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The ends of the springs are not flattened so I had to grind them down to limit the stress on the coil just above the end. The black finish is described as "electroplate" Since that is a process and not a substance I asked the seller two different ways what substance was used to coat the springs. I still don't know.
The finish is black electroplate discharge. My apologies, perhaps the person you spoke to wasn't sure of the exact process! You are correct the springs are not ground flat. They can be ground if you wish, though there is no issue with stress on a coil spring that isn't ground flat.
Great springs; nice finish, and they work on a custom application with a slight modification, but they're stiffer than a teenager on prom night. My 165 lbs doesn't move them much.
They are very stiff.
at 335# I was a bit nervous, but these do the job. Freaking awesome!