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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I was hoping someone could tell me:

a) why the front hubs must be removed before removing the front coil springs?

b) what all the manuals i've read refer to as the "two upper control arm attaching nuts." are these the spring perch/seat screws? if so, why aren't they referred to as such? if not, what are they?

c) what exactly is meant by "swing the control arm outboard (outward?) from the spring tower"? am I alone in making little sense out of this?

thanks.
 

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a) They are big and heavy and easily removed. (?)

b) No. The two big nuts on the shock tower in the engine compartment by the exhaust manifold.

c) I think it will be obvious once you understand b) above.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ahhh! Duh. Thanks. it Does now all make sense!
 

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SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY
Compressed Coil Spring, when uncompressed in an unplanned manor, will take out everything and anyone in their path.

There are 2 large nuts IN THE ENGINE compartment that hold the upper control arm on. The 2 nuts "under" the control arm hold on the spring saddle, and have no real bearing on removing the coil spring.

Convering the coil spring is the coil spring cover. It is held on by about 10 1/2" head bolts in the engine compartment, etc. Removing it exposes the coil spring.

You have to remove the shock to use a coil spring compressor.

Joe Old Man Mechanic will tell you that you can put the car on blocks, remove the 2 nuts holding on the upper control arm, remove the coil spring cover, stick a tanker's bar in the coil, give it a good push, and the whole coil will come flying out. True, and it will take out what it hits also.

GET HELP. READ THE BOOK. Do not stick body parts near the coil. Honestly, it takes me about 15 mintues to pull a coil, and I have done it countless times. To this day, handling a loaded coil, in the compressor, away from the car, still makes me nervous. I ensure it is not pointed at me or something of real value. I am VERY careful about moving it back to car to reinstall it.

Not a hard task, just one that is itching to take out a novice.
 

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You are removing the spring before trying to remove the control arm, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes. i got it all set to go but it got dark & it's not a task I care to undertake w/out proper lighting. I am using the technique used in the ford manual that i have in which the compressor is anchored ON TOP of the shock tower and then the spring is compressed upwards and held there while I remove the control arm. then I will release the compression on the spring and remove it uncompressed so I won't be dealing with a taut coil once it's out of the tower. seems like the safest (and easiest) way to go... once again, thanks to all! some of that "outboard" lingo had me confused, but it's a 40 yr old manual. I removed the hubs/wheels like everyone says, but still don't quite see how leaving them would necessarily hinder the procedure... but when the VMF consensus says "do it," (or don't do it!), I've discovered that it's a damn good idea to follow suit! cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
that's what it looks like to me, but all the manuals, online directives, VMFers (as far as i could tell) all say to remove the hubs. bare in mind i'm just trying to be extra methodical here: also, when using the ford compressor (i.e. blocked from the top of the shock tower and compressing up), it even appears to me that removal of the spring covers is also unnecessary. i already have mine off (along w/ the hubs) but it does seem superfluous.
 

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I've never removed the spring covers, I can see how it would make the process a bit easier, but it is not necessary.

John Harvey
 

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I agree with Johnpro, why remove the hubs, etc?. Remove the shock. Remove the coil cover. Install the coil compressor through the top and compress the coil. It will drop off the perch.
 

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I would put a jack under the lower arm and jack it up, that way you do not have to use the spring compressor as much. I hate that #%$^ing tool, not so much using it, just getting it out after you get the spring in.
 

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The spring compressor in the factory shop manual is not the typical compressor used. The removal process is different depending on which compressor used. The factory compressor seems to complicate the task.
 

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I just used one today. I removed the coil springs from the front of my Fairlane. Shock and cover off, then compress away. Even fully compressed, I still had to pry the spring out with a crow bar. I absolutely hate dealing with coils. I feel like I should be wearing a bullet proof vest, a helmet, and a steel cup.

I love the fact that Auto Zone loans you compressor for free, and for as long as you need it.
 

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fast68back said:
I would put a jack under the lower arm and jack it up, that way you do not have to use the spring compressor as much. I hate that #%$^ing tool, not so much using it, just getting it out after you get the spring in.

I like the above advice. Anything to minimize the amount of action required to compress those nasty springs.
 

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I borrowed the autozone unit once. It was this flat blade thing that slip into the spring and catches the rod. If it is not setup perfect your going to have problems. Scared the hell out of me. The compressors with the hooks look much more reliable/safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i left the spring covers on. it was actually an incredibly simple task. cutting the springs was the most labor intensive situation w/ the tools i had on hand... tore up a LOT of sawzall blades before I used my dremel, then it took about 20 minutes... very happy w/the results. thanks for all the help! (i coulda left the wheels on too, and wouldn't have had to remove my disc brake calipers. no biggie.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
p.s. compressing from the top of the shock tower not only was simple, it made the job a lot safer imho. lining the coil up was a no brainer using that technique.
 
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