oh oh harbor freight
i've used and still do buy "stuff" from harbor freight. some of it's good some's bad. from a pure mechanical stand point the hazet unit is very substantial and because it uses a threaded "screw" (no doubt hardened) to collapse the spring make a built in mechanical stop. the hf unit looks a little meek but for non commercial apps using only once and a great while will probably do the work. if you know the psi of force you need to collapse the spring compare it to the hf unit (formula is i.d. size of piston x .785 = square inches, time the total psi will give you the total force) if it's hi enough it will probably work. i would however, before i started any work using the hf tool attach a mechanical stop on the springs. the hydraulic unit could (so beware!!) bleed off enough to let the spring lengthen or actually pop open (beware!!)
another option would be to use a mechanical spring collapsing device ... hooks with threaded rod that uses a nut, your wrench and elbow grease to compress the spring. you can probably rent this from the local napa or autozone store.
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