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I am doing a frame off resto on a 1970 ss396 el camino and beginning to put the front end together after stripping and painting. How in the world can you compress the springs enough to get them in the A-arms? I have external spring compressors but I there is no way they can compress these new TRW springs enough to allow installation. Please can someone advise, there must be a trick to this.

New springs are 17.5" tall and installed height is only 13". I know I have the correct springs and they are .5" shorter than the old ones!!!!!

I have the chassis service manual from GM but that application is for a complete car with an engine installed, body on and uses a floor jack and levers to compound the leverage. I have a bare frame at this point.
 

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I have external spring compressors but I there is no way they can compress these new TRW springs enough to allow installation.
I don't understand how you can compress front coil springs with an external spring compressor. You need an internal spring compressor, along with patience, and determination. I put the coil spring in a vise, install the internal spring compressor, crank it down to size, and then install it in the car.

I just installed new MOOG front springs in my sons 79 Malibu. I also had to open up the upper shock mounting hole to allow the spring compressor to fit through it.

:mrgreen:
 

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There's a spring compresser that goes up through the bottom A-arm with the shock out. It works great. they're kinda spendy to buy but well worth it. The first one I used was rented from a parts store( Napa if I rememeber right) With a good impact wrench it makes it a breeze. If you got a OPGI parts book there is 1 on page 489 to see what it looks like. A little expensive in the catalog. Worth the rent money if you can get one.
 

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Lcamino67 said:
There's a spring compresser that goes up through the bottom A-arm with the shock out.
This is my KD Tools internal spring compressor model KD2526. I just took this picture of it so you can see what it looks like.

If you have an Autozone anywhere around call them and see if they will rent you one. I thing Autozone is the only parts franchise that still rents specialty tools. They charge you the price of the tool as a deposit (just in case you don't return it) and refund the full amount when you return it.

Do not use air tools on a spring compressor!

:mrgreen:
 

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Do not use air tools on a spring compressor!

87ElCamino is right, using air tools on spring compressors, bearing removers, harmonic balancer installers, etc. will strip the threads on those tools very quickly and then you're stuck with a useless tool because you won't be able to return it to the place where you rented it from. Lubricate the threads with grease or spray on some oil to make life easier while hand cranking the compressor.
 

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i used an airgun on my compressor, i just went slow.
 
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