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not safe to use impact gun on coil spring compressor outside of the car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by luvzccr, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=570974&page=14

    thats the link to the build thread of mine but i did some searching around on the HAMB and i found a few things stated about never using one because the vibration will knock the compressor off the spring.


    thing is, i took the coils out of my '58 already. the ones that were cut and lowered it.

    well now im trying to RAISE it with some 18 inch coil springs i got online, but im trying to fit those 18 inch coils into the slot where the 10 inch coils came out of!!

    at the moment i have the coil compressor on the new spring, and have it tightened down by hand pretty well. i still need at least 3-4 inches of clearance to slip them up into place, and i was considering using that impact gun to tighten the compressor as much as possible, but im hoping there is an easier way to do this??


    there are plenty of threads about cutting coils and putting them in, but RAISING a vehicle and slipping the much larger coils in place i haven't found many threads on. im hoping someone can help this kid out safely :) thanks guys
     
  2. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    42hotrod
    Member
    from S.E. Idaho

    If you decide to use the gun, PLEASE be really careful. It's one of those old stories "I knew someone once" you always here about the compressor breaking, or stripping the nut, or slipping off from the vibration and someone gets hurt.

    I had a spring slip out of a compressor once just using a ratchet. It will scare the beejesus out of you!


    Scot
     
  3. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    trust me im trying to find ways around using the gun lol, i was scared trying to take the coil out of my '58 yesterday afraid it'd slip out even though i had a chain wrapped around it and i was using the standard coil compressor. putting these new behemoth springs in though has risen my fear levels a bit
     
  4. over tightening will gall the threads also and ruin 'em ... Keep anti-sieze on the threads no matter what you do.
     
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  5. What type of spring compressor are you using?
     
  6. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    czuch
    Member
    from vail az

    YUP, youre having fear factor here.
    I sent one through a friend's garage roof one day.
    It WAS over compressed and we were stupid teenagers.
    Stand to the side when you are working this.
    Glad to see youre still on it.
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I hate spring compressors and am scared to death of them. Whenever I use one I also wrap a chain with a bolt through it to hold the spring compressed so it has less chance of exploding. We have bent up more than one compressor and had to buy a loaner from Advance Auto when we broke theirs. I have had the spring blow out of the pocket and go bouncing across the garage floor, and it is not a pretty thing.

    Don
     
  8. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    42hotrod
    Member
    from S.E. Idaho

    That feeling your having, the nervous one where you are scared? Its there for a reason, its usually your common sense warning you :)

    Scot
     
  9. RCDARKKNIGHT
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 21

    RCDARKKNIGHT
    Member
    from Warren CT

    Any Time I hear about someone working with a spring compresser,
    I have to ask this question. I know you said your raising the vehicle
    and the old spring were allready cut before.
    Are you installing front springs longer then the original size?
    If your installing springs the original size i might be able to tell you a safer way i have done it in the past.
    RC
     
  10. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621

    deto
    Member

    I HATE using spring compressors. They always scare the shit out of me. Had one let go before and if I remember correctly I pissed my pants. I try to get the spring in with the weight of the vehicle helping compress the spring as soon as possible. Stay to the side of that thing and good luck!
     
  11. tbird37821
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 145

    tbird37821
    Member

    we always wrap the spring in a thick towel when compressing one . really helps slow them down when something breaks. has saved my butt a few times.
     
    Hitchhiker likes this.
  12. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    Member
    from Garage

    Im with the "I hate these things" crowd.

    I been in the vicinity of them failing to keep things under wraps..duck and cover comes to mind.
     
  13. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    42hotrod
    Member
    from S.E. Idaho

    Feeling better yet? :D
     
  14. 18" spring where a 10" came out of ??
    Something is going to have to give on this one.
    According to your thread the 10" coming out gave you some trouble.

    Go read 42hotrod's post over and over until it sinks in.
     
  15. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,598

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    remove lower control arm, compress spring to it and reinstall as a unit. sure you have the correct spring?
     
  16. I can't say that I am afraid of springs or compressors but I do have a healthy respect for both.

    Try using a long breaker bar like 18 or 24". Like has alrrady been mentioned use some lubricant on the threads.
     
  17. RCDARKKNIGHT
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 21

    RCDARKKNIGHT
    Member
    from Warren CT

    I Like 42hotrods remark (Feeling better yet.)

    Really this is not something to screw around with, Especily if you don't know what you are doing.
    Wraping it would probably be a good thing, might slow it down a bit.
    Like some one mentioned I in the past have.
    Normally on a lift or jack stands high enough to let the lower control arm
    hang down, use a bar and catch the spring on the inner lip of the lower control arm and jack up the control arm up with the jack.
    But when doing that you must have the jack at the end of the control arm on the ball joint area. This will lift the wieght up easyer.Then put the spindal on as fast as polible whithout getting hirt. sometimes a come along from the spring to the other side of the car also a good thing.
    I have to get back to work fabricating inner and out wheel houses on this GTO so
    Be Safe and good luck.
     
  18. I was working in a shop, my 1st week there too. The douchebag boss and the best mechanic there were wrestling with a spring under the car. I politely asked if I could show them a trick. The boss says "mind your own fucking business". And about a minute later... SPROINGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!

    The boss is out cold on the floor with a huge egg on his forehead and the mechanic has an extra joint between his wrist and elbow. We dialed 911 right away... needless to say I didn't stick around that place much longer.

    Bob
     
  19. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,169

    No_Respect
    Member
    from So-Cal

  20. I have no problem with mine, lubriplate grease on the threads, make sure the hooks are on the coils squarely and the main bolt lines up with the center line of the spring. When I worked in a shop, we used impact guns on them all the time, but took it slow. At home, the armstrong method prevails.

    For taking springs out, Moog sells a pair of C clips that go on the inside of the spring while it is still in the car. When you drop the lower arm, it arcs the spring so it comes out a lot easier.

    Bob
     
  21. RCDARKKNIGHT
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 21

    RCDARKKNIGHT
    Member
    from Warren CT

    Its not something to laugh about but after reading Bobs story
    I'm sitting hear laughing like hell. You should of called jackasses After 911.
    RC
     
  22. I had worked in one front-end shop for years prior to going there. All we did was springs and heavy front end work and alignments day in day out. Anything you could come up that shaved a few minutes off a job added up. Of course with safety in mind.

    These guys were pure idiots, I thought the boss was dead when I first walked over after the incident.

    Bob
     
  23. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    42hotrod
    Member
    from S.E. Idaho

    I used to auto tech at a Goodyear store, we did some crazy shit too but got really lucky and never had an incident. Nothing like lowering the hoist down on a coil spring, then slipping the exteroir compressors on the already compressed spring, then just raising the lift back up :)

    We worked straight commision so every single minute mattered.


    Scot
     
  24. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077

    chop32
    Member

    Compressed springs are nothing to be taken lightly. Years ago I had a spring jump out of the spring compressor and hit me just above the knee cap. A few inches lower, and my knee might have been history. I can still remember the ringing sound caused by the stored energy in that spring.
    Now if I have to compress a spring out of the car, I clamp it in the vice and hook a chain around it, if it starts getting cockeyed, I back off and start again.
    I made my own in-car spring compressor when I replaced the tall springs in my '57 Chevy.
    I made a round plate for the bottom of the spring with tabs internal to the coil so it wouldnt slip. Then I drilled a 5/8 hole in the center of the plate. With the spring in the upper cup and the lower plate placed about 2 coils up from the bottom. I ran a piece of 1/2" all-thread down thru the upper shock hole followed by a nut and washer top and bottom, and a lot of grease. Tightened it up until I could get the lower ball joint re-attached and then took it all apart (it was a fight to get the lower plate back out).
    The all-thread I used was good quality (possibly GR-8?) but I kept a chain wrapped around the spring and the frame incase the nut or all-thread failed.
     
  25. Big Nick
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 847

    Big Nick
    Member

    Respect it! They are no joke, I havent had a issue with car springs but I was putting together a wide glide Harley front and and thought I had the cap caught on a couple of threads, I walked away to get a wrench, luck I did because I was just leangin over the tube, and POP, the cap went right through thte sheet rock in my garage ceiling! and thats just a motorcycle front end, I couldnt imagine the damage a car spring will do!
     
  26. Take the springs to a spring shop, have them compress them, then band them. Once the springs are installed and the spindles are hooked back up to the control arms, put some weight on the car and snip the straps/bands.

    I am a little concerned about suspension geometry/balljoint angle with springs that long though.


    Whenever I am installing or removing a spring I run a chain through the spring and around a control arm or the frame. If the spring goes "sproing" the chain limits the distance and damage.
     
  27. We just had so much work and making quotas got us parties (some wild tales came out of those..), personal tools and things the manufacturers would kick in. I never tried the lift trick. We had a strut cage that we used once in a while since it was so fast and safer.

    Bob
     
  28. easyissy
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 133

    easyissy
    Member

    Why not use new original size springs?? Will that 460 drop the front end that much???
     
  29. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    Try a local spring shop-they should have a heavy duty hydraulic compressor and also should be able to steel-band it after compressing it. Once in the car you cut the band with snips.
     
  30. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668

    luvzccr
    Member

    there's a lot of good replies to this thread and i'll try to answer what i remembered seeing:


    as for the reference to the "10 inch springs came out of there, and your putting 18 inch ones in its place?" the previous owner of my car REALLY cut these coils low. my 58 was slammed to the ground even with the original 223 inline 6. i have a 460 in there now and needless to say the custom headers i got were hitting the ground before i had it lowered all the way. the 18 inch springs were actually referred to me by someone who had done this swap before. they are coils off of a 64 ford i believe, i may have to go back and check but they have fit in applications like the one im trying to do right now.


    as for the idea of taking it to a shop and having them compress it, would that be my best bet? they have more machines and experience than me. i figured if they get it compressed enough i can take it over to my grandma's, slip them in place, put everything back in place, and take the compressor apart.

    i took photos yesterday, i'll upload them within the hour. and i'll re-read some of the replies to this thread and reply to them too, my memory is bad lol
     

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