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The Serious Freshening

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Chassis—Spring Gaiters

Lynn in Bugsby, September 5, 2005

Completed: 2006-08-19 — Started: 2006-05-22

SPRING GAITERS: Lynn admires the leather spring gaiters (leaf spring covers) on Ashmead's 1925 Kissel (left) and orders a set for Bugsby (right).

GAITERS INSTALLED: Lynn installs the gaiters on Bugsby. This gaiter style differs from those on Ashmead's car in the way that they are bound together. (Compare the underside of these gaiters with the photo of Ashmead's car, above.)

Work Completed:
When he has a close look at DeWayne Ashmead's 1925 Model 6-55 Kissel Speedster, an item that Lynn thinks is really classy are the leather spring gaiters. As a result, Lynn orders a set from Rudy's Pre War Rolls-Royce Parts (Rudy Rosales, 4086 E. 71st Street, Cleveland, OH 44105). Give Rudy a call (800-248-7839, 216-641-7711) and he'll send you an order form.

Rudy is able to deliver a set of gaiters in only a couple of weeks after Lynn places the order. Collecting the measurements that Rudy requests on his order form takes a bit of work, but the results are spectacular. The gaiters fit Bugsby perfectly and Lynn wonders how Rudy can so precisely translate his measurements into leather. Lynn marvels at the details of the design and fit. They have an inner leather flap to help seal the bottom seam, an inner rip-stop nylon liner attached to one end (to keep oil, grease and dirt from the springs off the leather?), and felt seals under little belts with buckles to help seal each end.

Lynn opts for a style slightly different from the ones he saw on DeWayne Ashmead's car. The lacing on the style that Lynn installs is almost invisible after installation (see the right most photo, above). The bottom sides of the gaiters are drawn together by a piece of black cord that is woven back and forth between staggered slits that are cut into pockets along the two sides. To install the cord, a piece of wire is used to make a "needle" by crimping it over one end of the cord. Lynn uses a second stiff piece of wire with a hook on one end to make a second pass to further tighten the cord before tying off and cutting it. The little leather belts and buckles at each end of the gaiter assure a nice tight fit and they also serve to hide the knots at the end of the cord.

Lynn doesn't like how the loose end of the little belts hang limply after installation. He briefly thinks of trimming them but thinks better of this solution as the extra length of belt is handy to grab onto when tightening, and cutting anything is usually an irreversible act. Lynn's solution is to slip a short piece of solid core wire under the belt and crimp the ends over. (See the red arrow in the second photo from the right, above.) The only unsatisfactory part of Lynn's solution is that the wire has a modern black plastic coating, but Lynn thinks that this will escape most close inspections of the car.

Work Remaining:

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Last updated: May 24, 2009