Spring Install: How-to - Mustang Evolution

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Old 10-16-2003, 10:08 PM   #1
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Spring Install: How-to

It has been asked of me by a couple forum members to write a how-to on installing springs. I dont have any pictures to post, but i can link you to the mustangworld.com article. Mine will be slightly different though.
http://www.mustangworld.com/ourpics/fcar/steedaspring1.htm

Tools Needed:
Jack
Jack Stand
Coat Hanger
15mm Shallow Socket
15mm Deep Socket
18mm Socket
Socket Wrench
T-45 Torx Bit (for pre99s)
12mm Socket
12mm Open Box Wrench (99+s)
Basic Socket Set will have all sockets needed
Pry Bar
WD-40
Buddy


Front:
1) Jack up car and remove the wheel.
2) Support under the frame rail with the jack stand.
3) Remove the jack and place under the front A-arm (lower spring perch).
4) Jack up to put some slight tension in the spring.
5) Pop the hood.
6) On pre-99s, you will need to get behind the brake caliper. there will be four bolts going into it. Two are to hold it to the bracket, the other two are for the caliper. Only one of the last two is a screw, the other is a post. Take the T-45 or T-50 Torx bit and unscrew the bolt. Then slide the caliper off.

The other way to do this is to remove the two other bolts. This removes the whole caliper from the bracket. This is not suggested if you do not have air tools as the bolts are on extremly tight.

For 99+'s, take the 12mm socket and you will see the top bolt to remove. However, the bolt turns. This is where the 12mm open box wrench comes in handy. You will see the bolt turning and it has pre-set indentations for a wrench. Set the wrench on there and finish unscrewing the bracket.

7) Take the coat hanger, unfold it and use it to suspend the bracket so the brake line is not stretched.
8.) Take the 15mm deep socket and undo the top of the bolt holding the front sway bar on.
9) With the same 15mm socket (deep or shallow) remove the 3 bolts holding the strut to the caster plate on the strut tower inside the engine bay. Mark the plates so you dont get out of alignment.
10) Slowly lower the jack. You will hear a loud "pop." That is the sway bar coming off of the endlink. It's not bad to hear that. Also, watch the strut to make sure it comes out all the way.
11) When the jack is fully lowered, take the pry bar and pop the spring out. Don't worry, it has no compression and will not pop out and hurt someone.
12) Take the pigtail off the stock spring and put the same way on the new spring. (If you don't know what the pig tail is, just look at the rubber thing on the spring and you'll figure out why its called that)
13) Place the top isolater on the top of the spring (flat part) and place the bottom end of the spring (tip) and place in the small crevice on the lower spring perch.
14) Slowly start jacking it up again.
15) This is where the buddy comes in. while one person jacks the spring perch back up, have the buddy push the endlink so it goes thru the swaybar hole. Also, they need to make the strut go back into the tower and guide the studs into the correct holes at the same time. (not as hard as it sounds.)
16) Tighten everything back down and repeat on the other side


Rear:
1) Remove the wheel and place rear side on jack stand
2) Take the jack and place under the end of the lower control arm where it meets the shock. Do not place directly under the shock, as you'll want to work on that bolt.
3) When there is a little slack in the shock, remove the bolt from the shock and let the shock hang.
4) Lower the jack.
5) Step on the axle and the spring will just pop out. (there is no need to remove the brakes in the rears)
6) Replace the top and bottom isolators and insert new spring
7) Jack the rear up again (same spot you lowered it at)
8.) Put the bolt back in the shock.
9) Lower the car and repeat on the other side


This is a really easy job to do. The first time someone does it, it will take about an hour and a half for the learning curve. My personal best is in the neighborhood of 45min for all 4 wheels. There is no way someone should pay to get their car lowered. The average price for paying for the job is about $150-200. All the tools can be bought for under $75 and they will become yours. The fronts take the most time. The rears are as easy as I made it sound. Each rear takes about 15min including the jacking up and lowering of the car. It is literally remove one bolt and the spring comes out.

FAQ:
What about spring compressors?
Spring compressors will NOT work on our cars. You have to go in the middle of the spring to compress the sides and then extract it thru the middle. The way our cars are designed, it will not work. Plus, the springs when removed are under no stress and will not cause bodily harm.

I have no mechanical ability, should I pay someone then?
No. There are plenty of members on this board that would be willing to help out. If youre not lucky to live near someone, then become acquanted with your car first. Put it on jack stands and remove the wheel. Look at the inside and then then look and see if you can see the parts I talked about. Then lower the car, and take it step by step. Everyone has to be new to cars at some point in their lives. Best way to learn is by doing.
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Old 10-17-2003, 09:02 AM   #2
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Hey, that is awesome. This will really help out some people. I was gonna put a step by step up when I did mine sometime hopefully in the near future.
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Old 10-17-2003, 09:52 PM   #3
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im thinking this could be a good sticky or article
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Old 10-18-2003, 02:07 AM   #4
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Are there any articles or how-tos geared towards strut/shock swapping? Ones with pics count fer bonus points.
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Old 10-18-2003, 12:28 PM   #5
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i sent brenta HUGE one but he never put it up
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Old 10-18-2003, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDonkey
Are there any articles or how-tos geared towards strut/shock swapping? Ones with pics count fer bonus points.
no, but i can write one w/o pics. i really need a digi cam
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Old 10-18-2003, 01:32 PM   #7
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tell you what; write one up, and I'll see what I can do about pics
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:42 AM   #8
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I've got a bunch of pics of a spring install (front) at www.heramb.net/pictures/Stang/springs It might take a while to load the page b/c I never got around to resizing the pics, but you're free to use any of those with your how-to
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Old 12-27-2003, 12:40 PM   #9
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i found that you can just remove the brake line bolt that attaches to the frame instead of the whole brake caliper. it's kinda risky if you aren't able to manipulate the strut well because you could pull the line out and then it'd take twice as long to repair the brake line and fill with fluid, but it's worked fine for me. just have to be careful. anyone else do this?
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:05 PM   #10
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I don't think its necessary to unbolt the top of the strut from the c/c plate, esp. if you already have aftermarket springs, don't think I took my caliper off last time either, undid the brake line bolt as you described.
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:31 PM   #11
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yeah, you gotta take the strut plate off to get the strut down and outside the wheel well.
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:38 PM   #12
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Maybe, I was installing C/C plates, so that wasn't an issue that time, but I am about to switch just front springs soon, so I don't want to take anything off I don't have to this time, lol. Would like to do it without another front end alignment, but I know thats not going to happen, haha.

I might do it with a Cobra front brake swap.
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V6PowerStang
yeah, you gotta take the strut plate off to get the strut down and outside the wheel well.

no you dont. just unbolt the strut from the c/c plate and as the front a-arm goes down, hold onto the strut and then slightly compress it to get it to clear the wheel well.
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Old 12-27-2003, 07:37 PM   #14
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oh. huh.
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Old 12-30-2003, 06:49 PM   #15
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yea we needed oen its an easy install people are just kinds paranoid about it.
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