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Username Post: '81 g20 coil spring        (Topic#357116)
BoniOni 
Member
Posts: 21

Loc: Austria
Reg: 12-04-05
07-05-19 03:23 AM - Post#2769966    

I need to do some repair of the front suspension and wonder if I can get the coil springs out without a spring compressor by opening the upper or lower balljoint nut, supporting the lower control arm with a jack and slowly lowering it to release the spring tension. I have done this on Camaro and Nova already but I couldn't get the spring out/in of the lower control arm's pocket without compressing it for a few inches with the internal "hook type" compressor. I have seen however that on Silverados for instance they can remove/install the spring without a compressor just by lowering the lower arm far enough. Any advice on how I can do this safely is appreciated so I can plan for this project.



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24807
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
07-09-19 06:08 AM - Post#2770254    
    In response to BoniOni

BoniOni,
I can't think of any reason on why a spring couldn't come out like a truck. If the bushings are old, consider loosening the lower arm mount bolts. If you do, remember to tighten the lower a arm bolts with full weight on them. I've done the same thing you have done on cars. I also tie them down so they don't come flying out. Once they are full decompressed, I untie them. A good floor jack can lower the a arm slowly.


I found this site to help you with information:
https://www.vanning.com/threads/ubbthreads.php/top...

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
BoniOni 
Member
Posts: 21

Loc: Austria
Reg: 12-04-05
07-10-19 02:53 AM - Post#2770351    
    In response to gchemist

gchemist, thank you for the helpful response. I am going to buy a floor jack that has a "long range" lever where I can smoothly release the pressure (to lower the jack) with a knob at the end of the lever. I know the jack goes under the lower balljoint, but what is the correct orientation of the jack for this operation? Since the control arm has to move down almost at a 90° angle, it should be at a right angle to the side of the vehicle imho.
I don't expect the bushings and balljoint nuts to be (very) difficult to remove, the whole work has been done by a repair shop a few years ago, however they installed poor quality bushings and the rubber is already cracked, same problem with the balljoint dust boots - I already have a set of urethane parts at home. The upper control arms are deteriorated by rust and I replace them completely with new ones. What I'm not sure about is whether to replace the springs or not, on European cars many of these coil springs break sooner or later due to rust, material wear and stress. Maybe someone can tell from experience if this is likely to happen with the GM factory (or equivalent) springs.



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24807
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
07-10-19 09:09 AM - Post#2770381    
    In response to BoniOni

GM coils springs are not know to break often. To break one, it would need to be under a lot of stress/weight and rusted. A badly rusted coil can cause problems.
When I lower A arms to remove coils, I set my jack 45 degrees from center. Mostly to be out of way if the coil springs out. One reason to tie it down until all the pressure is off it. Here's a good write up on doing it on a truck.
http://www.73-87.com/7387garage/garage_cha ssis_sus...



'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
BoniOni 
Member
Posts: 21

Loc: Austria
Reg: 12-04-05
07-11-19 12:59 AM - Post#2770431    
    In response to gchemist

thank you gchemist, I studied Mike Ervin's instructions, he describes both methods - either remove the spring from the "inside" (at the frame) or from "outside" (at a balljoint).
On cars I did both methods already, however instead of the U-bolts, the 2 bolts through the lower arm's bushings had to be removed: after removal of the nuts and the bolts loosened up a bit, I used a long rod to pop them out from front and back, where I was in a safe distance. I have used all precautions before (jack underneath, chain, spring compressor), once it happened that there was still a bit of remaining tension in the spring and it slammed the lower arm straight down when I popped out the bolts..quite scary experience! For the van I am still not sure which method to use, but my instinct says that it might be more safe to do it from the outside since crawling under the vehicle and opening the u bolts next to the spring appears to be rather risky.

It sounds good placing the jack at a 45 deg angle, do you open the upper or the lower balljoint for the "spring job"? I found a video where he does it starting at the lower balljoint and it also shows that the lower arm has to be almost in a vertical position to get the spring out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpVmHHbh5dg



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24807
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
07-11-19 06:33 AM - Post#2770452    
    In response to BoniOni

Break the top joint. If something goes bad, things should fall downward. Here’s a good video. In a this video, the entire knuckle is lowered to get the spring out. It’s really a preference or safer one to do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpVmHHbh5dg

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


Edited by gchemist on 07-11-19 06:35 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
BoniOni 
Member
Posts: 21

Loc: Austria
Reg: 12-04-05
07-12-19 06:17 AM - Post#2770519    
    In response to gchemist

yes, good video which shows some troubles as well (this is rare!)...however I'll start with the upper balljoint nut, like you suggested..



 
gchemist 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator
Posts: 24807
gchemist
Loc: Austin, TX 78748
Reg: 05-09-00
07-13-19 05:19 AM - Post#2770577    
    In response to BoniOni

Good luck! Post pictures if you have a place to host them. Email a pic of your van. I don't mind posting a picture for you. It's interesting to find a van in Austria.

'83 Silverardo XST - ZZ4 powered
'95 Jimmy SLT (Bought @131,814)
'96 GMC Jimmy LS Ret. @236651 miles


 
BoniOni 
Member
Posts: 21

Loc: Austria
Reg: 12-04-05
07-15-19 01:16 AM - Post#2770720    
    In response to gchemist

thank you for your support, I need to gather some tools and a good jack(!) before I can start, within the next weeks it will be done. I'll see what I can do about the photos.

best greetings,
Gerald



 
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