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  #1  
Old 05-30-2015, 07:21 PM
619Square 619Square is offline
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Default Lower Control Arm + Spring Installation HELP!

Hello All!

I am in need of some advise!!

I am trying to install the lower control arm and spring and am having issues. I am using this spring compressor:

OEM Automotive Tools Coil Spring Compressors 27035


I have it completely maxed out in terms of compression:


But I am having issues with reaching the mounting points on the car:



The coil spring hits the cradle and keeps me from pushing the a-arm into the mounts.

Any ideas on how I can make this work???

One thing I noticed is that the diameter of the old coil spring measures 5-3/8" -VS- 5-5/8" on the new... Could that cause an issue?

Any and all help would be much appreciated!!!!
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2015, 07:43 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Welcome to Squarebirds.org, Jason.
Right off the bat I gotta say, "You need a Shop Manual." In it you will find that spring compressors are NOT used on your front springs at all. The "A" arms are so long, you don't need a spring compressor. Besides as you already found out, there is no room for one.

All the vendors have Shop Manuals for your car at a reasonable price right now. This should be the very first tool you need for your car because it has so many pictures and procedures that are explained very well.

What exactly are you doing? Are you changing bushings, ball joints, springs??? This is the perfect opportunity to do all of that since you have the springs out. The Shop Manual covers this job and it warns not to tighten your bushings until the car is done and level. BTW, the "A" arm bushings should be attached before you put the spring in.

Put your car body high on jack stands so that the wheels are suspended, then use a separate jack under your springs. - Dave
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:57 PM
619Square 619Square is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Welcome to Squarebirds.org, Jason.
Right off the bat I gotta say, "You need a Shop Manual." In it you will find that spring compressors are NOT used on your front springs at all. The "A" arms are so long, you don't need a spring compressor. Besides as you already found out, there is no room for one.

All the vendors have Shop Manuals for your car at a reasonable price right now. This should be the very first tool you need for your car because it has so many pictures and procedures that are explained very well.

What exactly are you doing? Are you changing bushings, ball joints, springs??? This is the perfect opportunity to do all of that since you have the springs out. The Shop Manual covers this job and it warns not to tighten your bushings until the car is done and level. BTW, the "A" arm bushings should be attached before you put the spring in.

Put your car body high on jack stands so that the wheels are suspended, then use a separate jack under your springs. - Dave
Hey Dave,

I have everything out of the car. Including engine and transmission. If I use the shop manual and try and jack the control arm up, the front end goes up. I need to figure out a way to get the front end together w/o the engine in. And yes, I am completely rebuilding the front end!
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2015, 08:18 PM
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You have an interesting problem. Unless you have a couple large friends that can weigh the front of the car down while you jack it up I don't know the answer. I've seen people use a forklift to hold the front of the car down but that seems rather extreme.

John
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2015, 08:38 PM
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It is unusual that you are doing suspension work without the engine. A frame shop would chain the body to the floor to stop it from raising. If you cannot do that, connect all the bushing bolts on one side but don't tighten them yet. Also connect your upper ball joint to the spindle. Set the spring in its perch.

Normally at this point, we would raise the lower arm with a separate jack (like a scissors jack) until the lower ball joint stud enters the bottom spindle taper.

I understand the car body lifts. Can you arrange a wire rope cable loop setup that goes around the top 'A' arm a couple turns and it also continues down to the floor so the jack sits on it?

Just be careful. Use at least two cable clamps when fastening the wire rope ends together and go out as far as you can (like under the ball joint) with your 'sling'. Because the jack is sitting ON the cable, the lower arm will raise as the upper arm descends. You only need enough to pass the ball joint through the spindle and put a nut on it, still you will have a couple hundred pounds of force. Make sure you have a wide base on your jack. The body will not raise with this arrangement. - Dave
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:04 AM
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Yes... I have an interesting problem to say the least. I had another idea pop into my mind this evening... guna try it out tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2015, 10:31 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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Well, did your idea work?
I was going to suggest putting a couple of bags of concrete in the engine compartment. You could of always returned them to Home Depot. I looked up the weight of the engine and found it was tagged about 650 pounds, but that did not include the trans.
Let us know how things worked out.
Nyles
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:56 PM
Ford351c594 Ford351c594 is offline
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I have used ratchet straps to solve this issue. I have done it on several different cars. install both arms, the knuckle on one ball joint and ratchet them together. try to find a hole to put the hooks in or you will hurt yourself.
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:36 PM
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Hello again... Well I got them in!!!(insert happy dance)!

It didn't go as I dreamed up... BUT, after my 276th try (276 try's on the driver side, 1 try on the passenger side... strange how that works! ) I finally came up with a solution that worked for me!
I used my spring compressor on the inside 2/3rds of the spring to compress it down as much as possible. That was awesome because it allowed me to install the spring and spindle with ease. The HUGE problem I had was the spring wedged the spring compressor in place. I couldn't get it out. So I slept on it.. came back and my 'big' idea was to use a come-along attached to the front bumper bracket to force the spring compressor out. It worked. Not ideal. But, it worked!

Anyway... on to the next phase... getting the steering back on!

Thanks to all who helped!! Love the knowledge of this forum!



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Old 06-05-2015, 11:43 PM
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Here is a pic of the "success"... it was an exciting moment for me! lol

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