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  #1  
Old 06-03-2002, 12:04 AM
surfblau's Avatar
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Location: san francisco - immer kalt, immer windig, I want to move
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Veteren coil spring compressor users

Veteren coil spring compressor users

I will need to eventually compress the front springs to do the lower ball joint or to (possibly next weekend) install a new guide rod mount. Does anyone have experience with the spring compressor that is attached below. Proportionally, it looks like it would function as the mercedes tool in the manual. Performance products has one that they sell for $500, which is way more than I am willing to pay at this point.

Does anyone think that it will do a satifactory job on 123 and 126 chassis?

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File Type: bmp cheap_bandw.bmp (18.6 KB, 1312 views)
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2002, 12:19 AM
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Rent It

Performance Products rents the spring compressor for $85 for 30 days, plus deposit (cost of new tool on your credit card), plus S&H both ways. I used the PP spring compressor tool and it worked fine on some very strong springs that need to be handled carefully when R&R'ing using the correct tool. I replaced all the front end components and replaced a pair of badly sagging rear springs.

Many months ago a person made a post on the Tech forum who was also willing to rent the spring compressor tool. Same terms as PP.

Good Luck!
Tom
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2002, 06:55 AM
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For many years I have tried to buy the special tool for a job and do it myself if there was any chance the tool would ever be used again. As a result I have both the type shown in your attachment (usual internal compressor ) and an external used for strut type arrangements. I am just guessing but it may be that the one shown has the tips too long to fit between the coils on a sagging spring MB. When I looked under my 300td that is the impression I got. you have to be able to get both through the openings and that may be why the MB specified one is such a flat design.

If you get that and it does work be sure and post your success... I would love to use these tools for that instead of renting or making the mb type.

If you rent the MB type how about contacting me while you have it and lets measure it so I can replicate it in my shop.

On the other hand, it would seem, and I have mentioned this before, to thunderous silence, that we could coordinate between the members of the forum to utilize the rented compressor and considerably reduce the rental cost per person. Good luck, Greg
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2002, 11:46 AM
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thanks for the input on the width issue

Thanks leather,

I bet that you are right on the width of the wings on the cheapie compared to the MB tool. I have another post to check if I really need a compressor for the next job or two that I need done now. If I can wait until september, I am going to have my wife check with her brother in zurich when she is on summer vacation. He is a tool maker there and seems to have a fair amount of free time. I will probably try and wait and see if he can find/make one. Same goes for a lower ball joint press. If I can obtain one, I would be willing to "rent" it to you for the price of return postage.

later
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2002, 11:53 AM
NIC
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Surfblau,

I obtained an "internal" compressor that looked like the one you have pictured and could not get it to work. I was unable to get it connected to the rear springs due to space restrictions. Very frustrating. Finally rented the PerformanceProducts tool, which worked like a charm.

Earlier, I had used an external type compressor on my front springs. That one was the type that uses little "u" clamps to attach long bolts to the outside of the spring. I got it to work but don't recommend it and probably wouldn't try it again. Just not worth the stress.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no way out except via the right tool in this instance.

Nic
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2002, 12:53 PM
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I used (tried to use) a very similiar tool as the one shown. The nuckles are to big and do not fit through the access hole in the a-arm. Try as I did it did not work and was very frustrating. I used a set of external spring compressors. I had to cut the threaded rod on one side to keep it from hitting the frame and the top spring holder. At the time I would have spent the $500 just to save the agrevation. The first side I did I ended up with only one of the two spring compressors installed. I was waitng for the rod to break and send the spring into my face or body. The only satisfaction I had was the $1.0m term life insurance policy I have. Rent the compressor, it is worth it's weight in gold. Or get a good life insurance policy and do what I did.

Henry
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2002, 01:28 PM
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thanks everyone.

The input that you all gave me is exactly what I needed to hear.

I will rent the tool from performance and use it this week. I will also measure it to get the specs so that I can get one made.

thanks
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2002, 02:10 PM
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Very Cool, knowing the specs will be great....
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2002, 05:58 PM
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If you get a machine shop to make it you may be able to obtain dimension dwgs you could possibly sale .
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2002, 12:29 PM
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Surfblau, I used one just like that for the 123 front coils. I just used one of the hook assemblies on the bottom and a flat washer on the top, compressing the coil upwards into the top spring seat. This style of compressor will probably not work if you need to remove the spring because you can't get both section inside the spring...I tried. But you can compress the spring enough to work freely on the lower control arm.

I paid about $13US for the tool so, it wasn't an option to build one. I had to grind the tips away a bit on the bottom section so the hook would fit in between the coils. The tool is not made from mild steel. I think it is at least drop-forged. I would not make a home-made tool because mild steel may not stand up to the strain and working with alloy steel may end up being too brittle. Both of these possiblities would be disasterous!

Here is a pic of the compressor in place.
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Veteren coil spring compressor users-new-bushings_lower-arm.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2002, 02:24 PM
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hmm- that looks like it might be worth a try

Basically, the work that I need to do is the brake/guide/track rod mount replacement. Though it looks fine to me, I would probably like to replace the other end of the brake rod at the lower control arm and the lower control arm bushings (but both those parts really don't look bad, but this will save me from having to go back in soon).

Where did you get the $13 compressor? Do you see any safety issues with using as you did? I really don't need to remove the spring either, so your method looks fine to me.

thanks
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2002, 03:12 PM
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Surfblau, I bought the compressor from Princess Auto in Canada at a sale price. They have a web site, WWW.princessauto.com. They have an on-line catalog, but I haven't looked at it. The prices are likely Canadian.

I did'nt feel unsafe using the compressor. Each hook matched the coil angle reasonably well, nothing slipped, and there were no scary noises.

The compressor should be installed with the wheel hanging freely to open up the spaces in between the coils. Very important to leave the shock attached at all times because that's all there is holding the spring in place. Try to hook the compressor on the lowest coil possible to spread the compression over as many coils as possible (as in my first pic).Then once the compressor is installed, raise a jack right under the lower control arm (W123 in my case) at the coil spring to compress it. This will save some time and effort cranking the compressor. Then it's not too much cranking from that point. Then remove the jack.

Here is a pic of what I used: The string is to lower and also retrieve the compressor from the top. The flat washer went on the top of the spring tower from engine compartment.
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Veteren coil spring compressor users-coil-spring-compressor.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2002, 07:40 PM
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It is true that mild steel would not be proper for this,,, but to lump all " homemade" items into one basket would not be proper either... if I make one it will be out of spring steel and properly heat treated... many home do it yourselfers have more than average facilities to work with... I am an old blacksmith/weldor... and a careful person... with much respect for compressed springs. Greg

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