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Note: The installation of lowering springs is usually pretty straight forward; however the installation of the OEM springs is not nearly as easy. If you are going from lowering springs back to stock springs please be prepared to use spring compressors or use the removal of the A-Arm approach. Finally, if you own an 87-93 mustang the spring installation is also very hard due to the springs will require compression or you will have to remove the A-Arms to install the new or factory springs.

Installation Difficulty

Spring installation is pretty straight forward if you take your time and make sure you inspect each step as you work though the installation. On a scale of 1-10 the installation of springs would rate a 2 or 3. Adding shocks and struts to the install or Caster/Camber plates raise this level, but not by much. Remember this article is only to help you, we do not claim responsibility for any injuries that may happen while installing your springs. Please use common since while installing your springs.

Tools Needed

1. Two Jack stands (tall ones)
2. Torque Wrench (not needed but should be used)
3. Hydraulic Jack
4. Crow Bar
5. Zip ties or wire/string
6. A friend to help at times if possible
7. Ratchets
8. Metric Socket Set 10mm-23mm
9. Breaker Bar
10. Air tools help, but are not needed
11. Spare 15mm Sockets (they tend to break when tightening the caliper bolts)


Cutting Your Springs and Other Tips

1. If you plan to cut your springs, such as cutting C-Springs, do not use a torch or anything that will drastically heat up the spring. Use a cutting wheel, a dremel, or something similar to do the cutting. Cut the top of the rear spring and the bottom of the front spring.


2. If you want a little more drop on the front end of your car and you do not want to cut your springs you can remove your front top isolator. This will not cause any significant increase in noise or ride harshness. I have yet to hear any sqeeking or any abnormal noises from doing this. You should see one or two tenths of an inch more drop in the front of your vehicle.


Installation Time

The installation usually takes three hours. Things can of course come up so be prepared to spend the entire evening working on the vehicle. Try to have all the items listed above to keep from making trips to local stores.

Installation Preparation

Try to arrange for a friend to help during some aspects of the installation. Make sure all items listed above are available for use, checking would be nice instead of assumption. A flat surface, such as a garage or a driveway is the best place to install springs.

You should start by parking the car on a nice flat area with a good working area around each spring. Loosen the lug nuts on the front rims, but do not remove them. Raise the hood and make sure the emergency brake is pulled up and the car is in first gear or park for automatics.

Place the jack under the K-Member so you raise the front of the car evenly. Remove the rims from the car and place them somewhere that will be out of the way. ( both sides raise evenly ).



Place the jack stands under the car making sure the jack stands are under the frame rails. Place the jacks toward the front of the car as far as you can so the car is not front heavy. This should not be a problem since the jack stands can go on the frame rail right behind the front jacking position for the side of the car that is shown in your car's users manual. The frame rail is about two inches across and goes all the way down the car on each side. Make sure the jacks will keep the car rather high in the air so you have plenty of A-Arm travel while removing your springs on the front of your car.




The front springs are the hardest and the most dangerous. Take your time decompressing the front springs and make sure as they decompress that the strut does not become stuck on the top fender area. This usually happends so be prepared to re-compress the spring a little to remove the strut from any obstruction.

1. Turn the steering wheel toward the right as far as you can while removing the driver side spring. Turn the steering wheel toward the left as far as you can while removing the passenger side spring. This will allow a more direct path for access to the caliper 15mm bolts and the Banjo brake line bolt if you go that route.


2. Locate the two bolts that hold the brake caliper on. There are four bolts on the back side of the caliper, the two inward most bolts are the two you need to remove. They should be the only 15mm bolts located behind the caliper. Use a breaker bar with a 15mm socket ( a socket that is designed for high torque works best since others can break while removing or putting on caliper bolts due to the high torque requirements ) to remove the caliper bolts. The breaker bar should be able to squeeze between the fender and the caliper, if not you can access the bolts from the under side of the car. Take care not to scratch your paint while removing the caliper bolts. If you do not have a breaker bar you can use a steel peice of pipe to slide over the end of a ratchet. This will give you much more leverage on the bolt. You may also remove the banjo bolt instead of the 15mm caliper bolts, the only down side is you must bleed the brakes and you may cross thread the banjo bolt when putting it back in due to the calipers being aluminum so pick your battle wisly.




3. Once you have removed the caliper bolts slide the caliper off of the rotor and use a zip tie to place the caliper out of the way, ensure that no stress is on the brake lines when you have the caliper placed out of the way. There should be a bolt near the fire wall's back side that you can use. A longer zip tie may work best and if no zip tie is available a wire or string can be used. If your vehicle has ABS you need to pull the wire that goes to the ABS out of its bracket, should slide out. This will add much needed slack for the wire. keep an eye when you decompress the spring, remove the rear spring, and place the new spring back in so you do not put to much stress on this wire or the brake line. If you simply removed the banjo bolt place the brake line out of the way and try to face it upward so as little fluid as possible is lost.

4. Place the hydraulic jack under one of the A-Arms. Place the jack on the A-Arms so it is directly under the spring. Use the groove on the under side of the A-Arm to ensure the jack's end will not slip off of the A-Arm. Raise the jack until it is holding the A-Arm and spring in place. You should raise the jack one or two jacks once it has made contact with the A-Arm to ensure that the spring and A-Arm are both being held in place totaly by the jack since you will be removing the current support, what is keeping the spring compressed, which is the strut and stock caster/camber plates. Make sure you do not raise the car off of the jack stands while applying pressure to the A-Arm and spring, it does not require that much pressure to hold the A-Arm and spring in place. You are basically holding the spring and A-Arm in place while you remove the caster/camber bolts that hold the strut and keep the spring from decompressing.



5. Once the A-Arm is compressed by the jack you can now remove the sway bar bolt. This bolt is a 15mm bolt and will require the use of an open ended wrench. You will see a flat indentation located on the sway bar's endlink (the swaybar endlink is the metal item that goes from the A-Arm to the Sway bar and has a blue bushing on each end if the endlink is an oem part). You will need to place the wrench over the flat indentation in order to remove the sway bar 15mm bolt. Air tools come in very handy for this. Once this bolt is removed proceed to the next step. A deep socket is needed for use with a ratchet, if you do not have one you can use a 15mm wrench.



6. Now you need to remove the strut nut, air tools work great here to simply pop it right off, but if you do not have an air toold you can use a large flat head screw driver and the correct sized wrench. Be careful not to strip this bolt off, or to strip the slot in the strut shaft where the screw driver will go.








7. Once all of the bolts have been removed you can slowly lower the jack. THIS WILL DECOMPRESS THE SPRING so be very carful and make sure every one is clear from the spring area. As you lower the spring the under side of the strut will most definatly become stuck. If this happends the spring will not decompress all the way. You should lower the jack a little bit, four to six inches, and then stop the jack from lowering any more. Once you are sure the jack is still supporting the spring fully grab the strut and manually compress the shaft. This will allow you to pull the strut out from under the fender well inner linning (the plastic inner peice do not attempt to pull the strut totally out from under the fender) and allow the spring to fully decompress so proceed to the next step. If the sway bar endlink does not come out of the sway bar you may have to raise the jack again and move the endlink so that it will come out of the sway bar as the spring decompresses. Be very careful when guiding the strut out from under the fender well.



8. Once the strut has been removed from obstruction make sure every one is clear of the spring again and lower the spring on down by lowering the jack. You should have no doubt that the spring is decompressed, you will be able to literally push the A-Arm on down a little bit and it will move back and forth with out much issue. The last step will be compressing the strut by hand and sliding it out from under the fender. This can scratch the fender so take care to make sure this does not happen. The end of the strut shaft may scratch the paint as it slides out from under the fender.



9. Once the strut has been pulled out from under the fender you will see that the spring is barly compressed, the A-Arm will be very easy to move back and forth. Take a crow bar, the one that comes with the car works fine, and pry the spring out from its socket on the A-Arm end of the spring. The best way to pry the spring out is to pull up and out on the spring making sure you push the spring out of the A-Arm socket towards the back of the car. This makes sure that the spring does not become obstructed on the sway bar endlink. The spring can be tricky to remove from its A-Arm socket so just take your time and it will eventually pop out. A friend can help by pushing down on the A-Arm with their foot. Make sure their foot is out of the springs path as much as possible if it was to come out.



10. Once the spring is out remove the top and bottom isolator from the spring. The top isolator will be taped to the top of the spring if the spring has never been removed before. Slide the bottom isolator off of the spring, a little WD-40 may be helpful with this.









1. Begin by placing the bottom isolator onto the new spring. Make sure you have one of the front springs, both front springs are identical. Place the front isolator into its top socket mount location before you try to slide the spring back into the socket. This adds a little bit of space to help slide the spring back into the top socket that taping the top isolator to the top of the spring would not.



2. Place the front spring into the A-Arm. Make sure the bottom of the spring is aligned with the A-Arm's groove correctly, this should be easy to see. Get a friend to push down on the A-Arm and slide the spring into the top socket. If you have ABS you will have a wire comming down to the back side of the rotor, be sure that this wire is not stressed by pulling up on the strut shaft to give the wire more slack as you push down on the A-Arm. Putting the sprin in can take a little muscle so be prepared to fight with the spring. Once the spring is back into its top and bottom sockets inspect the spring. Make sure the isolators are still in their correct positions and the spring is fully in the top and bottom sockets. This step will probably take the most time so be patient and it will eventually pop in correctly.



3. Once the front spring is in the A-Arm correctly and it is also in the top perch correctly with both top and bottom isolators on the spring place the jack under the A-Arm and slowly begin to raise it up one or two times with the jack.






4. Push the end of the strut in to compress it and slide the strut back under the fender well. Have a friend help you guide the strut up and back into its mounting position. There will be only one way that the strut will go back into its mount so be sure to rotate the end of the strut so it will meet its mounting position correctly. After you have the strut aligned correctly slowly raise the jack and have a friend guide the strut into place.



5. Once the strut is back into place put the nuts back on to the strut shaft to hold the spring in its position. Snug this bolt down good, with an air gun its pretty easy. If you dont have an air gun put it as tight as it was when you removed it then add another quarter turn or so.



6. Place the sway bar endlink back into the sway bar, just snug these down they do not requre alot of torque. The endlink can be bent to make it align correctly if needed. You may have to raise and lower the jack to align the bolt back with the sway bar. If the sway bar endlink can not be aligned and placed back into the sway bar you can put this off until you have both sway bar endlinks out of the sway bar and align both at the same time with the help from a friend. With both sway bar endlinks out of the sway bar you can raise and lower the sway bar with easy to help in the alignment of the sway bar endlnks.



7. Slide the caliper back into place and start the 15mm bolts by hand and then use a ratchet to tighten them down. Finally use the torque wrench to tighten the caliper bolts to 85-95 ftlbs. If you hear any knocking noises while driving the caliper bolts may be loose. Finish by inspecting the brake line and if possible get a friend to push the brake down a few times as you check for leaks. If you simply removed the brake bolt then be very careful and start it slowly. Once its snug tighten it to 35-40 ftlbs.



8. You now have one front spring done, simply repeat the process for the other side of the car. If you did not get the sway bar endlink back into the sway bar do this before you place the wheels back onto the car, dont forget this!

Now you are done with the front spring installation.

***Once both springs are installed make sure the sway bar endlinks are back in the sway bar and snug tight, these do not have to be super tight. Make sure every bolt is tight and set to the correct specifications. Finish by placing the wheels back onto the car and hand tightening the lug nuts for the rims. Remove the jack stands and lower the car back to the ground. Finsh the front end installation by tightening the rim's lug nuts to 95 ftlbs and loosen the caster/camber plates a little and re-torque them to 35 ftlbs (or their manufacturer's specification).***

1. The rear spring installation is much simpler compared to the front. Begin by breaking the rear lug nuts loose on the rear rims. Now jack the rear of the car up by placing the jack under the "pumpkin" on the rear end after you have placed something in front of the front wheels. This is to keep the car from rolling forward while you have the car raised up. Place the items in front of the front tires before you raise the car off of the ground.



2. Once the car is raised off of the ground place the jack stands on the car's torque boxes. These are located on the frame in front of where the lower control arms bolt to the frame of the car. The lower control arm goes from the rear end of the car to the frame of the car. Factory control arms are "U" shaped and have rubber bushings at each end. Raise the jack stands up a couple of notches so you will have plenty of room to work on the rear end. The rear axle will be pushed toward the ground a good bit so the higher up the car is the better; however do not raise the car so high it is unsafe. Take note of how the pigtails on the rear springs face. The pigtails are on the bottom end of the spring where the spring sits on the lower control arm. If you look at the rear spring you will see that the bottom coil is not nearly as large as the others, it gets much smaller. The end of this last coil is the pigtail. Mark how the end of the spring is facing so you place the new spring in exactly as the stock spring is.

3. Lower the car onto the jack stands. Let the jack come all of the way down so the rear end is hanging free. Now place the jack back under the "pumpkin" and raise the rear end only slightly, one inch will probably be fine. This will allow the removal of the shocks from the rear end. Remove the shock bolts. Hold one end of the shock bolt with a wrench or an ratchet and use another wrench or ratchet to remove the bolt. Once the nut is off of the shock slide the shock bolt out. If the shock bolt does not slide out with a little taping or pulling raise/lower the rear end to find the bolts "sweet spot". Repeat this for the other shock bolt. Finally, pull both shocks back a little bit out of the shock mounts and lower the rear end. The rear end should come down much more than before.



4. Once the rear end is hanging free and both shocks have been removed from the rear end move the jack to one end of the rear axle. Place the jack under the rear end mount where the lower control arm meets the rear end. Raise the jack, this will raise one end of the rear axle and lower the other end of the rear axle. Continue to raise the jack until the other end of the rear axle does not come any lower, it will eventually start to raise back up so watch for this. If you have ABS on your vehicle you may have to remove the rear brake calipers and the rear caliper bracket. When you put the rear brake calipers back on you usually need a special tool to decompress the rear caliper's piston so it will slide back onto the rotor so be prepared for this. If the ABS wiring has enough slack in it you may be able to leave the caliper in place.

5. You should now be able to remove the rear sping. Have a friend push down on the rear axle, on the side of the spring you are trying to remove. YOu should be able to twist the rear spring and remove it. Remove the rear isolator from the top of the rear spring and make sure the bottom isolator is still sitting on the lower control arm perch.


6. Repeat this for the other side of the vehicle, now you should have both rear springs removed.

1. Begin by raising one end of the rear end with the jack by placing the jack under the lower control arms mounting position on the rear axle. Raise the rear end up until the other end of the rear axle has droped as low as it will go.


2. Once you have one end of the rear axle as low as it can go slide the top isolator into the top rear spring socket on the vehicle and make sure the bottom isolator is on the lower control arm.


3. If the top isolator will not stay in place hold it in place and slide the spring on the bottom mount, on the lower control arm, and get a friend to push down on the rear axle as you slide the top of the spring into its top mount. Once the spring is back in its top and bottom mounts make sure the pigtail is facing the same as the stock springs are. If you want the maximum rear drop you may face the pigtail so that the flat end of the pigtail, where the spring was cut off, faces to the passenger side.


4. Repeat this for the other side of the rear axle. After this you should have both springs installed.


5. Raise the rear end up with the jack by placing the jack under the "pumpki" and place the shocks back onto the rear end. Slide the shock bolts back though the shock mounts and shocks. Tighten the shock bolts snug, they do not require alot of torque.


6. If you removed the rear calipers to access the ABS sensor then replace these items. The torque specifications for the rear caliper should be 65-75 ftlbs.


7. Inspect the spring to make sure its sitting in its mounts correctl. If the caliper was removed make sure it is torqued correctly. and the ABS sensor bracket is on correctly and tight.


8. Place the rims back on the rear axle and place the lug nuts on hand tight.


9. Remove the jack stands and lower the car. Finish by tightening the rear lug nuts to 95 ftlbs.


After 20-25 miles

***Inspect all bolts on the vehicle you removed to make sure they are still tight (check aginst manufacturer specifications). This includes the wheel's lug nuts.***
 

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