DETROIT, MICHIGAN: If your first-generation Corvette rear springs are looking a little worn out, it might be time for some R&R, courtesy of EATON Detroit Spring.
Original C1 Corvette rear springs were made with spring steel with a groove in the bottom side of each spring leaf. This grooved steel has not been produced since the mid-’60s, so the original-style springs with the groove can no longer be made. This predicament could bring many restorations to a standstill. However, for springs that are not fatigued, EATON offers an R&R process that can make them as close to new as possible. R&R stands for Re-temper & Re-arch
- The re-temper process removes temper from each leaf, then puts it back in;
- To re-arch, while red-hot and before they are re-tempered, each leaf is formed back to its original shape.
- They then go into an oil bath after being annealed and reshaped. The next step is to go through the second heat-treat furnace that finalizes the re-tempering process. Once through the second heat-treat furnace, the leaves are shot peened to relieve the inherited stresses caused by the heat-treating process before being assembled.
Does it work? Mike Eaton points to a successful job for a prominent client. One customer who happens to be the designer of the original Corvette suspension said. “He brought in a couple of sets of C1 rear springs to be reconditioned. Even though Eaton does a lot of these, there are still ’Vette owners who don’t know we offer it.”