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Old 07-09-2006, 02:20 PM
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busted spring

I just recently busted a front spring on my 82 trans am and I am in need of a replacement, I have a couple in my garage that look the same size, and they are both look alikes. one stand 9 1/2 inches tall. and the other is 9 1/4 inch tall. both have coil thickness of 3/4 of an inch. witch would you put in?

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:49 PM
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the taller spring has sws800a stamped on it, the shorter, powder coated yellow one had no stamp at all. just a dimpple on one end where the spring machine grabbed iti bet. i cleaned alot of clay off of them i think they were dirt racing springs
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Old 07-09-2006, 03:43 PM
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don't use ither as there not matching. spring rates are probably diffrent and they are probably taller/shorter than your car's, bundle this up into 1 and you would have a screwy ride and probably dangerouse due to the mismatched spring rates. they probably were dirt racing springs, the shorter spring would go on the inside, to help the car through the corners. you need to replace both springs with 1's that match the original specs for the ride you had
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Old 07-09-2006, 03:51 PM
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well, if one fits for now thats gonna have to work its my daily driver. so on the new springs.... what ones do i want? napa has a regular from spring for the trans am, but, for the se model they are hd. and a bit more expensive but not by much. what is the difference? I'd like to put a better handling spring in there since I'm still in the process of upgrading all the suspension and steering.
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Old 07-09-2006, 05:43 PM
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I pulled out the broken spring, they are probly 5 inches londer than the ones i got. would the spring out of an 85 grand prix work as well?
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:09 PM
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your gonna want a variable rate spring for better handeling. bring your original spring to napa and tell them you want a variable rate spring that will fit it, tell them what your TA has for an engine and they should be able to get a spring to match that. but you need to get 2 springs if you do this, if you get only 1 spring, you need to get exactly what you have on the car which I would hope is a stock spring, because if it's not, you will have mismatched spring rates.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:56 PM
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allright i got 2 brand new springs for it and the diameter and the wire size is the same. but the length is different. am I gonna have to cut these? I dont want it to be higher than it was cuz, that would just look goofy.... also, how do you take the strut essembly off? it would be easier to work on it with it out of there can i just unboly that one nut in the middle?

http://i7.tinypic.com/21lobgz.jpg
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:18 PM
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how much taller are the new springs? if only a few inches, they will be fine, the old 1's were probably just worn out and sagging. but if anymore than that, you could cut them to size or get another set. if you cut them you will stiffen the ride because it reduces the amount of coils in which the energy can move through.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:16 PM
Where's my Sawzall?
 
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Strut overhaul...

Pull the 2 large bolts/nuts off the bottom of the strut and pry the spindle loose from the strut base. Then remove any brake line brackets or wire harness clips from the strut body if they are there. Then remove the upper mount nuts from the shock tower DO NOT remove the large central nut. Once the upper strut mount has been pulled loose the strut should just fall out of the shock tower. Remove the other side too, using the same tools and method I described.

NOW take both struts and the new front springs to a garage that has an honest-to-goodness strut compressor and PAY the mechanic to change the springs over.

If you don't understand that springs HAVE to be replaceds in pairs, or that new springs are longer because the old springs have sagged, or in this case are still under considerable tension while mounted in the strut assembly... I dread to think what will happen if you try replacing springs at home. Please keep in mind I'm not trying to sound like an arsehole, or keep you from doing this yourself, but this is one job that requires professional tools and knowledge. Taking the nut loose on top of the strut can KILL you dead, or severely injure you when the spring/mount/nut/removal tools come flying off under all that tension the spring has.

Those little mickeymouse 'spring compressors' that look like a piece of allthread with hooks on the ends DON'T WORK on McPherson struts. A proper strut compressor costs big bucks because it is engineered to do the job properly, and puts the operator at as little risk as possible of injuring/killing himself.

I know, I have done HUNDREDS of struts, with the proper tool it's about a 30 minute job to change over each spring. Pay the guy to do the dangerous job right, and you can finish installing the struts yourself. While you are there ask the garage owner how much for an alignment, that will also need to be checked out, and you can't even get it close to right at home...
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:32 PM
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bah! its docchop I havent seen you in ages. anyways. this isnt a Mcphereson strut deal where the spring is under tention with the strut. its just a plain old firebird setup I'm shure you've seen one. the spring site in the frame bucket and pushes on the lca. but instead of a shock in the center of that, the shock is the strut, there is no upper control arm or upper balljoint.

http://i7.tinypic.com/21lu93q.jpg

I'm gonna go out in the garage and give it another try. I've done plain springs like this before. I'm well aware of how dangerous springs are tho, I had one shoot a hole in the roof of the shop I worked for a long time ago, along with a 2-peice wheel ring

so even tho this isnt a strut under tension I still shouldnt remove the center nut?
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:33 PM
Where's my Sawzall?
 
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Brain Fart....

Yeah, now I remember how those are... been awhile since I have done one of those. Block the frame up with jackstands and use a large floor jack under the LCA to remove and replace the spring. Also see if the rubber squeak pads are OK, if not I've had good luck using thin rubber hose slipped over the spring wire.

You should be OK to pull the large nut off the upper strut mount, it's basically a stud type mount similar to the earlier shock mount on the earlier cars... If I remember right you'll be able to take the nut loose with the jack under the LCA, and drop the strut/spindle to get the spring out. Also if the strut mount is not pulled loose, just the large nut, the caster/camber should stay the same upon reassembly...

It was like 105 or so heat index around here today, I musta sweated away some brain cells or somethin'....
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:24 PM
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I'm having trouble getting the spring in. its to long to just slip in, about 4 inches longer top of the bucket, si i cant slip it on that and jack it up. is there any tricks to do this?
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:56 AM
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You did loosen the tie rod and lower ball joint from the LCA right?
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Old 08-26-2006, 01:25 AM
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yes i did. like i said. even with the lca bent all the way down (almost 90 degrees to the floor) the spring stuck out to far for the inside to catch on the lip. what i ended up doing is something that i think was very dangerous. I ended up taking the lca right off the frame. and jacking it up with the spring in between. attached the trut and ball joint. and then precariously balanced it on the floor jack and very carefully moving the lca around while the spring is compressed under the weaight of the car. and then finally got the lca bolted to the frame. but i got it to work. I have located an acuall spring compressor to do the other side, finally....
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Old 08-26-2006, 11:28 PM
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At you shoulda ran a cahin through the center of the spring so it won't go anywher if it were to come out.

Glad you got it without getting hurt.
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