Front Suspension Leaf Spring Compressor and Removal - Page 3
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Thread: Front Suspension Leaf Spring Compressor and Removal

  1. #41
    Member bosco's Avatar
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    I'm getting ready to do this myself......with the front suspension (and engine) in the car. I have two initial questions after thinking about this procedure.....

    1. once the majority of the spring pressure is off there is additional pressure on the lower A arms.......I'm not really clear how to release that.

    2. I'm replacing my stock spring using the 2" lowering spring from OGTS........will that be as hard to compress when installing it?

    I'm sure I'll have addl. questions......as I'm not exactly sure how to replace the bushings.....I'm sure seeing them out of the car will help.
    Next stop the Twilight Zone.....

    1973 Opel GT

    Previously:
    1971 Opel GT
    1973 Opel Manta
    1977 Datsun 280Z
    1993 Nissan 300ZX

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bosco
    2. I'm replacing my stock spring using the 2" lowering spring from OGTS........will that be as hard to compress when installing it?

    The 2" lowering spring is MUCH easier to install than the stock spring without a spring compressing tool. The 2" inch lowering spring has hardly any arch to it- and consequently it makes the car ride pretty hard. Make sure you can live with the ride, and don't forget to cut down the bump stops because you will be hitting them.

    Nathan Acree
    Albuquerque New Mexico.

  4. #43

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    Bosco, to relieve the spring pressure, you have to take out the plate under the pivot point of the LCA, the spring rides on that plate and even when loose at the spring end of the LCA there is still pressure on that plate. I can't relate to a lowered spring setup, I'm still stock. HTH.

    WlKelly3, I don't quite understand why you couldn't compress the spring with the weight of just the car, I had the engine and tranny out of my 72 GT and put it all together no problem with just a floor jack and bottle jack. As a matter of fact the whole car is gutted with nothing in it. Wierd.




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  6. #44
    Member bosco's Avatar
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    My 16 yr old son is driving the car on a daily basis....he claims he can live with the hard ride and likes the lowered look. Obviously I'll keep the stock spring for reinstall when he is done with the car.

    I'm going to have to figure out where these "plates" are.... I see something on the lower arm with two nuts on each arm.....but I thought disconnecting it was similar to the upper, with a shaft (bolt) that goes thru the bushings???

    Thanks for both responses.
    Next stop the Twilight Zone.....

    1973 Opel GT

    Previously:
    1971 Opel GT
    1973 Opel Manta
    1977 Datsun 280Z
    1993 Nissan 300ZX

  7. #45

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    Bosco, the LCA are different than the UCA in that there is no through bolt on the lower arms, the bolt or stud is part of the arm and a bit more difficult to remove the bushings and sleeves. The plate I'm referring to is under the main beam, with two bolts going through the lip one forward and one aft on the beam. The spring is over the plate and in the cavity of the beam. HTH.




  8. #46
    Member bosco's Avatar
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    Thanks Ron,
    So now I guess my question is......once the tension is off the ends of the spring how do I relieve the tension at the area of the plates in order to get those off??
    Next stop the Twilight Zone.....

    1973 Opel GT

    Previously:
    1971 Opel GT
    1973 Opel Manta
    1977 Datsun 280Z
    1993 Nissan 300ZX

  9. #47

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    Haha, thanks for the advertising Keith. I've been working at Princess Auto now for the past year and a half, just a part time job while I'm going to University. It's really surprising what you find in that place. Lots of crafty farmers coming in with wacky ideas about how to fabricate a tool to repair their tractor or lift an auger. If you ever have a question about something PA sells, just let me know.

    I'll pick up one of those Pitman arm pullers down the road and try it out. The only thing I'd probably do differently is to maybe weld a 5/8" nut to the square tubing and then have the 5/8" threaded rod threaded through that. Just as a safety precaution. Then if the pitman arm puller lets go, the rod will be held in place by that welded nut.

  10. #48

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    It's best to remove the spring perch the same way you would remove the connection to the LCA. The difference in those 2 springs is pretty obvious once you get the old one out. The ride isn't very severe and it does look alot better. Remember to rotate the upper ball joints and a good assortment of drift punches is handy to realign that spring to the LCA connections. Keep in mind that the stock spring completely unsprung is quite U shaped so it requires a pretty good lift of the front end to remove it.

    Only other thing is to make note of all speed bumps in your town. Or make sure you have a road hazard warranty on your exhaust.

    If you lower the rear as well it requires some panhard rod changes. a 2 inch drop in the rear puts the stock setup below fulcrum and the rod becomes too short.

    A good antisway bar is a good addition to the rear as that front spring really stiffens it up.

    I and a few others have done this and the change in the car is pretty dramatic.




  11. #49

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    Bosco, once you have the tension of the spring taken up by a bottle jack or floor jack at the LCA, you can remove the plate on that side. On mine it was a little testy, I couldn't get a socket or wrench on the 15mm bolt head to hold it while I spun off the nut on the front bolt, I think, any way perserverance paid off and I got the bolt out, either with vise grips or wedging a flat screwdriver blade in there, don't remember which worked. Make notice of which holes are used in the plates and don't lose the washers, special shape to those, at least on mine. HTH.




  12. #50
    Member bosco's Avatar
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    Thanks to both for the answers....I currently have an anti-sway bar on the front...will I need to remove it permanently or change the mounting points once I use the new lowering spring???? I have a rear addco bar that I've never been able to install as it seems to have the (over the torque tube) bend in the wrong spot and hits the body.

    Also....on the panhard rod....I'm not sure how to modify it...but if the cars lowered wont it just move the axle towards one side (drivers side?)...kinda off-center? The car seems to ride fairly nose-up right now so I'm not sure how much I'm going to need to cut down the rear springs anyway.

    I have all new bushings for the upper and lower control arms and I'm thinking this is a good time to do all those....correct? The upper arms look to be fairly easy to remove it's just those lower ones.... I assume I'll have to remove the lower ball joint attachment to get the LCA out from under the car to change the bushings......do I need a puller or will loosening the nut a bit then hitting it with a hammer knock it loose?

    As you can tell I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous.
    Next stop the Twilight Zone.....

    1973 Opel GT

    Previously:
    1971 Opel GT
    1973 Opel Manta
    1977 Datsun 280Z
    1993 Nissan 300ZX

  13. #51

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    If the front Bar is the Addco type then it will be fine. As for the panhard it goes below level and pulls the rear out of square. As for removing a 30 year old ball joint I'd go get a puller.

    While you have it up in the air doing the spring is a good time to do the rest.




  14. #52

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    Bosco, Changing the bushings with the front suspension out is a good plan, you may want to think about getting spring end bushings and new rubber for the steering rack too. I didn't remove the lower ball joint to replace the bushings, just loosen the nut, smack it right smartly and it will separate from the spindle. It has to be pressed out of the LCA. Protect the spindle and the balljoint shaft, they are both tapered to fit and little dings don't help. The upper balljoint will come out of the UCA by removing the two bolts holding them together. Anything other than stock suspension, I can't help you with, I'm still box stock on mine. HTH.




  15. #53
    Member bosco's Avatar
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    The steering rack I've done....and I did get the spring eye bushings also. I feel alot better about tackling this than I did...the LCA bushings/mounts/plates still seem to be a slight mystery but I'm sure will seem alot clearer once I get into the job. Should the Panhard rod go below level I'll have to find out how to modify it.
    Thanks for all the help.
    Mike
    Next stop the Twilight Zone.....

    1973 Opel GT

    Previously:
    1971 Opel GT
    1973 Opel Manta
    1977 Datsun 280Z
    1993 Nissan 300ZX

  16. #54
    Opeler Yoda's Avatar
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    Thought I'd add a few "before" type pics to this thread that might be helpful.

    I made sure to include one with the spring uncompressed to give some sense of its range of motion. I also put a few close-ups of the "perches" on the LCAs. After I had the rest of the LCA free, I tried a few different levels of compression on the spring to free the bolts in the perches. Finally had to resort to an 8# hammer I use for driving nails in concrete. Sure didn't like banging on things like that with the ole crossbow loaded, but the bolts finally came out. Seems that they were notched a bit from wear near the heads which made them stick.

    https://opelgt.com/photos/showgallery...=14715&cat=500

  17. #55
    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Nice compressor Yoda. On mine, for the next front end, I'm going to use "Fine Thread" on the threaded rod. The regular threaded rod galled after a few uses and was a P.I.B to use when we demonstrated it at "Bears" to take his front end apart. On one side of the LCA of "Bears" they were so rusted up, we cut them off. Jarrell

  18. #56
    Moderator jordan's Avatar
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    What thickness of square box tubing are we using here? I have 2"x.250" and 2"x.100" in the shop, I am sure .250" is over kill, but will .100" be thick enough?
    1970 Opel GT 1.9
    1980 Moto Guzzi V50
    2000 Saab 9-3 2.0 turbo
    2000 KTM 200 exc STOLEN

  19. #57
    Opeler Yoda's Avatar
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    I used 0.25" Heavy, but adds a certain piece of mind.

  20. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    I used 0.25" Heavy, but adds a certain piece of mind.
    That's a good point, anyone else have an opinion on the subject? Anyone strongly against the use of .100"?
    1970 Opel GT 1.9
    1980 Moto Guzzi V50
    2000 Saab 9-3 2.0 turbo
    2000 KTM 200 exc STOLEN

  21. #59
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordan View Post
    That's a good point, anyone else have an opinion on the subject? Anyone strongly against the use of .100"?
    I can check this weekend, but I am pretty sure the 2 x 2 tubing I used was 0.125" wall thickness (wt). For sure the 0.250" (1/4") wt is over-kill. I suspect that what you have is actually 0.095" wt, which I am using as the length-wise tie bar for my GT body rotisserie. I would be a bit hesitant as I have already seen how easy it is to deform. The problem won't be "bending strength", but rather "crush strength" at the load points. You will at least need to used a very large thick washer or metal plate at the threaded rod hole, and possibly also at the ends where the bars contact the A-arms.
    HTH
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  22. #60
    Moderator jordan's Avatar
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    I already went through and made it out of .250" I am sure it is overkill, but for this job I would rather be safe than sorry. Also I already had the material and buying 1/8" would be more money out of the pocket and it would take a few days to get here.
    1970 Opel GT 1.9
    1980 Moto Guzzi V50
    2000 Saab 9-3 2.0 turbo
    2000 KTM 200 exc STOLEN

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