Lowering springs install

Discussion in 'Suspension, Brakes & Chassis' started by DmanDmythDlegend, May 19, 2020.

  1. DmanDmythDlegend

    DmanDmythDlegend Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to decide on best path forward for getting some new springs installed. Scored an awesome deal on some steeda springs 1in drop for mag ride. Watched the cj pony install video and it doesn't appear to be something i could not do but I am very inexperienced with the hands on work. I would need to get a torque wrench and either purchase or rent a spring compressor, so i am estimating around 200 for that. I will also need an alignment which runs about 90 around me.
    Is this install as straight forward as it appears or will inexperience potentially make this something I should farm out? My brother is a master mechanic, and has access to all required tools (including alignment) but he is about 8 hours away. So getting to him and back would be similar costs to the self install route. What do you all think?
     
  2. StangTime

    StangTime Well-Known Member

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    That depends on your skill level and if you're willing to spend the extra time to learn and go slowly. If you drive your car daily, I would not be comfortable with the pressure of getting the job done by a certain time. Best if you have a second car you can drive while your Mustang is on jack-stands for as long as it needs to be. This will help too if you need to go buy a tool or rent some. Jacking rails will help you get the car up fast anytime you need to get under it. I highly recommend them as one of the first things to install.

    Watch as many youtube videos as you can to get an idea of the work involved. Access to a service manual will be beneficial too. Refer to the manual for proper procedures and torque settings. Here's a little help: The 2016 shop manual is a good place to start. Very similar to 2019.

    One of the most important things to do after your drop is to clock the bushings. Lot's of info on the board about it. Ask your alignment shop to do it. If they say "what?" then find another shop.
     
  3. Tom@Lethal

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    I did mine with a rented spring compressor from autozone. I started with the rears and worked up to the front. The rear is kind of tight because all of the IRA components but if you lower the cradle and a few bolts you can get the springs out. It took me a couple of hours but it was pretty’s straight forward. Take your time and you will be gtg
     
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  4. Goterr0r

    Goterr0r Well-Known Member

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    If you have never used a spring compressor before, just be careful. When i had my drop springs done at a buddy's shop. The mechanic did not have the compressor on well. It snapped, shot the spring up with full force and we had to take him to the hospital for a concussion.
     
  5. rangerryda

    rangerryda Well-Known Member

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    I've done springs before on a few cars. It's scary every time. Even with the high quality tools I was using and proper methods, you're still generating a ton of stored energy. I'm paying for someone to do mine next week for the first time ever. Mostly because I'm lazy and I'm not a broke kid anymore but safety is also a huge part of it. If you're at all doubtful, at least have someone help you keep an eye on things or be an extra hand. Springs can get wonky if you don't hold your tongue just right. Best of luck and stay safe!
     
  6. BluePonyGT

    BluePonyGT Well-Known Member

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    Lets be frank - all this talk of spring compression is about building the front struts. I've done this several times on other cars, but these are no where near as scary as working on front truck springs. Talk about heavy duty springs with a LOT of energy stored in them, and having a so-so spring compressor one borrowed from the parts store can be a test on your nerves.

    So that's what's great about these front strut assemblies on these cars. They're fairly light duty. So just have a high quality spring compressor, take your time setting it up and make sure you don't "paint yourself into a corner" by having the compressor actually in the way of your work is really all you have to worry about. The struts are removed from the car, worked on then put back in. Super easy.

    I got this one from Summit Racing when I realized I was going to be doing this a lot on this car:

    https://www.amazon.com/OTC-6494-Clamshell-Spring-Compressor/dp/B0002SRHU6

    It's the exact same one you'll see in the installation videos and that's for a really good reason. It's a quality tool.

    I've used it exactly twice to decompress the front springs on the stock struts just to get the mounts and other stuff off so I could re-use them on my car just recently, then used it again to compress the new springs on the new struts. Super easy and I wasn't worried at all. Piece-o-cake. You can use it with an impact gun or a good ole 1/2 drive rachet. I put some rubber stripping on the inside of the ears that engage the coils to avoid messing up the coating on the new coils, but otherwise I used it right out of the box.

    However, ALL of this type of work implies one is great with getting the car in the air in the first place, having the right tools to get all of these bolts loose in the right order, being comfortable with pulling the wheels off, have a workbench to do things like working on struts (with a good vice), loosening the subframe bolts per side for swapping the rear springs, and putting everything back together and torquing the bolts correctly with a decent torque wrench that you know is accurate and easy to use. You'll be using it a lot. Then checking and double-checking then triple-checking your work.

    If ANY of this makes you queasy then I'd say look for a good speed shop your local ford dealer works with to do custom work and have them do it, or find your local gearhead buddy you know can help you and they do good work. It's a lot of labor, a bit of planning, and requires some attention to details when working on suspensions. The amount I've learned over the years between when I did my first suspension (old chevy truck while I was in highschool 30 years ago) up until now taught me a lot about the necessary mindset to do a job like this correctly.
     
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    DmanDmythDlegend

    DmanDmythDlegend Well-Known Member

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    I have decided to make the trip and take the car down to my brother. Get the advantage of his experience and free access to an alignment. Looks like a wet trip down south but a road trip will be nice.
     
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  8. mindo389

    mindo389 Member

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    Being that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend, take the trip & take advantage of whats available. The toughest part of spring installation was dealing with the front struts. However, access to a mechanic's shop will eliminate most struggles. The rear springs are not that tough, a second person to assist with pushing down the lower control arm, to remove & install the springs. I did it by myself, breaking my shovel... Use a real pry bar!
     
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  9. Roadway 5.0

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    Made me smile. First time I’ve heard a shovel enter the conversation on this board :beer:
     
  10. mindo389

    mindo389 Member

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    Sometimes the situation calls for extreme measures... The shovel was handy, so while I was using it to pry the control arm, it cracked... That's what I get for buying the lowest price shovel
     
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  11. SteveW

    SteveW Well-Known Member

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    It is good to have an experienced hand when doing something new. The suspensions on these cars are pretty straightforward and that's good but one thing to watch out for is cross-threading the rear sub frame bolts when putting that back up. Put them in a couple turns by hand first because for whatever reason they are really easy to put in cockeyed.

    Nice weekend project though. Have fun!
     
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    DmanDmythDlegend

    DmanDmythDlegend Well-Known Member

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    Well was getting car ready to go for this trip, i had decided to load up the new wheels and do everything when i got down south. Unfortunately I couldn't tetris my way into getting all 4 wheels into the car. So, decided to mount up the wheels for the trip. Quick test drive and they ride and feel like stock, obviously a uptick in tire noise due massive upsizing lol. Stay tuned for before and after pictures.
     
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    DmanDmythDlegend

    DmanDmythDlegend Well-Known Member

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    Alrighty, here are the before anf after of the install. Super happy with the end result. 20200522_193309.jpg 20200523_184555.jpg
     
  14. Roadway 5.0

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    Looks really sharp. Love the blue and black too :beer:
     
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