Rebuilding the Forum, one thread at a time.
Front coil spring removal and re-install how to. The work was performed on a Fleetwood Brougham but allipes to all B/D bodys. This is the remove spindle method, there are others ways to do it, but in my opinion this is the safer way and least likely to damage something. The other way is to unbolt the lower control arm, i've never done it that way.
First off, apply parking brake, jack up the car so your front wheels are about 3" off the ground, put on jackstands. Leave steering wheel unlocked. Take off wheels (duh), remove the old shocks, unbolt sway bar endlinks, unbolt brake caliper and tie up out of the way. Also remove ABS wheel sensors and tie up out of the way. Pull out the cotter pins from the castle nuts securing the outter tierod end, upper and lower ball joints. When all tear down is done it should look something like this.
This is the ABS wheel speed sensor location, its held in place with a 7mm bolt. If it's stuck in there twist it back and forth and easily pry it out. I guess a better way to remove a seized one would be to remove the rotor and tap it out with a punch.
Break loos the inner tierod first. Loosen the nut but leave it on to help guide the tool and help prevent damage to the threads. This picture is of the lower ball joint but shows the remval tool and the tierod is the same concept.
Place a jack under the lower control arm and apply enough pressure to somewhat compress the spring, but not enough to lift the car off the jackstands. NOw with pressure on the lower control arm break the torque in the upper and lower ball joints. Loosen the nuts but leave it on to help guide the tool and help prevent damage to the threads. Use the front end tools to seperate the upper and lower ball joints.
Remove the spindle and rotor assembly out of the way. Slowly, I repeat slowly, release tension on the floor jack to lower the control arm. Once all tension is released pull the jack out of the way. Use a prybar to un-seat the coil spring from the control arm, you might also have to kick it a few times. NOTE: I tried to use a coil spring compressor but, its not needed and just gets in the way.
There you have it. When re-installing the new springs make the sure the end sits somewhere between these two drain holes, as they are the lowest point in the control arm, to make sure your front end wil be level.
Reinstallation Tips: Make sure the upper end of the replacement coil is fully seated and centered in the upper pocket. If you choose to use the isolators use some good electric tape to take them to the coil so they don't run around on you. Once the upper end of the coil is centered, put the jack under the lower control arm and gently apply pressure as you jack up, begin prying the coil into the lower pocket. Take note on where the end of the coil is going to end up. Once the coilspring is fully seated, continue jacking apply enough pressure to somewhat compress the spring, but not enough to lift the car off the jackstands. Re-install the spindle and everything else.
Torque specs from 1996 Fleetwood FSM
Brake caliper mount bolts, 38 ft lbs
Wheel speed sensor, 71 Inch lbs
Sawaybar endlink, 13 ft lbs
Lower balljoint, 83 ft lbs then align to next slot to allow for cotter pin
Upper balljoint, 61 ft lbs then align to next slot to allow for cotter pin
outer tierod, 35 ft lbs then align to next slot to allow for cotter pin
Shock lower bolts, 18 ft lbs