Coil Spring Question

Frustrating problem, seeking advice! 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis, aka Grandma.

I am in the middle of doing an entire front end job. After replacing the lower control arms, I compressed the coil spring quite a bit to get it back in. Scared as hell too! Hate those things. In any case, I cant for the life of me get the spring to fit into the upper spring pocket at the frame AND the lower control arm seat. It is one or the other. Its almost as if the spring needs to be seated in the lower control arm seat, and somehow the top of the spring bent toward the engine to fit into the upper pocket, and all of this while somehow taking off the tension to let the spring expand into its normal place. Now I remember why I HATE HATE HATE front end work! Anyone have any suggestions? I know probably compress it more, but with each turn of the compressor nut the time bomb is even more powerful! I dont know why they designed this thing like this!

Usually I can fit to the upper seat and hook the lowest coil over the lower seat at the innermost part. The outer of the coil is left hanging a bit. Then jack on the lower control arm to load up the spring. Things should then pop (a bit scary here) into place. Just stand back a bit and/or toss a chain or cable through the spring and around the lower control arm so it can’t shoot out. The coil does curl a bit when installed because the lower control arm moves in a arc. Good Luck and don’t get in a hurry.

Thank you Mustangman! I will try that today. The chain is a great tip! I have a huge degree of respect for coil springs! I kinda like being alive haha.

So I will try what you mentioned. Hook it into the upper seat, and the inner part on the lower control arm while compressed a bit. Floor jack under the lower control arm and lift, and listen for the pop/mild heart attack moment! haha

Ahh you laugh, but it does get your attention the first time it pops. Happy Wrenching!

I am certain I will be jolted awake by the sudden pop here shortly. Better than coffee Im sure :slight_smile:

You didn’t cross your springs did you? That is now trying to get the left spring on the right side.

What kind of spring compressor are you using; one of those 2 piece jobs? Those things are unsafe and a curse besides as they have a tendency to walk around the coils… :frowning:

Here’s the coil spring compressor I use for the type of suspension you’re working on.

And for the price it sure makes the job a lot easier.


One of my compressors is like the one shown in the link from Tester. Works great and just as important; it can prevent a spring from being a lethal weapon.

Keith, nope not crossed. I made sure I tackled one side at a time. Just to be sure.

Ok, Tester - thanks for the links. The one I rented from AZ is the OEM one, two piece with the crazy horseshoe fork for the bottom. Very dangerous looking. I like the one with the double hooks. I guess next time I will buy that one, instead of renting this scary looking medieval device I have now. Thanks for the link, bookmarked to my wishlist! Cause I will probably need it to do this job again someday on this car.

Got em in yesterday. Compressed them down to about 12" from 14" and put the coil in the upper pocket. Raised lower control arm, installed onto the seat and that was it. What a PITA though getting them compressed, aka loading the time bomb. Never again I hope!

Glad you got it.