Apr 302013

The building of the two 5 leaf spring packs for the boot hinges leaf by leaf was difficult enough, so I wasn’t looking forward to prospect of trying to open up the full five leaves to extend from the mounting point over the receiving pillar on the boot lid arm.

My first attempt was to clamp the hinge unit in a vice, mount the spring pack on the hinge and use pliers to try to open the springs. It was a huge difference between extending a single leaf and the full spring pack! The problem I found was to get sufficient clamping needed to secure the hinge in the vice to withstand the forces needed to open up the springs. Often the hinge would move in the vice in preference to spring opening and, once the paint finish started to show signs of distress, I gave up.

After a few further searches I found an alternative method where the hinge pivot bolt is removed. The spring is mounted to the bracket half of the hinge and the receiving pillar on the hinge arm positioned in the centre of the spring pack. The idea being that the latter could be used to extend the spring pack to a point where the pivot bolt could be replaced. Again all this achieved was to further damage the paint.

Like most problematic issues encountered, I put it off to have a ponder how best to tackle it. Recently someone posted a video on the internet of a rather wacky, counterintuitive way of tackling the problem. I’d not had much joy with the accepted methods so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The hinge was securely screwed to an old 4×2 wooden frame I’d lying around as I still haven’t got round to mounting my vice on a workbench. Essentially the building of the spring pack, covered previously, has simply arranged the leaves in order on the mounting bolt so the spring pack can be fitted onto the hinge bracket.

Inserting the bolt was very fiddly

The individual leaves are then pulled out from the spring pack with pliers, working out from the inner most leaf. The leaf being pulled clear pivots on the mounting bolt and is then extended and placed over the receiving pillar. The process is then repeated for the remaining leaves.

The securing nut on the spring pack bolt only needs to be put on a couple of turns to allow the leaves to pivot. Pulling out the individual leaves with pliers was quite difficult but obviously gets sequentially easier.

I had to use a screw driver to lift each spring to be able to get some strong pliers sufficiently on to the leaf to pull it out. Once a leaf has been partially pulled out, it was occasionally necessary to tease it out further using a screwdriver. The leaf can then be extended using some thick protective gloves and pliers.

1st leaf on! Next leaf pulled out Extending the leaf

I would thoroughly recommend this approach over trying to extend the full 5 leaf spring pack.

 Posted by at 7:03 pm

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