Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Coil over shock spring installation tool Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Coil over shock spring installation tool

    One of my 2012 Drag Week projects is convert the stock spring and shock assembly to the AFCO coil-over setup I bought last year but ran out of time to install.

    A particular challenge is installing the springs onto shock body. I have an idea for making a set jigs for my cheapo HF 12 ton press so I can set the shock body onto a lower fixture, compress the spring and upper spring seat with another fixture that the press will push down so I can easily install the retaining clip.

    Has anyone here made something like this or have lessons learned to share? Pictures or illustrations welcome. I don't want to use the scary dual external spring compressor I already own as I don't want screw up the pretty new springs or shocks, or kill myself in the process.
    Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?

  • #2

    Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

    nothing helpful to add, but if you do kill yourself in the process - can you will those coil-overs to me?
    It only takes one aweshit to erase a dozen attaboys

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

      maybe a clamshell strut tool ..if it goes that small

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

        Haven't messed with coil-overs but I've done a ton of struts. I usually just take them to a shop with a wall-mounted compressor and pay a few bucks to have 'em squeezed safely. I now have a friend who runs a shop and he has a squeezer that I think would go that small - worth looking into in your area.

        Dan

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

          There are some local places with "squezers" but I anticpate ahaving to do this few times to get just the right springs and then a gain for the autocross/road course springs so making a set of fixtures seemed like a reasonable investment of time. The springs are cheap, relatively speaking at $40 a pair retail, and so making the change over with a dedicated and safe and at home cheap process seems worth the hassle up front. I'll post what I come up with, if i live.
          Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

            Everything I have read and the one set I put together did not need to be squeezed.
            Thread the lower adjuster all the way down. Slide the spring over the shock and install the top. The springs should be shorther than the full extended length of the shock. Then turn the bottom adsuster up to take up the slop.I recently saw install photos for a mustang.No special tools needed.
            I have to ask. DID YOU READ THE INSTRUCTIONS?

            Nick

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

              Did you really have to ask?
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

                Everything I have read and the one set I put together did not need to be squeezed.
                Thread the lower adjuster all the way down. Slide the spring over the shock and install the top. The springs should be shorther than the full extended length of the shock. Then turn the bottom adsuster up to take up the slop.I recently saw install photos for a mustang.No special tools needed.
                I have to ask. DID YOU READ THE INSTRUCTIONS?

                Nick
                Yes I did. The springs are longer than the the fully extended shock at 12" vs. the 11" available from the bottomed out adjuster to the top mount.


                However to get the top portion of the mount clipped in place requires about another 1.5" of space to get the top mount past the shaft and up into the receiver and clip. If I ened up needing a 14" spring the situation will be that much more difficult.



                The reason this application may not be familair to you is because its for an early Mustang (71 Convertable) with stock style fornt suspension, meaning that the coil over assembly sits on top of the short upper control arm near the mid-point of the arm.

                The reason for doing it it this way is because modified upper control arm pick-up point and the arm itself allow for almost 6.5" of front wheel travel which is key to get the car moving on a relatively small drag radial in a stock fender well. The car is 2000 lbs. across the nose and to get sufficient stored energy in the front coils they have to have adeuqate length and rate to support the car and generate the needed weight transfer. The spring in the picture is a 440 in/lb. unit which I can't sqeeze by hand. It is our first shot at the problem based on consultation with AFCO and we may ultimatly need more or less rate and length.

                Then onto the auto cross set-up which will likely go on just as you described as the travel will be limited in that application.
                Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

                  I am glad you read the instructions.
                  A 10 inch spring is what you need. A 12 inch or 14 inch will already be in compression if you can get it on the shock.
                  Since you only have 11 inches with the shock fully extended a 12 or 14 inch spring will not be of any benefit. You can pre load a 10 inch spring. The 6.5 inch wheel travel is probably more that the actual shock travel because of the shock position on the upper arm.
                  I am familiar with the Ford/AMC shock mounts having run a Ford and a AMC rally car in a past life. I have run coil overs with more extension than the suspension travel. Talk to AFCO. I am sure they can come up with a solution that will make a spring change easy and get the results you need.

                  Nick

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

                    Having recently replaced several strut / spring assemblies with the "threaded rod with hooks" compressors - I understand your desire to not use them repeatedly if you don't have to.

                    I think the press idea has a great deal of merit - could you use a spare control arm / spring perch / shock mount as one half of your fixture? I would think a pretty simple set up with some angle iron spaning "through" the spring with a couple bolts / nuts holding the two pieces of angle together would give you a good "compressor" grip on the spring. Using a press will allow you to move slowly and only compress as far as you need to.
                    There's always something new to learn.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Coil over shock spring installation tool

                      I am glad you read the instructions.
                      A 10 inch spring is what you need. A 12 inch or 14 inch will already be in compression if you can get it on the shock.
                      Since you only have 11 inches with the shock fully extended a 12 or 14 inch spring will not be of any benefit. You can pre load a 10 inch spring. The 6.5 inch wheel travel is probably more that the actual shock travel because of the shock position on the upper arm.
                      I am familiar with the Ford/AMC shock mounts having run a Ford and a AMC rally car in a past life. I have run coil overs with more extension than the suspension travel. Talk to AFCO. I am sure they can come up with a solution that will make a spring change easy and get the results you need.

                      Nick
                      As I wrote above, I did spend considerable time with AFCO on the specifications of the shock ittself, i has BNC valving on compression, and we mapped out the upper and lower control arm pick-up points as well as the shock upper and lower mounting points, and the total travel from full compression of the suspension to maximum extension.

                      The reason for the longer spring is stored engery the longer spring with more coils brings the nose of the car up faster and with more energy than a shorter spring with fewer thicker coils. Also as noted I will run a different short spring with thicker coils for autocross/road course stuff. I've done this in the past with the conventional coils springs running a 750 lb/in for road course and 390's for the drags.



                      Here we have ride height



                      Here we have full extension



                      Here full compression



                      This application wants different spring rates and sored energy



                      Than this one.

                      Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X