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Technical In a pickle about coil springs.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by thechondro, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. thechondro
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    thechondro
    Member
    from silverlake

    Hope I'm posting this in the right place. Trying to get my coils back between the arms. Have the autozone compresser with the plate and the two hooks that connect to the inside of the springs. But my springs don't fit in between the bumps. Is it safe to use? Just don't want a face full of spring. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1405750729.997601.jpg
    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1405750800.628644.jpg


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  2. thechondro
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    thechondro
    Member
    from silverlake

    Also tried lifting the lower arm with a jack to compress it. Right at the ball joint and the whole car raised. Little scary with no front suspension. Lol. Sorry if this is a repost. I didn't see anything on this.


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  3. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    if the floor jack is a plate side plate one ( not a crappy sheetmetal one ) we used chain the side of the jack near the wheels or the jacks cross axle to the frame to compress it you have to use a 3/8 link chain to do it his way

    I do not like them compressors , I use this style [​IMG]
    or the OTC plate style one , but that one is a little out of most peoples price range ..
    if the bolt of the compressor will fit thru the upper shock mount hole you can disassemble the unit and drop the threaded portion thru the hole with a speader plate ( 3/8 thick steel 4x the hole diameter ) and hook only the bottom section up and pull it into place , make sure you put grease on the inner washer faces to let them slip easier while turning . in extreme cases we used a length of all thread thru the shock hole and put plates on both ends and double nutted the bottom and top ( top to hold with wrench to keep from turning ) and had a 3rd nut as the puller and pulled it together , but the all thread has to be 3/8 minimum 7/16th s is better . and once the spindle is hooked up undo the bottom bolts to remove it.

    donot for et to line the tangs up on the spring ( should be a locater spot in the lower a arm and the spring is to have a slight arc in it when its compressed so try to set the short leg of the compressor to the inside ( frame side) so it will drop in the lower arm pocket
     
  4. thechondro
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    thechondro
    Member
    from silverlake

    Thanks stimpy! How much are those spring compressors? Looks way safer! If it's under 200 I'd rather be safe than have a face full of metal. Hope it's under that!!! Haha


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  5. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

  6. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    what ever you do , DO NOT use a Mcpherson strut spring compressor to do this . as they are not made for what your doing and they will slip )

    and when you get yours grease the threaded rod with antiseize or heavy grease before you use it it will make it easier and prevents the threads from stripping
     
  7. I've used the plate style for years and have used the double arm style one when the plate won't fit in. Both are safe if used properly. I've also used this:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Yep, I have chained the bottom of the floor jack to the frame before,then jacked the bottom A frame up while having a good safety chain through the spring and around something else to hold it from jumping out.
     
  9. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,960

    chopolds
    Member
    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    I use this trick on the muscle cars I restore, with too high springs....put the threaded shaft into the top hole for the shock, put the spring up into the pocket, then put the arms on the spring as low as you can, and thread it up onto the shaft. Then compress it up into the frame. You usually don't even need to compress it very tightly to get it up there.
     
  10. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,291

    indyjps
    Member

    Get the style of compressor Stimpy shows. I wouldn't useall thread, its very low strength.
     
  11. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    This sounds like a good idea especially using the compressor you have, you wont hafta use that plate if your bolt on the compressor will fit through the shock hole, you will just use it for kind of a washer on the top side....a safety chain is still also a good idea in any situation involving springs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  12. Most towns have a place that rent's tools,I would check to see if they have a tool like stimpy posted,that's the type I have used in the past.

    BTW....Summit,sells one for around 35 bucks. HRP

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wmr-w80554
     
  13. X2
     
  14. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    The easy way is to put the springs in after the car is together.
     
    stealthcruiser likes this.
  15. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,737

    belair
    Member

    And by all means use a chain to secure the spring. There is an incredible amount of energy in even a partially compressed spring. If it jumps out of the pocket, "a face full of spring" won't begin to describe what kind of hurt you will be in.
     
  16. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy


    hurt is not the word , my uncles neighbor had one get loose doing it the old fashion put it in a the lower a arm then jack it up and bolt it on way , he was lucky he was off to the side when the car lifted and kicked the a arm off the jack , went thru the cinderblock wall 15 feet from him and landed next to my uncles garage 50 feet from the shop . guy had to go to the hospital not from the spring , from the heart attack the co motion gave him ... they do pack alot of potenial energy
     
  17. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,351

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    Do not do this! I almost tore my finger off using the same autozone compressor and a jack to remove the springs from my OT Chevy Silverado. I got a bad feeling and started pulling out of the wheel well and the speing gave way. My left index dinger was smashed and almost ripped off my hand. See the pics of the scar running around my finger. I ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1405865320.735720.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1405865579.529615.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1405865740.750466.jpg had three pins holding it together for a while and a couple months of physical rehab to regain most of the mobility back (with no guarantee that i would). I am sure that Many folks have had success with a-zone compressor and floor jack method (ive done it a bunch of times), but i wouldnt risk it. If you already feel iffy about it go with your gut instinct. Good luck.


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  18. oldschool59
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 49

    oldschool59
    Member

    Take em to a spring shop and have them banded compressed. Then put them in do up ball joints ,cut bands done.
     
  19. I used to do a ton of coil spring installations day in, day out. We would compress the new ones in a strut compressor and clip those Moog "c" clips on them (BTW, not sure if they're still available). This made them easy to install and the clips fell out once the car was off the jack.

    I started work in one shop and the owner and head mechanic were struggling to put an un-compressed coil spring in. I offered my help, was told to mind my effing business. 2 minutes later, the owner was out cold on the ground with a huge egg of a bump on his forehead and the mechanic broke his arm.
     
  20. I've never used a chain to install a coil spring. I learned how to do them in a shop where we worked on a bonus for how many springs we did in a week. So we had to be fast, but keep it safe at the same time.

    The new springs went in with clips (mentioned in above thread) or with one of those 4-hook compressors. I've never had one get away from me. One guy used to break the ball joint at the upper arm, let most of the tension off it and cut the spring with a torch. It worked for him.

    It makes a big difference if you've only done a few as opposed to have done a few hundred.
     
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,682

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^ Boss396 has been there, obviously. So have I. Had to laugh about the 'big boss' getting one in the forehead. (I have had 2 similar, "I told 'em so"! LOL)
    I've found that when the car is assembled, it is a heavy mass that can be utilized to 'coax' the coil springs into 'submission' by simply applying more pressure than the spring is able to resist.

    To ensure the mass will be sufficient, a jack stand is placed under the REAR bumper, diagonal to the front spring being compressed.
    I set the spring on the lower control arm, (disconnected at lower ball)
    Floor jack under the lower control arm, perpendicular to the chassis. (straight in from the side)
    Jack the control arm, compressing the spring. The jack stand on opposite side rear forces the entire weight of the car onto the corner you're jacking. (without the stand at the extreme rear, you are "see-sawing" the weight at the center of the rear axle)
    ...Basic 'wheelstand technology': for lighter weight front, move the rear axle forward.
     
  22. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,737

    belair
    Member

    I hear you Boss, but I'm slow, only done 3 or 4, and am a coward.
     
  23. I always put a chain around a spring, either disassembly or putting back together. The four hook style that Stimpy showed work good.
     
  24. thechondro
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    thechondro
    Member
    from silverlake

    Oh my god. Some of the stories you guys have told are crazy. I think I'll go with a professional spring compressor and take precaution with the chains. My galaxie has some pretty big springs to carry all that weight. I won't use those p.o.s. Autozone spring compressors even though I might only use the tool a couple of times. 100 or 150 extra for a tool that won't have metal flying in my face is worth it. Not saying I couldn't have success with a cheaper one. I'm just too paranoid. And sometimes when u get frustrated, you rush shit.


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  25. thechondro
    Joined: May 8, 2009
    Posts: 507

    thechondro
    Member
    from silverlake

    By the way "OUCH" devin! Had anyone had problems with the summit one? I probably will only use the tool a couple of times. But want something very safe. What's the take on that?


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  26. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,767

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    If the engine's out & the car's too light you can chain or wire a stout pipe or pole to a frame rail & hang some weights on it, well forward of the bumper. 100lbs will act like far more with that little leverage if done right. Use dead weights too. Don't just have your assistant leaning on the lever, even if he's plenty stout. If he sneezes at the wrong moment it could cost you dearly.

    Also observe the cross-corner support of the frame as Atwater Mike mentioned.

    You want the car solidly blocked up to the frame, and not sitting on the rear axle.

    I usually partially compress a spring before installation with my hook type compressors and if it won't fit with compressors installed (half the time it wouldn't) I'd wire it partly compressed with about 30-40 turns of bailing wire & remove the compressors, then install it & just cut the wires after the upright's on.

    This is a hillbilly method, but if you can't afford the right compressor it'll work.
     
  27. I just cannot visualize chaining a spring to secure it. And how do you get the chain out once the spring is in place? I'd have to see a picture of it.
     
  28. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,767

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    You can run a safety chain through the spring before compressing & bolt the ends together. Just a loop that'll restrain the thing if your marginal* compressor slips a cog. Clamp that chain in a big vise if you have one. Lock it to the gatepost. Do something to restrain it.

    (*Marginal was the only type I could afford, but better than paying someone else to change my ball joints & bushings.)

    The spring comes out when the spring is judged compressed and stable ie not slipping & twisting. Then you put the coil in place.

    My P-15 springs were so weak I dispensed with that part completely. I removed the front springs without any weight at all on the front. The whole car is on a solid rolling cart.
    I just used a jack & did it alone. The key was I dropped the lower inner shaft with the jack, but I only removed two bolts at a time, & used a spud (a pointy prybar) in two holes to keep things in place while the last two bolts were removed. (It'll cock the pivot bar otherwise.)

    OK, I did stand on the frame while releasing the floor jack, but everything slid right off without a thunk or a crash. I wish I had a photo of me doing this, LOL
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  29. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    I have the both types I showed , the 4 legged one is the one I loan out to others as if it grows 2 legs I am only out the 40 bucks , not $200 and I used the OTC one quite often , I like it as its easier to get out of the spring once the spindle is connected you just lift and move the shaft off the ball , with both like I said to make them easier to use make sure you grease or oil the screw and never use a impact gun to tighten it down as it can pop the legs loose . a good standard combination wrench to compress it before you place it in the car then a socket on a extension to remove it .

    as for fear , yes I had a major fear like you as I heard all the horror storys and after seeing first hand what can happen . but I had to get over my fear as I was the go to guy at the place I worked at ( the only auto/truck mechanic) and it wouldn't have gone over well if I had to ship my job out to be done . Just take your time , do not get distracted ( tell the wife or girlfriend not to bother you unless the house or garage is burning down . ) and no alcohol at all till its done , then celebrate .. if you set it up right ( align the locking tangs before putting the compressor on and also setting it up so you get the curve in it so it drops in easier and seats . saves a bunch of time and language .
     
  30. I use my 4-hook compressor all the time. I do most of my work from home or at the machine shop, so no more strut compressor. I do use an impact wrench and coat the threads of the compressor with never seize.

    Aside from one tale (above somewhere) with 2 asshats who had no clue what they were doing, I have never seen anything dangerous done with someone replacing coil springs. Just use common sense and keep your wits about you.
     

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