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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. Arominus
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 391


    Depends on the spring compressor, i've got a decent set (craftsman) with extra latches that capture the bottom part of the spring. They click in and i haven't had any issues yet.

    I mainly use the compressor for macpherson strut cars and they dont need a lot of compression. That said i treat them with major respect and i only compress enough to get the strut top off. I've always used the impact but i take it slow and take each side down a little at a time. then i decompress as soon as the spring is loose. Always keep the threads lubed! Thankfully all my old cars are mopars so i just deal with torsion bars, My porsches though...
  2. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668


    here are the photos i took. the idea of taking it to a shop is sticking in my head quite well actually. i'd appreciate any feedback as to whether or not i should just have them use a hydraulic compressor and strapping it up for me, then putting them in place?



  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,232


    I have rather serous doubts that you will be able to compress the 18 inch tall springs enough to be able to even get them in place to be able to put the thing back together.

    12/13 you would have a battle on your hands but it might be possible. I had a lot of springs in and out over the years I did front end work and just don't see this as being one those things that you will be able to make work. If you do get it together you most likely won't have any suspension travel and the suspension will be topped out all the time.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,232


    From reading his first post he is trying to give the coil spring car a "gasser" look. Not just compensate for the 460 but jack it up as high as the suspension travel will allow.
  5. graverobber63
    Joined: Sep 8, 2004
    Posts: 4,135

    Alliance Vendor

    Most shops don't do that anymore, I guess it became a big liability.
  6. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668


    i dont necessarily want the gasser look, i just want to have clearance in the front end so my headers aren't slamming over speed bumps when i drive my '58. i plan on having this thing go a lot of places, and i dont want it slammed to the ground anymore
  7. TheMonkey
    Joined: May 11, 2008
    Posts: 312

    from MN

    i have that same spring compressor. i like it because it feels like it grabs pretty good. lube the threads. i avoid impact just because i like to take it slow and watch and listen. it makes that crazy nervous feeling last longer, but it feels safer.

    with that spring compressor, i usually take the sliding clamps off, send the long bolt down the shock bolt hole with a couple grade 8 washers. put the spring into the upper pocket. then, use only the threaded clamps and tighten the spring up into the upper pocket. using only the threaded clamps and shock bolt hole, i'm able grab a lot more spring and get more compression travel.
  8. 42hotrod
    Joined: Nov 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    from S.E. Idaho

    You might be surprised what will fit LOL. If you look at the car in my avatar it had way longer springs in the fron too, it sat about 1/2" off the bumpstops with a big block in it. It was a dirty mother, but I was able to get them in.

  9. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    One night we wrestled with trying to install Moroso springs in the front of my Son's OT Capri drag car. There was no way they were going in so we threw in the towel and installed a coil over front end in it. I could just see those coil springs coming out and taking someones head off. :eek:

    Maybe that is why I only play with leaf spring front ends.

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


    this is probably a silly question, but what is a coil over front end? is it something i should look into if i cant get these coils in there? again someone used the springs i have right now in their 58 project with a 460, so it worked for them. it can be done, but from the sounds of it, some of you are making it seem like this isn't going to work :/
  11. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499


    Some great posts. Seems one thing most agree on is: Go SLOW and THINK your way through.

    Long story, but I fought with two of these on the front end of my OT '68 Lemans.

    I'm all for balls when that's what a job takes, but I don't like risking my bals OR my life. TheMonkey touches on a good point in Post 37: Be prepared with a fail-safe, backup measure!
  12. dontlifttoshift
    Joined: Sep 17, 2005
    Posts: 651


    Drop the bolt (from your spring compressor) down through the top where the shock would normally bolt up.

    Install spring into top hat and hook the bottom (or the lowest coil you can grab) of the spring with the threaded thingy with the hooks on it. Use common sense here, one hook is longer than the other.

    Tighten bolt to compress spring to hold it in place. When you tighten this you are pulling the spring up against your frame, if need be make sure it is clocked correctly to line up in your frame and/or your control arm.

    Tie a floor jack to your frame rail with a chain and place floor jack under control arm and raise jack until it touches control arm. At this point, if you haven't already, make sure that your car is well supported on appropriate jack stands and maybe some extra wheels and tires under the car as well as a fail safe. Remember hope for the best and plan for the worst.

    Keep tightening the spring compressor until you can bolt everything together while keeping the control arm up near the spring with your floor jack. This minimizes the chances fo spring flying out into space if your compressor comes apart and the chain keeps the car from launching off of the floor jack if the compressor comes apart. You can use the floor jack to help it along as needed.

    Sometimes it takes a couple of guys to help. They can keep an eye on things while you are concentrating. In extreme instance we have used 2 and sometimes three prybars to push the spring into pocket on the control arm, extra hands really help here.

    That's how we have handled the worst of the worst. People wonder why I like coil overs so much.

    Be careful

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,232


    After looking at what he took out, I'd think that the set he took out had been cut down some so I'm probably going to have to back up a few paces on that one.

    I'd do it pretty close to what Dontliftoshift said in his post above. Pull the spring up into the pocket and then jack the A frame up to it.
    I hope the car has the engine in it because you really need the weight of that engine pushing down to help things along.
  14. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,131

    from Central IL

    I have a moog spring book in front of me. I think you could come up with a stiffer yet shorter spring that will actually work better than that one there. Which I think is probably an 8222 Specs are Inside Dia:4.040. Bar dia.677 Installed height 11.00 Load Pounds 2300, Spring rate 314 Free height 18.33. If you are interested Ill look up some other choices.
  15. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,395

    from South Indy

    I had those springs out of my 64 once and they were the SCARIEST springs Ive' ever dealt with. Got a hole in my drywall and a dent in my walk in' door to prove it. I don't see any way to compress them without an impact. I laid them on their side, put one foot on it to hold it and fired away. No one in Indy will band them anymore so I had to do it the hard way. They would be a piece of cake if you can get them banded. I chained the spring to the control arm for a little extra safety. You can do it, just be careful. Out!
  16. WallingfordHotRods
    Joined: Sep 6, 2007
    Posts: 153

    from Seattle

    I use vice grips to keep the hooks from slipping.
  17. greg
    Joined: Dec 5, 2006
    Posts: 537


    What are the static length of the stock spring for your car. Could you use stock ones that you know should fit, then use the aftermarket spring spacers to raise it up if needed? Just an idea.

    the last time i ordered spring from eaton, I gave them my car weight and what length I needed and when I let my car down I couldnt get the jack from under it. It went all the way down. Just dont want to see you go to all this trouble just to have the wrong spring.

    I like the idea of running the tool down through the shock hole.
  18. Stock springs may be the best bet if you can accept a stock ride height. Longer springs may make it impossible to do a camber adjustment on and you'll tend to go through tires.

    The spacer idea has merit, only the one that sits in the spring pocket, we used to make them up for our stock cars.

    The tool should be able to fit through the shock hole, I've used mine this way taking a spring out as well as putting it in.

  19. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437


    IF this has a shock in center of spring, remove lower arm, use allthread and/or internal spring compressor to compress spring into frame then install lower arm, (I hate seeing coil springs tweaked espcially when they bow and aim towards your crotch). The lower arm method has worked for me well and for years, leave the balljoint end attached if desired, then all you need is floorjack with chain wrapped around frame and floorjack to act as press to compress the remainer of spring height, if not a center shock assembly still use the floorjack and chain but be careful. Again, I have never had a spring "haul ass" using this method of removing lower "A" frame.
  20. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    what ever you do son think it thru. back in the late 70s i had a boy call me and wanted help putting in moroso trick springs in his 55.told him id be over later. well he had never done any type of car work really and i quess he couldnt wait for me and my buddy to get there. had a ambulance pass ues on the way to his house .almost run us off the road.ended up being his palbearer.took a long time for me to get over that one.i changed the springs in my wifes ot 67 impala last fall. i dont remember ever being that scared in my life.did it but damn that was scary. be very careful and pay attention.
  21. having done a few coil springs in my lifetime, I agree with everyone who says take it slowly, and don't get cocky. I saw a MacPherson strut slip in a press one day in auto shop at my high school. The nut was off the top and it was being released when it slipped. No one was hurt but holy crap that spring took a while to stop after hitting the 15' ceiling. I saw the kid lean back a bit just before it blew, good thing or he would have been minus a head.

    I think I will stick to torsion bars thanks.
  22. Lot of stored energy in a compressed spring. I've seen people hurt from them and far too many people making too much work out of the process. But after a changing few hundred sets of them, it gets easy.

  23. 32v
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 949

    from v.i.

    take the springs to a spring shop and get them to band them ,slide right in, cut bands ,done
  24. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    some of that type compressers come with u/clamps that you put on each side of the arms on the spring to keep the clamp from slipping..........
  25. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668


    i should probably update this thread guys. i got the coil in there without using an impact gun or anything.

    i did however cut a coil and a half off the new larger one. so i can compress it as much as possible. and i got it in there by myself and a lot of cussing and sweating and a lot of praying lol.

    only problem is, part of the arms on the coil compressor are still stuck in there :(
    please tell me i can get them out somehow without taking it out again.

    just one arm is wedged between the coil and the lower a-arm.
    and just one arm is stuck on one of the upper coils buts hard to reach. ive been hammering away at it but no luck, i was tired after i got it in there.

    either way, its in there, and the other side better be easier.
  26. graveyardsledder
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 294


    Those springs bite hard, I broke two bones in my hand and I was using one of the high end spring tamer.
  27. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    me too ,I hate them.I always do them with a 1/2 inch ratchet and socket though,,,,
  28. TheMonkey
    Joined: May 11, 2008
    Posts: 312

    from MN

    Second sides always go easier :)

    Are your ball joints secured and spring extended to try to get tool out?

    Jack car up by frame until wheel is off ground or a-arms hang to get full extension while installed to try to get tool out.

    If that's not enough, and you have full weight in car... Block frame up high, put floor jack under lower a-arm, jack up just a bit to relieve pressure from bj, disconnect ball joint, slowly and carefully lower a-arm to extend spring further (but not so much the angle won't seat spring). This will give you more extension to get tool out. reverse procedure.

    If that doesn't work, cut the tool out?

    Waiver: I am not a pro, this is just a stranger on the internet saying what he would do. At your own risk please. Dangerous stuff. Maybe call a pro over?
  29. easyissy
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 133


    Ya, samething happened to me. I used a big tire iron to pry it out but be careful!
  30. Blackmaria60
    Joined: Apr 30, 2008
    Posts: 532


    This sounds like a great idea! Getting the springs back in my '55 and the two hooks on one end won't stay straight - the hooks are all the same length...thought they were supposed to be offset for the coil angle?
    Anyway, I'm gonna run home and try this out....

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