Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 09, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

To anyone contemplating removing his front coil springs by himself...
I had never removed coil springs before, but was able to do it properly and safely today with information that I found by searching this forum.

I took photos of the process, and present them here...with step by step instructions...for anyone who is considering doing the job for the first time.

You'll need the front of the car supported by jack stands at the frame, with the wheels removed.
Make sure you have the jack stands extended somewhat high, because you'll need room to remove the springs.

1) First of all, the compressed springs have a lot of energy in them and need to be secured safely for this procedure.
The method I used was to secure the springs to the frame using a heavy duty chain.

I went to Lowes and got two lengths of chain, 3 feet long, and two 3/8 inch bolts with large washers and nuts...




One chain probably would have been sufficient, but I decided to use two chains to secure each spring while I removed it.
Overkill? Probably, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

I threaded each chain through 3 coils of the spring, then wrapped the chain around the frame and secured the ends together with the bolts, washers, and nuts...




2) Next, disconnect this nut and bolt holding the anti-sway bar to the lower control arm. Doing so will allow the lower control arm to fall away free after you have everything loosened...




3) Now, you need to remove the shock absorber. There is one nut on top of it and two small bolts on the bottom of it, beneath the lower control arm.
The end of the shaft on the top of the shock absorber is flattened on each side.



You need to hold that flattened area of the shaft with an adjustable wrench while you loosen the nut with an open end wrench.
If you don't hold the shaft, it will turn while you're turning the nut.
After you have the top nut removed and the two small bolts on the bottom removed, then remove the shock absorber from the bottom.


4) Next, place a hydraulic floor jack beneath the lower control arm.
Line it up so the lifting pad of the jack is just below where the bottom of the spring is setting.
Then, jack it up until the lifting pad of the jack just barely begins to touch the lower control arm...




5) Now, you'll need to remove the cotter pin that holds the castle nut of the ball joint.
Then, loosen the castle nut until it is flush with the end of the bolt.
You can do this on either the upper ball joint or the lower ball joint.
I preferred working with the upper ball joint because it was more accessible, and thus easier to work with.
However, for the purpose of illustration, here's a picture of the lower castle nut (because it was easier to get a picture of)...



6) After the cotter pin is removed and the castle nut is loosened so it is flush with the end of the bolt, use a hammer and a "pickle fork" to break the ball joint free (a "pickle fork" is readily available at most auto parts stores)...




7) After you have broken the ball joint free, then slowly lower the hydraulic jack...thus allowing the spring to decompress.
The spring will not go anywhere because you have it safely secured with the chain...




8) Now, all you have to do is remove the chain and pull the spring out.
If the spring is binding, you may need to jack the frame of the car up higher to give you room to remove it.
This is why you want your jack stands extended pretty high.

9) Here is the spring safely removed, thus allowing one of the family dogs to avail himself of a sniff...



Use common sense and think about what you're doing, and you'll be able to remove your springs safely.

Regards,
-Greg
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 09, 11:49 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Good stuff Greg, oh, whats with the shirt on the dog, is it cold down there.

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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 23rd, 09, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubadub
Good stuff Greg, oh, whats with the shirt on the dog, is it cold down there.
The shirt is my daughter's idea.
But, it has been unseasonably cold down here for the past few days.

Regards,
-Greg


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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 6:01 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Good stuff, Greg. Thanks.
How soon do you plan to get the spring back in the car...I'd like to see your writeup on that?
Tom

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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:09 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Nice write up. When done right removing springs isn't dangerous.

Dan


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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:30 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Greg, very detailed and well explained. Thanks for sharing your work.

Tim
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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:31 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Thank you for the great tutorial!
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:46 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Perfect timing as I'm swapping springs this week and the pictures go a long way!!

Thanks!!!

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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 4:36 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Looks good, that exactly what I did except I used a different method than the pickle fork. There is a post under my name showing the installation. I used a spring compressor and installed with spring mounted in the control arm. Worked great. https://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260085


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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 5:03 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

thanks, the pictures definnitely help, i just finsihed doing mine, seeing this before hand could have really helped, good job with it all

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post #11 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:13 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

I will soon be removing mine for frame painting, my concern is with no motor or transmission, when I jack up the lower a arm, will it just raise the whole car before compressing the spring enough??
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post #12 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 8:36 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by timandkim72 View Post
I will soon be removing mine for frame painting, my concern is with no motor or transmission, when I jack up the lower a arm, will it just raise the whole car before compressing the spring enough??


you bet it will.... that was the scenario i was in a week ago. what i thought of and did was put the car up on jackstands as high as you can (or in my case cinderblocks) put the jack as high as it can go under the lower control arm. now you get a chain and wrap it around the bottom of the floorjack AND the top of the frame. the chain will make it as if the car had the motor and trans in it, and it will allow the jack to compress the spring without the frame going up in the air.. after you remove the castle nut, either hit the knuckle with a sledge hammer or use a fork. once the balljoint pops out, lower the jack slowly until all of the spring pressure is relieved. whe you put the new springs in it will be easier because they are about 2 inches shorter.

the other thing you can do is get some good spring compressors that grab the springs on the side and then they have a threaded rod going through the center that you tighten. with this technique i found that there isnt enough room to get the spring compressors in there.

hope that helps.

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post #13 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 10:08 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Thanks for the info.
I will not be replacing the springs, just pulling everything off for powdercoat.
I did replace all upper/lower balljoints, and did the disc brake conversion,so it has been out a few years ago.
I will try your tip and hope for the best.
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post #14 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 09, 10:13 PM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

good write up

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post #15 of 62 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 09, 5:52 AM
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Re: Spring Removal - Step By Step - With Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by timandkim72 View Post
Thanks for the info.
I will not be replacing the springs, just pulling everything off for powdercoat.
I did replace all upper/lower balljoints, and did the disc brake conversion,so it has been out a few years ago.
I will try your tip and hope for the best.
Powder coating the springs too? Be careful...I have heard of guys damaging their springs after this as the temp required to cure powder (I set my oven at work to 425F) will weaken springs.

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