Front Coil Spring removal? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 01, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Bloomington, IL USA
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What is the best way to remove the front coil springs without engine in the car? thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 01, 05:40 PM
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are the 1/4 pannels off? some people use a long peice of all-thread, put a nut on the bottom and a nut on the top. this should "contract it" then go from there
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 01, 07:07 PM
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Quarter panels?? Arent the coil springs on the front?

When I did my nephews 67 without the motor. I put the car on stumps, then put a floor jack on the lower ball joint. Then loosened it, but left a few threads on it. Lowered the jack so it was off the ball joint about a inch.

Then hit it with a hammer to get it loose. Then dropped the jack out. Lifted the car and the spring fell out.

When putting it in, I backed my datsun (parts hauler) near the front. Tied the rear bumper to the front bumper hanger on the car and jacked the lower control arm up until the ball joint went into the spindle, with the new spring. And tightened it up.

It sounds like more hell than it actually was. We did put in new ball joints and converted it to disk brakes too. Took us about 6 hours with no power tools or jack stands.

It would have been faster if we didnt have to tear the neighbors wood pile down to find suitable stumps to hold the car up.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 01, 02:13 AM
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Do a search on the subject here at the top, right corner.

Putting some kind of jack under the lower control arm is a very good idea. Just for the sake of control. I would use a spring compressor if you can either make one (very easy) or rent one from an auto parts store. They'll make the removal and installation very easy.
Some people like to wrap a length of chain through the bottom of the spring and around the lower arm just in case the spring lets go and comes flying out. But this shouldn't happen with a proper spring compressor in place.
If you can't or don't use a compressor, putting a floor jack under the arm, then removing the shock and then SLOWELY lowering the jack should get the spring loose. But remember that without an engine in the car or any front sheetmetal on it, this will make the front end very light and the springs tension WILL try to lift the car up in the air! It happened to me. Just be careful man and good luck!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 01, 03:37 AM
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The Chevrolet Chassis Service manual says to use a floor jack under the lower control arm with the frame on jack stands. They show a picture of a triangle shaped wood block between the floor jack and the control arm (I just used a square chunk of 2X4). Then remove the two lower control arm bolts and lower the armslowly allowing the spring to decompress. Then the spring can be removed by pulling it away from the wheel.

I used this method to replace springs before and it worked pretty good. Just make sure the frame is high enough in the air to allow room for full extension of the spring and still have room for the jack underneath.

The engine being removed from the car shouldn't make any difference with this method.

You can also use a similar method by separating the lower ball joint stud from the spindle and taking the spring out through the wheel well. The only problem is that there is not as much control arm travel this way and the spring may still have to be compressed to get it out.

Just be carefull when compressing those springs - wouldn't want you to loose any digits and have to call you stubby. lol
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 01, 04:15 AM
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A way that worked well for me using only a jack and a chain:

Put a floor jack that is already raised about 6 inches under the lower control arm. Wrap a chain UNDER the jack and OVER the upper control arm near the frame. Remove the inner bolts of the lower control arm, not the ball joint nut. Slowly let the jack down.

This way, the pressure was taken off the spring slowly by the hydraulic resistance of the jack and you don't get any sudden surpises. If you don't use the chain, the springs may lift up the car instead of push down the jack (especially with the engine removed). Also, by removing the inner bolts rather than the ball joint nut at first, the arm drops almost straight down rather than swinging down at an angle which can cause the spring to bind or fly out sideways.

This method also works well in reverse when putting the new springs in.

Just one of many techniques!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 01, 04:17 PM
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The jack trick works well, but is chancey without the weight of the motor to assist in preventing the car from "popping up" off the jackstands. If you do this, make sure to chain the spring to the frame to prevent it from flying out. I recommend using a coil spring compressor in all cases for safety's sake, and I STILL chain the spring in in case the compressor pops off. I have seen one of these springs go THROUGH a cinderblock wall using a jack, so I take no more chances.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 01, 03:44 AM
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Tool Aid and KD make a coil spring compressor. It works through the center of the coil. It has a threaded center rod and 4 legs that grab the coil. You tighten the center rod with either a ratchet or impact gun and the legs compress the coil. It's a safe way in removing and installing them. I used KD brand on my car for the B/B springs. We sell them for $63.95. If you want one I'll send out to you for $55.00. No shipping. If you need one give me a call.
If you have our catalogue the Tool Aid brand is at the top of page 23, left side.
Take care.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 01, 05:00 PM
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I just got done taking my springs out and without that engine the car just lifted up. Do it the right way or pay someone else. The coil spring tool can be bought for about $20 and was easy to use.I am waiting to get my brake conv. kit so I can put my new springs back in and will use the tool that was made for the job.
Hope you get it done and have fun!

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