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  #1  
Old 07-19-2002, 05:46 AM
Brian16V
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Question ???NO Spring Compressor Required???

Can the front coil springs be removed/replaced WITHOUT the aid of a spring compressor? I've got about a 2-week wait for mail-order rental compressors ($85.50 rental + $515.00 deposit). Never really gave it much thought. Is the following possible --

[1] Place front on jackstands
[2] Remove wheel
[3] Bottle jack under control arm -- jack up to compress spring
[4] Remove topside shock bolt
[5] SLOWLY lower jack/control arm
(is this where the procedure breaks down? will the spring bow out and be in danger of shooting out?)
[6] Remove shock and continue pushing down on control arm until you can remove the spring.
[7] Install new spring (and shock)
[8] Raise the control arm while guiding the shock shaft into position (and compressing the spring).

Thanks!

Brian16V
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2002, 09:20 AM
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Posts: 245
In theory that's possible, but when I changed springs on mine, I wasn't able to bend the control arm down far enough to get the spring out. And that was with everything removed (swaybar, caliper, shock, etc.). I guess the control arm bushings don't let it go further, but I think I've heard of others who've had success with this method. Maybe it depends on the condition of the bushings.
Now, another thing you could try is to jack the control arm up, then remove the control arm bolts and drop the whole arm. I know this works on the rear, but I don't know if it would in the front, though I don't see why not. You'll have to get the car realigned anyway, so taking off the control arm shouldn't be a problem. Just remember that the jack has to be centered beneath the spring, or you'll have problems...
Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2002, 02:03 PM
They call me Darth Speed
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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forget it.

don't even try the front springs that way.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2002, 05:07 PM
Brian16V
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Yep, that's what I figured. Guess I'll have to wait my turn for the rental coil spring compressor.

Dan16V -- I see you also have H&Rs on your ride. What pads did you end up using? I've got all 3 waiting in the wings (2-bump on there now with stock springs), but was planning on installing the 1-bumpers. Rears went in like a charm -- perfect wheel clearance with the 1" of lowering. Fronts will need a little more help than the 1" lowering that H&R literature claims (hence going to 1-bump). My ride is not an "every-dayer" -- only once per weekend, so a harsher ride will be acceptable (as long as the handling around sweepers is improved).

Thanks all for the info.

Brian16V
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2002, 05:12 PM
benzboy1
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Spring compressor

I can rent my spring tool $40 + tool price if you need, I chance some with out tool is a night mirror, whole day job.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2002, 05:23 PM
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Brian,
1-bump in the front sounds good, but you'll end up with about .5 to .75" gap between the tire and the fenders. If you want to lower even more and have a slightly stiffer ride, then I'd suggest cutting one coil off of the springs. H&R themselves state that euro versions of the exact same spring come with one coil less, so if the coil is cut correctly (ie. not heated up too much), then this will give you a lower height and a stiffer ride. I know a lot of people look down on spring cutting, but most of that is about cutting stock springs, which is not a smart idea. But, since these springs are stronger, it'll be fine.
Later,
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2002, 12:55 AM
sisco2gs
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I dont know how useful my reply will be, since I have an 8V, but I did exactly what you described in that same chronological order, and I was able to get my springs out...Mind you, I had to kind of pry them out of the control arm with a long, metal pipe, but this was after the spring was mostly uncompressed, save for the side facing the engine bay, wich kind of stays slightly compressed and mounted. Try at your own risk, but I was tired of all local shops telling me that they cant "work on Mercedes" and not wanting to do it, plus that long compressor wait kind of motivated me to just go ahead and try my luck. My car looks so hot now, sittin low like that!!!!!
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  #8  
Old 07-22-2002, 01:20 PM
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Exclamation Rental Fee Too High

Brian,

That's too much. Is there some reason that standard spring compressors won't work on this car? (I hope that's not the case, because I plan to use some to remove my springs this weekend.)
The attached photo is for a set from Sears -- they cost $39.99 to BUY them. They require no further tools, just use your rachet to tighten and loosen. (if you have air tools, even easier)

I plan to use your method to remove most of the load from the springs, then use the spring compressor to finish the job.

It may be POSSIBLE to remove the springs without compressors, but if that spring lets go, the conseqences are unthinkable (and I'm not talking about damage to your car). The power in a loaded spring is, literally, enough to kill you!

As for Dan's suggestion of removing the whole control arm under load... are you nuts???
If your jack isn't EXACTLY centered when you begin lowering, that spring could shoot off the car like a mortar round. You wouldn't catch me within 100 feet of a car that was having this procedure done on it.

So buy the spring compressors at Sears (or from any other auto parts store) You'll be MUCH safer, and you'll save some time. And hey, in my humble opinion, $40 is a cheap life insurance policy.

Jeff Pierce
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???NO Spring Compressor Required???-spring1.jpg  
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Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
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'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
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'95 Toyota Tacoma
'74 Honda CB 550F
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  #9  
Old 07-22-2002, 09:57 PM
benzboy1
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Spring compressor

Maybe this this picture is better than thousand words. Rent this tool $40
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???NO Spring Compressor Required???-image029x.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 07-23-2002, 04:01 AM
Brian16V
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Jeff: Rented exactly what you've got pictured there (Kragen's -- free rental); no good, not enough clearance in there. Next, rented the internal spring compressor. Again, no good because there wasn't enough clearance on the inside of the coil.

benzboy: Left-hand photo -- now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Exactly what I'm waiting for. The plates are perfect and access to the nut is through the clearance slot on the underside of the lower swing arm. Just checked today and it'll be on its way in a day. If they slip up, what way do you provide for the "deposit"?

Dan16V: 0.5" - 0.75" gap is cool with me. Up to 1" will look nice with what I've got on the rears. I will use the 1-bump as you suggest.

Thanks all for the info/advice -- gotta love this forum!

Brian16V
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2002, 06:27 AM
Deltacom's Avatar
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Posts: 335
Actually the Service Manual give procedures without the use of spring compressors, thus:-

Removal:
1. Loosen lower shock absorbers on lower arm and connecting linkage of torsion bar. 2. Lift vehicle at the front and rear to give clearance from ground to excentric bolts of minimum 30 cm. 3. Mark position of excentric bolts on flange washer and frame and loosen hex nuts. 4. Support lower control arm with pit lift on inner lip of lower arm, knock out cam bolts and carefully lower the pitlift (make sure the cam bolts are not mixed up). 5. remove pitlift, swivel lower control arm forward and remove front spring with rubber ring.

Installation:
6. Insert front spring with ground end up and with rubber mount attached. 7. Swivel lower control arm into its installation position, while turing front spring in such a manner that the lower coil end is in alignment with the identation in control arm .
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???NO Spring Compressor Required???-fspring1.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2002, 09:35 AM
tvpierce's Avatar
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Location: Portland, ME
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Benzboy,

You're not using the other compressor correctly (the silver one on the right). They come in pairs. Not one for each side of the CAR -- but one for each side of the SPRING!
After I posted yesterday, I was discussing this topic with a co-worker. And he had an even easier method using this type compressor:
1) Hand-tighten the compressors on the springs BEFORE you jack up the car.
2) Jack up the car.
3) Remove the strut.

It seems like the compressed spring would practically fall out of its perch.
Admittedly, I have not done this yet on my 190E, (I plan to this weekend) but I have experience using these compressors on a Volvo and BMW -- they worked flawlessly.

Jeff Pierce
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Jeff Pierce

Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
'93 Nissan Quest
'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
'81 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
'88 Toyota Celica
'95 Toyota Tacoma
'74 Honda CB 550F
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2002, 09:53 PM
benzboy1
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Spring compressor

The tool which I have is just like the Original Mercedes tool, the rent is $ 40 + a $400 deposit which is the price of the tool, plus shipping. You can pay with a money order or PayPal.
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