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Old 12-10-2011, 02:42 PM
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How do you drill a hole in a leaf spring?

They are so tough that I burned several drill bits and still no hole

this friend told me they need to be heated first to remove the temper then they are easy to drill, but how do you get the temper back? I'm not sure if this is a good idea.

the best drill bits available here are this gold color titanium coated units, no exotic diamond or carbide bits available.

are there any tricks to do this job? I would like to make a set of quarter elliptical springs.

thanks.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:29 PM
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I was able to drill my leaf springs with fairly typical carbide bits but I did it a low speeds in a drill press and I flooded it in a constant pool of oil. Carbide or titanium bits should be available at nearly any Ace hardware or other decent sized tool outlet. My bits wouldn't be considered exotic in any way.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:41 PM
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drilling leaf springs

I drilled my 40 Chevy springs to relocate the tie bolts. I reground high speed drill bit with less taper on the end (point) If you don't understand, talk with a machinist about grinding it or have him grind it. ( maybe a couple of drills) do use lots of oil or tap magic. If you can center punch it, it should drill. lol
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:49 PM
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I used one of my brothers cylindrical irwin bits...went very slow and used oil.
btw, lets not tell my brother
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:33 PM
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Unfortunately, Agusto is in Ecuador - and after being there myself several times, never did see a 'big box' or ACE store A couple good restaurants though

Yep, the best drill possible, start small, run lots of coolant and work up to that 5/16 or thereabouts, starting with maybe a .125 with a step or two in between to the final hole size.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:04 PM
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I make a clay dame around the hole to hold the oil in place, and drill at very low speed with a carbide masonry bit. I also can punch them with my ironworker, but it's very hard on punches.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:44 PM
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Cobalt bits. Start small and slow and work up. Use a coolant oil or wax or spit. Don't push too hard and not to easy either as that will dull the bit right away. If using ordinary bits you may have to sharpen them a couple times. If so, keep the trailing edge of the flute lower then the other flute.

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:20 PM
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I've done it, eventually, with sharpened "blade" type carbide bits meant for masonry as already mentioned. They can be found pretty reasonably priced. Grind an actual cutting edge on one, drill a while, resharpen, drill some more. They don't work as well as traditional spiral bits but you can resharpen them without being an expert and resharpen them quite a few times. I never was able to satifactorily resharpen a regular drill bit by hand on a grinder though I know people who can, but I managed to resharpen the masonry bits so I'm assuming other average folks can too.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:16 AM
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I'm not sure drilling a spring is a good idea. That would introduce a stress point that the mfg. did not allow for. All kinds of things could go wrong if that spring decided to break at an inopportune time...

Russ
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10xGN
I'm not sure drilling a spring is a good idea. That would introduce a stress point that the mfg. did not allow for. All kinds of things could go wrong if that spring decided to break at an inopportune time...

Russ
That is what I was thinking, why drill it? What could be the purpose that of drilling that couldn't be handled some other way?

I moved the rear end back on my Chevy pickup by drilling a new hole in the spring pad on the rear end. Another time (same truck different "incarnation") I made lowering blocks with a hole off center farther forward and then a bolt welded in up where the rear end sits.

I just have to wonder on why would a new hole be needed.

Brian
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:34 AM
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I would think you could go to a spring shop and have a custom spring pack put together for less than you spend destroying drill bits. You wouldn't have to worry about stress points in the springs or ruining the temper.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:54 PM
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Him Augusto,,,,

Thye only way to drill that hole sensibly is a carbide drill bit..Augusto is in Ecuador im sure theres no Lowes or Home Depot to buy the correct bits,but they must be available somewhere...(in ecuador) ............
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Unfortunately, Agusto is in Ecuador - and after being there myself several times, never did see a 'big box' or ACE store A couple good restaurants though

Yep, the best drill possible, start small, run lots of coolant and work up to that 5/16 or thereabouts, starting with maybe a .125 with a step or two in between to the final hole size.
there's a chain of hardware stores that carry ACE products, that's were I buy my drill bits, but the best ones they carry are those gold colored, seems like I would have to buy a dozen of them.

I'm gonna give them masonry bits a try, I'm very good at sharpening bit holding them by hand, I check with the angle gauge after I sharpen and they end up pretty close, I always leave the trailing edge lower by grinding an aditional flat, this makes them cut faster.

I hope you enjoyed dining at our restaurants, there are very good ones around but you need to know were to go. I wish there were over here the big hardware stores you guys enjoy in the USA, I'm a tool adict and when I visit those places I go crazy.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
That is what I was thinking, why drill it? What could be the purpose that of drilling that couldn't be handled some other way?

I moved the rear end back on my Chevy pickup by drilling a new hole in the spring pad on the rear end. Another time (same truck different "incarnation") I made lowering blocks with a hole off center farther forward and then a bolt welded in up where the rear end sits.

I just have to wonder on why would a new hole be needed.

Brian
Brian, you missed my first post statement:

"I would like to make a set of quarter elliptical springs"

I have also repositioned axles using your method but this time is about fabricating a spring pack.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:08 PM
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bigger bolts

My brother used to break the spring tie bolts in his 62 fairlane V8, after changing the 3 rd time he drilled them out and installed galaxie bolts. His father-in-law had been the auto business 40 years and had a lot of old good drill bits. I have picked up a few drill bits surplused from the Boeing aircraft factory and they are a lot better than any i have found in a hardware store.
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