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Old 01-03-2006, 09:09 PM
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69 Torino front coil instalation tips?

I'm at the time I need to reinstall the front springs in my Torino. I remember when I took them out I used a set (2) of spring compressors I borrowed from the auto parts store (I think they were designed for strut replacement). It scared the hell out of me. I'm going to have to try to find a better spring compressor but my real question, mainly because I want to do this job only once, is the painted on marks on the spring go in or out. I made a note on dissassembly but like a lot of things that some time has gone by I lost the note.

You can see the marks on the spring in the pic.
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Last edited by MM in NM; 01-03-2006 at 09:12 PM. Reason: mispelled words
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:45 PM
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The paint marks are there (I believe) to identify the spring capacity, and have nothing to do with orientatation.

Installing those springs isn't too hard as long as the engine is in the vehicle.

Use a LOT of caution and common sense ... and make sure that any body parts that you wish to keep are well out of the way. Use a pry bar to position that lower ball joint stud into the steering knuckle rather than your fingers for example.

Jack the car up high enough that the lower control arm falls far enough that the spring can be placed (with no tension on it) between the upper seat in the shock tower and the lower spring seat on the lower control arm. Looking at the spring seats should tell you where the ends of the coils should go so that they will seat properly.

Letting the car back down will use the vehicle's weight to compress the spring ... just guide the ball joint stud into the spindle as it comes down, and put the nut on. Again, safety is the big concern here. Make sure that the vehicle and the (hydraulic - not bumper) jack are both rock steady before getting down on your hands and knees.

It may be a little safer (or may be nessecary if the engine is out) to design a spring compressor of your own using a 5/8" diameter fine-thread (Grade 8) ready-rod and a couple of pieces of 1/2" thick steel plate. A spring compressor should be fairly easy to use on those shock towers.

Run the ready-rod down through the center of the spring after correctly orienting it. The lower plate should be threaded, and have a nut tightened above it on the rod to lock it in place. The top plate should be drilled (not threaded), with the bottom side of the plate countersunk slightly in order to prevent damage to the threaded rod as it gets "sucked down". Use a couple of heavy-duty flat-washers (Grade 8) above the plate and 2 (Grade 8) nuts. Use a wrench to tighten the lowest of the 2 nuts at the top. As you tighten this nut, the spring will begin to compress. The other nut at the top is there for insurance ... as you tighten the lower nut, periodically follow it down with the "insurance" nut. As that spring compresses ... that first nut bears increasing load and requires more oomph to turn it. The insurance nut is there "JUST IN CASE" the threads in the first nut should fail.

I used the home-built spring compressor method when installing the coil springs into an empty frame this summer.

Best of luck, and play safe!
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:54 PM
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I used the engine weight to do the same thing in my 72 torino when I was a kid. Be extremely careful though. Losing a finger or hand is a strong possibility. I was scared when I did it. Use common sense!
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:18 PM
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When you compress those springs take a piece of wire and and wire them up to something to reduce the chance of them flying off the perches and hitting you. This is just a safety precaution in case if something fails.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:10 AM
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I have two store bought spring compressors that i affectionately refer to as "DEATH TOOLS" because of their propensity to let the springs kinetic energy get loose at the most inopportune times. I only keep them around to lend to people that I don't like. I won't do the engine weight thing. Too much potential for disaster. I made a homemade tool pretty much the same as 66gmc describes and it works 10 times better than the storebought ones. Safer too. Follow his suggestion as far as the Grade 8 hardware, too. One addition to the procedure though, I would grease up the allthread before you use it. Having a nut weld itself to the rod when it has the spring too long to assemble to the a-arm can make a career out of that job. Grade 2 farmer rod like you get at most hardware stores will do that. My first homemade spring compressor did exactly that. I used 5/8" acme thread rod for the next one. Keep it greasy so it goes 'round easy, thats what my pappy told me. onebadmerc has the right idea also about safety wireing it. use big wire. If you do have to use one of the tools with the hooks on it, I would suggest securing the hooks to the spring with some hose clamps. Position them so you can get to them when the spring is installed. That was how I kept mine from flying apart before I went to the threaded rod type. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
I have two store bought spring compressors that i affectionately refer to as "DEATH TOOLS" because of their propensity to let the springs kinetic energy get loose at the most inopportune times. I only keep them around to lend to people that I don't like. I won't do the engine weight thing. Too much potential for disaster. I made a homemade tool pretty much the same as 66gmc describes and it works 10 times better than the storebought ones. Safer too. Follow his suggestion as far as the Grade 8 hardware, too. One addition to the procedure though, I would grease up the allthread before you use it. Having a nut weld itself to the rod when it has the spring too long to assemble to the a-arm can make a career out of that job. Grade 2 farmer rod like you get at most hardware stores will do that. My first homemade spring compressor did exactly that. I used 5/8" acme thread rod for the next one. Keep it greasy so it goes 'round easy, thats what my pappy told me. onebadmerc has the right idea also about safety wireing it. use big wire. If you do have to use one of the tools with the hooks on it, I would suggest securing the hooks to the spring with some hose clamps. Position them so you can get to them when the spring is installed. That was how I kept mine from flying apart before I went to the threaded rod type. Hope this helps.
The grease is a good point, and one that I forgot to mention. I actually used anti-seize.

Funny that you should mention the "Grade 2 farmer rod" ... that was my first attempt, too! It was a good thing that I did use the "insurance nut" on that one... it saved my bacon!

Version II cost me about $50.00 to build, but it was heavy enough to give me a little piece of mind.

The safety wiring idea SOUNDS good, but I wonder about just how effective it might be. How would you keep it tight? Perhaps some kind of ratchet strap might work better?

Like I mentioned earlier ... I prefer to keep myself as clear as possible of that spring while it's compressed, so I'm not sure I'd want to be dinking around with a "safety" wire.

As far as "kinetic energy" goes ... I dunno ... perhaps I'm naive, but I don't see a huge danger of things flying around the garage (other than perhaps those "Death Tool" clamp-on tools) The control arms are bolted to the car,and the spring really doesn't have much travel ... and it's going to want to go DOWN if anywhere.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:12 PM
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Thanks guys. I've got more of an idea of what I need now. I was out working on this thing again today, started the job bending and flaring up some hard lines to run the trans cooler, and thinking about a spring compressor. These are HEAVY Duty springs on this Torino as it's a big block "R" Code car. Came with a 428 Cobra Jet, though now it has a 460 in it. Even with the upper control arm down as far as it will go the springs will need to be compressed at least 2 or 3 inches to fit up in there. I have to go to town tommorow and plan to visit my machine shop buddy and see what he thinks about making a compressor tool.

BTW, after some study the paint marks, at least on the right side, appear to go forward with the open end of the bottom of the spring against the tab on the front of the inside lower spring perch.

If you look at the below pic you can see the lower part of the spring and how much it has to come up to swing up into place.

Now, if I can find an exploded view of how to put these single piston brakes together from a pile of new parts,, I'll be making some progress...
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Old 01-05-2006, 08:13 AM
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in case you've never seen one, here's a pic' of the "standard" spring compressor used on your car ($40? JCWhitney)
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