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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay I'm trying to keep up the policy of doing all my own work on my escort. Buuut... I don't have a 'spring compressor' so my dad says I can't install my own struts. As I said before I have a good deal on some. Is there any way I could install them without using a spring compressor or do I need to take the struts to a mechanic and have them do it?
 

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absolutely not.
If you live anywhere near a college, see if they have an auto club and if you can get hooked up with them and maybe mooch their spring compressor in exchange for some donuts or a pat on the head or something.

If not, then consider buying your own spring compressor. Chances are it will pay itself off within 2 or 3 times of doing it yourself, and you get a nice spring compressor to boot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yeah, and thanks for the advice, btw. Knowing me I'd be like 'I'll hop on them to compress them or something and taken my old ones off and had them break my arm or somethin'. :p
 

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well there are certain things you have to watch out for. Like there is this nut on one side that essentially keeps the spring from overextending, and if you unscrew that, then the thing will fly off and kill people. pimpscort told me about how in one of his classes a kid did this and just about killed himself. Well that was fun.

anyway, just look over on ebaymotors.com:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... gory=43998
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thanks a lot man, that's like pocket money. It'd probably cost more than that just to have someone else do it for me. Yeah my dad told me about a guy at work that took off that nut on the leaf springs on his truck, and it flew off and broke both of the bones in his arm.
 

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i just put new struts and springs on my scort. i went to autozone ( i don't know if you have one your way) but they have a free rent a tool thing there. i paid 40 dallars and got a spring compresser there and if i don't return it i can keep it or like i did i returned it and got my money back. if you don't have an autozone than see if there are any rental places that have something similar. i didn't want to buy one since i'm not planning on doing that job again for a long time.
 

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******WARNING - I PROBABLY GOT OFF EASY******

I have successfully done the rear struts without a spring compressor. I don't know if everyone else's are the same, but mine went pretty easy. The front on the other hand are a different story. There is only one way that I have ever heard of to replace front struts without a compressor. I won't go into details, but it takes a couple of heavy people, a bunch of tie wire, and a set of brass B**** the size of watermelons. It is VERY *******, and so unbelieveble dangerous that I hope to all things holy that I never do it again. AutoZone is a great place to get a loan-a-toolfor just about anything. ball joint presses, spring compressors, specialty engine rebuilding tools, anything and everything. Give them a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's an autozone within walking distance of my house so I should be good, I think. As long as they do that. I think they do, because I've seen people hooking up computers to their cars in the autozone parking lot. Anyways, thanks a lot. Now all I have to do is convince my dad to give me 280 bucks plus shipping for those sprint 1.8" lowering springs and struts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Like I said, I got a really good deal. I think it's a pretty reliable deal, I'm not sure. It's not offa ebay or some internet site or anything. (Okay, it is; it's someone offa this site.) I don't wanna say who though. They might get snapped up before I can convince my dad to buy them. I'm pretty sure he will.
 

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birddog said:
******WARNING - I PROBABLY GOT OFF EASY******

I have successfully done the rear struts without a spring compressor. I don't know if everyone else's are the same, but mine went pretty easy. The front on the other hand are a different story.
My 1995 service manual says that you don't need to use a spring compressor to do the rear struts, only the front.
 

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never bothered to look at the book for the struts, Most of the ones on other cars that I did had enough preload on the rear sping that I wanted to use a compressor.
 

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This might be a stupid question, but i've never done this before, so bear with me.
Once you have compressed the spring and taken the spring/strut assembly apart, you now have to decomress the spring. I'm imagining a spring not being retained by top or bottom spring seats with a spring compressor on one side—won't it start to curve and try to pop out of the compressor, or are they too stout for that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, two things; one, I don't think the spring will being because looked to me like the compressor clamps down on both sides; from the pictures that I've been looking at.

Two, I realized some place where I could seriously mooch some equipment and knowledge. My uncle on my mom's side is an automitive tech teacher at North Tech, a vocational school deal thing up in north county. He owns 3 1960's ford mustangs, a ranger, and a saturn, so I think I can get him to help me. We had my mom's air conditioner done by him a while back and he had his students do it for free, it turned out great. So probably if I take my car up there I can get some help from him. :)
 

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Ah, so "a spring compressor" really consists of two identical clampy deals? one for each side of the spring? i think that makes a lot of sense...
I was imagining only one, like in the picture on Ebay.
 

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Actually, my whole point about saying how you don't need a spring compressors for the rear was that if you are at all intimidated by the process that you should at least have give the back ones a shot yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well it's all a moot point now because I didn't get the springs and struts. TheMightyEscort got a new car (zx2) *fingers crossed* lets hope so anyways, he had to get financing for it last I heard. Anyways, good for him, I don't mind; he's going to be using the suspension on his new car. Hope it works out really well mighty! And thanks for all the good info, it might yet come to some use, if I run across some struts and springs or whatnot again, and have a job by that time or can convince my dad to buy them. I'm lookin' at this job for a temp agency, working their computer databases. It's boring but it beats flipping burgers or working at Toys R Us, both places that I've lost my job at from goin' out of business. Anyways.
 

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A spring compressor is just two clamps that will clamp and compress a spring (obviously) If I remember right from High school, you can compress a spring using your hands by turning a crank. once you get it compressed you can remove the top bolt and take the spring off, decompress it and then compress the new spring, put it on the strut, put the center bolt on...torque it down...can't remember if there's a specific spec...and throw it back in the car. I did this twice and i remember a few parts of it. 8)
 

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Advance Auto Parts



You can find them for cheaper than the $30 they're asking for them. They're worth $30. Don't pay a shop $400 because you need a $30 tool. I replaced my shocks & springs two months ago.. and having done it on other cars, I can say that ford/mazda made it easy on us.
 
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