How do you install front spring???

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by Snikt89GT, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. This seems like an impossibility. With the front control arm all the way down to where I could jack it up the spring isn't even close to fitting in the spring perches. The new spring (bullitt) is even shorter than stock.

    I have a set of those outside spring compressors like they sell at autozone/advance but even using those I can't get anything done.

    So what's the secret way to actually do this?

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  2. I went through the exact thing on my 97 Cobra this summer. I have a mental picture stuck in my head of what my project looked like...just like yours.

    The outside spring compressors did not work very well on the fronts for me either, there is not much room to move them around with a wrench.

    What I did use was a long and heavy duty pry bar and used it to pry the spring up which simultaneously pushed the control arm down even more, allowing me to get the spring seated. This was not the smartest thing I have ever done, but it worked. I was very scared the spring was going to shoot out at me. I have a hoist, so while I was prying, I kind of hid behind the pole of the hoist.

    Just keep trying, you will eventually figure it out, it took me a long time to get mine done.
  3. curve it with one spring compressor tighter than the other (the back one tighter)
  4. The best way I have done it with is to use the inside the spring compressor (and compress the crap out of it) and to take the control arm loose at the k member and not at the strut. This gives you a better geometry to aim the spring in.
  5. Do at your own risk, etc etc.
    If it was me, I'd remove the spring, reconnect the BJ and unbolt it at the LCA-to-K member bolts. WIth this method, you can swing the entire assembly around and drop the springs in like nothing (my last set to go in were Mach 1's). I find that way to be easier than the way you're trying (I gave the Mach's a shot with your method and decided it was better to waste 5 minutes buttoning it back up and doing it the other way).

    As with any spring work, please be real careful.

    Good luck.

    EDIT: Bubba beat me :nice: , though I don't use any spring compressor.
  6. Thats what I tried to say....but you said it better to make more
  7. You could also use the correct style compressor as the safest option. BTW make sure you position the Front Springs in the correct position, the Pigtail that goes in the Lower A Arm goes in the middle of the 2 small holes.
  8. very carefully if that thing was to pop out u would have a ticket to the ER
  9. Isn't that thing like 200$? It would be nice to use the actual tool and all, but it would kinda suck to spend that much money on something i'll probably only use once.

    You don't happen to live in the central florida area do you?

    The distance between the spring perch at the top and bottom must be a lot smaller on 87-93 cars. I remember my friend and I did bullitt springs on my 98 GT with the method I was trying and it worked no problem.
  10. My 90GT's went in like someone else mentioned. Reattach the strut, and place a jack underneath the inside of the "A" arm. Take out those two inner bolts, and lower the inside of the control arm as much as you need to fit the spring. Then jack the control arm back up into position, and replace the inner two control arms bolts.
  11. I just did this over the summer, and it was an absolute nightmare... Until I figured out how to do it. The first side took me 3 days, the second side took about 1.5 hours.

    A couple things first... I tried every type of spring compressor (except the ford tool), and simply couldn't get ANY of them even CLOSE to working. I tried bending the spring with both the inside and outside types of compressors, no luck. As far as the correct Ford tool goes, it's expensive, and I understand that due to the length of the tool, it will not work if the car is on jack stands. I was told it has to be used when the car is on a lift, as it sticks too far through the hole in the bottom of the control arm. Do yourself a favor and forget the spring compressors.

    Like bubbah, hissin, and fiveoh already said, leave the control arm attached to the shock, and unbolt it from the K-member with those two bigass bolts. At that point you can drop the arm WAY down and set the spring in there. People suggest that at this point, you use two bottle jacks to raise the control arm (and compress the spring). I didn't have two (or even one) bottle jack, so here's what i did:

    Take your nice big hydraulic floor jack (probably won't work with one of those tiny $20 specials) and set it on two 2x4's laying flat, just to get the wheels off the floor. This method won't work if your jack is rolling around. Then before you put the spring in, lift the control arm back up into place and stick a bolt in to hold it there for the moment. Then position the jack under the control arm so when it is jacked all the way up, it is contacting the control arm on a good spot. Then lower the jack, leaving it where it is. Lower the control arm back down, put the spring in, and jack it up into place. The key to this is to position the jack so it is holding the control arm in the correct spot when it's jacked up, so you aren't trying to push things around when the spring is partially compressed. You should be able to get one side of the control arm into it's slot, align the holes with a screw driver, and slide the bolt through. Then you can let the jack down, move it over under the hole that isn't lined up, jack it up to where it's lined up, and slip the bolt in.


    I hope that's not too complicated, I tried to be pretty specific. I wish I would have taken pictures, but I was too tired and frustrated when I finally figured it out.

    PM me if you have any questions.

  12. I think I understand that method now, it just sounds kind of like a bomb to me. I guess if I can't use the spring compressor than it's the best option.

    Just seems wierd to me that we did my 98 GT pretty easily from the front. Even though people say they are the same they must be vastly different control arms, k-members or something.

    I know Shakerhood bought the ford spring compressor, is that true about being on a lift?
  13. So for this other method, you would put the spindle on the balljoint and the strut on the spindle and tighten things up. Are you torqueing this stuff down or just tight enough?

    I don't have bottle jacks either, but I have a decent craftsman floor jack that would work.
  14. As for the newer Mustangs. I took springs in and out of my 96 without near the effort it takes with the Fox.

    We usually make the tool we need out of some threaded stock, 2 nuts and 2 flat pieces of steel. We weld a nut to the top plate and then weld a nut to the threaded stock. If I coud find a pic of the correct tool you would get the idea. Maybe someone will post a pic of it before I find one.


    Attached Files:

  15. Autozone will rent the internal spring compressor for free. Just leave a deposit. I've used it to reinstall stock springs.
  16. Haven't tried Autozoo yet, but all of the ones i've seen for rental are the cheesey outside ones.

    I'll give them a shot tomorrow.

  17. And why do they charge 250$ or so for that?

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  18. My local Autozone has both.
  19. I'd note that it looks like the style of internal-spring compressors varies with regard to region. I used an internal compressor the first time I did stang springs and I had to remove the butterflies just to get them in the coils decently. I also needed a shim to keep the threaded rod from bottoming out in the frame (before compressing the spring).
    If some parts stores have a generic of what Shaker has (and Bubba showed a picture of), that'd be pretty sweet. I keep an eye peeled but never found one locally.

    Good luck.
  20. I use a piece of flatstock with a 5/8" hole drilled in the center of it, a 5/8" threaded rod, Two 5/8' nuts. I put the threaded rod inside the spring and up through the hole in the framerail above the spring pocket. Then I place the flatstock inside the spring across the coils with the threaded rod going through the flatstock, Then a nut on each end. I tighten the top nut on the threaded rod until the spring is compressed. I then install the control arm attaching it at the balljoint. 20 Minute job this way per side. Then I take out the threaded rod. Done.

    It is a pretty simple method I devised. It is the only way I could ever get the springs in. There is a hole in the top of the framerail above the spring perch. I bought the stuff at Home Depot to install them for under $20.00.