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-   -   How-to: replace rear springs without removing the lower control arm bolt. (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=297318)

Black&Tan 09-09-2012 11:11 PM

How-to: replace rear springs without removing the lower control arm bolt.
 
The easiest method of removing the rear springs involves jacking up the lower control arm, removing the bolt, then slowly dropping the jack to let the spring fall out.

For cars that have seen snowy and salty winters, however, this install method is problematic. The lower control arm bolt on a focus that has even a little rust can seize up, and tear up the bushing. Since this bushing is manufactured right into the lca, you will have to replace the entire control arm adding cost and additional work to your suspension install.

I decided to make a how-to on an alternate method of removing and reinstalling rear lowering springs that circumvent the need to even touch the lower control arm bolt.

Tools needed:

Hydraulic jack and jack stands
Ratchet with 15 and 13 mm sockets
Prybar
Hammer

Step 1: Loosen the Lugnut on your rear wheels. With a hydraulic jack, jack up the rear of your car and support it with jack stands. Remove the wheel.

Step 2: with a 13 mm ratchet, remove the rear sway bar bushings from both lower control arms and push the sway bar down. When you are done, it should look like this :

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/de8ytapu.jpg

Step 3: place the jack under the lower control arm and raise the jack to compress the spring and take tension off the upper control arm.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/ta2eqyve.jpg

Step 4: with a 15 mm socket, remove the upper control arm bolt pictured here

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/ga2a7yhu.jpg

Step 5:

With a 15mm socket, and Locate and remove the rear damper bolt, pictured here:

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/a4yqa7u3.jpg

Note: the upper control arm bolt and the damper bolt are very similar. Take care not to mix them up.

Step 6: Slowly lower the jack and remove The control arm should drop down fairly low now.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/u8ube2yp.jpg

Push down on the brake drum while using the prybar on the spring to pry it out. It should slide out with some coaxing.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/y6unynat.jpg

Step 7: Remove the rubber spring seat from the top of the spring mount.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/denuduza.jpg

Note the difference between the stock spring and lowering spring :

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/y5eba2a6.jpg

If you are replacing your dampers, do so now by loosening the upper damper nuts and letting the damper drop out. Install new damper into the top mount only.

Step 8: To reinstall, line up the rubber spring seat on top of your new spring and put it into the upper spring mount. Push down on the lower control arm and work the spring in. You may need to use the prybar or hammer to force it in. Once the spring is on the vehicle, line the bottom of the spring up with the indentation on the bottom of the spring mount.

Reverse the procedure to reinstall everything. Do not reattach the rear sway bar until you have completed both rear spring installs. You will need to jack up the lower control arm again to attach the upper control arm.

Here's a pic of everything assembled with the new spring:

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/10/maquhe9y.jpg

Repeat the procedure for the other side of the vehicle.

After you have completed the install and put the wheels back on the vehicle, and lower it to the ground. Torque all the bolts you removed to spec.

Follow the normal installation instructions for the front struts. I strongly recommend that you get an alignment immediately after installing a new suspension with this method.

Paladin 09-10-2012 03:42 AM

not bad. but you can do it without pulling the upper control arm bolt.

TheGlassMaker 09-10-2012 04:30 AM

This^. Just unbolt the top shock bolt and pry down and you get the same effect. Except while you have the jack under the lower arm take a couple wire hangers and wrap it around a few coils while the spring is compressed so it stays compressed even after you release the jack. Helps get the coil our so much easier. That's how we changed mine, good write up though!

Black&Tan 09-10-2012 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranger_mclaren (Post 4345266)
This^. Just unbolt the top shock bolt and pry down and you get the same effect. Except while you have the jack under the lower arm take a couple wire hangers and wrap it around a few coils while the spring is compressed so it stays compressed even after you release the jack. Helps get the coil our so much easier. That's how we changed mine, good write up though!

Thought about that, I but I'm way too paranoid about compressing springs without a spring compressor to try to wire them together.

I had to install these by myself so had limited leverage on pulling the control arm down while I pried. I needed the extra clearance you get by removing the upper control arm bolt. Plus I have an air wrench, so taking out that bolt was pretty easy.

Even with the extra clearance getting the shorter springs in took some doing. Would be different if I had an extra pair of hands.

TheGlassMaker 09-10-2012 01:49 PM

This is very true. I had two others helping me. One to pry down and myslf and one other to get the spring out. I'm with ya on that.

Blue5ive 09-10-2012 07:10 PM

All I did was push the control arm down with my foot and the spring came out.

maloken 09-10-2012 07:50 PM

07 arm assembly replacement ....help??!!!!
 
Hello folks. I am new to the site and not very computer literate, so am having tons of trouble even asking a question here. I need to replace the control arm assembly as the bushing has seperated and is rubbing on the passenger rear. Anyone able to tell me what I will have to disconnect to do so? Will I need to compress the spring, or just let it hang?

Black&Tan 09-10-2012 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue5ive (Post 4346664)
All I did was push the control arm down with my foot and the spring came out.

Unless you unbolt the lower control arm or have a broken spring, that can't happen.

Blue5ive 09-10-2012 08:25 PM

Nope. It's been done on at least 3 other cars in our area.

Black&Tan 09-10-2012 11:53 PM

So you took the wheel off, and without unbolting anything, pushed the control arm down while with your foot and the spring popped out?

Am I understanding that right?


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