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Front Coil Spring Removal procedure

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sabatona View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29-June-2013 at 2:11PM
Hi all.
Need some advice.
 
I am ready to disassemble the front suspension for cleaning and replacement of the front coil springs and arm bushings.
 
I have a Chiltons manual for the Torino, and here is basically how they say to remove the coil springs:
 
Disconnect the front sway bar and radius rods from the lower control arm
 
Remove shocks
 
Loosen the upper and lower ball joints, but do not remove them from the lower control arm (keep nut on ball joints)
 
Put a jack under the inside of the lower control arm near the center frame pivot bolt.
 
Loosen and remove the lower pivot bolt from the lower control arm.
 
Lower the jack so the arm drops down and relieves pressure from the coil spring
 
It does not say to compress the coil spring, nor does it say to put a safety chain through the assembly, etc.
 
For those of you that have replaced front coils, does this sound like it will work???
 
I would think it would since the Chiltons manual says it will, but I wanted to hear from someone who has actually done it before instead of just trusting the manual......
 
Thanks in advance for the feedback.
 
Len
 
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75GranMan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 75GranMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-June-2013 at 2:38PM
taking it apart is not the problem,installation with the engine out and or the nose off is the problem,Isn't your car disassembled?you need the weight of the car to help compress the spring as you jack it up into place.
John 75Gran Torino 4spd
Tighten it down until it snaps and then back it off a half turn!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-June-2013 at 3:26PM
I had a unique way to do my front springs with a rented spring compressor. First as a warning make sure you have one thick heavy washer. Even the one I had bent.
 
I had the lower hook fitting attached to bottom of the spring. I ran the rod through it and through the hole for the top of the shock absorber. That's why I needed the washer. I cranked it up until I could fit the lower ball joint in and tighten it.    
Chuck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark S. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-June-2013 at 3:40PM
Did my 77 LTD II the way the manual suggested and worked fine. Made me as nervous as hell though.
Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabatona Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-June-2013 at 3:06AM
Thanks all.
Not having enough weight to compress the springs again was not something I considered! Thanks 75GranMan.
 
I just ordered a coil spring compression tool from Auto Zone. Think I will try to compress the spring before removal so I have some control over the energy in the spring. For $50 bucks its not worth the spring poking my eye out or something!
 
If I use the spring compressor it should remove the concern of the car being to light in the front end as I can use the compressor to put the new springs in....
 
Glad to hear that Mark S did it the way the manual states. I think it might be safer if I do it this way with the spring compressor as well.
 
Think I will do a little more thinking it through before I give it a try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legend onirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-June-2013 at 9:51AM
most auto parts stores will let you borrow tools.  I borrowed a spring compressor from o'reillys when I reinstalled mine.  it was just the frame and it was a beast to get back in.  there was no weight on it, I had my 2 kids and my wife stand on the front end to get the spindle bolted back in...  Big smile
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malcolm
1973 gran torino sport (formal)... "Stacy Lynn"
1972 gran torino (formal)... "Mackenzie"
1973 gran torino sport (sportroof)... "Leela"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-July-2013 at 12:18PM
When I did my front suspension, I used an internal spring compressor. I removed the shock, disconnected the front strut arm and separated the spindle from the lower ball joint. I used a floor jack and lowered the spring with ease, not tension as the spring was compressed. I know the ford service manual shows to lower the spring from the back side (at the frame), but I can't see how that can be done with a jack safely. Due to the shape of the control arm, it would be difficult to use a floor jack to lower the arm.
Vince

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sabatona View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabatona Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-July-2013 at 2:58PM
Hi Vince.
I agree, I cannot see how the jack will not kickout and send everyone either running or to the hospital!
I have a buddy that is a suspension specialist, he hopefully will come over this weekend and show me how to remove and reinstall with a spring compressor safely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-July-2013 at 6:16PM
I sorta did what Vince did, but the last 1/2" or so was nudged out with a pry bar, I didn't bother with a compressor. Front control arm IMO has quite a bit of movement in it. That Chilton's method sounds scary. 
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carguy47 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-July-2013 at 5:28AM
I tried the spring compresser, PIA. I ended up using a piece of all-thread (7/8-1"). Welded a nut and heavy washer on one end. Cut and drilled another heavy rectangular washer. Removed the shock. Put the all-thread through the holes and with a floor jack did the compressions and decompressions. I have pics somewhere. Worked well and saved me and if it went, the all-thread kept the spring from shooting out.
You have to build em to drive em!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2013 at 9:42AM
Originally posted by lynchster lynchster wrote:

I had a unique way to do my front springs with a rented spring compressor. First as a warning make sure you have one thick heavy washer. Even the one I had bent.
 
I had the lower hook fitting attached to bottom of the spring. I ran the rod through it and through the hole for the top of the shock absorber. That's why I needed the washer. I cranked it up until I could fit the lower ball joint in and tighten it.    

awesome!
-Billy Conturo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabatona Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-July-2013 at 2:41PM
Hi Guys.
I had a buddy with suspension experience help me remove the front coils.
As was mentioned on this thread, without the motor/tranny in the car the spring tension lifted the frame off the jack stands a few inches when we disconnected the ball joints from the spindles.
We used a spring compression tool to compress the springs before removal.
No surprises or risk, came out just fine.
 
Based on what I know now, I would NEVER recommend trying to remove the coils like the Chiltons manual suggests, unless you have your life insurance paid up....
 
We will compress the new 2" drop coils with the tool before installation. Since they are about 1 1/2 coils shorter, they should go in easier than the old ones came out.
 
Next question:
What is the best method to remove the front control arm bushings?
 
I have new poly bushings that I need to install while I have the suspension off.
 
Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
 
Len
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fordpower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-July-2013 at 11:03PM
Torch,I just did the rears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-July-2013 at 9:25AM
You probably have to reuse the metal shells, so you need to remove the rubber from the shells. This is done either by drilling the rubber (hard and time consuming) or using a torch to break the bond with the rubber and the shell.

I attached some instructions from Energy Suspension that will help you:

Bushing_Replacement.pdf
Vince

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-July-2013 at 1:37PM
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-August-2013 at 11:06PM
I took a video of me doing this


-Billy Conturo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n2fordwagons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-August-2013 at 3:58AM
Originally posted by sabatona sabatona wrote:

Next question:
What is the best method to remove the front control arm bushings?
 
I have new poly bushings that I need to install while I have the suspension off.
 
Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
 
Len
Do you mean lower or upper?  Or both?
 
I rebuilt the front suspension on my '77 LTD II wagon recently.  For the bottoms, I rented a tool from Advance Auto parts for pressing in bushings.  I was able to remove the old bushings with this tool, and re-install the new bushings.  Worked like a charm.  The tops were not so easy.  I ended up having a friend take care of them for me.  He drilled holes around the old rubber, so he could remove everything.  Then used a real press (not a rented tool) to press in the new ones.
 
As far as the coil springs, I didn't use a compressor.  After removing the shock & disconnecting the ball joint, I used a jack to let the lower arm pivot down.  The spring fell right out.  There is a "tunnel" that the covers up the top half of the spring, which holds the spring steady.  I did the reverse to re-install.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Billy C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-August-2013 at 8:16AM
Originally posted by n2fordwagons n2fordwagons wrote:

 
As far as the coil springs, I didn't use a compressor.  After removing the shock & disconnecting the ball joint, I used a jack to let the lower arm pivot down.  The spring fell right out.  There is a "tunnel" that the covers up the top half of the spring, which holds the spring steady.  I did the reverse to re-install.

I think the coils in this Mark V were just too tall to do that.


Edited by Billy C - 08-August-2013 at 8:16AM
-Billy Conturo
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