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Discussion Starter #1
Will somebody please provide a complete - step by step, starting with wheel removal - account of front suspension spring removal? Are the springs pre-loaded in full droop? Any special tools required? Photos would help. Thank you.

jimc
 

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Yep, the springs are under lots of tension at full droop.
You'll need a special spring compressor - standard auto shoop ones arent suitable.

The forum search function turned up this pic of a genuine factory spring compressor http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/suspension-brakes-wheels-tires/40265-front-spring-compressor.html

& turned up this discussion on using a home made version of the spring compressor HELP!!! front spring compressor.... - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

& this pictorial on replacing the front springs Installing Front Spring (compression) - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums with a home made compressor.

The short version of the procedure - jack up car & support on chassis stands. Remove wheel, fit spring compressor & use it to lower the spring pan carefully.

Hope that helps ~ search is your friend ;)
 

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Most common spring compressors you're going to find around, especially ones for front MacPherson struts, won't work. The real Alfa tool is the best thing, but $$ if you don't already have one.

You can do the job with strong threaded rod and some nuts in two opposite (or the four) spring pan bolts. Definitely read the threads listed above; it's a job that can hurt you and the car if it goes wrong. With stock front springs you cannot just put a floor jack under the spring pan and unbolt it; stock springs are still somewhat compressed even in full droop. This varies for shorter aftermarket springs.

Andrew
 

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Centerline also has a good step by step procedure basically like what Andrew said above. I can attest to the fact it works, just installed the lowered Centerline springs in my GTV, which I really really like btw. Also did the rear as well.

I would recommend you put a stack of washers on the bottom above the nut on each length of all thread. That will allow you to turn the nut with your wrench. The bottom spring pan has the folded over lip and if you don't put the washers in there to bring the nut past the plane of the spring pan it is much more difficult to get a wrench on the nut to loosen it and lower the pan and de tension the spring.
 

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It's really the way to go if you can beg, borrow, buy, or steal the tool. Makes it the work of five minutes.
Andrew
 

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That car is way to clean:)
 

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Never used the factory type spring compressor. But one difficulty with it is that you have to have the car up pretty high in the air. The "all thread" method is really VERY easy once you know the little tricks. Gigem mentioned a stack of washers to keep the nut below the spring pan lip. Another is to use a ratcheting wrench to turn the nut down the allthread. Make the top end of the rod shorter, as there is limited clearance, and then double-nut it. As you work the pan down, only the bottom nuts will turn on the threads. On reassembly, put a floor jack under the pan and spring to put it in position. Then put your 2 allthread rods in and begin turning it up. When you have it close, put the bolts through the other 2 holes and get them started.

Once you get used to it, you can remove each spring in about 5 minutes!

Erik
 

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excellent points, 10-4 on the double nut on top, almost impossible if you don't or at the very least a hellva lot safer if you do. That would be a big surprise to have the top one come off unexpectdly. I used to hange garage doors back in the day, (best shape I've ever been in) and although most of our work was commercial big stuff every now and then we'd do a residential, when we got there most would have a big knot on their forehead from trying to unwind the springs. Them things is nasty, as is any coil spring under tension.
 

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For stock springs, yes, the car needs to be really high with the factory tool. For shorter aftermarket springs, it's not so bad.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Front Spring Removal

Thank you all very much! I have gone with 4 rods (3/8ths), tried for Acme thread but not available locally. I'm doing (trying to do) a modest restoration of a '66 Sprint GT. Lot's of surprises and uncertainties. Thanks again.

jimc
 

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Ok, maybe I did something wrong. Correction, I *probably* did something wrong. Anyway, a very long time ago I needed to change the lower ball joints on my old 74 spider. To do this, I got the car in the air on jackstands, removed the tire, then supported the place just "inside" (toward the inner fender) of the point where the ball joint bolts to the A arm with a bottle jack. I undid the shock, then the bolts which held the ball joint to the A arm. I then very gradually let the bottle jack down. Eventually the spring just fell out. I reversed the procedure to bolt it all back up.

Now, keep in mind this is a 15 year-old memory, when I was young, dumb and desperate, on a car that was as much rust as it was steel. In other words, ONE SHOULD PROBABLY NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

But it was, as I recall, how *I* got front springs out.
 

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Good one there Davey:)

You'll only need two lenghts of all thread, if you can get all four in at the same you are better than I.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Front Spring Removal

I gave up on 4 and went with 3. Worked very well, but I think 2 will do next time. Thanks again for the help.

jimc
 
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