Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed - Chevelle Tech
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  #1  
Old Feb 4th, 09, 9:30 PM
james a larson james a larson is offline
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Question Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I removed the front suspension to install new bushings and ball joints. And now in the process of re-installing control arms, steering knuckle and springs.

Just to test fit,I temporaly installed the lower and upper arms and knuckle. The lower arms were a pain to get in place. So I would like to leave the bolts though the bushings in place.

So whats the best way to install the springs? Any tips or suggestions welcome. I did a search and have read some threads; but they mostly deal with removal. Engine is in car and body is on the frame. Is a spring compressor my only option? Where do I place the end of the springs in the upper and lower pockets? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Feb 4th, 09, 9:48 PM
bbmusclecars427 bbmusclecars427 is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

O.K. John and Keith,here's what I did to make it work...I put the top Hooks (the one w/ the centered threads for the rod) on the 3rd coil from the top of the spring.Then I used a 1/4" thick by 3" wide (it has a 1"center hole)flat washer on the bottom side of the lower control arm "shock hole".I did not ever use the bottom hooks,(the ones w/o the center threads).With the upper hooks and washer in place,I run the long compressing bolt through the washer and threaded it to the upper hooks and started tightening and compressed the spring.This method allowed me to do 2 things...!st was to be able to lift up the spring into the spring hole in the frame,2nd after that,I could attach the upper control arm to the spindel.Once the 2 control arms are attached to the spindel,you can loosen the spring compresser bolt.The spring coils should now be open enough to turn the upper hooks sideways and pull through the coils,or come out through the lower shock hole.(This is why you set the upper hooks on the 3rd coil at the beginning otherwise if you had put the upper hooks at the top..it now would be pinned between the coil and the frame) I posted this several days ago,Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old Feb 4th, 09, 11:21 PM
james a larson james a larson is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

Thanks Howard. I read your response when doing a search. I guess I don't understand it since I've never used a spring compressor or seen one in person or know how it works.
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Old Feb 5th, 09, 12:08 PM
rontoomanyprojects rontoomanyprojects is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

If they are stock springs, no need for a compressor. Insert into the top first, and clock it correctly. Bring up the lower arm and get the jack under the end. Place as far to the outside as possible leaving clearance for the spindle assembly. Especially with the engine and body on, you should not need a compressor. Unless you are trying to install trick springs. They are 4-6" longer and a compressor will definetly help. As you jack up the lower arm, line up the lower ball joint and install nut. TADA
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Old Feb 5th, 09, 5:23 PM
james a larson james a larson is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

Thanks, not sure what you mean by clock it correctly. Not sure these are original springs. There is a number 6402 stamped into the springs. Springs are about 18 1/2" long. There is no way I can get the springs in the upper pocket and also in the pocket of the control arm with the control arm installed without compressing the spring a little bit. This is an SS car, if that makes any difference.
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  #6  
Old Feb 5th, 09, 5:32 PM
Chevelle_Nut Chevelle_Nut is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I have to compress mine to get them in. You can do it, it is just hard to see up in the frame to see if they are seated properly. It is dangerous to feel up in there but that is sometimes the only way to tell. I get a loan a tool from Auto Zone when I do springs. It will fit in through the shock hole in the lower control arm

Look at your Service Manual. You are supposed to put the bottom end of the spring coil between the two small holes in the lower control arm.
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  #7  
Old Feb 5th, 09, 6:00 PM
rontoomanyprojects rontoomanyprojects is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

It will not fit in the upper and lower at the same time. The spring bends too much. As the lower is raised the angle gets better. Get the upper seated correctly first. Clocking the spring as Chevelle Nut mentioned is getting the lower end of the spring to be in the right location in the lower arm. They are difficult to spin after if it is not in correct. If it makes you feel better, you can put a strap on the spring to the frame to hold it as you raise the control arm.
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  #8  
Old Feb 5th, 09, 11:20 PM
james a larson james a larson is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

Thanks, I am pretty inexperienced, so I keep looking in the 66 service manual and nowhere could I find anything about the position of the springs in regard to the 2 little hole; but looking at where the stops are it makes sence. All my book shows is some type of steel tool that you make and use that, doesn't say anything about compressing the spring. Maybe my springs are an aftermarket and thus I need something to compress the spring. I found a number CS6204 as a spring for all 66 chevelles, which the vender says is an aftermaket; but they also say they sell the correct 66 springs. Thanks for the help.
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  #9  
Old Feb 6th, 09, 2:34 PM
g-man65 g-man65 is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

you could always just cut one full coil off ....you'll like the new lowered look, & easy to re-install......if they are possibly original springs, now would be the time for new stock moog springs....very inexpensive .
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  #10  
Old Feb 7th, 09, 11:27 PM
dauber65 dauber65 is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I just "reinstalled' two of my springs today. I had actually done this about a two years ago and wanted to cut a coil to drop the front end. I actually managed to get mine in without a compressor, but I let out a few curse words in the process. I think it really depends on what spring you have. If it doesn't look like its going to fit in the top control arm and the bottom, just rent a compressor tool. They are fairly self explanitory. I think alot of guys can get away with out a compressor because they have short springs or something. I manged to wrestle my lower springs into the control arm pocked with a crowbar (if you like your paint, don't do it). Then I put my floor jack under the ball joint of the LCA. I then jacked it up untill I could get the castle nut of the spindle back on the upper ball joint........... done and done. Once again, if you are struggeling, just rent a spring comprosser. Its free. I should have today, would have saved me a headache.
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  #11  
Old Feb 8th, 09, 10:47 AM
james a larson james a larson is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

Thanks, I live in a small town with no parts store close that rents the compressor; but called a store about 20miles away, they have the compressor, free rent if returned in 48 hrs, so will probably do that. One guy suggested using a come-along to pull the spring in place on the lower arm instead of a pry bar.

I sent a email, to Detroit Springs, which I am told will make springs to original spec, so see what the cost would be and what the overall length would be for original springs. Probably won't hear from them until a workday, like tomorrow or Tuesday.
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  #12  
Old Feb 8th, 09, 11:58 AM
dauber65 dauber65 is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I'm not sure how close my new springs were to orginal. They are big block springs though, which doesn't help at all when attempting to try and set them into place. I cut 1 1/4 coils off yesterday and still had a bear of a time getting them in without a compressor. If I didn't have a compressor last time before I removed a 1 1/4 coils, it would have been impossible. I could maybe see a come along working, but it seems like headache or a disaster in the making. But once you get the spring in the upper and lower control arm pockets, just jack the lower control arm up from under the ball joint. Make sure it is a solid connection, and it should be smooth sailing from there. Be careful.
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  #13  
Old Dec 18th, 12, 8:26 PM
Alcad Alcad is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I borrowed a spring compressor from Autozone - has 2 sets of swinging hooks on a threaded rod. I removed one set of hooks and used the other set with the rod up through the top shock hole. Put the hooks about 2/3 of the way down from the top of the spring - you only need to compress it a little against the top pocket to get the lower arm into place. I had no marks on my new MOOG springs but was told to put the flatter end up. As you swing the lower arm into place use a chain with bottom link through a bolt in the sway bar link hole and a chain link near the other end of the chain on the end of the bolt that holds the upper control arm shafts in place. Put a jack under the lower arm end (remove grease fitting as you will trash it otherwise) and raise it up slowly - tighten the compressor a little and move the top of the chain to keep the chain tight. My car had the engine out so it was a little more difficult but this worked well - just be careful and go slowly until you can get the spindle in place. The chain will prevent an injury as the coil wants to bend and pop out of the lower arm until it is well compressed. The spring hooks will then thread off the rod and fall down through the bottom shock opening. I think I am now a Guru.

Last edited by Alcad; Dec 18th, 12 at 10:14 PM.
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Old Dec 18th, 12, 9:40 PM
carsverboten carsverboten is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I went to a spring shop and had the coils compressed and banded. they were easy to install and very little danger.
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  #15  
Old Dec 18th, 12, 10:15 PM
Alcad Alcad is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Install of Front Coil Spring Needed

I did not even know you could do that. Very cool.
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