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Can anyone suggest a tried and tested method for refinishing suspension springs. The springs I have at the moment have shed their protective coating which I assume was some sort of powder coating?

I'm looking for a finish I can apply that will be durable enough but also flexible enough as I know the springs constantly expand and contract whilst driving.

I'd considered straight auto body paint, a plasticoat style plastic based paint, threading "heat shrink" over the length of the spring and heating it to the required temperature.

I wondered if anyone had actually refinished their springs and what level of finish and longevity they've had.

  • The heat shrink suggestion made me smile. I have no idea what results you would get, but I would love to see the process and finished product. – JPhi1618 Apr 25 '16 at 13:55
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    @JPhi1618 we've used heatshink on the steering arms of the caterham with very satisfactory results. It effectively creates a complete plastic coating over the metal. – Steve Matthews Apr 25 '16 at 14:53
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    That's cool for sure. I wasn't being dismissive, I really wanted to know if it would work well. It seems like it would when I imagine it, but its awesome that it has actually been done. Thanks for the info. – JPhi1618 Apr 25 '16 at 14:59
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The very best solution is to powder-coat them - but you need to get them to a paint-ready condition before you take them to the powder-coating company; otherwise, it could cost quite a bit. Harbor Freight sell powder-coating kits, but I've never tried them, and if this is a one-off job, sending it to a company will be the most cost-effective solution.

Another alternative is caliper paint. You won't need to work as hard to clean the springs as you would for powder-coating, but the better the surface preparation, the better the finish.

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    At home powder coat: "You want to put what in the oven?!?" – JPhi1618 Apr 25 '16 at 14:28
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    @JPhi1618 I have put both cylinder heads and brake calipers in the dish washer before so putting springs in the over probably wouldn't cause too much surprise in our house. – Steve Matthews Apr 25 '16 at 14:54
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Aerospace landing gear applications usually require springs to be coated in Duralon (name brand), which is a Nylon compound that is applied much like a powder coat. It is used for its flexibility, impact and corrosion resistance, and it provides a smooth, clean finish so damage and defects are easier to visibly identify.

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