Removing the Front Springs on a Spridget
by David Lieb
The factory manual recommends using the "long bolt" method, wherein two of the four bolts holding the spring pan in place are removed and very long bolts are substituted. The other two bolts are then removed and the two long bolts are slowly loosened to relax the tension of the spring. This method does work, but it can be very frustrating and time consuming.
An easier alternative, assuming the engine is in the car to provide the necessary weight to the front end, is to place a reliable floor jack under the wishbone and raise it up until the shock absorber arm is off of the rebound rubber. Place a jack stand under the frame to support the car, remove the wheel, and disconnect the upper trunion which is under no stress at all at this time. Either remove the brake line or the brake caliper so that you do not strees the hose. Slowly lower the floor jack until the spring is completely relaxed. If you now push down very hard on the wishbone while lifting up on the bottom of the coil spring, the spring can be removed.
Many people think that this method presents a greater danger of having the spring escape under tension, but in reality it would be almost impossible for it to do so. As a matter of fact, the factory manual uses this technique when replacing the shock absorber.
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