Front Suspension Leaf Spring Compressor and Removal - Page 2
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Thread: Front Suspension Leaf Spring Compressor and Removal

  1. #21
    Opeler lgladdis's Avatar
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    it was still worth it

    $40.00 for 6 feet of 2 inch square steel, $12.00 for the two arm puller and only $4.00 for the threaded rod, washers and nuts. One hour to get my new MIG welder functioning properly, and about a half hour to cut the pieces and drill the hole.

    Tonight it was less than 15 minutes to put the spring compressor in place and remove the nuts and bolts that I had sprayed with rust buster on the weekend. Once I got started, this was the easiest job I've ever done on my GT.

    My thanks to Keith and the rest of you that took the time to post your suspension tips and tricks. As a safety coordinator I have no choice but to do the job the right way. Imagine going to work and trying to explain bandages or a cast or worse?

    thanks again guys!

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  3. #22

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    Keith, I'm about ready to disassemble the front end on the GT and have read this thread with a great amount of interest. I'm presuming I can build the compressor with 2 X 2 square tubing with sections welded to the large center section similar to your pics. I have tried to find the universal pitman arm puller locally but there are none to be had. I tried you local tool supply but the catalog is down for members only. I found this puller for what I believe to be a reasonable price. My question is, given the dimensions shown, will this one work?

    http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/AP-7828.html



    Ron




  4. #23
    Opeler lgladdis's Avatar
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    note the fine thread on the puller

    That puller is very close to the one in the pictures that Keith sent me. Note that the threaded rod of the puller is not a coarse thread. As you know, you will have to by a length of threaded rod to insert into the puller to account for the necessary travel when you slowly release the compressed spring. Can you find a rod with the same thread? I had to insert a slightly smaller rod with coarser thread and then I used a nut on the top and bottom that I tacked into place. If I'm not mistaken, I think that a few others may have had to do the same thing.

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  6. #24
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Ron, take a look at Matcos site. http://www.matcotools.com/Catalog/to...&page=2&#46449 It appears that it is the same one only a lot cheaper in price. Wish I'd seen it sooner. Jarrell

  7. #25
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namba209
    I found this puller for what I believe to be a reasonable price. My question is, given the dimensions shown, will this one work?

    http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/AP-7828.html

    Ron
    That is EXACTLY the correct puller. Some very small modifications are required to the jaws. Just a tiny bit of grinding to make sure they fit under the leaf clamp. And you remove the original threaded rod, and insert the 5/8 inch rod through the hole, with a nut UNDER the puller. Good find!
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  8. #26
    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Liability!

    Perhaps we need a liability waiver on this thread in deference to out American cousins.

    No liability expressed or implied in the design or use of this item.
    For educational purposes only - use at your own risk after expert assesment of the safety proceedures.

    Or something like that.
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

    Copyright © 2000-2009
    J D Henry
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  9. #27
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Just a quick update on the Spring Compressor that I made according to Keiths instructions. Worked great!! No problems at all. I wasn't as fast taking things apart, as I wrote everything down on a legal pad, and tagged everything that came off the front suspension. Thanks again for the article and help. Jarrell

  10. #28
    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Slightly Different ...

    Here is the setup I made to control the front spring. A little different in that it has a clamp made from two bits of box-section and some 'all-thread' that clamps around the whole front crosmember rather than attaching to the 'eye' on the spring centre clamp. Worked very well and completely without any drama.
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    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

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  11. #29
    Member azopelnut's Avatar
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    front suspension

    Keith
    When you rebuilt your from suspension did you put any material (teflon?) between the leaf springs??
    I understand it makes a big difference
    How are things in the great north? Most of your fellow Canadians seem to be wintering down here in Yuma.
    Paul "azopelnut" Heebink
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    1973 Ascona 4-door 2.2 5-speed A/C
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  12. #30
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azopelnut
    Keith
    When you rebuilt your from suspension did you put any material (teflon?) between the leaf springs?? I understand it makes a big difference
    Indeed I did. The rubber spacers at the ends had perished somewhat, and instead of replacing them, I slid a sheet of teflon, approximately 1/16 inch thick, in between the leafs. I can't tell if it helped, as the front suspension clip is still on the floor. And the GT is still in the air...

    Quote Originally Posted by azopelnut
    How are things in the great north? Most of your fellow Canadians seem to be wintering down here in Yuma.
    Winter so far has been mild and late. Hardly any snow in them thar mountains and not enough cold weather in the far north to freeze up the muskeg to allow the winter drilling to get started.
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  13. #31
    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azopelnut
    When you rebuilt your from suspension did you put any material (teflon?) between the leaf springs??
    The spring on mine has the leaves spaced apart with an airgap between them as standard. The rubber end pieces have deteriorated though and I think a teflon block each end, machined to look like the original rubber bits, will work quite well. The leaves are definately not designed to "stack" together like most conventional leaf springs. No doubt it is just another Opel inovation.
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

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    Jim, et.al., I may have to go out and look at my spring, but I believe there are 5 rubber spacers in the springs, one at each end, one in the center, under the strap that holds all three springs together, and one between the ends and center. Whether or not they are spaced between the three springs I'm not sure, the reason I said I should look at mine. I'm fairly lucky in that my rubber spacers have not deteriorated into rubber dust and are still, somewhat usable. Although I do plan to inject some teflon grease between the springs before I install the front suspension.




  15. #33
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namba209
    Jim, et.al., I may have to go out and look at my spring, but I believe there are 5 rubber spacers in the springs, one at each end, one in the center, under the strap that holds all three springs together, and one between the ends and center. Whether or not they are spaced between the three springs I'm not sure, the reason I said I should look at mine. I'm fairly lucky in that my rubber spacers have not deteriorated into rubber dust and are still, somewhat usable. Although I do plan to inject some teflon grease between the springs before I install the front suspension.
    Ron, when I rebuilt my rusty front end this summer, I only found 3 rubber spacers. The ones at the ends on the center spring and the one in the middle. The ones on the ends of the center spring were riveted in place. I added some pieces of teflon between the ends of the springs secured by JB Weld and some Teflon grease and they appear to be working fine. Jarrell
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    I looked at the spring in the light of day a bit ago and what it looks like, is a rubber strip under the center containment strap that holds all three leafs together, one between the center leaf and the bottom leaf at the LCA attach point and one between the top and center leaf between the center and ends, for a total of 5 spacers. But it is hard so see it clearly when it's installed in the main beam.




  17. #35
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    My fault Ron, You are correct. There are 5 Spacers. I missed the ones at the LCA attach points. Enclosed are 2 pictures I took when I tore it down. The 2nd picture is the one at the LCA. Jarrell
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  18. #36
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    On mine, the "rubber wedges" were still good, but the end pieces were perished. I installed a 12 inch long sheet of 1/16" teflon, the width of the leaf, at the end between each leaf.

    And Jarrell, NICE spring compressor! Man, I thought I was looking at my suspension for a minute!
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  19. #37
    Opeler Yoda's Avatar
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    FYI - Just got the puller for this project here:
    http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/ap7828.html
    for $29.32. Added a Mityvac brake bleeder to bring the order over $50 to avoid a $4 processing fee. Shipping was under $10 so not as bad as some of the other sites.

  20. #38
    Moderator jordan's Avatar
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    still looks mighty dangerous, does any one have any ideas for further safetys or anything to prevent an impaling?
    1970 Opel GT 1.9
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  21. #39
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordan
    still looks mighty dangerous, does any one have any ideas for further safetys or anything to prevent an impaling?
    The key is really the "puller". I like the one shown, because it has a set of cross-bolts that actively clamp it to the leaf clamp. But be sure to grind the puller's edges a bit so that it slips right under the leaf clamp. If the puller lets go, it won't be a pretty picture!

    GTJim's tool (shown in a previous post on this thread) also looks good, in that it doesn't rely on the leaf clamp to attach to.

    Other than that, I think the device shown (as modeled after the Factory Service Tool) is about as safe as can be made. Just make SURE that the length of the beam is as long as can fit between the brake backing plates when loaded, and the additional spacer is narrow enough so that it doesn't slip off the spring eye ends as the leaf relaxes.

    The leaf load isn't as great as I would have thought. But the total deflection (how much the leaf un-bows) was MUCH more than I thought. So also be sure that you have enough threaded rod to allow the leaf to fully relax.

    Oh, and regarding disassembling the front suspension under the car without the tool. It isn't too hard to take it apart. It is VERY hard to get it back together, since it can be tricky to get the spring-eye bolts back in with just the adjustment available with a floor jack.

    HTH and good luck!
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  22. #40
    Opeler wlkelley3's Avatar
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    new front bushings

    Yes, it can be done without a spring compressor and no, it isn't easy. Just finished the job on my GT. I installed new urethane bushings. The engine/trans is also out and no, there isn't enough weight to compress the spring with jacks. I used C-clamps to hold the spring up and 2 jacks (1 floor & 1 hydraulic) to manipulate the pieces around. The only way things aligned up on reinstallation was to hook up the spring end first of the lower A-arm and then use a hydraulic jack to push the inside mount up the bolts slowly until threads show on the bolts and then bring it up by tightening the bolts evenly. It's back together now with new shocks, brake lines and bushings. Took a couple weekends by myself.

    I used jacks and C-clamps to support the spring on disassembly. A C-clamp in the engine compartment slid over as far a plausible will prevent the spring from arching down too far. Then you can move the jack to remove the lower A-arm. I did find out the hard way, use quality C-clamps. I had a cheap one break on me. Scary

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