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Problem reinstalling the front suspension while the car is on a rotissorie.

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  • Problem reinstalling the front suspension while the car is on a rotissorie.

    I have the spring compressed enough to get it into the lower A arm & then jacking up the lower A arm, but the car lifts up and everything goes to H...
    I have the long spring compressor that mounts where the lower end of the shock mounts, but then can't get the spring into the A arm.
    Bill Gildersleeve
    58 hard top & 60 convertible

  • #2
    Wait until your car is painted and off the rotisserie. Follow your Shop Manual as it offers the safest procedure. A spring compressor is NOT needed, in fact it gets in the way. But, the car needs to be on the floor whether it has an engine or not. Engine weight helps but I've reassembled lower arms without an engine. Your lower arms are so long, they act as levers against the coil spring's tension.

    Bill, when you get the car back on jack stands, let us know. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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    • #3
      Dave, the car is all painted. I wanted to do the suspension while it was in the air.
      Bill Gildersleeve
      58 hard top & 60 convertible

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      • #4
        Bill, I appreciate your tenacity but that's simply NOT how it's done. The factory doesn't do it that way, either. I know this isn't the factory but highly skilled engineers at Ford put your Shop Manual together for the safest assembly. I don't need to remind you of the potential energy in a compressed spring. It can kill you before you realize you're dead.

        The upper and lower control arms should have good bushings installed and the bushing bolts still loose enough to turn. The upper arm ball joint should be in the spindle with the nut 'home' but the bumper stop should not be installed until after all the ball joints are tightened. When the car is finally sitting level, I tighten the bushings and install the upper bumpers. If you don't follow this sequence, you will hyper-rotate your urethane bushings and they will fail prematurely.

        Squarebirds do NOT have room for a spring compressor in the perch. Ford never used one either. Get your body up on jack stands with enough height to drop the lower control arm with enough room for a jack (either scissors or a floor jack) under it. Simply put, the lower arm needs to swing down far enough to place the spring (with the spacer on top) into the perch. The bottom end of the spring needs to be seated in the pocket. If something goes wrong during this process, the spring will drive the lower control arm down, safely away from your body.

        Put those compressors away. With the car on stands, follow the procedure in your manual. If the engine is still out, you won't be able to compress the spring far enough to 'nut' the lower ball joint.

        Picture this in your head: I loop a wire rope around the upper control arm, all the way down to the floor and UNDER the floor jack. I use two proper wire rope clamps and make sure the jack and wire rope is centered. Raise the lower arm as far as you can by hand. Crank the jack to raise the lower control arm far enough to get a few threads on the lower joint by hand and tighten the nut. Now, it's safe to ease off on the jack and remove the wire rope.

        I will not put any part of my body in a 'pinch point'. When the ball joints are tight but the jack is still under the lower arm, there should be enough room to install the upper bumper before mounting the tire. - Dave
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

        Comment


        • #5
          Which engine do you have?
          59-430-HT

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          • #6
            390
            Bill Gildersleeve
            58 hard top & 60 convertible

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oldcarnut View Post
              390
              Well, those are supposed to go back together not needing a spring compressor. But on a 430 car with AC springs, there is no way those go in without a spring compressor. My lower control arm was so far down, there was no way for spring to catch edge
              to start seating, as has been suggested above. This is the compressor I used, if it turns out there is no way you can do it without.

              This was with compressor installed, and even then spring barely grabbed edge in control arm.
              I was more worried about spring popping out across the room, then from spring compressor failing.

              20170409_161438.jpg

              20170409_161457.jpg

              20170409_161413.jpg


              59-430-HT

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              • #8
                From what I see, your compressor is only compressing two, maybe 3 coils. Here is what I've found most useful. They are 'old school' and compress most of the coils. sprgcompsmall.JPG

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by partsetal View Post
                  From what I see, your compressor is only compressing two, maybe 3 coils. Here is what I've found most useful. They are 'old school' and compress most of the coils. sprgcompsmall.JPG
                  That's all I needed. And I have those. Once they were in between the coils, and you put coil in place, you could not get those out. The one's I used allow to slide out forks, directly sideways.

                  Coil%20Spring%20Compressor.jpg
                  59-430-HT

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                  • #10
                    --image_19880.jpg
                    This is NUTS. I don't ever recommend anyone do this with the car in the air.
                    Put your jack under the ball joint for maximum leverage, not under the spring perch. - Dave
                    My latest project:
                    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

                    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The beauty of the 'old school' spring compressors that I showed is that once the lover control arm is installed, you dismantle the compressor and remove the components through the hole in the control arm.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i just did this. 430 car. with a plate style spring comprssor. very hard without the motor weight. i used a chain to hold the control arm up after initial compress and reset the compression tool to compress more. finally got the springs in. in about a day

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                          --image_19880.jpg
                          This is NUTS. I don't ever recommend anyone do this with the car in the air.
                          Put your jack under the ball joint for maximum leverage, not under the spring perch. - Dave
                          You do understand with a 4 post lift and a cross jack, you can effectively move the "ground" up to "human" working height?
                          Jack under end of control arm was done (against 4 post runway) but does not help you when lower end of spring will physically
                          not catch an edge to start the seating process (without some kind of spring compressor).

                          It's probably darn near impossible on a rotisserie though, but that is not what I am showing pics of.
                          59-430-HT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by partsetal View Post
                            The beauty of the 'old school' spring compressors that I showed is that once the lover control arm is installed, you dismantle the compressor and remove the components through the hole in the control arm.
                            Maybe your tool is slightly different than mine. No matter what I did, once I got lower spring "seated enough" to feel confident
                            that I could remove compressor. I could not get upper part of tool out from between coils, as they were compressed too much.
                            59-430-HT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I did this a while back on my 430 AC convertible on a body cart, after it was removed from the rotisserie. A friend of mine thought to use a ratchet strap and it worked! You are right, this is something that is dangerous and not recommended to do when it is up in the air with no engine weight. I don't know how else you can do a rotisserie restoration, however, without doing this.

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