Coil spring install help - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Coil spring install help

Not sure what to say other than I just can't get the spring to line up with where it will sit in the LCA... Kind of hard to tell by the picture, but it's not even close.

One thing I'm worried about is that something is aligning differently than when I removed the old arms. When I removed the spring, I could just get the socket on the impact gun onto the top of the spring compressor. But now, trying to install, there's not enough room... It's as the if top of the spring compressor (where the socket goes on) is sitting lower than it was. So I'm having to use the big ratchet and compress the spring by hand rather than using the impact gun (lots of fun).

I'm about 99% sure I have the correct end of the spring going up: the flatter end goes up, right? And I have the end of the spring sitting in the recess area up top.

Maybe I just don't have the spring compressed far enough??

Ideas?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:05 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

I tried doing it the same way as you and was unsuccessful. If your engine is in the car, you can assemble the ball joints, install the spring and use a jack to put the lower control arm into its' seat. Also make sure you have the spring end installed close to the locating hole (1/4" or so hole) in the upper socket in the frame.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:10 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

I'd try repositioning your coil spring compressor so youcan tighten/losen from below. It's been awhile but if I remember right I didn't need to compress reinstalling, swing the a-arm all the way down and pop it in, used a floor jack under the a-arm to bolt to the spindle.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:14 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

Can you drop the lower arm any more ?
I just did new springs in mine a couple weeks ago and the spring popped right in without a compressor but then again I used a hotchkiss lowering spring which was considerably shorter.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Coil spring install help

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Can you drop the lower arm any more ?
I just did new springs in mine a couple weeks ago and the spring popped right in without a compressor but then again I used a hotchkiss lowering spring which was considerably shorter.
Yeah, everything I've read, people say the springs just pop in, but mine aren't even close. I thought for a minute that I might have installed the LCA on the wrong side! But the other one definitely would not line up.

I've got the LCAs as far down as they will go.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:26 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

Can you see up into the upper spring pocket ?
Thats where I had a minor screw up it made quite a difference when I seated the top correctly.
Get some good light up there and have a look you will see what I mean.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 07:46 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

We tried compressing the springs in a spring compressor and banding them to install but they were not compressed enough. Since the sub-frame was out of the car there was no weight to utilize (engine, etc.) to compress. Used the same compressor you have with the stud going through the shock mount hole so the nut was on top of the upper a-arm. Since the frame was painted a close car friend showed me this process along with how to mount and protect the frame by using heavy nylon washers. Note that we used washers smaller in diameter than the shock hardware as some paint is going to get messed up. From your picture the springs will need compressed quite a bit more. The spring was compressed enough to allow the lower a-arm to be raised into position and attached. The trick was making sure the coil was in position in the lower a-arms pocket but the mistake I first was making was not having the coil compressed enough. Just a side note also, you might want do a little cosmetic work on those springs since now is the time when they are out of the car. I like you was having one heck of a time but my friend showed me and we had them installed in no time. Just be careful as there is a tremendous amount of pressure needed to compress those rascals. There is also a hole you can use to help locate the spring in the top pocket but since the spring was compressed into the top pocket the major item was making sure of lower pocket proper install.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Got it in!! The problem was the compressor canting the spring too far out. I just ditched the compressor, lined the bottom o the around into the LCA pocket, and then used the jack to lift the spring into the upper pocket.... So, I guess the lesson is: DITCH THE COMPRESSOR ON INSTALL!

BTW, I know the springs are just awful looking, but I've had the car apart for almost 3 months now, and I'm just ready to get back on the road!

Thanks for the help gents!


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 08:35 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

Yay Zac

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 08:36 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZaCamaro69 View Post
Got it in!! The problem was the compressor canting the spring too far out. I just ditched the compressor, lined the bottom o the around into the LCA pocket, and then used the jack to lift the spring into the upper pocket.... So, I guess the lesson is: DITCH THE COMPRESSOR ON INSTALL!

Thanks for the help gents!


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Zac, for some installs like mine with the sub-frame out the spring compressor is one valuable tool. I too had the issue with the spring canting out but better alignment of the compressor on the spring resolved that.
Glad you got it in!

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I can see how you'd have to have the compressor with the subframe out... And I think my biggest problem researching how to do it was that I kept reading posts where the sub was out... Learning processes are good though!


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 11th, 11, 10:25 PM
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Re: Coil spring install help

glad you got it! Make sure you seat the spring in the upper pocket correctly. I used a drill bit (3/16?) thru the hole in the subframe and rotated the spring until it made contact to make sure they were "clocked" correctly.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 11, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Coil spring install help

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Originally Posted by freezined View Post
glad you got it! Make sure you seat the spring in the upper pocket correctly. I used a drill bit (3/16?) thru the hole in the subframe and rotated the spring until it made contact to make sure they were "clocked" correctly.
That's a clever idea, using the drill bit. I'm pretty sure they're lined up correctly. I managed to contort my neck to the point that I could shine the flashlight up there and see that the little sight hole was just just barely covered.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 11, 08:26 AM
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Re: Coil spring install help

This thread couldn't have come at a better time since I have to install my springs with the subframe out of the car. Thanks for all the tips
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Oct 12th, 11, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Coil spring install help

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Originally Posted by Lous 68 View Post
This thread couldn't have come at a better time since I have to install my springs with the subframe out of the car. Thanks for all the tips
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