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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The title of this post refers to the front suspension of my 1997 Thunderbird sport and the fact I was an IDIOT when I worked on it!!!

On Aug 4th, I replaced ALL my front suspension components that had not already been previously replaced by myself - those parts included new LCA's, new inner & outer tie-rods, new tension-strut bushings (both at the LCA's and the frame) and new Vogtland 1" drop coil springs (both front & rear). I had already replaced the shocks and UCA's.

Well, after I had the passenger-side completely together, I noticed that I had one of the washers backwards (the one on the backside of where the tension-strut goes through the frame, not the one on the forward side of the frame). By backwards, I mean that the dished side of the washer is not facing away from the rubber bushing - I'm not entirely sure it should be the other way, but I put all the other washers on the tension-strut with the dished sides facing AWAY from the bushings because the OE set-up was that way. O.K., so no big deal, right? Well, it kind of bugs the hell out me because I'm REALLY anal about things like that!

So, then I take my car to Sears on Aug 12th to get my new Continental tires mounted and balanced when the mechanic points out to me that the coil spring on the passenger-side is upside-down! I take a look and sure enough, it's exactly opposite the way the driver's-side spring is - duh!!! You see, the Vogtland springs have tighter-wound coils on one end, and the wire at the very end is tapered so that the spring is totally flat on that end. If you sat that end on the ground, the spring would point straight up-and-down; if you turn the spring over, it would lean over to one side because that end is not flat. I installed the driver-side spring with the flat end up, since the underside of the upper mount is flat and the lower spring seat on the shock has a step in it that matches the spring when it's installed that way (Vogtland e-mailed me that it doesn't matter which end is up; just that both sides are installed the same)!

Anyway, to make a long story short, I now need to take my passenger-side suspension back apart to flip the coil spring over and change that washer on the tension-strut, because I'm NOT paying Firestone over $350 to do it for me!!

So, what is the easiest way for me to correct my stupidity?!! If I take the nuts off of the tension-strut both where it goes through the LCA and where it passes through the frame, then take the nut and bolt out of the pinch-joint on the UCA and seperate the spindle from the UCA, will I be able to move the LCA back far enough to get the tension-strut out of the LCA once I also take the shock off of the LCA? I'd also like to change the spring by placing a floor jack under the shock, then removing the piston-rod nut from under the hood and then lowering the jack - that's how I installed them and it was SUPER-EASY because there was no compressing of the spring with a spring-compressor and the upper mount stayed bolted to the car! Or, am I going to have to remove the pivot bolt from the LCA where it bolts to the car body, thereby screwing-up my alignment significantly (I realize I'm just going to have to get an alignment anyway)?

Or, does anybody have any other suggestions I'm not thinking of?

In my defense, I'm really NOT that stupid - I just hadn't had much sleep and it was hotter than hell in my dad's garage when I did this work! Still, I'm not happy with myself, right now!

Dennis
 

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Dont feel bad... one time i put a brake pad in backwards and didnt notice until after i was driving and heard a nice grinding sound when i came to a stop. *dons flame suit...*

In regards to your question, i have no clue lol - me and suspension dont get along too well.
 

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Not entirely sure it matters what direction you install the spring... my admittedly limited knowledge of the laws of physics tells me that unless it's a high-performance car with a super-sensitive suspension, you're never going to notice the difference.
 

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...

You see, the Vogtland springs have tighter-wound coils on one end, and the wire at the very end is tapered so that the spring is totally flat on that end. If you sat that end on the ground, the spring would point straight up-and-down; if you turn the spring over, it would lean over to one side because that end is not flat. I installed the driver-side spring with the flat end up, since the underside of the upper mount is flat and the lower spring seat on the shock has a step in it that matches the spring when it's installed that way (Vogtland e-mailed me that it doesn't matter which end is up; just that both sides are installed the same)!

...

I'd also like to change the spring by placing a floor jack under the shock, then removing the piston-rod nut from under the hood and then lowering the jack - that's how I installed them and it was SUPER-EASY because there was no compressing of the spring with a spring-compressor and the upper mount stayed bolted to the car! Or, am I going to have to remove the pivot bolt from the LCA where it bolts to the car body, thereby screwing-up my alignment significantly (I realize I'm just going to have to get an alignment anyway)?

Or, does anybody have any other suggestions I'm not thinking of?

...

Dennis
Here's what I would do about flipping that spring.

Leave the LCA pivot bolt alone. I'd take the spring, shock and upper mount out as an assembly and take that to a shop and have them flip the spring using a spring compressor to take it apart and put it back together.
It should be relatively easy to remove with the front end in the air and the suspension on that side unloaded.
Just make sure that they line it back up right, so that the three upper mount bolts and the LCA mount at the bottom of the shock are in the correct place.

The local Goodyear shop here put mine together with their spring compressor for $25 per side.

Or, you could try the technique that you used initially. I've never tried that way, I don't know if there is enough room to do that with the LCA pivot bolt still attached when the spring is uncompressed to it's full length.

The way you have it mounted, with the flat section of the spring against the top mount, is the same way that mine are installed. Good luck working it out.
 

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???

Hello

How tall are the springs? Do you even need a compressor?

I run 12" racing spring in my car. no need for a compressor.

Here is how I remove the shock.

Raise both sides of the front of the car.(sway bar bind thing)
remove tire
unbolt the upper 3 nuts
remove the upper ball joint bolt.(push Control arm up)
Remove the lower shock nut. (No jack needed)

The whole assembly will come out.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not entirely sure it matters what direction you install the spring... my admittedly limited knowledge of the laws of physics tells me that unless it's a high-performance car with a super-sensitive suspension, you're never going to notice the difference.
The manufacturer of the springs (Vogtland) says that the up and down orientation of the springs does not matter - just that BOTH sides (left/right) have to be the SAME WAY.

As it stands now, both front springs are opposite of each other, so one needs to be flipped.

Dennis
 
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