Front Springs

Old forum posts ending on Oct 21 '09

Moderator: TechMOGogy

todg
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:26 pm
Location: Hood River, Oregon

Front Springs

Post by todg » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:03 am

Quick question. I'm having the front springs replaced tomorrow and was wondering if there is a true top and bottom? I realize the springs are tapered but does it matter which direction they go in?

Thanks
Tod
Tod Guenther
P.O. Box 1371
Hood River, OR 97031

User avatar
Jim LaGuardia
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:42 pm
Location: San Bernardino Ca
Contact:

Post by Jim LaGuardia » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:11 am

Springs should be non directional. Quite easy to install with the proper tools. Spring must be compressed to 10 1/2" to remove or replace.
Cheers, Jim LaGuardia
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v510/Goatwerks/
"Arch Magus of Machines."

todg
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:26 pm
Location: Hood River, Oregon

Post by todg » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:27 am

Thanks Jim. I have the tool so hopefully all will go well (and fast) while in the shop tomorrow. I'm looking forward to not riding on the bumper stops anymore.
Tod Guenther
P.O. Box 1371
Hood River, OR 97031

pinzinator
Posts: 791
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:12 pm
Location: Indio, California

Post by pinzinator » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:00 pm

Jim, is there a special type of spring compressor to use? Or should I say, NOT to use? I was looking at Craftsman tools at Sears recently, they offer a standard type spring compressor which is basically a threaded bolt stock with a notched finger at each end that goes on the spring, with a safety retainer clip. Nothing fancy, 2 are used. About $55. It looks like it would work, I don't see why not.

Middlebury_Pinz
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:00 pm

Post by Middlebury_Pinz » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:17 pm

todg,

Check your spring perches while they are apart. When I refurbished my 712M, I found they were rotted out causing my sagging front end. The springs simply pushed through them and caused the front end to settle. I am pretty sure there is a problem with these with regards to rusting out. Not cheap either, seems to me they were $ 90.00 per side from SAV. But then again, love is never cheap.

Pinzanator,

I have to run back to work, however, look further back in the technical area and there was a great thread on the spring compressor issue. The Sears one will get you hurt. Jim was kind enough to post pictures of the compressor he fabricated and it looks like it will work great short of having the factory tool.

Jim,

This sounds like an opportunity for you to fabricate some of these compressors and sell them. I would take one for sure if you have time to make them?

Thanks,

Mike

User avatar
Jim LaGuardia
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:42 pm
Location: San Bernardino Ca
Contact:

Post by Jim LaGuardia » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:11 pm

pinzinator wrote:Jim, is there a special type of spring compressor to use? Or should I say, NOT to use? I was looking at Craftsman tools at Sears recently, they offer a standard type spring compressor which is basically a threaded bolt stock with a notched finger at each end that goes on the spring, with a safety retainer clip. Nothing fancy, 2 are used. About $55. It looks like it would work, I don't see why not.
Those tools will not fit. You must use a factory type tool.
I have yet to find a substitute, so I have 2 home made sets that I use.
Cheers, Jim LaGuardia
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v510/Goatwerks/
"Arch Magus of Machines."

pinzinator
Posts: 791
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:12 pm
Location: Indio, California

Post by pinzinator » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:32 pm

Jim, I just measured my front spring for fun, and found it is already at 10 1/2"! Further investigation revealed the front sits low by 1 1/2". I guess I need 2 new springs, $600 for the pair. Oh well, might as well do it right. Once that is done, I'll probably find the rear will sag. I've heard those springs are the same as a BMW 740i, so finding them won't be difficult. Would someone with fairly new front springs measure the overall length and post a reply?
By the way, I won't use a Sears compressor, I don't want to eat a spring.

undysworld
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:08 am
Location: Blue Mounds, WI

Post by undysworld » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:31 pm

Jim,

The 10 1/2" dimension: Is that measurement the spring itself? Or the measurement of the whole assembly including the top and bottom plates too? The manual seems pretty unclear about things.

Pinzinator,

Ditto on not using the cheap compressor. As per an earlier thread, I just had a tool made by a local blacksmith. It works great, and from what I've seen of the Steyr tool, it's overbuilt. It uses some fancy tool-grade alloy for the hooks and a 5/8" acme-thread bolt/nut for the compression and 1/2" plate for the bottom. I'm trying to work out pictures to post. Computer smart, I ain't. Anyway, Larry offered to make more, if needed, either as finished tools or as forged hooks and bottom plate only and folks could source & weld the other parts locally. PM me if anybody's interested.

Paul Underwood

User avatar
Jim LaGuardia
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:42 pm
Location: San Bernardino Ca
Contact:

Post by Jim LaGuardia » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:11 pm

Cups included, tool bottoms out to plate at 10 1/2"
Image
Cheers, Jim LaGuardia
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v510/Goatwerks/
"Arch Magus of Machines."

todg
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:26 pm
Location: Hood River, Oregon

Post by todg » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:08 pm

Well it appears the springs were not the issue. $600 bucks plus labor later (Ouch!!!) I'm still trying to figure out what's up. So here's what I do know.

The initial problem: The front end was bottoming out on a simple washboard road. The spring bumpers seemed to always sit on or close to the bottom cups. So I thought the springs where weak causing the shocks to bottom out.

So today I replaced the springs with new factory springs (2 dot) and nothing has changed. The bumpers still sit half an inch from the bottom cups and I still bottom out.

To answer the previous reply... with new springs the installed height with cups is 10.75 inches. Not sure if this is standard but all the cups look great with no rot.

So I guess it's time to look at the shocks.

All thoughts welcome. Jim?

Thanks T
Tod Guenther
P.O. Box 1371
Hood River, OR 97031

User avatar
Jim LaGuardia
Posts: 1679
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:42 pm
Location: San Bernardino Ca
Contact:

Post by Jim LaGuardia » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:53 am

Post a picture of the front end and the spring on one side, then I'll comment. There are longer lower spring pins available, or if you are good with a MIG welder and a grinder, you can lenthen the existing pins.
Cheers, Jim LaGuardia
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v510/Goatwerks/
"Arch Magus of Machines."

todg
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:26 pm
Location: Hood River, Oregon

Post by todg » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:56 am

I'm not sure how to post pics so I'll send you a few via email. Thanks again for your help.

T
Tod Guenther
P.O. Box 1371
Hood River, OR 97031

undysworld
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:08 am
Location: Blue Mounds, WI

Post by undysworld » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:57 pm

Hi Jim and Todg,

I'm hoping you're going to get those pics posted somehow, so I can follow along with this issue. I'm also concerned about my front springs, though I've got a 712.

I'm curious about your statements (todg) re: bottoming out. Are you actually seeing the bump stops inside the springs making contact? Or are your front tires hitting somewhere or sitting at strange angles? Or are you just hearing banging noises while driving?

It would seem that the bump stops hitting would be either bad cups or weak springs. If that's all OK, then a low stance or tires contacting would be helped by the longer pins. ?? (Am I thinking straight here?)

Jim, am I right that changing the length of the lower pins will alter the stance of the truck, but not effect whether the bump stops within the springs are making contact?

What about maybe the defective or wrong shocks altogether - too long of a 'compressed' length?

Or, is it possible you're hearing the limit straps bang when the spring extends? (Seems unlikely from just a rough road.)

Last suggestion, what pressure are you running in your tires? I don't think it'd be a cause for the truck bottoming out, but I recently rode on some washboarded gravel roads and the truck drove like it was falling apart, at 45psi. At 30psi, it rode hugely better and quieter.

I'm probably grasping at straws here, but who knows??? Good luck.

Paul

pinzinator
Posts: 791
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:12 pm
Location: Indio, California

Post by pinzinator » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:17 pm

I measured both of my front springs, they are 10 3/8" long including the cups. According to the repair manual, the upper rubber "thing" inside the spring is another rubber spring, it is not solid. The lower part inside the spring is a metal cap, which takes the impact of the upper rubber spring. The gap is about 1/2", which I see as normal. My conclusion is my front springs are OK, the rear is raised by 1 1/2" so the vehicle can level out when 8 soldiers are in the back.
Spring replacement appears to be quite simple, according to the manual. Of course that means using the correct-style compressor. I agree that Sears versions won't fit right.
There is a plate that holds the engine cover in place, it is under the seat. When that plate is off I pour oil into the hole a few times a year. This keeps the upper spring hardware from rusting, along with the body mount. I also squirt a few drops into all of the upper spring cups for the same reason.

User avatar
EvanH
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:14 pm
Location: Northern Utah
Contact:

Post by EvanH » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:51 pm

I think this is the spring cup problem being discussed:

Image

Compared to one that is not broken:

Image

I don't recall it causing much sag, but this was four years ago. Eithe way, this is an excellent application for POR-15!

-Evan

Locked