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coil spring compressor question

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  • Frame/Springs: coil spring compressor question

    Hi All,
    Can I get a recommendation on a good one? Autozone advertises a compressor that goes inside the spring for about $50, with a nice case to store it. I am completely rebuilding the front end of my 60' Lark, also will be installing drop spindles and matching beltech springs on my 78' GMC after Stude is done, so I'm buying one, not renting.

    Thanks in advance for the help
    Dave~

  • #2
    I haven't found a spring compressor that I like. the inside type that your talking about gets hung up and is hard to use to compress the spring then retrieve the tool once you release the tension. I jack the vehicle up enought so that the lower "A" arm will swing out of the way and the spring can then be removed. You will need to utilize a floor jack to lower the "A" arm. Installation of the spring is just the reverse procedure. Place the relaxed spring into position with the A arm swung out of the way then use the floor jack to compressor the spring into position. Just remember the spring has kinetic energy that if released at the wrong time injury or even death could occur. some guys recomment using a chain to keep the spring compressed during removal/install. I cannot deny that using a chain is a good idea I just haven't ever done it that way. If you can find a spring compressor that squeezes the spring from outide the coils I think it would work better.
    Originally posted by lark-o-rama View Post
    Hi All,
    Can I get a recommendation on a good one? Autozone advertises a compressor that goes inside the spring for about $50, with a nice case to store it. I am completely rebuilding the front end of my 60' Lark, also will be installing drop spindles and matching beltech springs on my 78' GMC after Stude is done, so I'm buying one, not renting.

    Thanks in advance for the help
    Dave~

    Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
    53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
    57 SH (project)
    60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

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    • #3
      Remove the shock absorber. Then make a plate for the top and bottom a arms. Then get some good quality half inch ready bolt. That system worked better than I could have imagined when I did my car. I did not have the engine on front clip on my car, so the floor jack method would not work for me.
      1962 Champ

      51 Commander 4 door

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      • #4
        I found an "old school" set at a yard sale for $20, I haven't tried them yet, but they look like they will work just fine, and they are pretty sturdy. I looked at the HF and discount auto store offerings, but those looked pretty cheesy. Ebay probably has some good ones for sale too.

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        • #5
          I use 1" all-thread and use multiple thick washers and double nuts on each end. Believe me, you don't want that spring getting loose from it's compressed state.
          1953 Chev. 210 Convertible, 261 6cyl w/Offy dual intake (But I always did love Studebakers!)
          1995 Dodge/Cummins Pickup, 250 HP, 620 Ft. Lbs. of Torque, ATS trans.
          Robert Rausch

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          • #6
            I just used this one from Auto Zone (rented for 50.00) can buy new one for the same --
            Best one I have ever used for coil springs. Snap On makes one just like it.
            http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=555573_0_0_
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Kdancy; 02-23-2012, 01:33 PM.
            64 Champ long bed V8
            55/53 Studebaker President S/R
            53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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            • #7
              Just put new springs on last weekend.Didn't have any luck with the spring compressor.Went with the "how to"from Bob Johnsons info page.It went very smooth,took about an hour to do both sides.

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              • #8
                Just used the one like Kdancy and it worked fine, with a chain as safety measure. Could'nt do it any other way as body is not on the frame. Bob Fish

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kdancy View Post
                  I just used this one from Auto Zone (rented for 50.00) can buy new one for the same --
                  Best one I have ever used for coil springs. Snap On makes one just like it.
                  http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=555573_0_0_
                  KD

                  Can I assume that when you returned the puller they refunded the $50 so rent was essentially free.

                  Thanks for the post, I know where I'm going to get mine when I pull the front springs off the Avanti later this spring.

                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    I don't believe you can do any better than, using the chain under a floor jack, threaded thru the coil and lynch(sp?) pinned tight. The jack compresses the spring, the chain contains it. Undoing the lower knuckle nut frees the lower arm. You lower the jack and the spring falls out.

                    Here's a link to Ray Ficthorn's site on the procedure

                    http://www.raylinrestoration.com/Tec...uspension.html

                    I've done it quite a few times...
                    64 GT Hawk (K7)
                    1970 Avanti (R3)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                      KD

                      Can I assume that when you returned the puller they refunded the $50 so rent was essentially free.

                      Thanks for the post, I know where I'm going to get mine when I pull the front springs off the Avanti later this spring.

                      Bob
                      That is right!!
                      64 Champ long bed V8
                      55/53 Studebaker President S/R
                      53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kurt View Post
                        Remove the shock absorber. Then make a plate for the top and bottom a arms. Then get some good quality half inch ready bolt. That system worked better than I could have imagined when I did my car. I did not have the engine on front clip on my car, so the floor jack method would not work for me.
                        I use the largest that will fit in the shock bushing hole, and replace it after two cars usage....just to be safe, as allthread is cheap. This is the easiest way to work on a front end, especially if there is no engine weight to help compress the spring.
                        Bez Auto Alchemy
                        573-318-8948
                        http://bezautoalchemy.com


                        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                        • #13
                          It really is easy to do it the way the manual calls it out. Lots of photos and process description here, if anyone's interested.

                          Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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                          • #14
                            Thank You everyone for the input. I appreciate this

                            Dave~

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                            • #15
                              The Auto Zone spring compressor works fine. Follow the shop manual and you'll be just fine.......Don't forget to tape up the 3/4 open end wrench for upper arm nuts

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