(Removing Coil Springs)

Removing front coil springs-

(refreshed occasionally)

Read this thoroughly first!

2-4 jack stands

Floor Jack

2-3 feet of chain with a linch pin ( to thread through the coil spring and under jack to prevent spring from accidentally flying around)

Mechanics wire

Wood shims ( preferably 2X8 squares)

Use extreme caution and care when placing jackstands and supports under the car. You are your best friend in this area

This section applies to cars with V8 engines. Six cylinder cars have lighter springs, but also much lighter engines.

The spring is retained between the lower control arm and the frame rail.

There are multiple ways to do this.

/////// From SDC Forum I'm no professional, but this is how I have done it. I have an old (huge) floor jack that I got from my Dad. I jack up the front of the car and put jack stands under the frame just behind the A frames.
I then lowered the car onto them, My next move was to remove the front wheels. Then I placed the jack under the wide part of the A frame where it bolts to the frame. My next move was to wrap a chain under the jack and over the car frame and then run the jack up to the mounting bar and jack the car back up until the chain is tight. I then remove the four bolts (lower, inner arm pin, Ed.) and lower the jack. The A frame opens up and when the jack is lowered all the way, I can get the old spring out.
I use a pair of coil spring compressors to squish the new spring, put it in place and jack the A frame back up. Just before I get all the way up, I use two punches to align the bolt holes and jack it tight. Then I put one bolt in each side, pull the punches, install the other two bolts and tighten up all four. I then go to the other side and repeat. (You might want to compress the old springs before removal as well).After all is back in place, drive it for a week & then go to the alignment shop. (Duane Miller, Eldridge, Iowa).////////

This is the second method

Parts that you'll be disassembling are; the lower spindle support, mounted on the lower outer trunnion, the wheel spindle, through which the kingpin rotates, the upper trunnion, attached to the upper loop in the kingpin

  • Place the car in a position where you can maneuver a large floor jack into a 90 degree angle with the front wheels
    • Front wheels straight ahead, jack handle pointing to the left or right
  • Place the rear axle up on jackstands, as high as you can go.

  • The target for the front is to get the bottom of the tires somewhere around 6 inches off the ground.
    • This is required to allow the lower A-frame to swing free.

  • After the rear axle is set up, crack the front wheel lug nuts loose. Do NOT remove them

  • Start to raise the front end.
    • You can get the front end to a decent height by jacking at the center of the front crossmember, under the steering bellcrank pin ( Wood block protector in cup ) and placing Jacks under the forward part of the frame, prior to the front wheel arch ( vicinity of the door jambs ). Then, place wood shims (2X8) on top of the blocks, as necessary, to get as much height as possible.

  • Once the front end of the car is up, remove the front wheels

  • Remove the shock absorber

  • Remove the tie-rod from the steering arm

  • Run the chain up through the shock opening in the lower control arm, up through the spring, up through the upper shock opening in in the upper control arm, over towards the engine, down the inside of the frame. Leave about 2 feet of slack and apply the linch pin.
    • This precaution is to prevent the spring from taking a trip across the floor, possibly you with it.

  • At this point, you'll want to wrap two or three turns of some light gauge wire under the spindle, behind the rotor or backing plate and tie it up through the upper outer pin.
    • This will prevent the entire kingpin assembly, needle bearings and all from spilling out when the lower A-arm drops off

  • Remove the cotter pin from the lower kingpin nut and crack the nut loose.

  • Place the floor jack, with a wood protector under the outer edge of the lower control arm shock opening.
    • Leave enough room to remove the nut on the bottom of the kingpin

  • The handle of the jack should be perpendicular to the car direction. (Aimed the same way the steering spindle is)

  • Jack up under the control arm until the spring starts to compress. Do not lift the car off the frame supports. If the car lifts before the control arm starts up, then there isn't enough weight to overcome the spring. ( Add weight to the car)
    • There's only a small area here before the force will start to lift the car. All you need is the control arm to start to move. At this point the jack controls the spring pressure

  • The next move is where you start your "Space walk". Carefully, loosen the nut attaching the lower spindle support to the kingpin.
    • Only loosen a couple turns and observe the lower spindle support as your loosen the nut. If you don't get any space between the nut and the base of its threaded area, or the support appears to drop or the kingpin rises, with the loosening of the nut, then the jack isn't supporting the weight. Stop here and retighten the nut. Go back to the previous paragraph

  • Once the nut is removed, there is nothing holding the spring in, except the weight of the car on the jack. ( and the chain. Aren't you glad you used the chain )

  • If you've left enough room for the A-frame to swing free, just slowly, carefully, lower the jack.
    • At some point where it's almost down, the spring pressure will subside and it will just fall out of the socket. The chain will contain it, in any event

  • NOTE... If the nut loosens, but the lower knockle support doesn't come down, it may be too tight on the spindle to use this method.
    • NOTES:
      Keep an eye on your brake lines as you progress. The length of this hose may be different depending on manufacturer. It may run out of travel and stretch, or.....
      There are aluminum spacers on Avanti II's, used to raise the height of the front end, which may fall out and startle you, plus rubber isolators to prevent squeaks, which should be replaced

      Re-assemble in the reverse order-

  • Alternatively, if the spindle is locked onto the lower knuckle at the large key, then no amount of beating will get it off, so you will have to reinstall the nut and move the floor jack to the inner area of the lower control arm. Support the arm, as close to the pin as possible, with a stout piece of wood. Here,s you will have to remove the lower inner pin fastening bolts and lower the control arm from the inside. This is a bit harder, as you have to work between the jack and the bolts, in a hostile environment. Once the nuts are off, you can start to lower the jack, but spring pressure will force the arm to one side and it may require coaxing to release. The spring won't go anywhere because of the chain though.

    Here's another alternative:...the shop manual way
    I have always done it just like it is shown in the Shop Manual. The hardest
    part is getting the holes aligned for the bolts. I use one of those tapered
    pins with the hook shaped end to align the holes or some very long bolts to
    pull it up to the inner frame.

    If you do it as in the Shop Manual, you have the leverage afforded by the
    length of the control arm. Otherwise you are trying to compress the spring
    with the jack almost directly under the spring. The other advantage of doing
    it like the Shop Manual shows is that if the spring lets go it is going to
    come out toward the car and not toward you. Just make sure your jack pad has
    some raised areas that will fit against the inner control arm shaft and get
    the car high enough that when you let down on the control arm you have
    enough clearance to get it all out.

    Paul Villforth
    The latest chatter on the SDC Forum (Nov 2013)

These pages and programming contained therin are © 1996 - , Bob Johnstone and may not be reproduced without the permission of rfjohnstone at cox.net (Bob Johnstone) All Rights Reserved.
Some technical opinions are my own from experience, other informational data is from online sources with credits when available and while care has been taken to be as accurate as possible, it is offered only as a guide and caution should be exercised in the application of it.