How to Replace Coil Springs Safely
Have you noticed your vehicle bouncing around a bit more than usual? It may be time to change the springs on your truck. The coil spring of a vehicle is used to store and release energy the car or truck creates through movement. A coil spring helps the suspension in your car absorb the shock of rough terrain and provides a smoother driving experience. Driving over potholes or gravel roads will feel much smoother with the help of coil springs to support your truck and even out the bumpy ride.
With the right tools and safety precautions, you can do a front coil spring repair or replacement from home. Learn the steps to remove and replace the coil springs in your truck.
Why You Should Replace Coil Springs
Coil springs provide support to a vehicle at a given height and work with the suspension system to absorb bumps in the road. Replacing the coil springs in your truck prevents it from sagging, which can lead to issues with steering and handling and uneven wearing on the tires.
Like many other parts of a vehicle, coil springs are susceptible to a lot of wear and tear, causing them to weaken over time. This is especially true of heavy-duty vehicles like trucks that are commonly driven off-road or used for towing. As coil springs weaken or deteriorate, you may notice bottoming-out sounds or clunking because the coils are no longer able to stabilize the weight of the truck. Replacing the coil springs can significantly improve the way your truck rides and handles.
As the metal deteriorates, there is potential for the coil spring to break. A broken coil spring has the potential to puncture the sidewall of a tire, causing a flat or blowout. This is extremely dangerous, making regular maintenance and check-ups on the coil springs of your vehicle critical. Ideally, you should inspect the coil springs every time you replace any type of suspension component.
While the coil springs in your truck may be the last thing on your mind, replacing worn springs will make all the difference in the way your vehicle rides and can help keep you safe. Regular maintenance is crucial to extending the life of your vehicle, so it's important that you know how to replace coil springs properly and what tools you need to do the repair effectively and safely.
Tools You Need to Perform a Coil Spring Replacement
If you regularly work on your vehicle, you may already have many of the tools on our list. However, there may be a few special tools that are necessary for changing springs on a car that you might need to get before starting. For any tools you may be missing, consult with your local automotive store. You may be able to borrow or rent tools from them. To replace coil springs, you'll need the following tools:
- Socket set with ratchet
- Coil spring compressor
- Pickle fork or ball joint separator
- A lug wrench or tire iron
- Car or truck jack and jack stands
- Pliers or wire cutters
- Wheel blocks
How to Change Coil Springs
Changing the coil springs on your truck is a fairly technical project and can be potentially dangerous. Be careful when handling coil springs, especially when they are under tension. Doing so will help prevent you from sustaining an injury or damaging your vehicle. Use safety protection and follow these steps to learn how to remove springs on your truck and successfully replace them.
Step 1: Raise the Vehicle
First, loosen the lug nuts so they're easier to remove later. Then, using a car jack or hydraulic jack, raise the vehicle off of the ground high enough that you will be able to reach the coil springs. Be sure to put safety first and secure the vehicle with jack stands and wheel blocks to ensure the truck cannot slip off of the jacks, which can cause serious harm. Work on a level surface and put the truck in park before raising it.
Step 2: Remove the Wheel
This step will look different depending on the vehicle you're working on because the setup can vary. Using the method for the truck you're repairing, remove the front wheels after the car is safely on the jack stands or wheel blocks.
Step 3: Remove the Ball Joint and Strut
Find a socket that fits the lower ball joint. Using the correct sized socket, remove the ball joint from the control arm. To separate the control arm and spindle stud, jack the rotor up. The control arm and spindle can create friction, so use the pickle fork to help separate them.
To remove the strut, lift the hood and look for mounting bolts. These hold the strut into your vehicle's body. You'll want to remove the nuts, setting them somewhere safe to reuse when you replace other components in your truck. With the nuts removed, you should be able to move the strut out of its place.
Step 4: Compress the Coil Spring
Use a reliable coil spring compressor device to compress the spring. You should place the compressor brackets at 180 degrees and tighten them evenly — that should take between eight to 10 turns per bracket. Once they have been tightened securely and compressed safely, it's time to remove the bolt at the top of the strut. This will now allow you to remove the coil spring.
Keep in mind, this step is dangerous because of the potential of the spring to unexpectedly come uncoiled and cause serious harm to you or your vehicle. Remain completely alert throughout the entirety of this maintenance process while following all safety precautions.
Step 5: Install a New Coil Spring and Strut
You are now just about ready to install your new coil spring into your truck. First, compress the new coil spring in the same manner that you did with the old coil spring. When you have the coil compressor tightened onto the coil spring, now you can place it on the strut. Slip the lower end of the coil spring into a groove at the bottom of the strut.
Once this step is complete, refasten the top bolt and ensure it's tightened. Remove the compressor once you have ensured that everything is securely installed. Your final step is to remember to replace all the bolts, then jack the rotor back up to bolt the spindle and control arm together again.
Buy Coil Springs From General Spring KC
Replacing front coil springs can be a simple process if you know what you're doing and you have trusted, reliable parts. Be confident in the parts you use on your truck when you buy from General Spring KC. We have been the industry leader in high-quality coil springs and replacement parts for commercial and passenger trucks since 1965. From heavy-duty coil springs to leaf springs, we have everything you need to get your truck riding like new.
Browse the General Spring KC catalog of heavy-duty coil springs to find parts for your truck, or contact us for more information.