Sounds like I'm lucky to be alive. I just r/r the front spring on a '79 300TD. I released the upper ball joint and lowered the bottom arm till it looked like the spring should fall out, I had to poke it out with a tire iron. I rented a $60 tool that fit inside the spring , it had 4 hooks on it. it got "captured" and I later had to disassemble it to remove. I'm guessing it had 500 pounds or so of pressure to get it squeezed 2". It took 9 hours for the whole job. I hate this kind of work, but have been doing it 4 decades, and so feel a little in control. It's scary. Beginners, DONT do it. Lorenzo in Montana.