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Here is the finished spring compressor, I opted not to use the adjustable pitman arm puller because....well they cost money and shipping takes time and I have never been too patient. So I used 2 pieces of square box tubing which "sandwich" the cross member with 2 bolts, I also feel a little safer with this design. Though because of the radiator and steering rack brackets I was not able to grab the cross member from dead center which I hope doesn't turn out to be a problem. I have the hole that the all-thread goes through in the compressor offset that amount, I also drilled a hole dead center in the spring compressor just in case later on it is used with a pitman arm puller.
 

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The Loop ...

I opted not to use the adjustable pitman arm puller because....well they cost money and shipping takes time and I have never been too patient. So I used 2 pieces of square box tubing which "sandwich" the cross member with 2 bolts, I also feel a little safer with this design.
Very similar to the design I used back in post #39 of 11/27/2004

http://www.opelgt.com/forums/attachments/opel-tips-tricks/3931d1101482984-front-suspension-leaf-spring-compressor-removal-gtfrontsusp-002.jpg

I used it because the loop that the Pitman Arm Puller attaches to looked to be a bit suspect on my front spring - did not want the rusty bit to part company halfway through the proceedings. Also does away with having to purchase anything more than some All-thread and some Box-section plus has to be more safely anchored.
 

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Jim, I did follow your lead on making mine. I could not remember where I saw the picture and who actually made it. I looked in a bunch of thread and the the photo gallery trying to find the picture again.....but I never looked back in this very thread. :ugh:
 

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Good to See it Used!

:D Great minds think alike - but I thought Mods knew more about the search function than us mere mortals!

I used a metal ring around the radiator support that let me keep the All-thread bolt hole in the middle - but I see no problem with the slightly off-centre hole you used.
 

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The whole disassembly process was much easier than I thought, most of it took about a half hour, well I think I was just lucky. I had been spraying all of the nuts and bolts of the suspension with penetrating oil every few days for the past few weeks and all of the "bolts from hell" came right out (2 of them needed some persuasion with a brass mallet) the spring eye bolts were tricky because as you can see the penetrating oil wasn't making it to the shank of them, but again some work with a brass mallet and then a drift to finish it off them came right out. Working with the spring compressed was a little scary.....especially when you miss your mark on the spring eye bolt and give the spring compressor a whack, but overall it felt secure; I am glad that I used the .250" square tubing for it though. The fourth picture is a comparison between the stock spring and the 2" sport lowering spring. What do you guys make of the damage in the last picture where the bump stop bracket is partially torn off at the spot welds? Really bad case of bottoming out at some point during it's life?
 

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I thought the sport lowering spring was a big one-piece fiberglass unit. I think the spring you show looks like a two leaf steel unit. Where did you get that? I wanna play with one. Where can I get one? Yours would be rulebook legal in my car, fiberglass would not and stock springs are frustrating to tune...
Show us a recent photo of your hands, I want to count your fingers.
Springs are fun, glad your tool worked. My method is really similar but uses the car's trailer, an assortment of 2x6's and 2x4's and two chainfalls to do the scary part.
 

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Jeff, This lowering spring in particular was possibly sold by ogts (I bought it second hand) they have a 1" lowering spring and a 2" one. The 2" one would be great for you, it will really keep your tires stuck on the track. I think they go for $180 or so for either one. Rallybob had the fiberglass springs made years ago and they were one solid piece, I am of course sure he himself could tell you more.

And I can assure you that I can still count to ten after playing with the spring the only casualty was a skinned knuckle....no smoke and mirrors here :cool:
 

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To my knowledge that 2" spring came from Opels Unlimited a long time ago.
 

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If the rubber bump stops should have half of it cut off when lowering 2" that would make them roughly 11/16" high, in which case could just a plain 11/16" polyurethane bump stop be used? Or would polyurethane be way too hard in this dimension?
 

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Just wondered if the opel jack screw threads would be long enough to use in place of the threaded rod....any idea what the minimum length of the threaded part should be?

Thanks
 

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The Opel jack screw is probably too short to use, also how would you attach it to the compressor itself? Another problem with it is how course the threads are on it, that would make it very difficult use and also that much more dangerous.
 

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I thought the female threaded part of the jack could be welded to the 2x2 tubing. Then just wind the jack screw with the handle like jacking up the car and compress/release the spring.
 

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Three Feet!

I used a full length of 20mm "All-Thread" - 1metre long .... and it was just long enough! Try a 3 foot length of 5/8" or 3/4" All-Thread studding as it is available at most Engineer's Supply shops or even Hardware stores at a reasonable price.

Trust me - you DO NOT want to run out of thread halfway through the job. :banghead:

Oh! And lube the thread with Diff oil or something nice and Extreme Pressure ...
 

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Thanks everybody

:veryhappyI would like to thank everybody who contributed to this thread (especially Kwilford who supplied the photo's of the spring compressor in the first place).
This morning I succesfully finished working on my GT's front suspension according to all the instructions given in this (and some other) thread(s).
I've changed all four ball joints,the bushings of the front leaf spring,the upper control arm bushings, bump stop bushings and the shock absorbers.
Without this tread I would not have managed it.
Shows how usefull this side is!!
And probably without this tread I would not have survived working on the front leave spring (what a strenght is in that spring).
In contrast of most of you I worked on the suspension while it was still mounted on the car letting the spring compressor pulling itself up. It was a little bit of fiddling laying on your back under the raised car, but it worked great.
Had some trouble getting the old lower ball joints out of the A-arm, but with a big hammer, a beam to lay the A-arm on and a lot of brute force (and swearing) I got them out. Tip for refitting a new ball joint: insert it from the right side!!. I was so stupid to refit the ball joint from the wrong side, fortunately I got it back out in one piece.
I also had a lot of trouble getting the new spring eye bushings in. How do you do that, without damaging the new ones?:dunno:
To be certain of my messing about with the car I let everything check by my local garage (one cannot be certain enough about the functioning of the front suspension and steering). They checked everything and found the car in excellent working condition.
So for those who are planning to work on their GT's front suspension: read all threads about this issue and follow their instructions, don't be stubborn trying to find it out yourself: you'll be injured!
And finishing with the legendary words of the Hill Street Blues sergeant: Let's be careful out there!
 

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Ball joints are not indestructible, they should never, under any circumstance be hammered on. You can easily bend the LCA if you hammer on it, and hammering the new ball joints from either direction will drastically shorten their life or ruin them, The stamped steel part on the bottom should not be hammered or pressed on, instead they should be pressed in with a section of pipe resting on the perimeter of the ball joint body.
 

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100% correct

Jordan, I agree 100% with what you are saying. One must be careful when refitting the balljoints.
Of course I didn't hammer the new ones in, I tapped them in using a pipe with the right diameter (the supports belonging to my garage jack-set turned out to have the exact desired diameter, so I used them).
The old lower ball joints however I removed using brute force since they were not re-usable anyway.

Patrick
 

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I bought some trick little polyurethane bump stop bushings for the lowered spring from energy suspension; they are 11/16" tall, 1 5/8" diameter, and they have a 3/8" stud on them. Part number is 9.9121
 

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Good job Jordan. I have used a similar part number for the GT and Kadett front suspensions before. I used to use part number 9.9102, but that's because the part number Jordan listed didn't exist back then. Yes, I am that old....

It goes without saying that anyone who is going to (or already has) lowered the front of their GT needs to either cut the stock bump stops down or install shorter ones. Otherwise you'll find yourself riding on the bumpstops rather than using the spring as the suspension! Ride and handling both go down the toilet when you are on the bump stops.

Bob
 
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