Having trouble with front spring removal - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kansas City, KS
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Having trouble with front spring removal

In the process of removing and replacing all of my front suspension components on my 66 Biscayne and I'm having some trouble getting the coil spring out. The service manual shows crafting a block and an angled steel piece to support the lower control arm in one place while supporting the other with a jack stand. Seems like the sort of thing you could do with two jacks so that's what I'm trying to do but I'm not having much luck.

When I try to support the inner end of the lower control arm it justs raises the whole car. I tried to remove the upper ball joint retaining nut but it is pretty difficult to turn so it seems like it is still under tension. Could just be that the bolt and nut are hard to turn because of age though.

I was wondering how everyone else went about removing the front coil springs. Supporting the lower control arm or did you use spring compressors or what? Any advice is appreciated. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right so I don't get a face full of control arm or something when I take the nut off.

66' Biscayne 4-door
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:33 AM
 
 
Join Date: May 2012
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This is easier than typing -
Watch this.....

Be very careful - there is a lot of lethal stored energy in a spring.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:56 AM
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You can buy a Snap-On Blue Point MSC2 internal coil spring compressor (Snap-On's lower price point tool not their commercial quality tool) at Amazon.com or Eastwood.com for $29.99. Or you can rent one for thirty bucks at you corner tool rental company. Either way do not use a Chinese import Harbor Freight tool as this is not the time to go cheap.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, that is what I was trying to do with the floor jack. The ball joint nut just felt like it was still under tension so I was a little concerned about proceeding like I said. Must just be siezed up though.

Seemed like it should be that easy since I didn't see how it could still be under tension, but with springs I like to be extra careful so thanks for the assist. I usually check youtube for videos on stuff like this but didn't think to this time. Not sure why the shop manual shows all this extra work when all you need is a floor jack though?

I've used spring compressors when changing the coil springs before on my other, more modern ride BigDave. I usually just rent them since it's not the sort of thing you use often, but the problem is all a lot of the local rental places have are those cheap-o Harbor Freight compressors. Heard stories about those coming loose under tension. Cost one guy I know his windshield, but considering what could have happened I suppose that's not so bad.

66' Biscayne 4-door
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 01:35 PM
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: OK
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Not sure if you found your problem but I wanted to throw a dumb question at you. That should be a castle nut right? Is the cotter pin and any broken peices of cotter pin removed from the nut?

Also, I would not remove the nut until you break the ball joint free.

Using the block the way the manual shows made it easier for me. Be careful, take your time.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 09:00 PM
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Here is how I currently change springs and rebuild front ends since I sold my drive on tandem axle ramp trailer and sold my shop.





I use a chain to lash the car frame to the leg of the crane. I use the crane to raise the lower control arm (or lower it) which can compress or release the pressure on the spring under full control.

With the old trailer I had the car at comfortable work height when it was up on jack stands and I just lashed the car frame to the steel trailer ramp with chains and used a hydraulic bottle jack combined with a Port-a-Power ram.

Big Dave
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