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  #1  
Old 09-13-2010, 02:19 PM
Rusty Rusty is offline
 
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Default Coil Spring compressor

Anyone have any thoughts on this. Any certain brand tool you would recommens or is there any other way to do this than buying the tool or getting from a shop as a rental?
Thanks
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:19 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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Are you talking about taking it out or putting it back in, or both?

I have seen people re-installing them by compressing the springs with floor jacks under the lower control arm, but the frame needs to be tied down to the floor otherwise the car will jack up because front springs are a lot stiffer then rear ones.

I don't think I would attempt this. I would get a compressor and metal bindings to strap the compressed spring so you can fit it in the frame pocket and thread your ball joint once it is in.

There are several kind of compressors, you have clamps, internal ones and external ones.

External :




Internal :




Clamp style :






I'm still looking for options myself since I'm gonna have to do this in order to restore my control arms and suspension so I'll keep an eye out for this post.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:30 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Actually I took the rearend out and left the springs to the lower control arms. I put the rear back in and put everything together and it looks like the top of the coil moved out of the pocket and I can't seem to get it back in.
I will check and see what tool looks like it will be the easiest to use and go that way.
Thanks again.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:49 PM
palalt palalt is offline
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I've done this job (unfortunately) 3 times on the front of my 65, trying to obtain my desired ride height. Let me offer you some advice.
Using the pictures provided earlier in this thread, notice that the external and clamp type are shown on a strut type spring. I think your only option for front springs on these B Body cars is the "Internal" type.
Notice the blue spacer in the picture. Using something for a spacer is important to keep the compressor center shaft contained within the spring. You do not want the end of that center shaft sticking out the top of the spring too far because you'll never get it to stick through the hole in the upper frame while getting the spring to seat correctly in the top spring seat. Getting the compressed spring to seat in both the upper and lower seats while you jack the lower control arm up can be difficult. The upper spring seat is only shouldered on one side and the spring keeps wanting to move out of position. It can be maddening!!

I started with what I think was the wrong spring in my frontend, causing the control arms to be maxed out and the front end sitting ridiculously high. Then I bought the standard Moog 6084 (I think that was the #), installed them and it was still too high. So I removed them AGAIN and cut a full coil off and reinstalled them. I plan on taking another picture of my car now with the front lowered where I want it and adding it to my 65 Impala thread. It rides better and looks better and doesn't bottom out, and it's dropped pretty low.

Good luck with your spring swap. It's not a fun job so try and do it right the first time. It is very important to install both spring ends correctly in their keyed slots in the control arm. If you have one in the recess correctly and the other side on a higher spot, your car will sit crooked.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:20 PM
dcairns dcairns is offline
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What year are we talking about?

I recently did my 64, and started with an internal compressor, similar to the picture above. It was not up to the task and I could not get it to grip the powder coated spring. When I finally did get it to hang on, it slipped off after an inch of compression . Went to Auto Zone and borrowed their spring comressor (free).



This one worked like a charm. You do need to keep the fork part a few turns up from the bottom otherwise it gets trapped once installed. (yeah I did that the first try ). I liked it so much, I am thinking about buying one. It is made by a company called OEM
http://www.oem-tools.com/products/show/27035


Ecklers also sells a spring compressor for the 58-64 Impalas.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2010, 05:20 PM
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I use the internal one also on front springs after I cut one coil off .
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:42 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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That is some truly excellent input from everyone
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:39 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
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I have rebuilt the front end of many cars a few times over the years:



by using some chain and an engine hoist. (chain the frame and the leg of the engine hoist together and a chain attaches to the A-arm to pick up and compress the spring enough to to bolt the upper ball joint back on).



I used to use a drive on tandem axel ramp trailer with a hydraulic bottle jack and chain but I sold the trailer with my race car, spare motors, and truck when I got out of NHRA racing

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 12-02-2010 at 08:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcairns View Post
What year are we talking about?

I recently did my 64, and started with an internal compressor, similar to the picture above. It was not up to the task and I could not get it to grip the powder coated spring. When I finally did get it to hang on, it slipped off after an inch of compression . Went to Auto Zone and borrowed their spring comressor (free).



This one worked like a charm. You do need to keep the fork part a few turns up from the bottom otherwise it gets trapped once installed. (yeah I did that the first try ). I liked it so much, I am thinking about buying one. It is made by a company called OEM
http://www.oem-tools.com/products/show/27035


Ecklers also sells a spring compressor for the 58-64 Impalas.
I have a 66.
Thanks for all the replys
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:24 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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Just came across this, they are using a compressor 3:45 :

http://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV#p/u/286/FNb3crlBeKY
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2010, 03:40 PM
Michael9040 Michael9040 is offline
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I cannot get the fork to go between the coils. I am afraid if I take a hammer to it, I'll have trouble getting it back out. Any help?
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2010, 05:01 PM
dcairns dcairns is offline
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The coils on my 64 springs had room for the fork part, but you do have to insert it up a few loops from the bottom (3 or 4 as I recall). Likewise the hooks have to be down a few coils as well. This avoids trapping them as the spring compresses.

Is your spring a tighter pitch than this?
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2010, 07:48 AM
Michael9040 Michael9040 is offline
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Thanks for the reply. The suspension on my '65 is a lot different. We only have a narrow window of spring exposure.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:59 PM
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I think the OP was speaking of rear coil springs...
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:25 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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I'm gonna have to do this very soon on the '65.

I'm guessing I could snake the compressor on the spring while it is on the car and compress it, then if the spring seems to be compressed enough for removal, note on wich coils the compressor is holding and re-install the same way no?

This way I would avoid trial and error to find the right way to reinstall without trapping the compressor inside?

also, someone mentionned the importance of the spacer, but I fail to see how it could help in avoiding entrapment of the compressor...
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:29 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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Just found two excellent threads on the subject

PY Forums : http://216.178.81.108/forums/showthr...spring+install

Team Chevelle : http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261939
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:16 PM
1968 Caprice 396 1968 Caprice 396 is offline
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You'll find plenty of suggestions on the internet and all will be different. Bottom line is if you're not experienced with doing this you should find a friend that is and have them help you. B bodies are big heavy cars and R&R front spring jobs should be taken seriously. A 65 Impala lower control arm is much different than a Chevelle so there will be unique challenges. Getting them out isn't as bad as trying to get new ones in.

Scott
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:31 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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Thanks for your input, I understand it's not the easiest job, but I'm still doing research and I was just throwing these links here in case other people find the thread while searching.

I bought a compressor a while back and might go ahead with this next weekend.
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Last edited by Nightcruiser65; 12-29-2010 at 08:55 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2011, 06:36 PM
Nightcruiser65 Nightcruiser65 is offline
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So in the end it cost me a hundred buck to learn that spring compressors are a pain to use. I might still be glad to have it when comes time to re-install it though, but I doubt it.

After trying to compress it with both springs and failing miserably, I tried something else :
One hook on the compressor and a thick plate under the control arm. Managed to get good compression out of this, but no luck getting it out of the spring pocket.

Compressed :



Uncompressed pass side. You can see the difference :



Gave up and rigged the threaded rod with same plate under control arm :



Out in 10 minutes, super slowly and safely, just how I like it :
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2011, 09:52 PM
richards69impala richards69impala is offline
 
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I put a chain around the coil spring and lower control arm when i did it.
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  #21  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:17 PM
richards69impala richards69impala is offline
 
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Could that spacer in the middle pic have the chance of failure under that much tension?
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  #22  
Old 10-23-2011, 10:34 AM
drc409 drc409 is offline
 
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Autozone had/ has(?) a free tool loaner program. You pay for the part; get your money back upon return. No return; you own it. I used this service a lot including a coil spring compressor when restoring my car. Worked great. I also used a safety chain for safety as someone else mentioned. It's a very good idea.
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