

(Phil.Dobson) #2

Fantastic part of the country. Still has remarkable engineering capabilities.

(Rob Reilly) #3

Very interesting, Jones Spring in Darlaston. I love machine shops of all kinds.
So they kept record books of every old spring that came into their shop so they could reproduce it any time a new customer came along.
All 140s used spring C.5721, as did late 120s, but early 120s used C.3661 which has different leaves. We went through that subject years ago on this forum when I was restoring my early 120 springs.
The ability to restore an old spring is of course dependent on the amount of rust pitting, whether is it insignificant surface roughness, or if it is too deep and would be a stress concentration and likely failure point.

(Nick Saltarelli) #4

Interesting indeed.

When I took my XK120 home in 1991 the rear end assembly looked like this:

The springs were still covered in their leather gaiters, packed in grease, and as a consequence were like new underneath. I merely took them apart, shot blasted them, shot on a thin coat of black paint, rebushed and reassembled.

The gaiters themselves are in not bad shape but rather than reinstall them I’ll use them as patterns to have new ones made.

New gaiters in your future too?

(Roger King) #5

Did they come from the factory with gaiters?
Would a ‘55 140 have had gaiters from Jaguar - anybody know?

(Jim XK140 FHC) #6

There is one in the factory on page 35 ( Explored) with gaiters on

(Jim XK140 FHC) #7

If gaiters get on the list it will be near the end .

(Roger Payne) #8

The drawings of the rear spring Gaitors in XK140 EXPLORED, are taken from photos I took of my original Gaitors on my Sept 1955 XK140, albeit the joys of these illustrations, is they were ‘repaired’ by editing the drawings, so the lacing is now fully intact, and no holes/splits in the seams.

But nearly all XK140s did have gaitors of this design/style, albeit there was some possible variations found, with Gaitors being standard fitment on quality British cars, given their need to be lubricated.
When new design springs were introduced for XK150, initially with rubber buttons to separate the leaves, then later with nylon interleaves, lubrication was no longer necessary, thus Gaitors no longer fitted.

I remade mine, by buying black leather that matched originals, some 100% cotton lining (from an old US Mail bag - perfect match), new hook fittings still available (used on old Ski boots as well), reused my original grease nipples and washers, and bought new JUTE lacing of the same thickness, but all made up using the originals as a pattern. Note the illustration in XK140 EXPLORED - lot of detail provided.


(Roger King) #9

Thanks Roger. I could have looked in ‘Explored’ first, I suppose…*

The Cobra’s transverse leafsprings are both drenched in OGL (Outside Gear Lubricant - think truck fifth wheels) and then wrapped with Denso tape. No gaiters, but that would be tricky with transverse springs. My early Land Rover’s springs are covered with… well, mud, mostly. I reckon gaiters would be a good fitment on the XK as they should enable the springs to last pretty much indefinitely in normal use.

*in my defence, I noticed Nick’s response whilst away so couldn’t.

(Ed Nantes) #10

My very early MK vII had gaiters , factory gaiters,
I found thatt
Lefflers in Melbourne still sold the original style hooks and leather lacing. They only sell the laces in pairs, I said to the salesman “ what about one legged people? They alsp sell the tool for installing the hooks, very hard on the arms when doing what feels like hundreds of them.
The design has shortcomings. The nipple is on the top so all the grease stays on the top leaf, where it’s not much needed but doesn’t get underneath where it would be useful.
Early SS Jag sales brochures list ‘Quickfit’ as the brand, but I don’t know if this also applies post war.

(Robin O'Connor) #11

If I recall correctly my 3.5 Rover had gaiters on the rear springs

(Jim XK140 FHC) #12

I picked up my springs this morning . The odd leaf has been replaced along with another that had a split end. The same 2 leaves on in the other spring where replaced to keep them balanced. Re-bushed , also those funny American straps replaced with proper English ones .:wink:

(Phil.Dobson) #13

Look spot on James. nice job.

(Paul Wigton) #14

My ‘rents’ PIII Rolls had massively thick leather gaitors on the rear springs: the leaves had machined ellipses in them, for rollers to go in between each of the leaves, and the whole shebang was lubricated by the onboard Bijur oiling system.