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Hydraulic coil spring compressor realignment nightmare!

  • toyota1990s
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10 Apr 2019 13:25 #28552 by toyota1990s
The vehicle I’m working on is a 1999 Toyota Rav4.

I’ve bought one of those hydraulic coil spring compressors (not Chinese) which has the adjustable jaws for the coil spring and a lower clamp that kind of holds the shock absorber in place. The equipment is supposed to allow you to safely remove the spring from the shock absorber. It is meant to be quick and easy but I have run into a big problem.

The equipment quickly separated the coil spring and shock absorber without a problem but marrying them up again to put the top mounting plate on is proving very difficult.

The lower section of the coil spring is correctly installed into the shock absorbers base (with rubber base), the compressors clamps attach to the coil spring securely and with the spring compressor in the lowered position, everything looks aligned until I start pumping the foot pedal.

With the spring virtually fully compressed, the shock absorber hydraulic silver center shaft is too far over to one side of the top of the coil spring, in other words the shock absorbers silver center shaft is not in the center of the coil spring, making it impossible to replace the top mounting plate. I can get the dust cover and top rubber section onto the top of the coil spring (just), but cannot get the metal plate that sits on top of the top rubber section to line up over it.

The top metal plate sits at least a further one inch over past the edge of the coil spring! It looks as though the metal cover and top plate mounting will catch the rubber dust cover if I lower the compressor.

Is there a way I can align this compressor to compress the coil spring more centrally?

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12 Apr 2019 12:45 #28624 by Ben
Is there adjustment on your jaws? You need more pressure on the side that strut rod is on which will straighten the spring with the strut. I'm not familiar with the tool your using as I have only used the wall mounted strut tamer tool where I just compress the spring a little extra to allow you to angle the strut to line up with the mount but that machine does not hold the strut itself so you can angle the strut any way you need. It sounds like your machine holds the strut so it will have to be done with applying pressure to the spring in the right direction. Hope that helps

(Im not sure if you have pictures attached none showed up in my tapatalk app. let me know if there are pics and I'll log into website to give you better instructions)

Good luck

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk

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  • Tyler
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12 Apr 2019 14:30 #28626 by Tyler
I'm not totally familiar with the type of spring compressor you're using - I'm like Ben, always had a wall mounted compressor to use. :silly:

I still run into this problem, regardless of what brand of spring compressor I use. The strut never completely centers in the spring, so there's always some fiddling required to get the strut mount aligned and the nut started on the strut threads. It usually requires un-aligning the strut with the bottom spring coil long enough to get everything in place, then realign everything, tighten the nut, and decompress the spring.

I've been doing struts for years now, and I'm still a bit nervous every time. :unsure: My co-workers and I were swapping strut horror stories the other day. Stay cool and don't let yourself get frustrated. B)

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13 Apr 2019 08:48 #28640 by Andy.MacFadyen
Replied by Andy.MacFadyen on topic Hydraulic coil spring compressor realignment nightmare!
Had few difficult ones over the years, one of my guys had a spring on a rwd Opel Ascona go through a window, modern struts with offset springs are a pita. I think what is required may be to use a pair of more basic type spring compressors to compress the parallel coils spring itself rather than the the strut compressing the the spring onto the strut.

"There's always a catch ---- Catch OBD2 ."

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