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 Spring height and torque values

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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:00 pm

My most recently acquired RMW has 125K miles. I have pulled one of the front springs and its free standing height is 16.25 inches. I am wondering if I might want to consider replacement. Rock Auto offers Moog CS578 and 5404 front springs. Is anyone familiar with these two choices and their differences?

I have purchased KYB gas adjust shocks for the front and new bushings and links for the sway bar. The rear still has factory air shocks; I'll address that in the future.

Additionally, is there a resource for the torque values for our wagons?

Thanks for any help,

Bill
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RedandBlack

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:38 pm

Highly doubt your front springs are of any concern - the rear holds most of the weight of the vehicle anyway.

Torque values for what components?
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:50 pm

Torque values:

In particular, for brake caliper mounting bolts, end link, lower ball joint.

Is there a resource with a comprehensive listing of all torque values?
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Rev Bob



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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:59 pm

""Is there a resource with a comprehensive listing of all torque values?""

Instead of the Factory Service Manual?
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:51 pm

I,m not sure what you are asking about your front springs,..

free standing height isn't a factor,.

Spring science is something that would take a long time to explain here,.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:09 pm

The FSM is the go to for all torque values. Why you would go to anywhere else is a mystery to me. There are FSMs on ebay consistently, and sometimes on ISSF.

If you make them "good and tight" they will be fine. You probably can not tighten the ball joints too tight with a breaker bar, unless you are a gorilla.

Unless the car is sitting way too low, your springs are probably fine. I have seen 250K cars that sit just fine with the original springs. There was a 400K car in the local JY that had the original springs, and it sat at the correct height. Messing with the springs on one end of the car, can cause more issues than doing nothing. Put the spring back in, and drive it.

If you are going to replace the bushings for the anti roll bar, you should replace the bar with one from a 9C1.
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:01 am

Fred,

I am in need of enlightenment as to what is a "FSM" and "ISSF."
And where as these to be found?
I've always had a fear of acronyms.
Being old and foggy, leaves me lacking in many areas.

As regards the springs, I am comparing the free standing height of Moog for their model 5404, they compare to stock, at 17.31 inches to the one I have removed at a height of 16.25 inches.
That is the only metric immediately available for comparison and I am wondering if that would indicate a need for replacement. If not indicated, great! Money and effort saved.

Thanks,

Bill



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Rev Bob



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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:44 am

""Instead of the Factory Service Manual?""

FSM is the Factory Service Manual. They are listed on E-Bay for your specific year.

Free standing heights of springs have little meaning for comparison. Wire thickness, coil spacing, and material can all affect loaded height. The Factory Service Manual lists correct front and rear ride heights for the designed suspension geometry.

An FSM should be the starting point for all your efforts if you plan on doing any of the service work yourself.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:59 am

ISSF is the Impala SS Forum. impalassforum.com.

Depending on what year your car is, you may need a one (91-93) or two (94-96) volume FSM.

The only reason to change springs is A. if the car sits low in one corner, or B. you want to change the ride height.

If you have a corner that is low, you need to check the anti roll bar for straightness. First, park on a level surface. Disconnect it and check the car side to side. If your car sits level without the anti roll bar, you can check it on the car by measuring the ends to the respective arms when detached from the arms. If the measurement are the same, it is probably good. To further check it, you can remove it, and lay it upside down on a flat surface. The ends should both touch the ground when the parts in the bushings are evenly lifted off of the ground (there is a curve in the bar between the frame mounting points).

There was an instance where a forum member installed his anti roll bar upside down, so make sure it is right side up when you install it. If you are lowering your car with springs, you can use shorter end links to keep the bar in its proper orientation.
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:23 pm

Well, all right then, I am going to miss the opportunity to compress-remove, compress-replace coils. Now I need something to do this weekend.

Thank you all,

Bill
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:32 pm

SF SoBay wrote:
Well, all right then, I am going to miss the opportunity to compress-remove, compress-replace coils.  Now I need something to do this weekend.

Thank you all,

Bill

Bill, you won't have to wait long before something finds you that needs to be done on these wagons.

Tom
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:06 pm

SF SoBay wrote:
Well, all right then, I am going to miss the opportunity to compress-remove, compress-replace coils.  Now I need something to do this weekend.

Thank you all,

Bill

you can R+R springs without compressing them,.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:21 pm

Compressing them makes it easier. I put the weight on the springs and run the compressor tight, when removing them. Takes a lot less work. Compressing them will allow you to get them in the pocket a lot easier. It is safer as well.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:13 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
Compressing them makes it easier. I put the weight on the springs and run the compressor tight, when removing them. Takes a lot less work. Compressing them will allow you to get them in the pocket a lot easier. It is safer as well.

Thats actually more work,.

a compressed spring has a lot of energy stored in it,.
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:39 am

I had all the fun I could stand positioning the spring in the lower control arm with the spring compressed. I went so far as to chain the spring down to the work bench during compression to limit excitement. Once monthly I like to eschew stimulation.

Work will set me free,

Bill
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:26 am

I just put springs in my car in April. I fought with them for a 2 weeks, and finally used a compressor on them and got them installed in about an hour. I think the hour of more work was less work than the two weeks of less work.
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:48 pm

Fred,

Now I’m feeling left out. You got to change your coil springs and I didn’t.
What prompted the change, modification or fatigued springs? If it was tired springs, what were the symptoms?

I got notification yesterday that my “FSM” has shipped. I contemplated having a nice set of coffee table books, but I’m not a fan of “Dancing with the Stars.” I believe I’ll take them to the small room off the hallway. There I will be able to concentrate while multi-tasking.

Anxiously awaiting edification,

Bill
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:06 pm

Quote :
I just put springs in my car in April. I fought with them for a 2 weeks, and finally used a compressor on them and got them installed in about an hour. I think the hour of more work was less work than the two weeks of less work.

2 weeks,...? scratch

I would guess i have changed more than 20 sets of front springs in various GM cars,.and pickups,.

It's very simple really,.the car needs to be fairly high off the ground on jackstands,. with the floor jack you lift the control arm up some to take the weight,.remove your shock and sway bar stuff,. undo the lower ball joint and separate it,. lift the spindle up and block it using a piece of wood or what ever,.so it's up out of the way,. then slowly lower the jack till the spring is relaxed,. use your foot to shove the control arm down,. lift the spring out of the lower pocket , slide it down and out of the upper pocket.
Install is simply reverse,.put your spring in the upper pocket, shove the control arm down till you can get the spring to start into its lower pocket,. then jack the control arm into place,.
when the body starts to lift off the jackstand ever so slightly,. remove your block from the upper control arm and let the spindle back down on to the ball joint,.pretty simple,. and easy,. and at no time do you have to deal with a loaded spring,.
It takes me on average with a rusty eastern beast an hour each side,. hardest part s are dealing with rusty old cotter pins, and getting the shocks off , which i almost always just torch the tops off and put new shocks on,.

Lowering springs are most times easier to install than factory springs

But,.  Do what you want, you're gonna anyways,..

Remember to prime the springs with honey oil, it makes things easier,.

Guys working on cars is entertaining sometimes,.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:31 pm

I rebuilt the front end with urethane bushings. I used the same lowering springs as I had in it prior to disassembling it. The use of the compressor makes it easier to get the arms into a position where the springs will drop into the lower spring pockets, and it is easier to align them with the holes in the arms. If you do not use the compressor, the spring catches on the frame, and will not line up with the lower pocket, or will hang up on the frame lip. You are not missing anything by not replacing the springs. I spent two days fighting with the springs, and finally decided to use the compressor. It is not difficult if you use an impact wrench to tighten the compressor. It takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.

Multi-tasking is a lie. You only have one attention point, and you can only focus it on one thing at a time. You can serial mono-task, and switch back and forth between tasks rapidly. It may appear to another person that you are doing two things at once. You can train your muscle memory to do tasks without thinking about them, but you are also liable to make mistakes that you are not aware of.

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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:14 am

When priming the springs,will high grade vegetable oil work? Currently out of honey oil. scratch study
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:31 am

Here on the west coast the preferred blend is cold pressed extra virgin California olive oil with balsamic vinegar to color match the spring. Bonus, you have something to bank on in a salad emergency.
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:31 pm

phantom 309 wrote:


Thats actually more work,.

a compressed spring has a lot of energy stored in it,.

This might be the new cleverest thing on the forum.
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SF SoBay

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:31 pm

phantom 309,

My cajones can’t match your moxie quotient.  I did bring the lower control arm down with a floor jack and pushed the arm down as far as my leg was able.  I’m retired and don’t have a dental plan.  Jacked it back up and off to “Auto Zone” for a spring compressor and sallied forth.  Maybe I have too much time on my hands?

Bill

The excitement eliminator.

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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:50 pm

If you do one side at a time, you can use the car's weight to partially compress the spring when you are removing it, and you do not have to loosen the compressor much when you reinstall the spring. It saves a lot of cranking on the compressor. Put the car on jack stands, insert the spring compressor, and jack the tire up until the car is just lifting off of the jack stand. Tighten the compressor up, and then just a turn or two tighter. Lower the arm, and disconnect either or both ends. A stock spring may be a little bit difficult to install with just one end of the arm disconnected.

If you already have the spring out of the car, use an electric impact wrench to turn the screw that compresses the spring.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:07 am

SF SoBay wrote:
phantom 309,

My cajones can’t match your moxie quotient.  I did bring the lower control arm down with a floor jack and pushed the arm down as far as my leg was able.  

sorry,. but i don't understand what you are saying,. once the lower control arm is down and the jack is removed, the spring is relaxed, it's a simple matter to remove it then,.  
I suppose it might be a harrowing experience the first time as i,m sure that imagination, rather than physics, takes control,.some folks are comfortable working on/with springs, some folks aren't,. experience being the contributing factor to comfort level,.
Cojones don't really play a part in this,.

should the spring compressor fail during install,. you'll likely need to have the cojones repaired,.. What a Face


dwywyga


Last edited by phantom 309 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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paart



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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:51 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
way,. then slowly lower the jack till the spring is relaxed,. use your foot to shove the control arm down,. lift the spring out of the lower pocket , slide it down and out of the upper pocket.
Install is simply reverse,.put your spring in the upper pocket, shove the control arm down till you can get the spring to start into its lower pocket,. then jack the control arm into place,.


Guys working on cars is entertaining sometimes,.


These are a couple of those places where something unexpected can go wrong, and ruin your whole day. Perhaps an inadvertent bump against the jack, or a spring that’s not quite in the seat correctly, will allow it to come flying out.

Car springs even when only slightly compressed contain a lot of energy. I remember well when a 4”diameter accumulator spring from a Torqueflite went right by my nose, hit the high ceiling of my Dad’s gas station, ricocheted off the wall, hit the floor, and bounced half-way to the ceiling again!

B-body rear springs are generally easy to remove and replace. When the axle housing is lowered off the shocks, a very slight downward pressure on the axle housing will allow them to be removed or replaced. Some of these rear springs, depending on the model, can be pulled right out as soon as the housing is off the shocks.

Front springs are far trickier. As I recall, spring compressors are “free” loner tools from AutoZone.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:32 pm

paart wrote:


Perhaps an inadvertent bump against the jack, or a spring that’s not quite in the seat correctly, will allow it to come flying out.


Perhaps,.

but the pressure on the floorjack keeps it still and very hard to move around,. and most springs are 'seated' after driving a few miles,. let alone on a used car with thousands of miles on it,.

perhaps some of these replies are from folks that haven't actually done front springs on any car,..

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paart



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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:09 pm

phantom 309 wrote:


perhaps some of these replies are from folks that haven't actually done front springs on any car,..



Personally, I've been working on cars for over 55 years, and that experience includes building race cars, so despite your accusation, I've installed, removed and replaced more than a few springs as well as other suspension parts.
The objective of my post, was only to advise proceedures that will help keep people, and particularly inexperienced mechanics, from being injured.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:01 pm

paart wrote:
phantom 309 wrote:


perhaps some of these replies are from folks that haven't actually done front springs on any car,..



Personally, I've been working on cars for over 55 years, and that experience includes building race cars, so despite your accusation, I've installed, removed and replaced more than a few springs as well as other suspension parts.
The objective of my post, was only to advise procedures that will help keep people, and particularly inexperienced mechanics, from being injured.

Your assumption of an accusation towards you personally is unfounded,.no names were mentioned,.

I respect your experience,.and i admire your caring for inexperienced mechanics,.

What sort of race cars have you built?
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paart



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PostSubject: Re: Spring height and torque values   Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:41 pm

Since your accusation immediately followed my post, I assumed that I was the most logical recipient of your speculation. If not me, who then?

I ran a 426 Plymouth Super Stock drag car for a season or so, and found trophies weren’t very satisfying. While deciding on what direction to go, I bought a roadster chassis. Before progressing very far with it, I received an invitation to join a successful, and well financed dirt track (1/2 mile) late model team. Despite my involvement, the team continued to be highly successful. We had a good driver.
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