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Installing front coil springs


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Hi, I was wondering if anyone has some tricks on how to make installing the front coil springs easier. The back ones are so easy (especially since my new springs are two inches below stock height). I've been having trouble getting the front ones seated correctly. I was using a pry bar just to get it to seat in the lower A-arm. The coil has to bend on a curve to seat correctly. I'm assuming after I get them seated, I just need to jack the A-arm up till I can get the nut on the ball joint stud. Just wondering if anyone has a trick to make it easier. Well, a trick that doesn't cost a lot of money. Thanks.

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I can't emphasize this enough--get a coil spring compressor!!!!!

Most rental places carry them, and I've rented them for $15 per day. Some auto parts stores loan them out for a refundable deposit.

After renting one three times, I finally bought my own--for a paltry $45 off a Snap-on truck. Or Mac, I don't remember. I've used it several times, too, and I've only had it about five years. It's surprising. Used it on my '54 Buick, my '57 Chevy, the spare frame for my '57, my last Dodge Dakota and my new Dakota.

But the point is this--don't do it without. True, it can be done by putting the spring in place and jacking up the A-arm with a floor jack, using the weight of the car to apply pressure on it, but this way is very dangerous. If you get the spring compressed and it slips or the jack shifts, it can come flying out of the pocket with enough force to bust a cinder block wall, never mind what it will do to your ribs.

For the price, it's not worth the danger. Start calling around, or flag down a tool truck.

I bet the Centurion is going to look Awesome lowered!

-Brad

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After watching a front coil go through a garage door (the steel ones) I would say get yourself a coil spring compressor and make sure its of good quality. Its cheap insurance!!

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It also does no harm to use a safety chain to hold the coil to the lower control are or the upper to keep it in place should you mess up so it does not take out the door or YOU! I have used 5/8 threaded rod in place of the shock absorber to compress the spring and a plate at the bottom across the control arm.

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The autoparts near me, O'reilly's, loaned me one for free. actually you buy it and then return it and get your money back. Thats the way they do it. And I didnt buy the springs there. I also used a safety chain after I compressed the springs. Call me a sissy but that is scary stuff.

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I don't want to go against safety - that should come first always - but I replaced all four springs on our '51 and on the '72 Cadillac we just got without a spring compressor ( and I guess, "lived to talk about it"). I'm pretty sure that I just got lucky that the springs didn't have to curve to be placed correctly - I know that applications vary in wide degrees. I just never had the patience when using a spring compressor (unless I'm doing struts, then I have no choice). Well you can just call me Brute Force Crin from now on ... smile.gif

Kidding aside, what I do is place the car on 4 jack stands and then place my hydraulic jack under the A-frame. Then when I 'pop' the lower ball joint out the spring pressure is supported by the jack which I then lower slowly until all the spring pressure is relieved.

Good luck!

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