front coil spring install

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by 1991vert, May 9, 2004.


  1. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    well i got my front springs out without a fight at all. now, i can't seem to get the new ones back in. they are eibach conv. lowering springs, btw. is it time for a spring compressor? i thought they were specific rate, but im beginning to think that they must be progressive rate :(. any tips? i even took off my rotor to try and give me more room, but the angle just wont due. please help me with my somewhat of a problem

    thanks
     
    #1
  2. blkstangman88

    blkstangman88 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    get a pair of spring compressors. personaly i didnt even need them to get the new lowering springs on my car.
     
    #2
  3. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    31,150
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    79
    when side by side with your old ones, are the new ones like a lot taller (i hope not)?
    you could do the LCA removal and jacking method, but i dont like that way (many many folks do, though). the clam spring compressor is best for you. but if you get one from the parts store, i would get an internal compressor. then get some scrap pipe that you can cut shims out of (like 1-3 inches), or else you will end up with the center bolt hitting the frame before the springs is sufficiently compressed.

    good luck.
     
    #3
  4. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    right now, my car looks like it does in the attached picture below. i only have one jack. the spring is maybe the same size as the other, but i think it's a tad shorter, but not by much. im getting irritated to be honest. should i reconnect the strut and sway bar and do it the rear A-arm way? would it go in any easier do you think? a spring compressor is my last option.
     

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    anyone?
     
    #5
  6. shorty1993

    shorty1993 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Gadsden, AL
    ok this is what that i did after dealing with it the hard way for awhile. went to home depot. got a pack of zip ties. the really large ones for air conditioning duct work. compressed the springs. (i used the outer type compressers from the hardware store) i then used about four of these ties to hold the spring in compressed form removed the compressers and very simply inserted the spring. then started jacking the a-arm back into place and reconnecting the endlinks and such once the entire front was reassembled you can cut the ties and magically you are lowered. i am not sure that eibach makes a specific rate spring, unless maybe the drag launches. i know that all pro kits are progressive. i am also assuming that you got new isolators, i know a guy that tried to run without them, he was not happy. hope that helps you some.
     
    #6
  7. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    31,150
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    79
    wait, im confused. i took a quick look at your pic. the spring is in the perch, right? why cant you jack the LCA back up (jacking around the ball joint area)? that is what i did, i think....
    sorry if i missed something and that is a stupid thought- it is late......good luck.
     
    #7
  8. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    well the spring kind of gets in the perch then when i go to raise it, it slips out.
     
    #8
  9. Camman

    Camman Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2000
    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    37
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I had a similiar problem on my 89 vert, only difference was I was using h&r sport springs. I was getting so ****ed off cuz the damn spring kept slipping out of the perch when i would jack the control arm up. I didnt want to do the lca removal method cuz I thought it would be to much work lol. Anyway I ended up using it cuz that was my last option(I had tried the autozone spring compressor, and outer spring compressor). I was afraid to use zip ties like mentioned above because I am a panzy and I didnt want to risk the tie breaking and releasing all of that potential energy. Anyway, put everything back to gether, dropped the lca/frame bolts and bam... about 10 mins later the spring was in and it was WAY easy to do. Now I have an aluminum racing jack and we did my friends front the other night in about 30 mins a side implementing the lca method.
     
    #9
  10. Asha'man

    Asha'man Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,917
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver
    Is that the MFE method you're talking about, Camman? I've heard mostly good things about that, although it does kinda seem like a PITA.

    Ash
     
    #10
  11. MrKwik

    MrKwik Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Looking at the picture it looks like the spring in in the barch at the back. When I did my Eibachs I couldnt even get it in that far and had to rent a compressor. On springs I had done before though and got it like you do in the picture I had the same problem of the spring wanting to walk out of the perch when you jack it back up. I just took a good sized prybar and put it in the pront of the perch and pryed against the spring to keep pressure on it until it got to where it couldnt come forward. It helps to have a buddy handy for this and its probably not the safest method, but I have done it a couple of times with no problem. If you do use a compressor, get the inside the spring kind and I had to stack about 4" worth of big nuts on the althread part of the compressor of it will bottom out on the upper spring perch prety quick.
     
    #11
  12. ALMOST STOCK

    ALMOST STOCK Founding Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    CA.
    I've done my car 3 different times and every time I've done what you've just suggested. I guess you could call it the MFE method if you want or I do.

    Courtesy of MFE of Corral
    This is the procedure I've used to change front springs in a Fox-body Mustang without the use of a spring compressor, which due to packaging of the front end components is often a source of frustration. And unlike other methods that require disconnecting the struts and actually prying the springs in and out, this one lets the spring completely decompress so that no unsafe prying is required.

    Bear in mind that compressed springs contain a lot of stored energy. I am documenting the steps I took to perform this operation and although I am comfortable performing this task you should know that as with any job if you do it you do so at your own risk.

    Required tools:

    - Floor jack
    - a 2nd jack, a bottle jack is preferred (and cheap) but a small floor jack will suffice
    - 2 Jackstands
    - some blocks of wood or other stand for the bottle jack
    - A roofing bar (preferred) or other crowbar-type thing
    - A good socket wrench is preferred, with the following sockets mandatory, box wrenches a less attractive alternative:
    --- 21 mm deep
    --- 24 mm deep
    --- 15 mm deep
    - penetrating oil
    - a "persuader" made of a roughly 12-inch length of roughly 2-inch pipe. Slipped over a wrench and used to effectively lengthen it, it is invaluable when it comes to applying real torque to really tight bolts.
    - a small hammer
    - a medium sized flat blade screwdriver

    Now on to how I've done the install:

    Block the rear wheels, raise the front, and place jackstands in the inboard ends of the K-member, inboard of where the control arms attach. Keep in mind you'll want all available floor space to place the jacks under the inner side of the A-arm so the stands will need to be pretty close together.

    Remove the front tires. Undo the lower swaybar end links (15 mm deep).

    Spray some penetrating oil on the nuts and bolts that attach the inner end of the A-arm to the K-member.

    Loosen the inner a-arm bolts but do not remove the bolts yet. You won't be able to, but don't even try. Breaking these loose will require a lot of torque on the 24mm. The bolt on the other end is 21 mm, put a wrench on that for leverage.

    With the nuts loose, place a floor jack at the inside lip of the A-arm, between the mounting ears.

    Raise the jack until you can see the tension taken off one of the bolts (probably the rearward one first). Punch the bolt out with a small hammer and jockey with the jack until you can remove the bolt. You may want to insert the screwdriver to keep things roughly centered while you remove the other bolt, just don't forget to remove the screwdriver before lowering the assembly.

    Place the second jack so it will raise the other ear of the arm while you position the rest of the arm with the first jack. The arm will bend a bit if unsupported so you need the second jack for the second bolt.

    Notice that the spring is in a perch and can't squirt out. Notice it's in a perch at the top too. Notice that when you lower the jacks, the spring will decompress vertically and that thanks to the strut and the tie rod still being attached it is very unlikely the spring will ever squirt out. But don't have your head in the wheelwell nonetheless and if you're the real nervous type tie it to the K-member with a piece of rope or something. Lower it until the spring is fully decompressed, which will happen well before the jack gets to the bottom of its travel.

    With the jack lowered and out of the way, swing the A-arm to the rear and the spring will practically fall out.

    Cut the insulator off the bottom lengthwise so it will come off, then wind it onto the bottom of your new spring.

    Clean off the crud out of the lower spring perch.

    Position the spring so the bottom end (the one that isn't flattened) ends up between the two holes in the spring pocket. Position it in its pocket at the top, which may require raising the jack a bit just to hold it in place, and then get the jack positioned so the A-arm is roughly lined up.

    Raise the jack and guide the A-arms into place. A little WD-40 type stuff on the pockets in the K-member eases the positioning process.

    When you get at least one of the ears situated roughly (probably the rearward one), you'll probably have to pry on the ear out a bit to get the boltholes to line up. Insert the prybar from the bottom between the K-member pocket and the ear on the A-arm and you can move the arm in and out pretty easily. By being precise with the jack and prying a bit if necessary you'll be able to slip the bolt right through and seat it. Place the nut on it for safekeeping but don't tighten it down yet.

    Place the second jack under the other ear just like you did to remove its bolt, and positioning the jacks and wiggling things around as necessary, pop the second bolt through and install the nut but don't tighten it.

    DOUBLE CHECK that you haven't bumped a jackstand out of the way in the process. It's easy to do because raising the A-arm will probably lift that side off the stand and it's easy to bump it out of the way when you move the jack around. So easy you might not notice you moved it so trust me on this, before you lower the jacks, double check the placement of the jackstands.

    Lower the jacks and put one under the balljoint and raise it until the assembly simulates ride height position. This is so the bushings get torqued down in their natural position (If you don't do this you'll be "preloading" the bushings when at ride height). This will probably raise that side off the jackstand a bit again but that's OK, leave it right where it is for safety. Tighten the nuts down now. I don't have a torque reading but suffice to say it's tight as hell.

    You're about 1.5 hours into the job and you're done with that side.

    Don't replace the swaybar end link nuts until you finish with the other side.

    Now do the other side as outlined above. Reattach the swaybar endlinks when you're done. You may have to pry on them a bit to give yourself enough clearance. When all is said and done you should be about 3 hours down with the whole front done.

    NOW FOR THE REARS

    Block the front wheels and raise the rear end. Leave the floorjack under the diff, and place the rear end on jackstands just ahead of where the lower control arms connect.

    Remove the rear wheels.

    Undo and remove the swaybar (15mm Deep)

    Undo the lower shock mount, fasteners vary but it may be a Torx and it may be a 15mm 18mm combo.

    Remove the quad shocks.

    Lower the jack so the axle drops as far as you can without pulling the rear brake flex line.

    Now put a second jack under one end of the axle and raise that end as high as you can.

    You can now probably just pluck the low-side's spring out. If not, have a helper stand on the low end of the axle to help it the last little bit and pull the spring out, it's not under any compression at this point.

    Swap isolators to the new spring, orient it so the flat side is up and the bottom pigtail points to the drivers side (for BOTH springs).

    Lower the high-side jack, make sure the new spring is seated properly, and repeat the process for the other side.

    When you're done, raise the diff back up, reconnect the quad shocks and shocks. Re-attach the swaybar, reinstall the wheels, lower the car and you're done in way under an hour.
     
    #12
  13. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    i tried the LCA method and gota screw driver stuck in there. seems like once you get both of them out, it will be a REAL PITA to get them back in. i remember getting just one bolt back in. i guess i'll go with the crowbar method and see if it works. all else fails, i'll try the LCA method and hopefully that'll do it.

    any other suggestions are welcome.
    thanks!
     
    #13
  14. 88stangnut

    88stangnut New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    westfield ,mass
    Ill come help u, I gotta do mine now, but i bought motorsport springs and im hopeing to do them this weekend, my method is spring compressors at autozone for a 40$ deposit and u get it back once u return them, and 2 floor jacks one to push the control arm back up when everything is in place and the other oviously to hold the car up. I did my springs on my honda accord and it was a ****, but its damn worth it in the end
     
    #14
  15. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    well i got one side in. i sucked it up and did the LCA method. i tried jacking the a-arm back up with one jack and boy was that dangerous. the spring almost flew out. i'll do the other side friday or something.

    -stangnut, forget the spring compressor and just do it the MFE way. sooo much easier. you dont have to touch the strut either. cant wait to do the other side. if you need help, just e-mail me at [email protected] or my aim is "Ladder"
     
    #15
  16. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    both springs are in, now i have to do the c/c plates. i bought the FMS ones and i have no idea how to install them. i figured that hey, i did the springs, why not do the plates and then get it aligned? will i need tgo get another alignment if i do offset steering rack bushings?

    anyways, i got the bolt off the top of the strut and then left for work. how do i get the plate off of the strut itself? i havent looked yet, but am looking for any input.

    thanks,
    chris
     
    #16
  17. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    bump
    anyone??
     
    #17
  18. Supermex

    Supermex New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Waterloo, South Carolina
    Hello guys. I had trouble with a driver's side spring falling out when installing SN95s on my lx. I tried everything from outside compressors to inside compressors. I tried with help, forcing it in. NOPE! Nothing worked. Then I got to looking in Stangnet. Found this post. I took Camman's advice. It took about an hour. The only thing, if I read his advice right, I had to do was to move the racknpinion out of the way of the front bolt. And I only had to use 1 jack. Anyway, THANKS for this post. I hope I NEVER have to do this again. BUT, if I do, I'll do it this way!!!!
     
    #18
  19. MrKwik

    MrKwik Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2000
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas City, Kansas
    talk about your dead thread resurection
     
    #19
  20. 1991vert

    1991vert Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Ludlow, MA
    yep. i run coil overs now :shrug:
     
    #20

Share This Page