RWD Tech Guides '70-'88 Guides/How-To information for RWD Montes 1970-1988

Repair Guide: Front spring removal/replacement

  #1  
Old 01-21-2010, 09:32 PM
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Default Front spring removal/replacement

If you are going to be replacing the coil springs, it would be a good time to replace shocks and sway bar end link bushings since you have to remove them anywise...
This is the procedure that I used when I did the 12" brake upgrade on the Grim Reaper.
With air tools I have done this procedure (both coils) in about an hour. If it's your first time it'll probably take an afternoon or so, especially if you will be compressing/decompressing the springs manually.
Rent coil spring compressor (local rental yard will carry these). The correct spring compressor will have two upper hooks, and two lower hooks, with a long threaded rod connecting the two.
If you will be using air tools, verify that the coil spring compressor tool is air tool compatible.

  • Chalk rear tire (with wheels chalks, not you kids blackboard chalk ;-) )
  • Lift car as high as your floor jack will allow, and place onto jack stands.
  • Remove front tires.
  • Remove sway bar end link on side that you will be working on.
  • Remove shock on side that you will be working on.
  • Install coil spring compressor and compress coil. Make sure to position the spring compressor so that the threaded rod will go through the upper shock mounting hole. (This part is tricky and will take some time)
  • Place floor jack securely under the lower arm and lift to just before the the coil spring starts to compress, and then give it one more pump.
  • Remove cotter pin from lower ball joint castle nut.
  • Loosen the castle nut until the top of the castle nut is at the top of the ball joint bolt.
  • Lower the floor jack to where the coil spring decompresses a little, and just before the floor jack cup come out of contact with the lower a-arm.
  • Take a 5 lb. mallet and give the spindle a good whack where the lower ball joint threads through the spindle. You may have to do this a couple of times before the spindle will let go of the lower ball joint bolt. The castle nut, and floor jack will prevent the lower a-arm from getting away.
  • Don't let the 'ka-thunk' scare you, just make sure that the castle nut isn't removed prior to this.
  • Lift the floor jack up just enough to relieve pressure so that you may remove the castle nut on the lower ball joint. Remove the castle nut.
  • Now carefully lower the floor jack. The lower a-arm will swing down and depending on how much you could compress the coil spring, the spring may or may not fall right out. It should, but if it doesn't, don't worry it's compressed enough that with a little pressure to the lower a-arm it will come out.
  • Decompress old coil spring. (If you're doing this manually, it's much easier decompressing than compressing... ;-) )
  • Place coil spring compressor onto new coil and compress coil. Make sure you don't put the coil spring compressor on the outer most coil, otherwise you won't be able to remove the tool. If I recall correctly, placing the top of the spring compressor on the third coil from the top and bottom hooks on the second coil from the bottom will work.
  • Tape (electrical tape works) or RTV the rubber donut spring gasket onto top of coil spring.
  • Place coil with compressor into upper spring pocket, make sure that the threaded rod of the spring compressor goes through the upper shock mounting hole. Place the bottom of the coil into the lower a-arm spring cup. Make sure that the coil spring is positioned so that the drain hole isn't blocked.
  • Place the floor jack under the lower a-arm and lift up. Make sure that the threaded rod goes through the upper shock mounting hole, and that the spring still isn't blocking the drain hole in the lower a-arm.
  • While jacking up the lower a-arm, guide the lower ball joint back into the lower ball joint mounting boss in the spindle.
  • Install castle nut, torque down to spec, and install a new cotter pin.
  • Remove the coil spring compressor.
  • Install shock.
  • Follow the same procedure for the other side.
  • Install sway bar end links.
  • Double check everything you've done (you better not have any extra parts, other than the old springs... ;-)
originally from
Front Spring Removal / Replacement on Mike Donovan's web site.
 

Last edited by Budsjlm; 09-11-2010 at 02:22 PM.
  #2  
Old 07-26-2010, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ohio
Posts: 47
Default

hey, I have an 83 who desperately needs a front end beef up as well as break upgrades. She was an CS who has had a 350 swap and is still running the stock suspension and breaks. She now has much more weight and power and likes to give a good "bobbing" motion when you go over slight wash boards in the road. Do you know of a good kit provider who can supply a good suspension and disc break kits of our cars? Thanks!!
 

Last edited by Buknasty; 07-26-2010 at 07:21 AM.
  #3  
Old 10-09-2010, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Default Shock Question

Can anyone give me an idea if I need to replace everything, or can I just replace the front shocks? Also, maybe a few pointers on how to start the procedure. Thanks to anyone that can help
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-2010, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by theicerink View Post
Can anyone give me an idea if I need to replace everything, or can I just replace the front shocks? Also, maybe a few pointers on how to start the procedure. Thanks to anyone that can help
unbolt top, unbolt bottom and let it drop out
 
  #5  
Old 11-24-2010, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 18
Default

You will want to also hold to shaft on the shock when you remove the upper nut.
 
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