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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

Just looking for opinions / advice. I'm doing a complete front suspension install on my 69. I've started on the passenger side first. I have the new UCA & LCA and tie rod installed on the spindle & the ball joints are all torqued. The strut rod is installed and torqued to the LCA but only hand tightened to the frame and the LCA to frame bolt is only hand tightened

When installing new coil spring do you guys compress the new spring off the car and then install it or do you compress the spring with a plate on the top of shock tower with the tool going trough the shock tower?

Seems like it would be easier compressing it out of the car.

Love to hear how you guys do this. I searched some but didn't find a lot on techniques just on tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hi All

Just looking for opinions / advice. I'm doing a complete front suspension install on my 69. I've started on the passenger side first. I have the new UCA & LCA and tie rod installed on the spindle & the ball joints are all torqued. The strut rod is installed and torqued to the LCA but only hand tightened to the frame and the LCA to frame bolt is only hand tightened

When installing new coil spring do you guys compress the new spring off the car and then install it or do you compress the spring with a plate on the top of shock tower with the tool going trough the shock tower?

Seems like it would be easier compressing it out of the car.

Love to hear how you guys do this. I searched some but didn't find a lot on techniques just on tools.
Should note that I put new suspension on my 68 about 3 years ago but I did the method of installing the springs with the tool through the shock tower and it was such a PITA that I was wondering if it's easier out of the car.
 

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I do it outside the car and hold my breath while installing. The tool I have works best that way. My coil spring compressor is the kind w/ 4 hooks that go inside the spring to compress. I have not tried the kind you can rent with the flat plate and hooks. I hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do it outside the car and hold my breath while installing. The tool I have works best that way. My coil spring compressor is the kind w/ 4 hooks that go inside the spring to compress. I have not tried the kind you can rent with the flat plate and hooks. I hope this helps
i have several types but I do have the one your describing as well. I think I'm going to give this a try.
 

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Depends on which type of spring compressor you have. I like using the one that utilizes the lower spring saddle (perch) and goes up through the shock tower and compressing the spring in place.
 

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I was looking for a picture to show you.

Maladazeo got it! that is similar to my compressor with modification.
 

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Depends on which type of spring compressor you have. I like using the one that utilizes the lower spring saddle (perch) and goes up through the shock tower and compressing the spring in place.
This ^^^^^

You really don't have an option. Whatever the tool was designed for is the way you'll be doing it. The hook type compressor is effective, but more dangerous. Having tried both type, I prefer the type Bartl is referencing.

Z
 

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I use the one like maladezo showed. It's one of my least favorite tasks. I think I would prefer the one ToneMT posted. I always have a hard time getting the right leverage on the compressor out of the car. And then there is the issue with not getting the hooks just right and the spring starts compressing more on one side than the other. Also, progressive springs don't like the hook style since the compression is tighter on the top, pinching the hooks. I don't have a ton of experience, but enough to know the tool I have is not ideal.
 

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I recently used the one I showed above for 720's. Piece of cake, very safe. Just be careful to position the hooks adjacent to one another. Now my homemede two piece tool was scary. The AutoZone loaner was not workable, too tight plates. Don't sucker into buying that type.
 

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I've always used the style with the fork on the bottom and hooks on the top and it's worked well for me. You do have to make sure the hooks are centered right which is a problem as has been mentioned. I've never tried the original style compressor.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One word...... UGH!! :crying:

I just spent an unsuccessful 2 hours trying to get this darn coil spring in. I don't understand what's wrong. I know I didn't have this problem on my 68 several years ago.

I tried compressing the spring out of the car and while I got close to the compression I needed I just couldn't go farther or I was too paranoid, one of the two.

I have 11-3/4" from the rear spring perch saddle (the one with the tab) to the under side of the shock tower where the collar on the shock tower slips inside the spring. My springs are ~17" uncompressed (held them up next to the old spring they are the same length) but when I compress my spring I can only get it compressed down to about 12-1/2" out of the car. I've tried the 4 hook inner coils spring compressor with not much luck and I had the most success with my OTC coil spring compressor.

I have even loosened the upper ball joint and broke it free from the spindle so I can get the UCA down slight farther but that didn't help much.

I have not tried installing it yet compressing the spring in the car (through the shock tower). I needed to step away tonight to think about this more and ask some questions.

what am I doing wrong? Should I think about cutting 1/2 a coil off the spring? Would that help any? This is all Moog stock replacement parts and when compared to the OEM parts I took off they are identical for the most part so I'm not sure what's going on. Could just be needing to take a step back and come back to it in a couple days.

Thanks all.
 

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Yeah, new springs are scary when using the "widow maker" style compressor like we both have.....out on the floor,I put my foot on it and used my impact gun to crank that thing down tight when trying to reinstall it....that went well, then faith took over as I picked it up and slid it into position in the tower and rollerized spring perch....then backed off the nut with the impact as well............I think I am going to get that Tommyzees one shown on the ebay link for the next time...I already put the ad on the fridge explaining what a nice fathers day gift this would make if the 5 kids and wife want to pool some resources! Good luck, hope you live and are not maimed or damage the car on this 2nd day attempt!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thinking about this some last night when I couldn't sleep trying to figure out how I'm going to do this, on round two I'm going to separate the UCA from the spindle all together, move the spindle out of the way, drop the UCA as far as it can go against the frame rail and then do the compressor through the shock tower method.

Once compressed enough where the spring can sit in the perch I'm going to bring the UCA upput a chunk of 2x4 between the UCA and frame and release some of the transition. Then I'll reconnect the spindle.

With this method at least the spring is already started in the car. I'm going to attach a chain through the spring and secure it to the car in case it gets away to prevent it from flying into me or across the room.

After last night knowing how much I compressed the spring out of the car, I know the OTC spring compressor is pretty secure but I'm all for additional safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
SUCCESS!! :grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2::grin2:

The compressing the spring in the car method worked best for me. I am by no means saying you can't or shouldn't try compressing it out of the car, it just didn't work for me or perhaps it may have worked if I was ballsy enough to compress the spring down the last 1/2" I needed but already being compressed from 17" down to 12" I was too worried the darn thing would let loose and I didn't feel like being in front of a loaded coil spring moving at an unGodly speed ricocheting around the garage.

As far as tools. I have the older type inner 4 hook style spring compressor that I just have never been comfortable with. I had success using it on my 68 but at that point in time the engine was out of the car so that makes a huge difference putting in springs.

I used my OTC 7045B compressor for this one that worked awesome. It's reliable, strong, and I have high confidence in it.

As far a technique. I found (again this is what worked for me, not saying it will work for everyone) that if I had the UCA completely free from the spindle and swung it down as low as possible on the frame rail it gave me enough room to compress the spring through the shock tower where I could rest the back of the spring on the spring perch and then lift up un the UCA with a bottle jack (I decided against the block of wood), so I could reconnect the UCA to the spindle and then release the tension on the spring. Once I installed the shock I breathed a sigh of relief knowing even if the spring let loose it was contained in the shock tower.

I thought perhaps this was just dumb luck on the passenger side but I applied what I learned to the driver's side using the same technique and it went quicker and as smoothly.

I still need to put the shock tower covers back on and hook up the tie rods but for the most part it's together so now I can move on to replacing the steering box and then aligning the old gal.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that my curb height only increase by ~3/4" in the front which I can live with. Not to mention in time it will settle some. With the new leaf springs & shock in the back too the curb height also increased around ~3/4 so at least it's even. I just didn't want this thing looking like a 4 wheel drive.

As far as components used. Everything in the front was all Moog parts. the leaf springs in the back are Eaton, and the shocks are KYB gas adjust.

Looking forward to seeing the ride difference from all new suspension and steering.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After all that, I think a picture of ride height is in order.
Agree......I'll send a picture of ride height after the rest of the stuff (steering box & alignment) is done and it's on the ground verses up in the air on the lift.

I'm looking forward to doing my own alignment but then again a little hesitant.
 
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