Front Spring Install Methods / Moog 5658

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brrian

Greasemonkey
Jul 7, 2022
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Pittsburgh, PA
My first attempt to install my new Moog 5658 coil springs failed. I read past posts (here, here) on different ways to install them. I rented the compressor pictured below. The car is on jack stands. Because the springs are shorter than stock I was hopeful that installation would be easier than stock springs but it didn't work out that way!

First I tried using the compressor as designed. The bottom 'fork' didn't quite sit flat inside the spring... no matter how I oriented it, the pitch of the spring left the fork on an angle & the washers didn't quite sit flat in the pocket on the bottom of the fork. It didn't feel safe but I (carefully) partially compressed to about 2" shorter than stock. With the insulator taped to the top, I set it into the frame, and swung the lower arm up, but the spring was too far forward of the pocket on the lower arm. I wrestled with it for a little while & got it close, and the compressor popped loose (yikes!). Luckily it stayed in place on the lower arm wasn't rotated properly. I pulled it out, & not feeling that this method was safe or possible, decided to try something else.

Next, I ran the compressor screw through the shock hole, set the spring into the frame & used the compressor to pull the spring up into the frame. This felt safe & I thought it might work but the spring wasn't straight vertical... it was at an angle out & away from the lower arm (so, away from the pocket it's supposed to sit in). I could flex it some but not enough to get it into the pocket, so I tore it apart & quit for the day.

I'm considering taking the lower arm bolts out & jacking the spring & lower arm up (a 'spring sandwich'). Some suggest that, but I feel like it'll be a nightmare to get the bushings aligned into the frame & the bolts in, and this doesn't feel safe on jack stands.

I've also considered assembling both arms to the spindle then using the spindle as a hinge & jacking up the spring and arm from the inside (between the bushings). Somebody here also suggested this.

& I could go back to the original method but use the better OTC 7045B compressor that many of you suggest, but it's expensive for one-time use, and I don't think anybody rents it, so this is probably a last resort.

I apologize for the length - figured the more detail, the better. Any advice, am I doing anything wrong, missing something?
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Built6spdMCSS

Geezer
Jun 15, 2012
5,525
9,185
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Florida Beach
Did mine a couple weeks ago..

Unbolt shock upper
Front in the air, tires off
Suspension fully unloaded
Unbolt shock lower
Jack up under the lower control arm
Popped lower ball joint
Lowered jack slowly
Pulled spring out
Put spring back in seated correctly
Jack back up, nut on ball joint
Shock lower back in
Tires back on, car on ground
Shock upper back on.

Take your time.

Before I lower the jack under that control arm I put a 2ft 3/8" extension through the upper shock hole down through the lower control arm and its there bottomed out incase the spring wants to come flying out.
 
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SSMonteMan

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Jun 12, 2015
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Here's what I do, same procedure as normal, but when I go to remove the old spring I run the bolt from the compressor down through the upper shock hole, mount the compressor to the spring, and pull it up to the frame. Once the lower control control arm is out of the way I slowly release the spring from the frame. To reinstall, I simply pull the new spring up to the frame with the compressor tool again, bring the arm up and set it on the jack, loosely install the nut on the ball joint, and release the spring from the compressor while using a long screw driver or pry bar to nudge it into the groove in the lower, if needed.

I've done both my Gs and my 89 C1500 this way with no issues. And the springs on the c1500 are stiff as all get out, compared to the ones in both my cars.
 
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oldsmobile joe

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Nov 12, 2015
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mikester

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Mar 10, 2010
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I got the compressor from autozone when I pulled the springs in my 81 for the first time. Never had an issue. As a matter of fact I liked it so much I bought one.
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
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The thing about the chain store tool rentals is that they are geared for working men maintaining their light duty, daily drivers as they either are trying to save money or can't afford professional mechanics. The tool rental programs are not intended for hobby or heavy duty cars using heavy duty parts. Those claw type spring compressors are only meant for light duty springs in econo boxes, not thick performance springs. Sometimes to play big you have to spend big in this hobby. All hobbies are really this way.
 
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SSMonteMan

Greasemonkey
Jun 12, 2015
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The thing about the chain store tool rentals is that they are geared for working men maintaining their light duty, daily drivers as they either are trying to save money or can't afford professional mechanics. The tool rental programs are not intended for hobby or heavy duty cars using heavy duty parts. Those claw type spring compressors are only meant for light duty springs in econo boxes, not thick performance springs. Sometimes to play big you have to spend big in this hobby. All hobbies are really this way.
The coil spring compressor posted above can handle this job, easily. There should be no problem, using the method I posted about above, doing springs with that kit. You don't even need the spoon looking thing in the kit to do the job.
 
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stew86MCSS396

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Aug 1, 2022
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Since a C1500 was mentioned, I've done G-bodies as well as a C1500 by leaving the lower ball joint connected, lower control arm supported with a floorjack and pulling the 2 lower control arm bolts. Does take some finagling to get the bolt holes to line up. Be advised this would be a no go if your vehicle sits there engine-less unless you have a couple of large friends that can weigh the front down.

I'm excited to try some 5662s with a Poncho engine. Read the shorter free height doesn't require a spring compressor but if I have the lower bolts out, it's gonna go back in the same way.
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

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Aug 14, 2011
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Since a C1500 was mentioned, I've done G-bodies as well as a C1500 by leaving the lower ball joint connected, lower control arm supported with a floorjack and pulling the 2 lower control arm bolts. Does take some finagling to get the bolt holes to line up. Be advised this would be a no go if your vehicle sits there engine-less unless you have a couple of large friends that can weigh the front down.

They used to make a special floorjack saddle adapter for securely holding lower control arms for spring compressing. Sadly I don't think its made anymore.
 
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Tomeal

G-Body Guru
Apr 17, 2016
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Next, I ran the compressor screw through the shock hole, set the spring into the frame & used the compressor to pull the spring up into the frame. This felt safe & I thought it might work but the spring wasn't straight vertical... it was at an angle out & away from the lower arm (so, away from the pocket it's supposed to sit in). I could flex it some but not enough to get it into the pocket, so I tore it apart & quit for the day.
I did mine this way. Make sure the orientation of the spring is right when your compressing it. Mine I flipped the springs upside down and they went in fine. I think my set had the white paint mark on the wrong ends. Until I flipped them I had the same problem as you.
 
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