replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way) - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
Chris
 
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replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Quick question, when replacing front coil springs without using a spring compressor and going "the floor jack under the control arm route" do you have to break the ball joins loose or can I avoid having to do that. The rear is easy but the front looks like I could get into a mess since I've never worked on a front suspension set up like this before. (Maybe I'm making that part out to be more difficult than it looks)Would it just be eaiser for me to use the spring compressor ?(which may seem like there are less components to take apart)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 1:27 PM
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Ron
 
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

I always pop the ball joint and lower that way. If the engine is still in, no need for a compressor.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 2:20 PM
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Ryan
 
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

welcome aboard chris...nice car in your picture links...anyway like ron said I always pop the ball joint out and lower it..but if you have never done it like this just make sure to be carefull..we dont want it popping out and hitting you or your car..good luck and keep us informed
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 2:24 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Tie a chain between the spring and lower control arm that way when you take it loose should anything happen the spring won't go anywhere.

I just took mine out that way without the engine in the car. I did have to compress the spring slightly to get it out from the lower control arm even though it was hanging down.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 3:39 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

The factory service manual used a special jig for the jack to support the lower control arm at the inner pivots. Then they removed the bolts from the frame. No ball joint seperation required.

Of course when I tried it their way I found that the bolts were quite rusted or otherwise solid with the bushings. Would have taken more effort to get that out than seperating the ball joint. So I just did it like everybody else and popped the ball joint.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 4:21 PM
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Jonathan
 
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

I would be worried about the bolts releasing and the spring coming out, with the ball joint I feel there is more control as long as you leave the nut on the top part of the threads.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 8:35 PM
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Kevin
 
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

When I changed my springs I popped the ball joint and just left the nut on a few threads. I did use a chain for safety but never really needed it. Once the arm is down the spring is loose in there and will not spring out on you. I was a nervous wreck when I did this but very rewarding in education and self gratitude.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 09, 9:55 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Chris, if you type spring removal in the "Search this Thread" area you will find lots of ways to remove the springs. Here's a few

Removal of spring ( bit long, sorry )

OK. I give up. What's the secret?

Ray

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 8:22 AM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Back when I had my '67 I made a tool like the one shown in the service manual. I popped the lower joint and it worked fine. The engine was in the car. looks like I'll be revisiting that procedure with my newly acquired '68
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 9:03 AM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Chris - I just went through this two weeks before Christmas. I had to change out my original upper & lower control arms as I had found someone over the last 40 years welded a couple of the bushings . My car is a 69 and I had the engine out. I had never done this myself so covered all options for safety by useing spring compressors. There were two sizes at the rental store I used the short ones about 5 to 6 inches long. You do not have to squeeze the spring much and it really helps. When going back in be sure the spring fits in the groove. Also when I used the jack I went under the outside edge of the lower control arm better control & more even lift. My car has the F-41 suspension so the springs were heavy duty but it worked. Hope this helps in a small way good luck. This site is full of very knowledgeable folks willing to help it's a great place to be when you own a Chevelle --tim--
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 1:02 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

If you are not going to reuse the old springs a coil can be cut out releasing all the tension for a very safe and easy removal.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 1:09 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
If you are not going to reuse the old springs a coil can be cut out releasing all the tension for a very safe and easy removal.
I'd be worried about cutting through that spring while it was under tension. At a certain point during the cutting it's going to let go.

Hank

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 1:27 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

It does pop when cut but since it is fully contained it poses no threat. I used a die grinder with a cut off wheel. This spring was removed from a frame with no body or engine weight on it.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 3:31 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally View Post
I'd be worried about cutting through that spring while it was under tension. At a certain point during the cutting it's going to let go.
and make sure you use the spring pressure to pop the balljoint loose before cutting the spring. otherwise you'll have a cut spring you can't get out unless you use a dust boot destroying pickle fork to separate the balljoint.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old Jan 10th, 09, 4:23 PM
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Re: replacing front coil springs (floor jack control arm way)

Good point, I forgot about that step.

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