1970 Z28 Leaf Spring questions

Discussion in 'Original Drivetrain Topic' started by 70lt1z28, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    Looked through most of the old threads on this subject about the 4 leaf, 5 leaf, re-arching and so on. Didn't see anything that was definitive about where to buy the spring so I went with Camaro Specialties as they did seem to have the best reviews at least as far as first gen stuff.

    They shipped fast and were reasonable on cost.

    Got them and while the height is correct (at least unloaded) the "details" are not good, at least in my opinion.

    First, the width of the leaves is about a 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch less. I know I'm picky, but I'm trying to do my restoration as good as possible. This is maybe the most un-fixable thing.

    The band straps are noticeably different with the tab going through a slot in the band instead of the stock tab through a round hole. I can fix this by just using the old bands if I can get them off without breaking the rusted bands. Even so, they will be too wide as they are made for the wider stock spring.

    The ends of the stock leaves have an angle on them. I can modify the new leaves like this so not too big a deal.

    Next the plastic separators have a different "split" nose where it sticks through the spring.

    Last, of course they have the black e-coat on them that will have to be removed.

    I guess my question is, is this the best it gets? I am inclined to send them back and eat the 100 shipping (50 each way) if there is something better out there. Bob Harris at Camaro Specialties said they were good and this is what everybody uses. He did say that for the first gens they had to tool their own as the customers were more particular on the generic Eaton replacements.

    What do the guys doing the Legends cars do for leaf springs. NOS?
    Rear Leaf band design.JPG Rear Leaf leaf edge bevel.JPG Rear Leaf original width.JPG Rear Leaf replacement width.JPG Rear Leaf separator plastic nose design.JPG
  2. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Ontario, Canada
    I just go to my local spring shop and they build them from scratch.
  3. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    I tried that before I ordered them. They couldn't have cared less about doing a spring for an old car. When I brought mine in and asked if they could exactly duplicate it, they kind of chuckled and said they can build a spring, but it won't be exact as they have generic raw steels and the band clamps etc. They also said the ride height will not be right and any adjustments are extra. They just were not at all interested. They estimated that it would be about a grand.
  4. CamarosRus

    CamarosRus Veteran Member

    Dave, I'm thinking that Mike Steitz (thdr) and Scott Kiehne....bought
    rear leafs from EATON.........
    I'm interested to READ if EATON has improved the arching on the Z-28 spring ??
  5. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    I hope they chime in.
  6. Budz

    Budz Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    Ashburn, Va USA
    I can't really answer that, but these are Eaton springs I put on my car about 10 years ago. Not the best pics, just some I had saved. The leaf ends are slightly tapered, but probably not as much as the originals. The band openings are square(ish) and larger openings than your Camaro Specialties pics, and the plastic 'split' piece is about the same as the Camaro Specialties. Just went and measured and the leafs appear to be about 2-1/2 inches wide.
    Driver Side SNIP.PNG Pass Side SNIP.PNG
  7. ronzz572

    ronzz572 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    imperial pa
    Dave I do remember someone on this sight making the spring bands. Not sure about the shims. I would restore the originals the best you can. Have your originals checked and re-arched. Maybe someone here can remember who did the band's and shims.
  8. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    So it sounds like these springs are about the best being made right now?
    My original springs had the lower plate, the thick short one split at the center bolt. That's why I was replacing them.

    I guess I'll send this set back and try rebuilding my originals. There's a lot of stress on those original steels.
  9. l16pilot

    l16pilot Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    Hurlock, MD, USA
    Dave - Quick question about your original rear leafs....what is the build date for your car. Looking for someone who has original springs from a pre-April build that may have the first design rear springs and be able to pull the assembly line ink stamp code. The documentation for 1st design springs is shown as 481992 PK, but corresponding build sheets show the code "PE". Would love to find an original set of 1st design springs to see the entire PN/code stamp.
  10. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Beavercreek, Ohio, USA
    Build date of car is 04B...early April not pre-April so may not be what you are looking for. Its a Norwood car if that matters.

    Where is the ink stamp located? The leaves are original but of course worn a bit.

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