That's great news, Joel.
I'm glad it worked out for you.
I hate to see folks use expensive specialized tools when there is a workaround.
Credible sources say this can be done without any sort of spring compressor, but I just can't figure a way to get the bottom of the spring seated without at least some compression.
Perhaps that works if you are using shorter sport springs.
Bolt-type compressors are so cheap, that I'm not sure I care.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.