From: David Cochrane
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Subject: Re: Chummy springs
> The problem with my springs is that they have sagged badly - they
> are now too soft, that car sits unevenly and too low. Is it worth
> messing about with them? My thinking has been that they must be
> significantly worn after about 60 years of real daily use, isn't it
> better to just start with a new pair?
Maybe.... or even possibly. However, genuine Austin springs (and other parts) have the reputation of being made of very good quality material, so people often reckon that it is worth while restoring the original bits where possible/practical. It is usually cheaper too. I think that new springs are around 70 quid each, whereas I was quoted 15 quid each for flattening rear springs (25 for a front one), with a week's turn-around. If they are not too badly worn I would definitely go that route. I would take them to a local spring company for their advice (try Yellow Pages or recommendations).
It is very easy to take them apart (drill out the countersunk pin at the thick end, use an oxy-acetylene torch to heat the clip and ease it open), and then smooth out the "step" with a small angle grinder. You should remove as little metal as possible. It is a good idea to chamfer the sharp edges on the underside of the pointed ends of the springs to put a radius on them. Finally polish all the leaves on all surfaces with a sanding disc. Bolt them together (half inch I think) and give them to your local spring fettler. You'll probably have to tell him the drop, which I think is 7 inches as standard, and ask him to reassemble and rivet them when he's finished.
Hope this helps.