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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14 Apr 2006, 09:08 pm
Elle
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Default Coil Spring Compressor Query?

Has anyone used Autozone's loaner coil compressor on the
suspension coils of an older Civic or Accord?

My cheap-o Harbor Freight $7 coil spring compressor worked
pretty well for disassembling my 91 Civic's suspension
system front coil/damper assemblies. Getting them all back
together is becoming a nightmare. Seems the claws on the
tool are too thick and interfere with the dust cover, which
then interferes with getting enough clearance to get the top
nut on. The archives indicate at least one person ground
down this tool's claws and had success. But I have limited
grinding tools at the moment. Hence I am thinking of
borrowing Autozone's tool and seeing if it's any better.
These little Honda coils are tricky, complicating use of an
already somewhat tricky tool, aggravated by the safety
precautions necessary when working with a lot of spring
stored energy.

Fully relaxed, the driver's side coil is about 1/4-inch
shorter than the pass side coil. So that explains some of my
car's non-levelness. The coils will be switched (pass. side
to dr. side, etc.) when I am done. Then I will observe.

I also found a severely corroded stabilizer bar bushing on
the passenger side that I think may explain some uneven tire
wear I'm having on that side. This will be replaced within
the next month or so.

I continue to contemplate a major rebuild of the suspension
system in the near future...


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 14 Apr 2006, 10:43 pm
Jim Yanik
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Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

"Elle" <honda.lioness@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote in
newsAY%f.3022$Fy2.2894@newsread3.news.pas.earthl ink.net:



> These little Honda coils are tricky, complicating use of an
> already somewhat tricky tool, aggravated by the safety
> precautions necessary when working with a lot of spring
> stored energy.
>
> Fully relaxed, the driver's side coil is about 1/4-inch
> shorter than the pass side coil. So that explains some of my
> car's non-levelness. The coils will be switched (pass. side
> to dr. side, etc.) when I am done. Then I will observe.



WHY???

Why not put new springs(or at least springs of EQUAL length) on both
sides,and *not have to mess with it again*? (and have a level car,too!)

(see your first paragraph above)

BTW,springs of unequal length may affect suspension geometry and thus tire
wear.



--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
at
kua.net
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 14 Apr 2006, 11:05 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

"Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote
> "Elle" <honda.lioness@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote
>> These little Honda coils are tricky, complicating use of
>> an
>> already somewhat tricky tool, aggravated by the safety
>> precautions necessary when working with a lot of spring
>> stored energy.
>>
>> Fully relaxed, the driver's side coil is about 1/4-inch
>> shorter than the pass side coil. So that explains some of
>> my
>> car's non-levelness. The coils will be switched (pass.
>> side
>> to dr. side, etc.) when I am done. Then I will observe.

>
>
> WHY???


I don't know what the difference in height is with the
springs compressed. It's a test.

> Why not put new springs(or at least springs of EQUAL
> length) on both
> sides,and *not have to mess with it again*? (and have a
> level car,too!)


I am considering this.

At the moment, I just need my ride back.

I have two tentative solutions to my coil compressor problem
and will report back in the next day or so.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 15 Apr 2006, 04:48 am
Eric
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

Elle wrote:
>
> I don't know what the difference in height is with the
> springs compressed. It's a test.
>
> > Why not put new springs(or at least springs of EQUAL
> > length) on both
> > sides,and *not have to mess with it again*? (and have a
> > level car,too!)

>
> I am considering this.
>
> At the moment, I just need my ride back.
>
> I have two tentative solutions to my coil compressor problem
> and will report back in the next day or so.


I would try to get my hands on one of these units http://tinyurl.com/nsede
(either by renting or borrowing it) or something similar. The shop I used
to work at used one of these units http://tinyurl.com/rsduq. Although they
work great, they're clearly not practical for the home owner/weekend
warrior.

Eric
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 15 Apr 2006, 11:18 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

"Eric" <say.no@spam.now> wrote
> Elle wrote:
>> I have two tentative solutions to my coil compressor
>> problem
>> and will report back in the next day or so.

>
> I would try to get my hands on one of these units
> http://tinyurl.com/nsede
> (either by renting or borrowing it) or something similar.
> The shop I used
> to work at used one of these units
> http://tinyurl.com/rsduq. Although they
> work great, they're clearly not practical for the home
> owner/weekend
> warrior.


The above links are a hint that going cheap is going to cost
a person in other ways. Weekend warrior indeed. Operating
the coil compressor several times wiped my arms out.

I cut holes in the coil/damper assembly "bases." This is the
cap-like part that is made of metal, with two bolts coming
out of it, supported by the car frame. There was no need to
cut holes in the mounting rubbers that fit into these. The
"$7 special" coil compressor then worked much better, with
the claws fitting into the holes. The tool spanned about
seven coils, which also eased operation.

I didn't get either of the two shock absorber assemblies all
lined up right the first time I put each in, so I had to
recompress, partly disassemble, etc. each. Must be a trick
for lining things up correctly.

I switched the coils from dr. side to pass side. Now the
driver's side is only 1/4-inch lower (vs. 3/4-inch before)
than the passenger's side. (I checked before and after a
long test drive.) Eric, like you suggested before, that
sounds like a bad bushing.

The ride seemed better. Going over bumps was less of a blow,
it seemed. (But it could just be the placebo effect.)

I am going to replace the stabilizer bolts and bushings, per
my note earlier that one set was badly corroded. The old
coils' rubber covers were pretty beat up in places, and I'm
not sure how strong the underlying coils are. (Never mind
the extra wear and tear on the rubber covers from my efforts
with the compressor!) Most likely I will buy and install new
springs, as Jim suggested, for $50 each from Majestic. I
can't find them new anywhere in town, and the salvage yard
doesn't have the greatest deal for used ones. I think it's
quite possible my old springs are at the end of their life
and I will have a better ride with new ones. Then possibly
onto a ball joint separator per Tegger's web site. Then
maybe a shop press as noted before to replace the bushings.

If the labor today weren't so exhausting, I would have tried
to document more and put it up on the web site. Next time
will be a lot easier.

As always, Eric, I appreciate your sharing your experience.


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 16 Apr 2006, 09:03 pm
Elle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

John, I follow what you're saying. In my new-ness to this,
and given how old and somewhat rusty my 91 Civic's springs
appeared, I was hesitant to put the load on just a few
coils. Folks with newer springs should go for it, of course.

"John" <welcomehowcome@hotmail.com> wrote
>I use those from harbor freight as well and haven't had
>problems. What I do
> is instead of hanging the hooks on the top of the spring i
> hang them midway
> so that the hooks don't interfere with the dust cover.
>
> "Elle" <honda.lioness@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote
>> Has anyone used Autozone's loaner coil compressor on the
>> suspension coils of an older Civic or Accord?
>>
>> My cheap-o Harbor Freight $7 coil spring compressor
>> worked
>> pretty well for disassembling my 91 Civic's suspension
>> system front coil/damper assemblies. Getting them all
>> back
>> together is becoming a nightmare. Seems the claws on the
>> tool are too thick and interfere with the dust cover,
>> which
>> then interferes with getting enough clearance to get the
>> top
>> nut on. The archives indicate at least one person ground
>> down this tool's claws and had success. But I have
>> limited
>> grinding tools at the moment. Hence I am thinking of
>> borrowing Autozone's tool and seeing if it's any better.
>> These little Honda coils are tricky, complicating use of
>> an
>> already somewhat tricky tool, aggravated by the safety
>> precautions necessary when working with a lot of spring
>> stored energy.
>>
>> Fully relaxed, the driver's side coil is about 1/4-inch
>> shorter than the pass side coil. So that explains some of
>> my
>> car's non-levelness. The coils will be switched (pass.
>> side
>> to dr. side, etc.) when I am done. Then I will observe.
>>
>> I also found a severely corroded stabilizer bar bushing
>> on
>> the passenger side that I think may explain some uneven
>> tire
>> wear I'm having on that side. This will be replaced
>> within
>> the next month or so.
>>
>> I continue to contemplate a major rebuild of the
>> suspension
>> system in the near future...
>>
>>

>
>



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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 16 Apr 2006, 10:43 pm
John
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coil Spring Compressor Query?

I use those from harbor freight as well and haven't had problems. What I do
is instead of hanging the hooks on the top of the spring i hang them midway
so that the hooks don't interfere with the dust cover.

"Elle" <honda.lioness@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote in message
newsAY%f.3022$Fy2.2894@newsread3.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
> Has anyone used Autozone's loaner coil compressor on the
> suspension coils of an older Civic or Accord?
>
> My cheap-o Harbor Freight $7 coil spring compressor worked
> pretty well for disassembling my 91 Civic's suspension
> system front coil/damper assemblies. Getting them all back
> together is becoming a nightmare. Seems the claws on the
> tool are too thick and interfere with the dust cover, which
> then interferes with getting enough clearance to get the top
> nut on. The archives indicate at least one person ground
> down this tool's claws and had success. But I have limited
> grinding tools at the moment. Hence I am thinking of
> borrowing Autozone's tool and seeing if it's any better.
> These little Honda coils are tricky, complicating use of an
> already somewhat tricky tool, aggravated by the safety
> precautions necessary when working with a lot of spring
> stored energy.
>
> Fully relaxed, the driver's side coil is about 1/4-inch
> shorter than the pass side coil. So that explains some of my
> car's non-levelness. The coils will be switched (pass. side
> to dr. side, etc.) when I am done. Then I will observe.
>
> I also found a severely corroded stabilizer bar bushing on
> the passenger side that I think may explain some uneven tire
> wear I'm having on that side. This will be replaced within
> the next month or so.
>
> I continue to contemplate a major rebuild of the suspension
> system in the near future...
>
>



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