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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What type of spring compressor is everyone using?

I thought I heard about one that works through the lower control arm in the shock mount?

I don't do spring work much...but I used an an Advanced Auto rental on my Nova a few months back and feared for my life... cwm6
 

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I've used this KD tools piece for a number of springs.

"KD Tool KD3450 Coil Spring Compressor Length 16 in"
http://tinyurl.com/257gulx
 

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The tool I used looked identical to this.
 

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you CAN just use a jack to slowly decompress the spring but thats only if you're comfortable with it. It is the method I used without any issues, its just a bit more risky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With the lower control arm fully down does the spring come out?

On my Nova I couldn't get the spring in with the lower control arm fully down...something was hanging up...can't remember what..

Maybe it was the ground since I had it on blocks rather than jackstands..
 

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It will come out all the way down but you have to loosen the lower control are mounting bolts to get full extension of the lower control arm, I have never used a spring compressor on the 5 or 6 sets that I have put in, can be a pain, but they will go in :)
 

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you CAN just use a jack to slowly decompress the spring but thats only if you're comfortable with it. It is the method I used without any issues, its just a bit more risky.
Yeah, just drop a pry bar down the shock mount to act as a guard against the spring shooting out...just in case. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, just drop a pry bar down the shock mount to act as a guard against the spring shooting out...just in case. ;)
That's a good idea. I'm looking at that 9C1 spring...it looks pretty hefty and I don't want it coming out at me!!
 

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I've used the KD tool one several times.

9c1 springs suck, lots of coils... LOTS of compression. Putting in aftermarket lowering springs is actually easier. If you plan to junk the 9c1 springs, you can cut them with a recip saw (aka Sawzall). Just do this while the shock is still in. I have done this a few times without issue, saves a TON of time. Pop the lower BJ and away you go.
 

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I've used the KD tool one several times.

9c1 springs suck, lots of coils... LOTS of compression. Putting in aftermarket lowering springs is actually easier. If you plan to junk the 9c1 springs, you can cut them with a recip saw (aka Sawzall). Just do this while the shock is still in. I have done this a few times without issue, saves a TON of time. Pop the lower BJ and away you go.
Jeez.. I thought using a jack to decompress a spring was sketchy. Maybe I'm a little paranoid but cutting on a spring under tension does not sound kosher to me. You obviously have more experience at this than I do (I've done Springs on a handful of cars, including 1 B-Body) so I'm not going to say you shouldn't do it like that, but just what I know about the load on the spring (even jacked up and the control arm dropped down as far as it will go) this method doesn't seem safe in my mind.

That being said, I did have to decompress a small portion of the spring with the jack to get it out, I know he's going to have some fun with those taller/stiffer 9C1 springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cutting actually isn't bad.

I cut my old Nova springs out with an oxy acetylene torch while they were under tension. I used a full face shield and all...springs made some interesting sounds as I cut cwm4 cwm4

Had to cut a few links to get 'em out...but those were old, rusty, 73 Nova springs..
 

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Jeez.. I thought using a jack to decompress a spring was sketchy. Maybe I'm a little paranoid but cutting on a spring under tension does not sound kosher to me. You obviously have more experience at this than I do (I've done Springs on a handful of cars, including 1 B-Body) so I'm not going to say you shouldn't do it like that, but just what I know about the load on the spring (even jacked up and the control arm dropped down as far as it will go) this method doesn't seem safe in my mind.

That being said, I did have to decompress a small portion of the spring with the jack to get it out, I know he's going to have some fun with those taller/stiffer 9C1 springs.
IF you leave the shock in, there's little danger. I watched a guy do it at the boneyard once with a OA torch. No problem. Granted, these guys go LOTS of things most consider unsafe, but the old crusty ones obviously have lived through them all. :)

Cut one coil, it usually relieves all the spring force. Loosen the castle nuts, and give the knuckle a whack to break the wedge on the ball joint (the best way NOT to tear your ball joint boots), and away you go. Take lots of time off the job.
 
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