Video: Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension
May 2, 2012 by Carter Jung
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension
Pedders Suspension is a brand that might be familiar to enthusiasts of the domestic aftermarket. For more than six years, Pedders has offered suspension components for Chevy Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Pontiac GTOs. What most don’t know is that the company is far from an upstart in the chassis game. Pedders Suspension has been in business in their home country of Australia for over 60 years, starting back in the mid-1950s rebuilding shock absorbers.
Headquartered in Keysborough, just outside of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Pedders Suspension has a unique business model for their domestic market. Their products are distributed solely through franchised Pedders Suspension retailers, of which there are over 130 in Australia. Think Jiffy Lube, but for suspension needs that range from the inspection and alignment all the way to polyurethane bushings and coilover swaps.
Here in the U.S., Pedders’ business model is completely different, utilizing a more traditional distribution route. In their short time in the American market, Pedders’ products have been used by GM, Lingenfelter and Saleen. Pedders sells the gamut of chassis components, including coilovers, polyurethane bushings and CV shafts, but their core product is springs. In fact, Pedders likes to refer to their manufacturing facility as the “World’s Best Spring Plant.” While that’s up for interpretation, having witnessed the birth of a spring, firsthand, we can attest that quality is very much at the core of their values.
Here’s how Pedders Suspension springs are made:
Birth of a Pedders Spring - Step1
Pedders’ springs begin life as steel from BlueScope Steel, an Aussie company headquartered in Melbourne. Instead of sourcing cheaper materials from China or India, Pedders insists upon using steel that is ISO accredited.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 2
For heating of the metal rods, Pedders relies on gas instead of electricity. With the latter, dips and irregularity in power can cause inconsistencies in the metal. Each rod is baked close to 980 degrees C.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 3
After the steel is heated up to temperature, the glowing rod is then coiled around a mandrel. The solid steel mandrel does not flex or bow with repetitive use. Pedders has more than 100 different steel mandrels in varying shapes and sizes for varying applications.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 4
The next stage in the spring production is quenching, a process in which the hot coiled steel is cooled by oil. The spring is still soft at this point, lacking any memory.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 5
Once the spring is cooled, it goes back into the tempering furnace where the coils are cured. Temperatures are adjusted to suit the gauge of the wire—the thicker, the hotter.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 6
After another cooling phase, each spring is ground to appropriate size and fitment.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 7
For the final step in strengthening the steel, each spring is shot peened with military grade shot.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 8
Pedders scrags 100 percent of their springs. Scragging is a quality-control process where each spring is fully compressed, testing its load for up to 2 mm in variance.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 9
Before they are boxed and shipped around the world, the springs are powder coated. Powder coating gives a spring its brand-distinctive color and protects it from the elements.