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  #1  
Old 01-08-2002, 09:03 PM
Car Killer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 178
Strut Compressors.... whats the best?

If you have experience with strut compressors, what is the best style, who makes it, and how much does it cost? The shop I worked at had a large bench mount unit that is probably too big and expensive for me at home, I am looking for somthing below $175. Thanks for your recommendations.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2002, 11:32 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
For a Mercedes???? Why?
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Donnie Drummonds
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2002, 11:39 PM
Car Killer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 178
For a VW... I have a freind coming over for struts and I want to buy a strut compressor that will work for a long time, not somthing cheap that is "just ok".. I figured some of the guys around here would know somthing about them.. maybe some company that sells a good one cheap.. I dont wanna buy one off the snapon guy.. I can see the price already....
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2002, 11:52 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
On Tool

Go to ontool.com and search for "strut compressor." They have one made by S&G Tool Aid for less then $34 (I have a diesel compression gauge made by S&G and it is a good tool), then two other compressors for about $90 (one by OTC a quality tool maker and another manuf. I am not familiar with), and one for about $185 - after that $400-$600+. On Tool has a toll-free number so you can discuss the tools to get a feel for the one that will fit your needs best. Free shipping for orders over $50.

Good Luck!
Tom
__________________
America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Formerly:
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
Supervisor of Maintenance largest tree care co. in US for offices in Tex.
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2002, 02:55 PM
Car Killer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 178
Thanks for the advice, are ontool prices pretty reasonable?
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2002, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 2,632
For Mercedes vehicles, I would stay from any type of "clam shell" or "cheap" compressor. The alternative is death, or extreme damage.

The ONLY coil spring compressor I would use on a Mercedes is the type that has two circular plates and worm-screw compression.

They are expensive ($600!) but you're life is worth much more.

Either rent one from Performance Products, call them (http://www.************************), or have an independent that has this tool do the work.

My indep. Mercedes tech. charges me $40 to change out the front springs.

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG
1993 500E
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2002, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
Car 54:

On Tool has very low prices when I was comparison shopping, plus the fact that they'll pay shipping for orders over $50 lowers the price even more (they say free shipping is for a limited time and I don't know about a heavy tool). I did not shop around for you to give you the lowest price - I just went to On Tool ( I was looking for another tool anyway) and looked up strut compressors. Like I wrote, call them for more info.

A tip to your friend when they remove the struts - mark their mounting position on the car so that when they are re-installed they will be close to the original position. This should make the alignment close to what it was before removing the struts and less wear on the tires when the vehicle is taken for an alignment. The alignment should be the first thing that is done after the struts are re-installed. I've seen mis-alignments after front end work (struts included) that ruined tires that were driven for only a few miles

ke6dcj:

I've rented the spring compressor from Performance Products when I rebuilt the entire front end on my 300D and replaced the rear springs. However, the PP rental tool fits inside the spring after removing the shock absorber. A strut, on the other hand, is inside the spring and a strut compressor is needed to compress the spring to replace the strut. A strut is a shock absorber, but it is also the mounting point for the spindle, backing plate, brakes, wheel, etc., etc. and it takes the place of most of the components comprising conventional/traditional suspension components. When a strut is removed from a vehicle it comes off as an assembly after removing the wheel, brakes, etc, and then the fasteners at the top and bottom mounting points to the car (there are different ways the struts are mounted and things mounted to the struts - I am only talking in very general terms). Then a strut compressor is used to compress the spring, the spring holders/fasteners are removed, the spring is removed from the strut, and then the strut can be replaced. I do not see how the PP rental spring compressor would work on any strut that I have experience with (perhaps another member knows of struts made that you could use the PP tool on). I totally agree with you, I would not even try to compress a M-B spring without using the PP rental tool or something similar - those springs are much stronger than what is one other vehicles and serious injury even death could occur if the wrong spring compressor tool is used.

Hope this helps!
Tom

P.S. Sorry ke6dcj I was talking about the back springs on my 300D having the shock in the center of the spring. The front spring does not have a shock inside of it. Oh Well!!
__________________
America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Formerly:
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
Supervisor of Maintenance largest tree care co. in US for offices in Tex.

Last edited by tcane; 01-09-2002 at 10:56 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2002, 10:43 PM
Car Killer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 178
I went with the OTC clamshell. I'm not paying, so price is not important, and I have other OTC tools that are built like a brick ****house. Thanks for the ontool.com tip. I never knew they had so much stuff.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2002, 11:01 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antone
Posts: 408
Glad to hear you found what you wanted at On Tool. They do have a lot of tools and if you don't find it on their web site, then give them a call - I've found a couple of tools by calling them.

Yep, OTC makes some good tools. I own a 12 ton hydraulic press made by OTC and it works great!

Tom
__________________
America: Land of the Free!

1977 300D: 300,000+ miles

American Honda: Factory Trained Technician & Honor Grad.
Formerly:
Shop Foreman;
Technical Advisor to Am. Honda;
Supervisor of Maintenance largest tree care co. in US for offices in Tex.
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