How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 5:23 AM Thread Starter
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How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

I did a forum search on coil springs, and now I'm really nervous about messing with those springs after reading quotes such as the following...
Quote:
Serious injury or death can occur when a coil spring suddenly unleashes tension.
Quote:
Be careful, use the spring compressor...I've seen the aftermath of one that went through a cinder block wall.
I was all set to re-do the front end and replace the coil springs since I have the entire front clip removed and everything is easy to get to. Now, I'm not so sure.

A spring going "through a cinder block wall"..."serious injury"..."death."
Hell, how dangerous is this job?

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-Greg
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 5:56 AM
kyle
 
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

its really not that dangerous its easy thy say that cause it could happen and has but its really plan and symple
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 9:08 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Be careful, take your time... you dont need a spring compressor. I guess the dangerous part must be popping the ball joint free from the spindle. Make sure you leave the castle nut on the top of the ball joint, back it off some but keep all the threads engaged. This is what probably keeps the whole thing from exploding in your face.

Once the ball joint and spindle are separated slowly lower the control arm to the ground using a hydraulic jack. You should be able to lower it enough that the spring will be mostly relaxed and under very little compression. At this point it may fall out and roll around on the floor or you may have to tug on it but it will pop right out.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 9:43 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Running and locking a chain through the coils won't hurt either.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 10:05 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

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

reverse procedure to remove.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 10:58 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

When I replace springs [The key word is replace !!! spring] I use my torch and heat them up and they will collapse, no tension, very safe to remove.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 11:14 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

On a danger scale of 1-10, with 10 being getting drunk and showing off with a chain saw, changing the springs is about a 5.

Getting them out is easy, getting them back in is where you want to be most cautious so they don't come out unexpectedly.

Plan to take a good couple hours to get your first one back in if you want to go slow.

A compressor helps both front and rear on a Chevelle for the reinstall. Usually any aftermarket spring, except drag springs, are shorter and easier to install than stockers.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 11:37 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SixActual View Post
Running and locking a chain through the coils won't hurt either.
I usually use a quality ratchet strap..easier to manipulate..
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 11:58 AM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

After reading this, next time I need to get springs changed in either of my Chevelles, I think it will just pay a shop around here $50 an hour to do it

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 12:03 PM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

I used a seriously heavy duty bicycle cable lock. it was about 1/2" diameter cable. slinked right in there and locked it around the frame. no worries. it was not going far for sure that way.

in the end it was like everyone said though. no drama. i went with circle track springs and adjustable spacer for the install, so they were pretty easy to get back in due to shorter height.

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 12:08 PM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Sometimes if I'm going to throw the old springs away, I cut two or three coils with a cutting torch first.

No doubt they can be dangerous but a safety chain will keep them from flying.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 2:39 PM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Well, you could always make a tool like this http://www.elcaminostore.com/product...dept%5Fid=7952 Simple enough.

As suggested - always use a torch on springs that are going to be thrown away and replaced, very easy removal.

Depending on the springs you are installing you may need to use some sort of spring compressor just to get the spring positioned in place. Watch out for the Harbor Freight Chinese made tool. I had one explode on a tall drag spring that I was installing. I had the spring in a vice and I was cinching the internal spring compressor down when it blew apart. I didn't get hurt - but the pieces did fly closely past my head, the spring itself also flew out of the vice.

Be aware and be alert when working on your car. Even simple things you take for granted like jacking up your car: according to the NHTSA ~ 10,000 people a year are injured from cars falling off jacks, jackstands, and hoists.

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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 2:59 PM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

It's amazing how many "home brew" methods are methods are devised to remove coil springs when you can get a spring compressor for $30 that will make removal easy and safe. Lashing them together with straps, rope or other such methods is just asking for trouble. Spend the $30 and save yourself a possible trip to the emergency room. If you don't want to spend the $30, places like Auto Zone loan them out free of charge.

Tom
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 3:59 PM
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

The Harbor Freight tool that blew apart on me looked exactly like the one in the AutoZone link above - beware of Chinese steel alloys on any tool like this. Most of this style of internal spring compressor tool are now made in China. Be sure to properly lube pressure and thread points when using a spring compressor.

Thomas

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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 09, 4:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How Dangerous Is Coil Spring Removal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by figbash
...get a spring compressor for $30 that will make removal easy and safe. Lashing them together with straps, rope or other such methods is just asking for trouble. Spend the $30 and save yourself a possible trip to the emergency room. - Tom
Tom, read the post directly above yours where a guy writes about a spring compressor blowing apart while he was using it.

The only thing that saved that guy a trip to the emergency room was the luck of the draw.

Regards,
-Greg
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