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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the dilemma.

I want to remove the front springs because the one on the left side is cracked on the bottom coil which causes the car (95 impala) to sag on the left front.

The first problem I have encountered is that the top bolt on the front shock is rusted and it won't budge.

I usually use a spring compressor to remove the springs. I remove the shock, l remove the end-link on the sway bar and then install the spring compressor and get the spring out.

Now I read that you can remove the spring with the shock still there. Just loosen the bottom bolts of the shock and remove the A-arm bolts. Will this work without a big hassle?

I do not want to ruin the bilstein shocks I have on there because they still work fine. Those have been the best shocks ever and don't want to buy new shocks if I don't have to.

The other option is to cut the nut. I don't want to risk messing up the shock threads.
Does PB Blaster work on rusted bolts?

Please does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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I am sure that if you PB blasted them or even ATF and let it sit and then hit it with an impact it would come right off. You could try a shock took as well. I really think that getting in there to try and make a cut would be a pain. As far as removing spring with the shock still in that would be a major pain in the ass to accomplish, unless someone knows how to do it really well.
 

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We get some of the ****tiest cars ( not yours) at the shop all day for lifts and have this same problem.
Jack up the front of the car high enough to clear the arms dropping down and place it on jack stands then place a jack under the lower control arm, but not holding it.
Then loosen the lower balljoint nut and hammer or pickle fork it loose. Once it pops jack up to remove the nut then slowly lower the jack and once the jack is out of the way a pry bar will pop the spring out. Then you can vise grip the shock stud from under the frame and using an impact loosen the nut.
Installation is the same in reverse, set the spring in the frame and then into the lower arm and rotate the spring so the pigtail is to the inside, this will hold it in place as you jack the arm up. Make sure to jack closest to the ball joint or you wont have enough leverage to get it back into the spindle.
Tight b/j nut install shock and swaybar links and your done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think that removing the castle nut from the lower ball joit is OK. I probably would not use a pickle fork on the lower ball joint because that might rip the boot off the ball joint.

On the shock I cannot use a vise grip to hold the shock shaft because it's threaded. The vise grip would damage the threads for thenut tobe removed.The bilstein shock has a hex hole at the top of the shaft where I can insert a hex key to hold the shaft and keep it from turning but the leverage is not great and when the bolt is rusted on the threads it's almost impossible to hold the shaft with the hex key and turn the bolt.
 

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I've lowered a lot of these cars, and there is absolutely no need to remove the top shock nut to remove the spring.
 

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Vise grip the shaft that is under the frame, not the threaded part on top of the nut. If your having trouble holding an allen key try using a hex socket on a socket wrench. Might give you better leverage and hold the wrench and socket wrench pushing away from each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think a 5mm hex socket would work. I did not have one at the time I had a 6mm one. I have been spraying pb blaster on the nut the past couple of days. I'll try it tomorrow with a 5mm hex socket and see if it budges. If not out comes my dremel flexible pen holder with cutting wheel. The nut splitter also sounds good.

Hoe can you hold the shaft under the frame? I can't get to the shaft under the frame. I hope you are not talking about the body of the shock because that would not keep the shaft from spinning.
 

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Who you callin a hoe?!!! LMAO
You can easily get to the shaft once the spring is removed. Its a little tougher but it is possible with the spring still in place to clamp the shock. And im not referring to the body of the shock, just the shaft.
 

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clamp it like this, just put the vise through the spring if its still installed
 

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clamp it like this, just put the vise through the spring if its still installed
all good advice here but be careful doing this as it will chew up the shaft and pretty much ruin the shock. I've done this on shocks that I did not want to re-use and it works well. It usually will spin and you have to tighten up the vise-grips even more to hold it. Between the spinning and the tighter grip, the teeth on the VG's usually chews up the shaft.

If you want to save the shock and the normal shock tool won't hold the shaft to keep it from spinning while you turn the nut, try this...

As others have mentioned, use a nutspliter on the top nut. What I have done in the past is to cut into the nut about 3/4 of the way. Spin the nut around and cut into the other side (180 degress away) about the same amout. This will distort the nut just enough and break up the rust coating on the threads and usually allows you to turn it off pretty easy. If that doesn't work, cut into the nut the rest of the way, just short of it breaking through on both sides. Then use a punch and BFH to hit the top/side of the nut and it should just split in half and fall off. Even if you have to cut into the nut and into the shaft threads a LITTLE, as long as you dont cut into it too deep you should still be able to thread on a new nut without too much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Who you callin a hoe?!!! LMAO
You can easily get to the shaft once the spring is removed. Its a little tougher but it is possible with the spring still in place to clamp the shock. And im not referring to the body of the shock, just the shaft.
Sorry Rockstar I did not mean to call you a Hoe but I'm LMAO too!!!

I get it now you want me to remove the shock's lower bolts and clamp on the shaft. That I think that would ruin the shock shaft from operating smoothly.

I tried to get the nut off today but PB Blaster did not work. So I'll get the nut splitter or the dremel like I said before.

Some of you said I can remove the spring with the shock in place. Do I remove the stabilizer bar end link, loosen the lower ball joint and take the bottom shock bolts off and lower the front control arm. I would have used my spring compressor if I could take out the shock.

The only other problem is that I'm putting back my stock springs on there and they are 1" taller than the ones on there now. Even if I replace the spring I still need to loosen the shock to accommodate the taller stock spring.

The spring on there now has cracked so I am sending them back to the manufacturer to get a new set and they want the old set to analyze.
 

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Some of you said I can remove the spring with the shock in place. Do I remove the stabilizer bar end link, loosen the lower ball joint and take the bottom shock bolts off and lower the front control arm.
Yes.

Even if I replace the spring I still need to loosen the shock to accommodate the taller stock spring.
Huh???:confused: Who told you THAT?
 

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The top nut is torqued to the same spec, regardless of spring height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
OK today I removed broken front sprint and installed the stock spring back in. I had done this exercise back in 2003 when I installed shocks springs and ball joints.

This time I used the suggested method of removing the spring without removing the shock. I did it this way because I did not want to cut the top nut of the shock since it's rusted.
By the way I bought a 5mm hex socked to hold the top of the shock shaft: no dice.

Here were the problem I faced:

1. Separating the lower ball joint turned out to be a huge chore. With the castle nut loosened I proceeded to pound the fork in to separate the ball joint from the wheel spindle. I spent a good hour pounding the **** out of the fork. It finally separated. Maybe I need a bigger 5-10 lb hammer. The regular hammer does not cut it. T

2. Once separated I removed the broken spring with not much force since A. it was broken at the lower coil B. it was 1" shorter than stock. The springs are 800 lb. springs as opposed to the stock ~400 lb. What was hard was holding the control arm open and putting the taller stock spring in. If I had the shock off I could of used my spring compressor and easily put the spring back in. Instead I had to use the stock scissor jack clamped the the control arm as it held it open while I slipped the spring in and then used another jack to push up the control arm. I had a metal rod that I used to push the spring into the control arm and align it with the weep holes of the control arm.

This method is a lot more painful than doing this job with the shock removed. I think I will cut the top nut on the other shock and use the spring compressor.

Update -- so I did the other spring and the job went smoother. This time I bought a 3 lb. hammer to pound the fork. It took 5 hits and the ball joint popped. I decided not to cut the top shock nut and proceeded with the above method. Job done.
 
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