Front Spings - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Front Spings

63 Impala 2 door doing a frame off and am trying to put the front susp. back together.Put all new poly bushings and was going to use my coil springs I took out ,it sat level before and thought it would give the rake I want if they did sag a little.Any ways I can not get these springs to collapse enough to re install and insert with the 2 spring tool's on the outside.Am I missing something here my springs out and standing are 18" long.Any one know what the length of a new spring is?I noticed when I removed these that they were still stuck in the pockets when I removed spindle ,I had to persuade them to pop out Any ideas ?TIA
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 10:20 PM
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You need an internal spring compressor. I borrowed this one from autozone for free. You do need to keep the hooks and fork positioned away from the last coils of the springs (2-3 coils as I recall) so they won't get trapped as you loosen the tension, which puts tension on the uncompressed part where they are (yeah, I had to do it twice on one spring to learn that ). Also, be very careful with these tools, if they fail the spring can do some real damage to you or the car.










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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 11:26 PM
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You are correct even with the spindle removed from the lower control arm the spring usually has to be pried out of the spring socket. They where compressed and wired together with steel bands when new. Spring having been fully compressed was just installed and they then cut the bands to assemble the car on the line. When your garage has to replace an entire assembly plant things can become creative.

I have never worked with your year but an inside coil spring compressors should work.



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Last edited by Big Dave; 06-28-2014 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Recreated Link To Photograph
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I borrowed one like the pic Dave posted and give it a shot tomarrow,I didn't think I could get the ends out of that hole the shock goes through but we will see if I can get er doneThanks for the help.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 07:12 AM
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Word of caution!!!! Use a chain to retain the spring when installing them. The spring is compressed and can fly out of there really fast once released... Utilizing a safety chain is a good practice to prevent this from happening.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msp177 View Post
Word of caution!!!! Use a chain to retain the spring when installing them. The spring is compressed and can fly out of there really fast once released... Utilizing a safety chain is a good practice to prevent this from happening.
When using a chain, I recommend two smaller chains (one on each side) that are not going over the ends of the spring because you have to be able to get the chains out again once the spring is in the pocket.

Also you have to be able to turn (rotate) the spring to get the tail to fit in the slot stamped into the A-arm.



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 09:33 AM
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Good point on the chains...smaller is better in this case. All you need is a strong enough chain to keep the spring close to the pocket in the unlikely event the spring should try to fly out of the pocket. You don't want a spring to hit you or anything else.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Holy crap I tried the spring comp. that Dave showed, not gonna happen,may see if parts house has 1 of those other ones.My body is off frame right now so its not helping any.Yeah I have a coupla chains to help in the install if I ever get there.Had to give up for the night and re-evaluate my plan
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 08:37 AM
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Yes, its pretty tough to install springs on a frame without body weight but, it can be done with the right tools. You'll need to compress the springs fully (as possible) have a floor jack under the lower control arm (just touching) to keep the arm from going down to quickly once you release the spring from the compressor tool. This should allow you to put the spring in place, remove the tool and safety stuff, while the jack will keep it from expanding to quickly....you can slowly lower the lower control arm until you are at max spring expansion. If the frame keeps lifting...call a few big boys in to sit on the frame...body weighs approximately 500 lbs. So, 2 or 3 friends should do it.

Hope this helps.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 09:50 AM
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The one I pictured, worked for me on my 64. As I mentioned, you have to get it attached in the right place so it does not get trapped. I had tried the other kind, but my springs had been powder coated and I could not get a good grip with it.



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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2014, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Got them turds in there finally,I rented the tool that dcairns said he used.collapsed enough to sit in bottom pocket then jacked rest of way.Took a chain around frame and around jack frame went in like a glove.THANKS FOR THE HELP.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 01:27 AM
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This is the exact one I just used.Changed both front coils in about 2-3 hrs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcairns View Post
You need an internal spring compressor. I borrowed this one from autozone for free. You do need to keep the hooks and fork positioned away from the last coils of the springs (2-3 coils as I recall) so they won't get trapped as you loosen the tension, which puts tension on the uncompressed part where they are (yeah, I had to do it twice on one spring to learn that ). Also, be very careful with these tools, if they fail the spring can do some real damage to you or the car.






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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 08:43 PM
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Can someone elaborate on how chains are used as a safety when installing coil springs? I'll be doing this tomorrow and would like to avoid being decapitated by a flying coil spring. Do the chains go over the frame rail and then attach to the spring using hooks, etc. to secure the spring in place? Thanks.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 12:23 PM
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Just loop it through the spring and lower control arm and use a nut and bolt with washers to secure them. It doesn't need to be real tight.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:53 PM
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I've always used 2 steel garage door safety cables with the clamping mechanism holding the ends together. They tend to fit through the shock mount holes easily and come out easily once done. I've been recently wondering if using the nylon coated stuff would prevent any drag marks in my paint should I remove them to quickly.
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