Questions on Front end rebuild.

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I got in a bunch of parts today for the 71 mustang.   Front lower control arms, sway bar links, inner and outer tie rods and some other misc stuff.

My question is, do I have to get a spring compressor and relieve the tension on the springs to replace the lower control arms?

Thanks

Jim

 

6DUB606

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what has to be done, replacing what I can to make a nice car and living with the rest. Being on the other side of the world presents challenges but we will get there.
I got in a bunch of parts today for the 71 mustang.   Front lower control arms, sway bar links, inner and outer tie rods and some other misc stuff.

My question is, do I have to get a spring compressor and relieve the tension on the springs to replace the lower control arms?

Thanks

Jim
Yes you do.  Make sure you get a good one as those springs will take your head off if they come loose.  Search this site for something like " front springs " or "spring compressor tool " and you'll find some good info.

Have fun.

PKJ

 

kcmash

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Actually, to replace the lowers you can leave the spring alone.  Set a 2x4 on the frrame rail before jacking the car up and  that should support the upper arm.  The lower can be removed and replaced even without doing that, but then I have not been the safest front end guy in my years.

I have actually replaced the upper A-Arm bushings and ball joints by letting the shock hold the spring perch up on the spring.(Don't try this at home, and always use the right tools and proper PPE before performing any automotive service.)

kcmash

 

Danoh1

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Agree with above. Yes, you can change the lowers without pulling the springs. Put the car on jack stands, then you can use a floor jack on the spindle. Just raise it a little. Then remove and replace the lower control arm.

 

droptop73

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If the question is CAN you... yes you can. If the question is SHOULD you... I would not do any front suspension disassembly without using a spring compressor.

BTW, Autozone has a real nice OEM brand spring compressor they "rent". I bought one I liked it so much.

 
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Believe you me I never take chances with a spring. You can positively change the lower without a spring compressor. The spring in no way is held in by the lower. The spring is held by the shock tower and the upper control arm. 

As stated you should always block the upper control arm and yes a block of wood on the frame rail under the upper control arm works fine. There is a special tool that is shown in Ford manuals and also Motors manual has a drawing to make your own. This also saves the rubber bushing on the upper shock mount. 

When I was cleaning up my Mach 1 after sitting for 37 years I did change the ball joints. I was concerned the plastic inside would have aged too much. I did order the Moog from NPD and they are a perfect match. I did spray with satin clear to prevent rust they looked like they had some on them already. 

So I assume you are changing the upper ball joints if you are changing the lower. Before you put them on be sure and check to see if the hole for the grease fitting is tapped. I got mine all back together and was going to install the grease fitting and one of them was not tapped. It seems to be hardened and I could not tap it. No time to tear back down and send back to NPD and it was also MOOG. 

If you are pulling the spindles this is one of those jobs that snowballs and gets bigger. There is a cork gasket between spindle and disc brake dust shield you can get those also. Be sure an put the safety wires back on the bolts.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THE SPRING CAN GET OUT WITH JUST THE LOWER ARM BEING REMOVED.

 
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Thank you all for the advice. I will look into the autozone rental spring compressor for sure.

 
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Looking on ebay I found the tool most recommend.  I see how it works by screwing into the lower shock mount,  Im not quite sure what to do on the top side.  I see that the top end of the rod goes thru the top of the shock tower where the shock mounts.  Then a thrust bearing goes on and the nut.  My question is, how do you get the compressed spring out with the top shock retainer in place?  Can it rotate and come out or  does it slip out when you pull the spring out to the side?

I know for my job of replacing the lower Control arm, all I really need to do is tighten it up and leave the spring in place, but at some point I may need to remove the spring, so I just want to be sure I know how it works.





 
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cv_72mustang

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Hi, I found this on the site a few months back. https://www.7173mustangs.com/attachment.php?aid=7238 We tried an external spring compression tool and just could not get the spring back in since we also replaced the upper control arms and etc. I wasn't there for the replacement of the coil spring but we had to borrow an internal type. We also chained the coil spring just case either the spring broke or the tool. Look at the https://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-new-72-conv-front-end for the picture of the wrong coil spring tool.

 
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Danoh1

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The one I posted from summit is correct. I’ve used mine for 40 years. Had to cut the threaded shaft shorter to squish my 900+ pound short springs on my road race Mustang.

Get one of those. You are then all set.

 

vintageman

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I bought the one that Jowens posted and it worked perfectly. After compressing the spring, remove the upper control arm, the spring will stay in place. If you want to remove the spring as well, then simple back the torque nut off as if you were disassembling it and once tension is fully released, the spring will be at full length and safe to remove by hand. Installing, I changed out the rubber bushing on top of the spring, put the spring back in place, slipped the compressor back in through the shock tower and reconnected the spring saddle to the compressor, and then tightened it enough to install the upper control arm.

I did find that my upper control arm mounting bolts that go through into the engine compartment was a millimeter or so off and I had to use a step bit to open the hole slightly for the control arm to mount in place. Not that big of a deal but good to know if your new arm won't mount properly. Good luck.

Tom

 

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1)  you do NOT need to compress the coil spring to remove the lower control arm. Should you support the upper arm - YES.

2) I don't trust those home made spring compressors that people are buying off eBay.

3) The internal spring compressor that Danoh1 posted work, but are a PITA. I've used them plenty - still a PITA.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/performance-tool-coil-spring-compressor-w80554/11505522-p?c3ch=PLA&c3nid=11505522-P&adtype=pla&product_channel=online&store_code=&gclid=Cj0KCQjw09HzBRDrARIsAG60GP8rwwPy5Hi3FeM-HRJ9OA5fDMDfYxSHugz8U27CKhnT1mMI5ljAEyEaApEgEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

4) The original Ford dealerships style compressor is the easiest to work with, yet the aftermarket versions are pricey.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/otc-7045b?seid=srese1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw09HzBRDrARIsAG60GP9zVxgMaqI4H_wc-WPknuv4Fpfr3lNVrsyCWp4U5QxckXBB3ECFwcQaAmXcEALw_wcB

5) The best compromise I've found is the internal with the "fork". You can use it like the four finger units, or you can flip the fork upside down and compress the spring against the top of the shock tower. I have the Snap On version of this tool and it works very well.

https://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tools/loaner-coil-spring-compressor/oemtools-coil-spring-compressor/555573_0_0

 

7173Vert

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Have removed coil springs many times, unfortunately... Have always used a quality exterior coil spring compressor. In fact, I use two, on on each side of the spring. I take no chances...

 
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I got the one off ebay. It looks pretty stout. It also came with an instruction page. One thing I like. You remove the shock, bolt on the tool, tighten up the top nut. then raise the car. The spring will already be compressed enough to remove the lower control arm. So that makes it pretty simple. Cant wait to try it out on saturday.

 

73pony

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I got the one off ebay.  It looks pretty stout.  It also came with an instruction page.  One thing I like.  You remove the shock, bolt on the tool, tighten up the top nut.  then raise the car.  The spring will already be compressed enough to remove the lower control arm.  So that makes it pretty simple.  Cant wait to try it out on saturday.
That's the one I have. It works great.

 
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