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Suspension Spring Color Code?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by jselevan, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,856
    Has anyone insight into the color code used on Ferrari springs over the years? I have seen vertical paint swipes with green and red, and one loop painted for an inch or so with red, green or yellow.

    Is the brush stroke suppose to be vertical along the length of the spring, or is it to be one inch along the bottom coil?

    Are early cars' springs coded differently than later cars? Does the color indicate the spring constant (force), the length, front, back, etc.?

    Your help is appreciated.

    Jim S.
     
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  3. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,856
    Wondering if anyone has restored an older car and repainted their springs. Please read post below.

    Thanks.

    Jim S.
     
  4. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    19,706
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    I believe what a chassis maker tries to match (side-to-side) spring-wise is "length at rated load" (since this affects the chassis-to-ground static relationship). If the springs are well made (with consistent free length), then a "length at rated load" sorting would match sorting by "spring rate" so in practical terms it can also be viewed as a spring rate sorting IMO.

    Have you tried requesting some jpegs from FerrariUK of the springs you're refinishing (or something near) in their inventory? I'd be surprised if the marking method/form/location wasn't at least a little variable over the vendors/years even on the same model F.

    Give a little more detail -- what springs, model, etc..
     
  5. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,856
    91TR - thank you for the reply.

    I have repainted my Boxer springs and they came off with a red paint strips vertically on ther rear, and green on the front. I believe this to be original. I am helping restore a 330GTC, and find the paint mark is only on one loop of the spring near the bottom. On my 365 GTC/4 there was a vertical strip (green if I remember correctly).

    I am merely trying to see what is authentic, and what was the logic. Thanks for the help.

    Jim S.
     
  6. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    1,572
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    This is correct, the spring force at a given height (and the chassis corner weight) is what deternines the cars ride height. Different specification springs are used to fine-tune ride height, especially if the options on the car affected the car's weight, or production tolerences during build.

    Spring rate, of course, also determines ride characteristics, so any large rate differences is either engineers changing the cornering (roll rate frequency) and/or straight line ride (ride rate frequency). {For example, depending on year, 348 front spring rates are 125 or 250 lb/in}. Any small rate or height change is for fine tuning ride height.

    Best regards,

    Rob Schermerhorn
     
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  8. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,856
    Rob - thanks for your reply. What I am trying to determine is the color and pattern when painting the spring. When restoring the undercarriage, and replacing shocks, it is easy to have the springs blasted and repainted black. Once black, you will notice that Ferrari springs (on vintage cars) have a color code (red, green, yellow, etc.) painted on them. I have seen this color painted 1) as a brush stroke down the length of the spring (some paint on each coil of each spring) or 2) a color painted on a single coil of each spring at the bottom.

    Which is the proper way?

    Thanks.

    Jim S.
     
  9. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    1,572
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    I can only say with certainty on 1989+, not enough vintage experience. Every modern chassis I've seen new had the color painted on one coil.

    For vintage info I always defer to my friend Wayne Obry at Motion Products in Neenah, WI.

    http://www.motionproductsinc.net/
     
  10. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,856
    Yes - I know of him, and he is THE recognized expert. Others in the same "club" of experts include Bill Gojkov at Enzo in Anaheim, and Tom Shaushnessy in San Clemente. There are many more. It is easier, perhaps helpful to others, to discuss this on the FChat forum.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jim S.
     
  11. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 7, 2002
    10,009
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Barry Wolinsky
    On my 1976 GTB, there's a vertical red brush stroke (5 coils) on my rear springs:
     
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