Installing front coil sprngs

Discussion in 'Brakes, Suspensions, Tires & Wheels' started by NicksTurbo6, May 18, 2017 at 1:24 PM.

  1. NicksTurbo6

    NicksTurbo6
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    8
    Offline
    Hey Guys, I'm getting ready to reinstall my stock front coil springs. What do you use to get these things back in, without killing yourself? I was going to use a coil spring compressor that goes inside the spring to compress them a little, then jack up on the front control arm. What's the best way to go about this?
     
  2. zapp240

    zapp240
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    31
    Online
  3. zapp240

    zapp240
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    31
    Online
  4. pacecarta

    pacecarta
    Expand Collapse
    MAGNA
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,412
    Likes Received:
    535
    Offline
  5. VtheGNMan

    VtheGNMan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    153
    Online
    Removing old stock springs is not too bad. Compress them a little and then try to swing the arm out from under it. If you are using 1" drop springs they will go in fairly easy and not need compressed much at all if any to get the lower arm back under it. If you are replacing with a full stock height spring you must understand that the one and only job of that spring- is to try to kill you. And they will try!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. fast86gn

    fast86gn
    Expand Collapse
    Texas Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2001
    Messages:
    2,829
    Likes Received:
    191
    Online
    I am about to change back to stock springs from, Eibach lowering springs but not about to do it myself. I'll do the rear but not the fronts, I'll leave that to a shop that I trust.

    Big difference on the prices of the spring compressors listed above one was $25 and the other $175. Hmmmm?
     
  7. whitehot1

    whitehot1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    3,303
    Likes Received:
    169
    Offline
    I believe you can rent the spring compressor tool from the auto parts stores. You just have to pay a deposit, which is the price of the tool but once you are done with it and you bring it back they refund your money. So it ends up costing you nothing but your time driving to and from the store.
     
  8. 1986 Buick GX1

    1986 Buick GX1
    Expand Collapse
    GX1 #001 [The One and Only]

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    58
    Online
    I wish I would have rented a tool to install the UMI 1" lowering springs as I used a couple of ratchet straps around the frame to suck them up enough to pop them in place with a pry bar and a plastic hammer.
    Even though the 30yr old stock height ATR performance springs fell out with the lower A arm hanging straight down the UMI springs were just enough stiffer that a compressor tool would have been handy.
     
  9. Boxcars

    Boxcars
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    25
    Offline
    You can do this job without the use of a spring compressor by leaving the ball joint connected and removing the inner side of the A-Arm from the frame saddles. To reinstall, insert spring and jack the A-arm into position to re-insert the bolts.
     
  10. pacecarta

    pacecarta
    Expand Collapse
    MAGNA
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,412
    Likes Received:
    535
    Offline
    that task can open up a whole can of worms most would rather not tackle due to seized bolts in the lower bushings, front bolt requires removal of tierod end and the fact that its not that easy to get the bushings realigned with just a jack . ive done it and even on a lift with proper tools the ball joint/spring compressor method is simpler
     
  11. Boxcars

    Boxcars
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    25
    Offline
    I've done it too, a number of times. It is a viable and SAFE option. I didn't remove the tie rod end, but even if necessary, hardly a task worth mentioning. I suppose doing it this way on some rusted mass one could run into problems, but otherwise, no. The only thing I would agree with is the minor difficulty of re-aligning the bushing with the bolt holes in the frame saddles. When working alone, which is how I've done it, it's more difficult, but with a helper, alignment would be a piece of cake. In a perfect world, the spring compressor method might be simpler, but there is no inherent danger in the method I described as there certainly is with a spring compressor. ;)
     
  12. 1984 t-type

    1984 t-type
    Expand Collapse
    Murphy's Law

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,111
    Likes Received:
    13
    Offline
    I usually don't use the compression tool, my way is a little ghetto but always works for me, what I do is put a good ratchet strap around the bottom of the jack and up around the control arm to help compress the spring. Never had a issue with this but yes I'm sure it's not the safest option.
     
  13. pacecarta

    pacecarta
    Expand Collapse
    MAGNA
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    8,412
    Likes Received:
    535
    Offline
    you did this with the spring tail properly indexed? ..i doubt it
     
  14. 1984 t-type

    1984 t-type
    Expand Collapse
    Murphy's Law

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,111
    Likes Received:
    13
    Offline
    Yes on my chevelle and GN
     
  15. 1984 t-type

    1984 t-type
    Expand Collapse
    Murphy's Law

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,111
    Likes Received:
    13
    Offline
    Well let me say I assum they are properly indexed. I turned them so the edge of the spring hits the pocket.
     
  16. TR Custom Parts

    TR Custom Parts
    Expand Collapse
    Mark Hueffman - Owner

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    9,393
    Likes Received:
    257
    Offline
    I use one of the compressors that have the claws but only use one set. Run the threaded rod thru the hole for the shock and pull it up there. Works great. Put the claws a few coils up so they don't get caught in the lower control
    arms.

    . image1.jpg
     
  17. RmvBfrFlght

    RmvBfrFlght
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    90
    Offline
    This, I've been using this method for quite some time. It works and is easy. If the two control arm pivot bolts are rusty, it is time to replace them anyway.

    Using a spring compressor is like holding onto a hand grenade with a pulled pin.

    RemoveBeforeFlight
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. GNRick

    GNRick
    Expand Collapse
    Retired member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    151
    Online
    I removed the spring by loosening the ball joint but leaving the castle nut on the top thread. I then unbolted the control arms and let the jack down slowly. The purpose was to install new control arm bushings. Now the problem was to install the spring compressor with the spring off the car. I used the kind with the fork piece that likes to fall out. I put the spring in my bench vise while I tightened the compressor. Made sure I never pointed the spring toward myself when I got done. The job was really a pita. Will let the shop do it next time. I wish I had known about the method mentioned where you don't need a spring compressor.
     

Share This Page