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Front spring replacment by NetCam
Started on: 11-08-2013 10:07 PM
Replies: 12 (458 views)
Last post by: NetCam on 11-16-2013 11:43 PM
NetCam
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Report this Post11-08-2013 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Done replacing my rear struts along with Eibach lowering springs, now the front. I've done quite a bit of searching and was only able to find bits and pieces of how to do the front. Does anybody have instructions on how to do this? Do I need to remove the ball joints (upper, lower, both) to drop the a-arm to get the springs off? If I'm removing the ball joints, should I be replacing them while I'm at it?
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Dodgerunner
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Report this Post11-08-2013 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DodgerunnerClick Here to visit Dodgerunner's HomePageClick Here to Email DodgerunnerSend a Private Message to DodgerunnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've taken the springs out many times. I support the car and pop the lower ball joint out with a jack under the lower arm. Put a chain around the spring and the frame just to be safe and lower the control arm. Never had a spring move and once the arm is down you can pull the spring right out. Chain is just for safety.
Install in reverse order.
If you ball joint is tight and firm replacement might not be necessary but that would be your call.
It's actually pretty easy.
To pop the ball joint I used a deep socket over the upper ball joint nut with a bolt, nut and washer in the spare hole of the socket. The bolt pushes against the lower ball stud as you tighten the nut against the socket. Put some pressure on the stud and hit the spindle on both sides of the stud and they usually pop loose. You don't damage the ball joint that way.

[This message has been edited by Dodgerunner (edited 11-08-2013).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post11-08-2013 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What year?
This is what I do.

Raise the front of the car and support it with jackstands.
Remove the wheels.
Remove the caliper and hang it inside the fender well someplace. Don't let it hang by the hose.
Pop the tie rod end loose from the knuckle.
Remove the shock absorber.
Remove the rotor and set it aside. (If you have an 84-87, the rotor is part of the hub. You can leave it attached to the knuckle, but it may be clumsy to deal with.)
Place a floor jack under the lower control arm.
Loosen the lower ball joint nut by about 1 turn.
I use Rodney's ball joint separator tool to push the ball joint stud loose from the knuckle. Since the nut is only loosened by one turn, it should pop loose with a bang, and then be held by the nut.
Make sure the jack is supporting the lower control arm, and remove the nut.
Lift the upper arm and knuckle up and out of the way. Prop it to stop it from falling. OR you can remove the upper ball joint and upper control arm from the knuckle in the same manner as the lower, before you remove the nut from the lower, and set the knuckle aside.
The lower control arm should now be free to pivot on the bushings, but still supported by the floor jack.
It is recommended to loop a chain or cable through the spring to keep it from flying out when the LCA is tilted down. The springs are under a great deal of pressure and can really mess up your day if they fly out.
Once the spring is secure, slowly lower the jack from under the LCA, allowing the spring to expand. At some point the spring should be able to be pulled free of the control arm, and removed. You might have to use a pry bar or a big screwdriver to pop it out of the cup on the LCA.
Assembly, as they say, is the reverse of disassembly.

Edit - Dodgerunner beat me to it, with a lot less verbal diarrhea.
Good luck.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 11-08-2013).]

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Patrick
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Report this Post11-08-2013 11:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by NetCam:

If I'm removing the ball joints, should I be replacing them while I'm at it?


You don't remove the ball joints to change out the springs... but if you do need to replace the front ball joints, make sure you read My thread. Something of interest for you in there since you're located in Canada. Seriously!
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NetCam
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Report this Post11-08-2013 11:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the quick replies guys, much appreciated. Raydar, don't worry about the 'verbal diarrhea', I'd much rather have the message spelled out for me, especially when I'm into something I've never touched before. Patrick, I read your thread, and I'm going to skip right past the BFH part and go to Parts Source and use the loaner program to get the ball joint press. Cheers!
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Patrick
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Report this Post11-09-2013 12:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by NetCam:

Patrick, I read your thread, and I'm going to skip right past the BFH part and go to Parts Source and use the loaner program to get the ball joint press.


Parts Source may be fine (I'm unfamiliar with them), but you did see what I posted about Canadian Tire, right? (That was the Canadian reference.)
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NetCam
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Report this Post11-09-2013 10:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Parts Source is owned by Canadian Tire. I think here in Ontario they do most of the specialty automotive stuff, including the loaning of tools, and leave the more standard household stuff to the CT stores. Thanks!
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fieroguru
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Report this Post11-09-2013 07:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:
This is what I do.


You don't need to mess with the caliper, rotor or tie rod. Just remove the shock, loosen the lower ball joint nut, pop it free, support the lower a-arm, remove the nut, lower with a jack, and pop the spring free. There is a stop on the upper a-arm that will support everything while the bottom ball joint is separated.
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tebailey
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Report this Post11-09-2013 08:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I also used the strut spring compressor to remove some of the front spring tension, spring comes out a lot easier.
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rourke_87_T-Top
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Report this Post11-10-2013 09:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopClick Here to Email rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cameron, I have Rodney's ball joint separation tool, ball joint press kit. I have removed front springs on 84-87's and I just grab the spring step on the lower arm and yank it out, they are not under that much pressure.
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NetCam
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Report this Post11-10-2013 12:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I picked up a ball joint separator from Princess Auto, they were on sale for $20. Today I'm swapping the snow tires onto my girlfriend's car, and if there's any daylight left I'm going to go at the springs. I'd like to get this done while there's still some half decent weather, my garage is pretty small and it would be really tough trying to get this done in there.

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Patrick
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Report this Post11-10-2013 03:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by NetCam:

I picked up a ball joint separator from Princess Auto...


I have no idea how that device is used, but if it works anything like a pickle fork it'll destroy the ball joint rubber boots, and possibly wreck the ball joints themselves.

The only device to use is Rodney's ball joint separation tool. (Or make something similar.)



 
quote
Originally posted by tebailey:

I also used the strut spring compressor to remove some of the front spring tension, spring comes out a lot easier.


As alluded to previously, this is unnecessary. (IMO, it justs adds a level of complexity.)

With the lower control arm hanging down (push it further down with your foot if need be), a little pressure behind the bottom of the spring with a crowbar will pop it right out.

Put a chain through the spring just to avoid any extra "excitement" during the removal. You want to limit how far it might want to travel.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 11-10-2013).]

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NetCam
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Report this Post11-16-2013 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:

Cameron, I have Rodney's ball joint separation tool, ball joint press kit. I have removed front springs on 84-87's and I just grab the spring step on the lower arm and yank it out, they are not under that much pressure.


Tool I got from Princess Auto wasn't any use at all. Not big enough to get on the ball joint. Once I got the ball joint separated and the control arm dropped, even with tying up the springs they still were under quite a bit of pressure and they jammed themselves into the LCA. Finally got the first one off by cutting it, the second one is still stuck up in the upper perch between the frame and the bump stop cone. Started another thread here looking for advice on how to get the spring out of there.
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