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Tool tried to kill me...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gromit, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    Bought a new coil compressor yesterday, as the only one I had was for Struts, and a little dodgey

    It loos like this one:

    So it tried to kill me a couple times by reeasing the spring unexpectedly. I had followed the directions (really) didn't use air tools (okay.. I did the first time) but it tried to remove my fingers and if it weren't for the (now dented) fender who knows what else it would have taken a liking to.

    IF you have a compressor, what type do you use? The guy that used to work for me had the plate type, but I haven't been able to find one.
  2. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559


    The potential energy of a spring is massive. The law of conservation of energy states that energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant. When you compress that spring it can have enough potential energy to take your head off. My next question is what are you trying to do with the spring?
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,689

    from California

    that is the same kind I use. never gave me any problems.
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,689

    from California

    "When you compress that spring it can have enough potential energy to take your head off."

    sounds like a good stunt for "Mythbusters". compress a spring with some sort of machine and release it in the direction of someones head and see if thier head actually comes off or just gets severly damaged. they could use that guy on here from the UK who is scamming people in the classifieds.
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  5. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466


    Always wrap a length of chain around the spring and the lower control arm and put a bolt, washers and nut through the links. Just takes a minute.
  6. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210


    Glad it didn't take a finger or kill you! Working with coils freaks me out!!! IMO there is no safe way to compress these but I like these more than others
  7. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,856


  8. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210


    LOL!! Just read about that fool.. Shame!
  9. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    from vail az

    We did one in the early 70's that went through the garage roof then 2 doors down the street. Might a had it compressed a little too much.
  10. BurnoutNova
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 135

    from USA

    Sounds like a bit of an exaggeration... I've seen them do damage but not like a cannon ball!
  11. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    I have the exact same 3450 coil spring compressor. Used it many times (6-10) without failure. I'm always scared to death using it. So the coil gets chained to the lower control arm and several coils get wrapped with braided wire. Oh yeah, I keep a cell phone nearby if I'm doing it alone. Never know. Squintting doesn't help.
  12. harrington
    Joined: Jul 22, 2009
    Posts: 421

    from Indiana

    For standard coil springs I have one like you posted above, have never really had any problems with it. For struts, I pull the whole strut pack out and take them to my buddy Tony's shop, he has a wall mount. I looked on line to try to find a picture of it and couldn't, the only ones I could find were professional style for around $700. His is an old style Mac Tools unit.
  13. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466


    I had one snap about 3/4 of the way down one time while I was in the garage and it sounded like a pistol going off. I peeked around the door and seen a cloud of dust all around the car and I thought what the heck. Looked all around the car till I finally noticed the broken coil spring and I wasn't even doing any spring work to it. All the dust was from the bottom of the car getting jolted so fast and hard.
  14. Ddooce
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 132

    from Memphis Tn

    It wasn't the tool that was trying to kill you - it was the spring!
    I am always amazed that folk think they can restrain - let alone compress - a spring strong enough to support up to half the weight of a vehicle with a single threaded bolt.
    Put a safety chain on every spring - every time - always.
  15. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,895


    I have one like that and even though it hasn't hurt me directly, it has made me hurt myself. I quit using it and use my floor jack and a chain. It is much less dramatic removing and installing springs this way. I hate coil springs!
  16. swissmike
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,283


    Isn't it amazing that the body thinks it can protect itself from a steel projectile with a paper thin flap of skin over the eyes ...haha
  17. I have a similar compressor, never had a problem using it many times. You really have to make sure all 4 hooks are well seated.

  18. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753


    If I am not going to reuse the spring I just take the torch and cut it in a few places. If I am going to reuse it, I chain it like everyone else has recommended.

    I have had a spring compressor let go before and the spring launched itself through the wall of the shop. I was lucky I had the car on a hoist and was underneath the center of the car tightening up the compressor when it let go....
  19. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


  20. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,679


    How do you guys who chain the spring cut coils?
  21. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,169

    from So-Cal

    I have a 6 inch scar going down my wrist from one failing a year or so back.. missed some major arteries by less than a MM.
  22. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,139

    from Austin, TX

    Thatch roof?
  23. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    from Napa, Ca.

    Thats funny right there-
  24. tjmercury
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 589


    Seen one pop out just as the fella working on it turned away. It cut through the fender like butter and proceeded to bounce around the shop like a pinball. Now no matter how expensive of compressor we are using, we ALWAYS Wrap it with a chain.
  25. been using the same spring compressor for 30 years
    i am careful to only squeez it just enough
  26. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210


    It is unbelievable that they sell these cheap a$$ tools under the impression that it can completely compress a 12-13" coil.. Again, I hate doing these!! I imagine compressing a coil 3-4"'s multiplies its weight capacity from roughly1500lbs to 3 to 4 g!
  27. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,395

    from South Indy

    You can get the plate type at Autozone as a loaner tool. STILL everything posted here applies!
  28. You have to be smarter than the machine.
  29. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,389

    from phoenix

    I've used these quite a few times on early novas and just compress the spring enough to wiggle it in or out with the suspension fully extended, not much force. Only problem was figuring out how to get the thing in the spring by turning one hook up and one down. Then getting them positioned correctly after it's in. A little grease on the threads helps too.
  30. jfg455
    Joined: Apr 22, 2011
    Posts: 171

    from NH

    I made two adapters for the top of my trans jack that hits the lower control arm at the pivot bushings or shaft. I leave the ball joint hooked up and drop the inner control arm bolts out. Then I lower the back side down with the jack. If you go in through the ball joint side on most cars the spring is bent. but the rear part will drop farther and straighter. Clear as mud? just my $.02

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