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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Q: Can you give me a recommendation on spring compressors?

Hi:
I'm looking at removing springs on this project car and while I've read up on the proper technique online -- my "knowledge" of what to do is purely academic.


In general, it looks like there are two kinds of spring compression tools. Can you guys give me an idea as to which style works better on the stock thunderbird/SC spring setup?

First off, there seems to be this kind:

http://www.harborfreight.com/macpher...source=linking

Next up, theres this kind



Q: I'm guessing the first one can be used with the metal "poles" outside the spring so that one would have less clearance issues but which ones have you guys used in the past and do you have any other tips I should look out for besides ("Don't get hit by the spring"?)

Thanks,
-g

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:51 PM
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The second one won't work on the front, due to the coil over shock design.

My BIGGEST suggestion is to let the weight of the car do most of the compression, use those more to hold the springs compressed than anything.

Well, actually, that's my second one - my FIRST one is, "Don't get hit by the springs"

RwP
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 04:24 PM
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 04:48 PM
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wall mount

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
The second one won't work on the front, due to the coil over shock design.

My BIGGEST suggestion is to let the weight of the car do most of the compression, use those more to hold the springs compressed than anything.

Well, actually, that's my second one - my FIRST one is, "Don't get hit by the springs"

RwP
Thanks, this is the kind of tbird specific knowledge I need.
As for the wall mount suggestion, that might not be feasible if I'm trying to pull these springs off a junkyard car.
-g

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 05:22 PM
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Front or rear? If front pay the 20 bucks a shop with a wall mount will change to do it. If rear, then obviously a wall mounted is not required or possible.

I have seen how much force the fronts have as compressed they are when mounted to the shock, and no way I would do it any other way. The rears? once I got the spindle disconnected and it drooping, one side pretty much just fell out, the other side I had to kick to get free, not sure why, but not much force on them. I also was able to get the factory ones back in, and later the lowering springs in, without compressing them.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 07:09 PM
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Branick,Branick,or Branick. Otherwise expect to get your skull mashed in when a cheap compressor breaks and the spring comes flying out.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
As for the wall mount suggestion, that might not be feasible if I'm trying to pull these springs off a junkyard car.
-g
Take them with the shocks.

It's cheap insurance to allow someone with the wall mount to compress them for you to remove them and mount them like you want.

RwP
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 11:13 AM
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I have removed a set of rear springs in the junkyard without a jack (they dont let you bring your own floor jacks because they think its dangerous). First, loosen the rear lower control arm bolts to frame. Next, unhook all of the knuckle to lower rear control arm bolts. After this, the only thing holding up the spring is the shock bolt. You can remove it at the bottom like we did and turn your face the other way. In hindsight, the safer way is to get in the trunk and take the shock loose at the top. I think we also had to kick the rear arms down to get the springs all the way out.

On the fronts, we took the whole shock and it was easy. They just charge you for a "strut" when you check out. I suppose if you had something that could turn sockets very quickly, you could unhook the bottom front shock bolt and get on top under the hood. Leave the 3 nuts that hold the shock mount alone, but remove the center nut, this would totally decompress the spring and let things come apart. Hopefully you can work it out no problem. I think you can because the first time I ever put shocks on a 89 t-bird when I was very young, the front springs never left the car. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, this could be bad mmkay? Dont have anyone near the bottom when you unbolt this, just for safety's sake.

At the shop I use nothing but a wall mounted compressor on all struts and shocks with springs on them. Very very rarely I will use the others pictured above, but almost never. I always get scared using the ones at the top and I have seen things get a little hairy with them. For example, they are working great, then one of them pops off. The spring is totally bowed now and you cant get a wrench on the compressor that stayed put, lol. Hope this helps

-Rob
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
I have removed a set of rear springs in the junkyard without a jack (they dont let you bring your own floor jacks because they think its dangerous). First, loosen the rear lower control arm bolts to frame. Next, unhook all of the knuckle to lower rear control arm bolts. After this, the only thing holding up the spring is the shock bolt. You can remove it at the bottom like we did and turn your face the other way. In hindsight, the safer way is to get in the trunk and take the shock loose at the top. I think we also had to kick the rear arms down to get the springs all the way out.

On the fronts, we took the whole shock and it was easy. They just charge you for a "strut" when you check out. I suppose if you had something that could turn sockets very quickly, you could unhook the bottom front shock bolt and get on top under the hood. Leave the 3 nuts that hold the shock mount alone, but remove the center nut, this would totally decompress the spring and let things come apart. Hopefully you can work it out no problem. I think you can because the first time I ever put shocks on a 89 t-bird when I was very young, the front springs never left the car. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, this could be bad mmkay? Dont have anyone near the bottom when you unbolt this, just for safety's sake.

At the shop I use nothing but a wall mounted compressor on all struts and shocks with springs on them. Very very rarely I will use the others pictured above, but almost never. I always get scared using the ones at the top and I have seen things get a little hairy with them. For example, they are working great, then one of them pops off. The spring is totally bowed now and you cant get a wrench on the compressor that stayed put, lol. Hope this helps
Thanks for the tip.
We got the front springs off w/ a bit of work but were unsuccessful (and too cold as it was <50F and raining pretty card) in getting the rears off.

I believe the trick is that we didn't
a) loosen the rear lower control arm bolts to frame. Next
or
b) unhook all of the knuckle to lower rear control arm bolts

On one side, we left the LCA with the LCA connected to the frame and the knuckle connected to the LCA bolt (I believe this is at the upper part of the LCA) but with the shock disconnected.
Q: Any suggestions on how to fix this situation.
I'm guessing we will need to use more than 2 spring compressors to securely hold that spring together (it's was kinda bowing out on one side more than the other) and just disconnect the knuckle->LCA bolt.

On the other side, we'll definitely heed your advice.

Q: Is there a trick to getting the front sway bar off of a car? We got the sway bar disconnected and unscrewed out of the brackets but couldn't feel it out of the car -- it seemed like the crank pulley and the intercooler piping got in the way.


Regards,
-g

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 08:53 AM
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I've got a set of my own like you pictured first. Never had an issue with them but they still make me nervous, just cuz of the nature of the project.

My friend has a set of Craftsman compressors that he got at Sears. They have small pins that won't let them come off of the spring.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTBird93 View Post
I've got a set of my own like you pictured first. Never had an issue with them but they still make me nervous, just cuz of the nature of the project.

My friend has a set of Craftsman compressors that he got at Sears. They have small pins that won't let them come off of the spring.

These are the exact same style of spring compressors Autozone will loan you for free. the beefiness of the metal ends made it hard to get around some of the coils but they worked for the fronts.

My plan is to buy a set of the first ones above (HF sells them for $15 - coupons) and use them in conjunction with the ones from Autozone.

I don't plan on launching a spring at my chest.

-g

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 10:42 AM
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I would not use those, that pin will shear off in a heartbeat if there is not a solid hold on the spring. Those do not look solid enough to compress the spring without MAJOR flex in the hardware. I have a set of OTC (huge) spring compressors, they would be 10 times more stable than what is pictured above, and I'm still very cautious about using them vs. a wallmount.

edit: these look alot like the compressors I have, but given the large costs it is probably cheaper to just have the local dealer use the wallmount hydraulic unit. (and safer)

I plan to try these out but I have not actually use them yet, so caveat emptor! be safe!

http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CB8Q8gIwAA#

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:23 AM
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For the fronts it is well worth it to pay a shop to do it. Much safer and cheaper than buying any kind of compressor.
I also would not mess with junkyard springs, new ones aren't that expensive. I don't see sense in instaling springs that already have 100k or more on them.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:46 AM
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i would only use the compressors you would get from HF or AutoZone on a no strut style spring i.e. a lot less pressure i used them to compress my lift springs on my Jeep and worked ok kinda hairy though would deff. fork over and have a shop use the wall mount
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtyd0g View Post
Branick,Branick,or Branick. Otherwise expect to get your skull mashed in when a cheap compressor breaks and the spring comes flying out.
Alan
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffTBird93 View Post
I've got a set of my own like you pictured first. Never had an issue with them but they still make me nervous, just cuz of the nature of the project.

My friend has a set of Craftsman compressors that he got at Sears. They have small pins that won't let them come off of the spring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teeps View Post
I would not use those, that pin will shear off in a heartbeat if there is not a solid hold on the spring. Those do not look solid enough to compress the spring without MAJOR flex in the hardware. I have a set of OTC (huge) spring compressors, they would be 10 times more stable than what is pictured above, and I'm still very cautious about using them vs. a wallmount.

edit: these look alot like the compressors I have, but given the large costs it is probably cheaper to just have the local dealer use the wallmount hydraulic unit. (and safer)

I have the larger OTC version as well, and while I have done sport springs with them, there's no way I would ever do sport springs with them again.

They bend like a banana; and it's ~3/4" hardened steel.

I count rebuilding those shocks as one of the most dangerous things I've ever done, and I've done some crazy **** over the years...

Take them to someone with a machine.

If something breaks, whatever is in the way will be gone, or severely broken.

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