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Compressing front springs

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43 minutes ago, neil110 said:

I have found that if I remove the wheel, then release the shock absorber there is sufficient droop on the axle to allow me to lift the spring out without needing to compress it

That depends on what springs are there.  You need to be careful with this method to not break the brake lines.

A spring compressor is safest.

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As above, let the axle droop, and just lift it out.

If you have polybushes  in the chassis end of the radius arm, it may not droop enough, in which case a standard LR bottle jack between chassis and radius arm works a treat.

As long as you make sure not lines are getting pulled, this is far safer than using a dodgy pair of Chinese spring compressors.

Even if I had to loosen brake line fastenings, I'd still use the droop method rather than compressors on what are pretty strong springs compared to most cars.

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As above, drop the axle and it should be possible to remove the springs (even extended ones) without using spring compressors.

Yes you have to watch the brake-lines and yes you have to make sure the vehicle is properly supported but I have never failed to remove a spring (F&R) using this method. I always leave the trolly jack under the axle casing and only lower it just enough to allow the spring to be removed, that way you are controlling how low it goes and not just letting the axle drop to the floor where it may cause strain or damage. 

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You don't have to tighten down the spring compressors, just snug them up on the spring before you jack the car up. That way the spring can't extend when unloaded, and you know exactly the maximum force applied to the compressors - the corner weight of the vehicle. And you know before you start that you'll get the spring out easily without jumping on the hub, letting the brake line go etc..


Edited by TSD
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also a good time to check that your shock mounting hole is still round and not eating through your shock bolt....

if you drop your axle and the spring doesn't come out, before you start jumping on the axle or putting bottle jacks in just try and compress the spring by hand a little, often you can move it the half inch that is needed to get it out by hand.

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