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Old 10-30-2007, 02:58 PM
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Need help with spring install

Ok I know this is no hot rod but the application should be pretty universal. I have an 89' Alfa Romeo spider that I am rebuilding the suspension on. I am replacing the springs with a pair that are about 6" shorter but heavier gauge than the stock ones. The stock springs are about 20" tall unsprung. The spring pan bolts to the bottom of the lower A-arm. The top of the spring rests inside a recessed area about 4" deep. The problem I have is that in order to get the spring installed with the pan attatched to the lower arm, I must start compressing the spring almost from the top coil to get it short enough to fit into the recessed area. When I do this, the spring compressor will not allow the top of the spring to go into the recessed area, and secondly prohibits removal of the compressor due to the tension on the spring. I have considered buying 4 long bolts and systematically tightening each one until flush with the a-arm, then replacing the bolts one by one with the stock length bolts. There has got to be an easier way. Any ideas? I can post a few photos when I get home.

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Old 10-30-2007, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSouthWon
I have considered buying 4 long bolts and systematically tightening each one until flush with the a-arm, then replacing the bolts one by one with the stock length bolts. There has got to be an easier way. Any ideas? I can post a few photos when I get home.
Why not use four (or even two) pieces of all-thread as alignment pins to keep the spring pan clocked properly then put a floor jack under the spring pan and use the weight of the car to compress the spring.

Or is that little EYEtalian (with a name like Padavano I can say that...) car too light?
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:16 PM
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Yeah it lifts the whole car. I considered running a strap around the jack, and looping it around the top of the upper spring recess. I would like to avoid killing myself while doing this so I figured I would try to come up with a better alternative. Headed to autozone now to see if I can find some bolts.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:48 PM
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If you have a large enough hole at the top of the spring/shock tower maybe something like this would help. I used an internal spring compressor and set the threaded end aside along with the threaded shaft that came with it. Using a 1/2 threadall I cut it in half and welded a nut on one end. Using a few large washers between the welded on nut and the bottom part or "hole" end of the spring compressor and a couple of large washers on top of the shock tower,,, that probably would make more sense if I posted a couple of pics,,

EDIT: If you try this be sure to use plenty of antiseize
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:03 PM
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I thought about something like that. I'd be a little concerned that most all-thread is low-grade steel and not terribly strong in tension. Probably equivalent to a Grade 3 bolt.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:40 AM
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Well I got it! The long bolts along with the floor jack did it. I simply, put the bolts through the arm and pan, sat the spring and rubber pieces in and slowly but surely jacked the pan up and tighten the bolts every few compressions. once properly seated I replaced the bolts with the proper ones. Voila!

PS: Oh and it helps if you get your wife to sit on the front of the car. LOL. Sorry honey, thanks for sacrificing pride in the interest of mechanics.
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