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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the situation: Just got done having two broken front springs taken care of on my 2001 ZTS. Looked at the back springs afterward, and, sure enough, they're broken also.

The issue is that this car has spent its entire life in the very heart of not just the rust belt, but the salt belt of the rust belt. The rear control arms/suspension is one fused mass of iron oxide.

The path to replacing my rear springs has to use an internal spring compressor to remove and replace them without touching any of the rear suspension bolts. Can anyone recommend a name/brand of INTERNAL spring compressor to get this job done?
 

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Maybe there is an internal spring compressor that will work, but all the different compressors I tried didn't. I tried removing the rear springs the way you are thinking when the driver's side outer bolt stripped. After trying several types of compressors, I marked/removed the inner adjustment bolts, and removed the springs that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's hard to imagine the amount of rust in the salt belt. Neither inboard bolt on the lower rear control arms is ever coming out again on this car. There's not enough acetylene on the planet. The minimum suspension job starts with a new rear subframe. I've got to make a spring compressor work here.
 

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I tried these:


Clamps were too long, and didn't fit in the spring correctly.


Not enough room around the lower control arm.


Screw bottomed out on the underside of the car before spring was fully compressed.


This is the kind I didn't try. They come in hydraulic, and manual. The cost of this was higher then new lower control arms. Of course this is the one Alldata said to use.





Maybe someone else has a better idea, but this is what I found.
 

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i used a pry bar to pull the lca down then grabbed the spring and pulled it out.

the H-techs just went in really nice since they were shorter
 

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I don't think there is an internal compressor that will work, least not that is cost effective vs replacing rusted parts.

I had to cut my LCA bolts out. I cut the welded nut off and used a BFH and punch to drive them out of the bushing. Then just used a grade 8 nut/bolt as a replacement. Seems to hold just fine.

I really don't see any other way to do this. The LCA bolt has to come out.
 

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^^^ lucky yours came out, i tried that and all it did was spread the metal when i tried taking off the bolt. and beating the piss out of it did nothing. (one point was beating it with a 10lb snap on hammer)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK - Some good news from Mike_Mac! Mike_Mac, I want to verify that you removed the nut from the top of the shock absorber to get a little more downward play in the LCA when you did this. Did you? Do you remember how much extra play you got? The nut on the top of the shock is inside the car and is a little less rusty than everything else. How about the sway bar? I can see perhaps cutting the sway bar end-links when doing this job and putting back new ones.

If this can be done in Windsor, Ont., there's hope for WNY.

roosterst - Thanks for the pictures. Now I know what weapons are available.
 

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i used a pry bar to pull the lca down then grabbed the spring and pulled it out.

the H-techs just went in really nice since they were shorter
how much compression was still on the spring when you used the pry bar?
 

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the shock i had removed from the car (did springs and shocks at the same time) but yes removing the top nut (or bottom bolt) will allow more movement from the LCA.

the sway bar i didn't remove.

at the time i had shocks on both sides out and none of the wheels on the ground. you will need to put alot of weight on the bar. if you don't car about the springs your removing take a torch to them so they compress easier
 

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i cant remember but not a whole lot. like i put my weight on the bar grabed the spring and pulled and it out of the lca.

this was done about 2-3 years ago
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK. I successfully replaced both rear springs without undoing a single major suspension bolt. This on an 11-year old car that has lived its life in Western New York. The trick is to use the OEM 27035 internal spring compressor that appears in the first picture thankfully posted by roosterst. I will post instructions later.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OK. SO here's the rough procedure for replacing the rear springs without removing any MAJOR suspension bolts, like the ones that are seized in their bushings. But first, a safety precaution: This procedure involves compressing springs. A compressed spring is potential energy. This energy can be instantaneously converted into kinetic energy in the form of a high-velocity spring or spring compressor parts if something fails. DO NOT let either end of the compressed spring ever point toward your body and never drop a compressed spring. Wear safety glasses. If you don't have experience with spring compressors, pay an experienced person to do it. Your unborn progeny will appreciate it. You have been warned. Proceed at your own risk. These springs were my 13th and 14th spring replacements on various cars over the years.

1. Jack the rear of the car up, both rear wheels off of the ground, remove wheels. You did remember jackstands and blocked the front wheels, didn't you?
2. If you have rear disk brakes like I do, remove the calipers and set aside. The disk brake hose isn't long enough. If you have rear drum brakes you're on your own.
3. Remove one of the shock mounting bolts, either the interior upper or the exterior lower, on both sides. I was actually able to get my lower ones out. This gives the suspension more downward travel.
4. Remove the rear sway bar links on both sides, again this gives the suspension more downward travel. Astonishingly, mine came right off.
5. Install the OEM 27035 (OEM is a brand) spring compressor pictured in the red plastic case above, claws at the top and spade at the bottom of the spring. roosterst points out that the lead screw is too long. This is remedied by putting a 3/4"-drive 15/16", DEEP, IMPACT socket over the lead screw between the thrust washers and the spade. Put the 3/4"-drive end of the socket toward the spade. The socket nestles nicely into the pocket milled in the back of the spade. I got this socket as part of a set at Horror Fright Tool for $54. Expensive? No. Just think about using a Sawz-all to cut all those suspension bolts. Best $54 I ever spent. You need to have between four or five spring turns or three or four spring spaces in the compressor. About two inches of total compression should do. Keep your head out of the wheel-well while compressing the spring.
6. Have an assistant put a 3'-4' long 2"x4" over the top of the leading arm and underneath the rear subframe. Ford actually designed in brackets on the suspension specifically for this. You will recognize them when you look. Have your assistant use the 2"x4" to push down the suspension as far as he/she can.
7. Reach in and push the rubber spring isolator up off of the top of the spring and push it back up into the upper spring perch. If left on the spring it will prevent you from getting the spring out. The compressed spring will now be easily tipped out and removed.
8. Have your assistant release the suspension
9. DEFUSE THE BOMB! Immediately uncompress the spring. ALL tension must be removed from the spring before removing the spring compressor.
10. Reach in and remove the rubber isolator from the upper spring perch.

The assembly is pretty much exactly the reverse of removal. Two tricks: roosterst points out that this spring compressor doesn't like to stay well-centered in the spring when it's out of the lower control arm. This can be troublesome on assembly. A piece of old tire tread cut to size will keep the socket and lead screw centered inside the spring well enough to get it into the lower control arm. Second: Put a 1/2" long by 5/16" diameter bolt up into the drain hole in the bottom of the control arm to keep the lower end of the spring from covering the drain hole. Be sure to orient the bolt so that you can remove AFTER the new spring is installed. Be careful rotationally orienting the spring to be off of this bolt and correctly inserted into the upper isolator. While the spring is out be sure to clean the pockets in the lower control arm. They fill with crud. I cleaned the rust and scale off, too, and painted with Rust-o-leum while the springs were out.

Thanks to Mike_Mac for being the pioneer on this and roosterst for posting the pictures.

Good luck and safety first.
 

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Worked but was only able to find a regular 3/4 drive 15/16 which also was the only one so purchased a 3/4 drive 1 1/4(or something). Worked but still a bitch which leaves me wondering if you could cut the threaded rod an inch or so if that would work. Of your own clamp of course and would have to measure the excess again to see how much to cut. Anyway thanks for the idea drjekl.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am delighted that this was of help to someone.....
 

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When I replaced the rear spings on my 01, I didn't need to use a spring compressor, no bolts were broken, it was completely drama free.

put car on jackstands
remove rear wheels
remove swaybar endlinks
remove lower shock bolt
place floorjack under control arm spring pocket
remove the lower bolt from the upright that connects to the control arm
lower floorjack, spring fully expands and has enough slack to be removed
 

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spring compressor from Autozone works well for 2004 SVT.

use 2 -5/8" x 18 tpi jam nuts to shorten the threaded rod.unbolt the sway bar,rear shock,and it helps to use a sciccors jack to lower the control arm another inch.almost drops out and use a prybar to position it correctly(hole on the lower seat covered). shop in Royal joke wanted $300. to change a set out.........be sure to reinstall the tool the same position as you used to remove to make things easier.no need to mess with the LCA bolt.
 

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Moved to Brakes, Suspension & Chassis for reference.
 

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Here's the situation: Just got done having two broken front springs taken care of on my 2001 ZTS. Looked at the back springs afterward, and, sure enough, they're broken also.
If the back ones were broken why were they so hard to get out?

What kept them together?
 
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