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Spring compressor needed - front shock - DYI

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by WellWell, Jul 11, 2023.

  1. Jul 11, 2023 at 11:45 AM
    #1
    WellWell

    WellWell [OP] New Member

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    Hello


    I have the replacement shocks for the front of the 4WD truck (v8).
    Problem is, no one around here will swap the OEM spring and parts to the replacement shock.

    Does any one have a lead on getting the correct spring compressor tool for a DYI job.

    I have compressors and have done this more than once on compact cars, but the truck spring is another story.

    thanks
     
  2. Jul 11, 2023 at 11:52 AM
    #2
    Casper421

    Casper421 Toyota RidgeTrac driver!

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    I don’t have a part number but Napa or oreillys should have a compressor you can rent that’ll fit between the springs.
     
    jerryallday likes this.
  3. Jul 11, 2023 at 11:52 AM
    #3
    cran2

    cran2 New Member

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  4. Jul 11, 2023 at 1:00 PM
    #4
    Aerindel

    Aerindel New Member

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    I used a $20 harbor freight one on mine.

    I lived.
     
  5. Jul 11, 2023 at 1:33 PM
    #5
    metalpete

    metalpete New Member

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  6. Jul 11, 2023 at 1:42 PM
    #6
    Kimosabe

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    Look up the no compressor method. Safer and free.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2023 at 2:04 PM
    #7
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Truck repair enthusiast; Rust Aficionado

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    Here's my attempt with a similar one to what @cran2 listed...

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Jul 11, 2023 at 2:19 PM
    #8
    TX-TRD1stGEN

    TX-TRD1stGEN Privileged

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    Don’t need a spring compressor. As kimosabe said above.
     
  9. Jul 11, 2023 at 4:11 PM
    #9
    WellWell

    WellWell [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the lead on the compressor.

    Hmmm - I'll Youtube the "no compressor method" as that is news to me.

    Thanks for the quick TAT on the thread. This is a great site!

    WW
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2023
    Leo's first likes this.
  10. Jul 11, 2023 at 8:49 PM
    #10
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    Doing mine made me decide I would never do them again myself. Not a fun experience.

    20211022_183933.jpg
     
    Jack McCarthy likes this.
  11. Jul 11, 2023 at 9:21 PM
    #11
    Backslider

    Backslider Thirsty...

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  12. Jul 11, 2023 at 10:18 PM
    #12
    evanhmn

    evanhmn mmm chicken pot pie

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    I attempted to use one from NAPA to do my struts. Once the compressor tool had started bending I decided the $100 to have a shop do it for me was far better than the anxiety of losing my scrotum...
     
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  13. Jul 12, 2023 at 10:37 AM
    #13
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Truck repair enthusiast; Rust Aficionado

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    That is the method and the reverse to install. Is there a potential issue of the shock shaft not lining up with the hole in the top hat when re-installing?
     
  14. Jul 12, 2023 at 10:56 AM
    #14
    Winning8

    Winning8 New Member

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    All those low cost spring compressor work but very time consuming when it’s done right cause you have to go back and forth a few turns at a time. If not the main bolt will bend or stretch and eventually break and cause a catastrophic failure. The more expensive compressor, compress all at the same time, so it’s more safer and last longer. Never rent cheap spring compressor cause you never know how it’s being used and couldn’t tell when it’s going to fail and always point the top hat away from you and secure the body with a vice while compressing the spring. Good luck
     
  15. Jul 12, 2023 at 11:11 AM
    #15
    Kimosabe

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    Keep the shock bolted into the LCA and UCA and there's no risk of shock shooting out and killing you like with the compressor.
     
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  16. Jul 12, 2023 at 11:13 AM
    #16
    Kimosabe

    Kimosabe Slacker

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    Shouldn't be an issue with that happening. You can jack it up slowly to make everything is lined up when re-installing.
     
  17. Jul 12, 2023 at 12:01 PM
    #17
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Truck repair enthusiast; Rust Aficionado

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    I’ve asked about the realignment being off before and a few here just put an extension through the lower shock bolt bushing hole and twist it to line it up. There’s supposedly enough give on the spring perch to reorient it under tension with the strut mounted into the shock tower with the 3 bolts around the circumference of the top hat. :notsure:
     
  18. Jul 12, 2023 at 12:03 PM
    #18
    Kimosabe

    Kimosabe Slacker

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    I think so. I can't say with 100% certainty on the tundra because I've only replaced shocks once, but on the T4R it worked just fine.
     
    Jack McCarthy[QUOTED] likes this.
  19. Jul 12, 2023 at 12:10 PM
    #19
    Hbjeff

    Hbjeff New Member

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    Ive used the LCA as a spring compressor multiple times. Works very fast i can swap a spring in 20 minutes.

    i will say, for lifting applications its a little trickier, things dont want to line up as easily, i wouldn’t try to put on a 3 inch lift that method. However for stock application it is almost stupid easy. Mark the alignment with a grease pen incase they move
     
  20. Jul 18, 2023 at 1:26 PM
    #20
    WellWell

    WellWell [OP] New Member

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    Hello

    I started with the compressor less approach to start. Come to find the tie rod ends HAVE to come off due to a lack of movement of lower the lower arm. This job was taking forever. With this approach alignment can be an issue. ( its $250 over here for that job)

    I went with the old style compressor spring method as I normally do, and use 3 spring compressors to do the job. It works !

    Well I tried it

    btw- the photos for this thread are super useful-

    thanks
     
    Leo's first likes this.
  21. Jul 18, 2023 at 3:11 PM
    #21
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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  22. Jul 23, 2023 at 10:48 AM
    #22
    WellWell

    WellWell [OP] New Member

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    Interesting system. Thanks
     
  23. Jul 23, 2023 at 2:14 PM
    #23
    Dracko

    Dracko New Member

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    I just ordered up some new Biltsteins for my '05 after noticing the bottom bushings are almost gone in them. Would be greatly appreciated if somebody could post up the thread that shows the method to do this with a jack under the LCA to remove and install without using a spring compressor. Thanks!
     
  24. Jul 23, 2023 at 5:21 PM
    #24
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Truck repair enthusiast; Rust Aficionado

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    I’ve only seen it described here. There’s a YouTube video that shows it being done for a Tacoma.
     
  25. Jul 23, 2023 at 6:09 PM
    #25
    Dracko

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    Ok right on I’ll take a boo on YouTube and look here for the description. I think I have a pretty good idea how but always like to dive in as prepared as possible.
    I’m guessing you unbolt the top mount bolts, then put jack under LCA, disconnect LBJ, lower arm slowly and then reverse that order?
     
  26. Jul 23, 2023 at 6:32 PM
    #26
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy Truck repair enthusiast; Rust Aficionado

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    Don’t forget to loosen the LCA CAM alignment bolts otherwise the LCAs won’t swing out completely when you lower it with the LBJs undone. Also, the stabilizer links will need to be loosened as well. Front end of truck will need to up on jacks with the floor jack under the LCA before you lower it and decompress the spring.
     
    Rodtheviking likes this.
  27. Jul 23, 2023 at 6:49 PM
    #27
    Dracko

    Dracko New Member

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    Excellent! Thanks for the tips. I’ve done this many times on squarebody Chevy’s but the spring and shock are separate entities. This is the newest vehicle I’ve worked on.
     
    Jack McCarthy[QUOTED] likes this.
  28. Jul 23, 2023 at 7:35 PM
    #28
    Riverdale21

    Riverdale21 Speed seeker

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    That sounds like a recipe for some Summer teeth. Sum 'er here, sum 'er there...

    It may work once or twice but do you really want to risk it? Buying or renting the proper tooling is cheaper than a hospital visit.
     
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  29. Jul 23, 2023 at 8:04 PM
    #29
    Dracko

    Dracko New Member

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    I’m in Canada so hospital visits are free, lol.

    All kidding aside, this is the only way I’ve ever put a Chevy front end together or taken apart while attached to the vehicle.

    I will have to take a closer look and only proceed if I’m confident the LCA is securely fixed on the jack. In the past this has always been a controlled and safe method. If anything does go awry, you’re 3 feet away holding the jack handle, the spring is only expanding a few inches.

    On the flip side, i did assemble a c10 front clip that was off the truck, so I had to use spring compressors. I found them to be far more unnerving to work with. They can slip down the coil and let go and there’s also the potential for the compressor to break while you’re holding the loaded spring. Far more opportunity for summer teeth.

    But I’ll let ya know how it goes, take some pictures, maybe a video.
     
    Jack McCarthy likes this.
  30. Jul 29, 2023 at 1:37 PM
    #30
    Dracko

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    Ok well I got the front struts swapped out without needing a strut compressor. Took a little trial and error but would consider this an efficient and mostly safe method to do them.

    First up, truck on jackstands, tires off. Support the LBJ with a floor jack beside the castle nut.

    Then remove 4 LBJ bolts and remove/ cut off the shock top nut. I’ve never had luck removing these once the rust sets in. Die grinder cut off wheel works great to cut the side off the nut. Then lower the jack slowly, remove strut bottom bolt. Strut should drop out.

    Reinstalling the strut was a little trickier than I expected because I couldn’t get the LCA low enough to fit the strut and expanded spring.

    Ended up using a HD ratchet strap. This might seem sketchy but it worked great, and this way you can reinstall both new struts at the same time.
    With lower strut bolts installed, slowly take the pressure off the ratchet strap. Tough part done. Now you just put the jack back under the LBJ and slowly lift the arm til the strut stud is through the center hole in the mount. If it misses just lower and guide the shock where it needs to go. Add your top bushing/ washer and torque it down. Supposed to be 20ft/lbs but how do you use a torque wrench when ya need to hold the top of the stud to tighten it?
    Then clean up and reinstall LBJ bolts with some blue loctite torqued to 59 lbs. or replace them if they’ve been in and out a few times. Done.

    I found with the Bilstein bushing on top of the shock, it was too thick so no thread exposed to get the top nut on. I reused the one that was in there and it worked fine.

    IMG_4429.jpg
    IMG_4443.jpg
    IMG_4455.jpg
    IMG_4456.jpg
    IMG_4466.jpg
    IMG_4476.jpg
     
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