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  #1  
Old 07-09-2022, 07:51 PM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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Location: Simi Valley, CA
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Default Forming Wire

I am putting a new seat cover and foam padding in my truck (1970 3/4T Chevy). When I got all the soft stuff off I discovered two broken springs. I went up and bought some piano wire in 5/32" thickness to make the new springs. Bending the wire is proving a challenge for my "shop". I tried clamping a tire iron to the work bench and forming the wire over it, but I'm not enjoying this. I've seen that there are forming tools for this, but for two springs, I'm not excited about buying them. Is there anyone close to me that can form them? I'm in Simi Valley, CA. I'd gladly pay for the work instead of buying tools that I'll probably never use again. The springs aren't available for a 53 year old truck.
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:20 PM
pato1 pato1 is offline
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can you find similar springs in other seats?
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:25 PM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pato1 View Post
can you find similar springs in other seats?
I did think of that, but I was talking to my youngest brother about it this afternoon, and he came up with a couple of jigs to form the wire. He worked as a fabricator for some major companies. I can't believe I didn't think of asking him first.

I might have to buy a couple more $4 pieces of wire after our experiments, but that's better than no seat springs. The main problem is that the wire available locally is 36"; 40" would have made it possible without fudging the shape. I'm convinced that I'll be dead before a couple of "off" bends wreck the seat.
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Old 07-10-2022, 12:14 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Default auto seat spring suppliers

Auto restoration professionals are keen to find "supply houses" that supply
hose, clips, extrusions, seals, bolts, and etc.etc.etc. for producing good useable automobiles - (but also can have "onsie-twosie" custom springs made by a machinist who has a winding setup - or sourcing a "springworks" for a production run.)
I have worked in resto shops over many years who have used all sources.
(I helped one owner find Studebaker Golden Hawke seat springs for his resto-mod last year. I'm now un-wrinkling the stainless body side moldings for it.)

Perhaps one of these might help you?

https://www.albrightssupply.com/springs
American Trim in Oklahoma (http://www.atrim.com)
Gilbreath (http://www.upholsterysupply.com/index.html)
https://www.upholsteryconnection.com...s/coil-springs
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2022, 03:58 PM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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Thanks for the links! We (mostly my brother) bent them into shape. They are now installed. When it's cool in the morning tomorrow, I will put the foam and seat covers on.
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Old 07-11-2022, 03:18 AM
metal manny metal manny is offline
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I see you have solved your problem - well done.
Here in my third-world city, we have a spring manufacturer who can make any spring. Further to that, he has a room upstairs with boxes and boxes of overruns and rejects that are astounding and sold by weight or eyeball price. Surely you must have many spring manufacturers in CA? Springs can be shortened, modified etc. to suit purpose.

I would begin, by sourcing an existing item to be modded, then if unsuccessful, looking to manufacture a replacement.
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Old 07-11-2022, 03:52 AM
Jaroslav Jaroslav is online now
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I have springs from old furniture stashed away for a similar purpose, but I don't feel like I'll ever use them. I have them just for that option.
If you take the right wire, you can make any spring on a regular lathe. We were taught this in the first year of high school.
You clamp a suitable log diameter into the lathe and instead of a knife, you put two wooden pads between which you clamp the wire. You set the pitch for the thread and wind the wire onto the log. You have to adjust the steps: the pitch of the thread, the diameter of the log and the clamping between the boards in the knife head. You can make any spring you want. You may or may not heat treat later.
Note: It is a good idea to bend the sharp ends of the springs inwards. The spring that cuts through the seat from the inside does not stop at the pants....
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Old 07-11-2022, 07:41 AM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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These springs are zig-zag, and pretty much flat, no coils. It would have been much easier to get coils.
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Old 07-11-2022, 08:00 AM
Jaroslav Jaroslav is online now
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Show photo.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2022, 10:01 AM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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First pic is straight on, second is at about 45. This truck has what was called the "Custom Sport Truck" option, back in the day. There is a 5" thick foam pad that sits on those springs. Cushy!

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Last edited by galooph; 07-12-2022 at 02:38 AM.
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