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Removing front springs with out a spring compressor

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,641
3,813
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
Spring compressor are not that expensive. Some parts stores will loan for a refundable deposit.

The springs in the video appear shorter than springs I have installed.

I Would Not try this at home.
 
Like mentioned above, the little time spent to loan a spring compressor from a parts store is worth it - for safety's sake. The compressor also makes installation easier, safer, and reduces the risk of stripping the top nut, or worse, the shock threads.
 
Spring compressors are easy to use, I've needed them 3 times in the past ~18 months and I just rent them from AutoZone. Installed MM CC plates, installed T springs, installed new MM CC stud plate after my Ford dealer stripped it last week :mad:

Make sure you get the compressors with the safety lock thing...the crappy ones can slip off the spring and that's all bad. It happened to my dad when I was little. While changing the springs on his old truck he got his in the face with a spring after one of the clamps slipped off. Luckily it hit him around his eye, but he broken his cheek and forehead bones, luckily no eye damage or worse.

I've always used an impact wrench to tighten the top nut. It's pretty much impossible to get a wrench in there to keep the damper from spinning. Anyone have any tips on how to legitimately torque it down?
 
Well looking at the video while talking to LMR (I'm a good customer) they have been using this method of removing the spring/strut assy. for some time with no issues. The spring tension is released slowly with the jack under the control arm and the strut is still attached to the spindle. Now if you were "installing" tall stock springs then a compressor would be needed to get enough compression to start the strut top nut. There is no problem using an impact when you start the top nut by hand. Without an impact you can't get the top nut very tight as the strut shaft will spin.
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,641
3,813
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
I have used an impact on strut top nut without issue.

You can get away with the method in the video with some springs. Other are likely to bite you.

A good compressor either purchased or borrowed is a good idea. Much cheaper than the deductible on a trip to the ER and or dentist.
 
804
405
Use a spring compressor. Like others have said, you can borrow one from an auto parts store.

Using an impact wrench to remove and install the top nut is fine. But, you need to exercise some caution. When tightening, set the gun on low and hit the nut lightly / quickly a couple of times. Put a strap wrench on the strut shaft if you can. Maximum Motorsports and a couple other vendors I trust recommended this method to me. Grant, however, is right that this is not the best way if you have the right tools to properly torque the fastener by hand.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
mprichar87 said:
Spring compressors are easy to use, I've needed them 3 times in the past ~18 months and I just rent them from AutoZone. Installed MM CC plates, installed T springs, installed new MM CC stud plate after my Ford dealer stripped it last week :mad:

Make sure you get the compressors with the safety lock thing...the crappy ones can slip off the spring and that's all bad. It happened to my dad when I was little. While changing the springs on his old truck he got his in the face with a spring after one of the clamps slipped off. Luckily it hit him around his eye, but he broken his cheek and forehead bones, luckily no eye damage or worse.
Luck is the operative word there. We've all heard stories like that which didn't end well.

I've always used an impact wrench to tighten the top nut. It's pretty much impossible to get a wrench in there to keep the damper from spinning. Anyone have any tips on how to legitimately torque it down?

I use an O2 socket with an outer hex. Hold the hex with a box end, ratcheting if you have them. The shaft is held with a 1/4" drive and 10mm? socket going through the O2 socket.
Final tightening done with a torque wrench...not "torque wrench". ;)
 

captdistraction

GrumpyRacer
1,842
1,472
Phoenix, Az
I've always done it with the jack to lower the strut assembly. On my previous struts at least, I could do a double wrench to tighten the top nut. Its pretty critical from a NVH and wear standpoint to meet the torque spec on that nut. However from the spring side, I've never had an issue where I needed to involve compressors.


That being said, safety is underrated, if you feel you need them use them and don't look back. They're cheap, or free, and are the safest way to do this.
 
What do you guys feel about this type of spring compressor? I used the two-piece when installing my CC plate and they were scary. They let go on my a few times...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/172136151136?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
 
4,389
4,790
I've done it that way a million times, the key is to have the car raised enough so that the spring is completely relaxed prior to removal, however DO NOT us an impact on the center strut nut, especially if it's an adjustable sty;e shock, grab a ratcheting wrench, hold the center shock stud and then crank the nut down down.
 
blacksheep-1 said:
I've done it that way a million times, the key is to have the car raised enough so that the spring is completely relaxed prior to removal, however DO NOT us an impact on the center strut nut, especially if it's an adjustable sty;e shock, grab a ratcheting wrench, hold the center shock stud and then crank the nut down down.

I agree, done it before on other cars & F150 with no issues. But they didn't have the adj strut. I think the top nut is 21mm so I will pick up a ratchet box wrench. From what I read the torque on the strut top nut is 50 ftlbs so I will see if my O2 wrench will work as suggested or maybe find a 21mm crows foot and adj the torque.
 

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