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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to do the 1" drop and rebuild the front end of my '65.
I have a couple of questions about the best way to remove the coil springs. I have the internal spring compressor with spacers.
Someone told me to leave the wheels on the ground, remove the shocks, and begin to compress the springs, then jack the front end up to finish. This maybe makes sense if you are not using an impact wrench, as I imagine that turning the compressor is a chore. Is that better than jacking the front end up first?

Also, are hand wrenches practical to use on a front end rebuild? I am replacing upper and lower arms, idler, tie rod ends, sway bar, shocks, etc. It seems like it would be easy to get carried away with an impact wrench (yep - I am old school)

These coil springs worry me - after all I have been through it would be embarrasing to be taken out by a coil spring.
 

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Cobra6,
I have two mustangs, a 66 GT and a 66 inline 6, and have redone the front ends on both of them and it always scares the devil out of me to work on the springs. I usually jack the front end of the car up and remove the front tires and then the shocks. I use an Eastwood spring compressor and usually have to insert the tool upside down from the top of the car. Then I carefully ratchet down on the spring compressor until the spring begins to clear the perch. I have had luck carefully twisting the spring until the end clears the perch and then I can remove it from the car. Haven't tried leaving the car on the ground and using the spring compressor but it sounds reasonable as it keeps the spring compressed and you have to ratchet less. Then just jack up the car and continue with the compression until the spring clears the perch.

I have a friend that has a tie rod remover and and I tighten it up around each tie rod and give it a whack with the hammer. The connection comes loose easily and I proceed to the next one. I use a different tool on the center link and tighten down on it, whack it with the hammer and it comes loose easily.

The front end on each of the cars I have redone were in pretty bad shape and the new parts make a world of difference in the way it drives. Hope this helps in your project.
 

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I have done all my front suspension work using standard hand tools. Now that I am done with all of it I have a compressor and all the air tools I could want. Go figure.

I resisted beating on the tie rods and picked up a cheapie $6.95 tie rod tool at Harbor Freight. HF is great for cheap tools that you use twice a lifetime!

As for removing the coil springs. That was scary the first time I did it, but it really isn't that big a deal if you take your time and are careful (no need to hurry). Most coil spring compressors are way too long for Mustangs. Check out this link on my site for an idea that worked for me:

http://www.fastbackmustang.com/Projects/CoilSpringInstall.aspx

I have removed mine numerous times (spring change, cut springs to fix height problems, Granada swap, etc.), and always did it with the car off the ground on stands.
 

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One other thing. I might resist using the impact on the coil spring compressor. I am sure alot of people do that, but it goes back to the take your time and be careful. I used a junker torque wrench (for leverage), and an extension. It wasn't that much work to get them off.
 

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I rented a tool from autozone and it did the job after some modifications. It had a fork looking piece on one end that the standard looking j hooks on the other. It was alittle long, so I had to cut a piece of pipe to make it work for the mustang's short springs.

Your right there was a little pucker factor involved once you get them compressed, but all in all not too bad of a job. I changed out the spring perch/saddle bushings so the springs didn't need to come all the way out.

Also I removed the tire and had the car on jack stands. I used a standard ratchet and alot of elbow grease.
 

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I have air tools and I just used hand tools.. Less stuff I have to move out of the way.

Don't use an impact on the spring compressor, just do it by hand.. And I jack up the car to lower the control arm.

Careful when it goes back in.. Mine wasn't sitting right at the top (I didn't know at the time) and then all of a sudden Kablamo! It slammed on around the top of the shock tower. If I had a finger in there.. Well, it would have sucked.

The spring compressor I used was an inside dealeo.. I couldn't insert it normally. if I recall I had to dismantle it and install it in there, or something.. Would have sucked to have had to do that with my finger stuck in the top of the shock tower.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
James - I had already bookmarked your page - but didn't realize it was you who put that together. I have a couple of spacers on my compressor instead of the washers. I also think you can insert the compressor from the bottom and not use the spacers, but I think I will give it a go from the top side.
I need to get an innertube to keep from scratching the new coil springs.

Thanks to everyone for your help.
 

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I do a "modified version" of what that person told you. I put the car on jackstands, remove the tire and the shock. I then put my floor jack under the lower control arm and jack the arm up just to the point that it's ready to lift the car off the jack stand.

Then put your spring compressor on and snug it down. Lower the floor jack and the spring will already be mostly compressed. On a stock spring, it usually only takes a couple more turns on the compressor with a wrench to have the spring out. With drop springs, this is usually enough to remove the spring without ever even turning on the compressor.
 

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The only problem I see w/ turning it upside down is it is much harder to get a wrench on it. Mine required alot of pressure to get the stock ones compressed enough to get them out (hence the usage of the junker torque wrench for leverage). I found it much easier to use from above.

I know a few people that use the technique that JohnPro describes below with good results.

Also, if you use the rubber tubing, just make sure once you get it installed and lightly tensioned that the coils are properly seated around the compressor fingers. I usually take the old junker one off w/o the tubing so I can check it out better, and just use the tubing on the one I am installing (much easier to get it set properly outside the car).

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ZFORCE -
That was a good post - I already bookmarked it. I am glad I don't have to deal with a cracked apron.
BTW - Good pics of the 1" Arning drop.
Your stuff will help when I start my '67 vert - very soon (when I finish my garage)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Johnpro - thanks again for the award-winning tip.

You deserve credit for several items I have worked - I still get compliments on the headliner with no wrinkles.
Sounds like the LCA lift is another winner!
 

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Thank you. Haven't had much time to work on Dirty Harry, but the floor pans are next, and I'll do a similar diary type write up when I do.
 
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