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Old 06-24-2005, 12:07 PM   #1
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Can someone recommend a spring compressor?

I've had it with those cheap twin all-thread jobies. Has anyone had experience with a coil spring compressor that actually works and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I'm thinking $100ish.

I see a couple models on Harbor Freight's website, but know nothing other than ad info about them; they may be okay and then they could be junk. Don't want to pay $100 + shipping to to find out the latter.
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:37 PM   #2
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rent from kragen
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Old 06-26-2005, 03:02 AM   #3
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"Bar Clamps" from Home Depot, Harbour Frieght, Lowes, or some other building material or tool supply place.
Cheap as all getout and work just as well as a specially machined, high dollar "spring compressor".
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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I got mine from SEARS. They are Craftsman and cost about $40. They work fine, slow, but fine. Just take your junk to the local garage and have them put the coilover together w/ their hydraulic spring compressor. Can't be too $$$ as it won't take them 5 minutes.

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Old 06-26-2005, 06:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBilinTuc
I've had it with those cheap twin all-thread jobies. Has anyone had experience with a coil spring compressor that actually works and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I'm thinking $100ish.

I see a couple models on Harbor Freight's website, but know nothing other than ad info about them; they may be okay and then they could be junk. Don't want to pay $100 + shipping to to find out the latter.
where are you located???

Waskily has the best idea, take them out and done to a local Midas or the like. $15-20 bucks and you have your new assembly. Re-install, get an alignment and DONE
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilthyRich
where are you located???

Waskily has the best idea, take them out and done to a local Midas or the like. $15-20 bucks and you have your new assembly. Re-install, get an alignment and DONE
I third that idea....if they are struts, just pay the $20 and have them do it right in about 5-10 min.
Plus they will zip the nuts on with an impact so you won't need to fight with the shock turning as well.
Well worth the $$$$ for the few times you'll do it.

.....if you are doing rears, then almost any standard compressor will do.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:55 AM   #7
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I took mine to Pep Boys and regret doing so. Mechanics there get paid kudos for doing larger, more expensive jobs. When they see a guy walk in with springs and struts, they head for the hills. As such, when the guy did mine, he forgot to put the parts back in the proper sequence, so I ended up missing a washer from both sides. I didn't find out until it was too late.

After, yet again saying "screw it" to mechanics who can't do their job, I bought a spring compressor from Snap-on. It was $68 if I remember correctly. Their site is down now, but when it comes back up I'll post the link.
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwpower
After, yet again saying "screw it" to mechanics who can't do their job, I bought a spring compressor from Snap-on. It was $68 if I remember correctly. Their site is down now, but when it comes back up I'll post the link.

Compressor, MacPherson Spring?


Better quality than Sears?
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Old 06-27-2005, 02:26 PM   #9
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That's the one from Snap-on. It's cheaper than I thought.

Something to keep in mind...make sure the one you get can handle being used with an impact gun. I believe the Snap-on one can be used with an impact. Not sure about the Craftsman. The Snap-on looks much better quality, IMHO.

If someone wants picts, let me know I'll put some up.
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBilinTuc
I've had it with those cheap twin all-thread jobies. Has anyone had experience with a coil spring compressor that actually works and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? I'm thinking $100ish.

I see a couple models on Harbor Freight's website, but know nothing other than ad info about them; they may be okay and then they could be junk. Don't want to pay $100 + shipping to to find out the latter.
If you value your life, stay away from the harbor freight compressors.

I got mine off E-bay. I can't remember the brand but it is pretty high quality. I paid $29
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Old 06-27-2005, 03:57 PM   #11
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A bit more than oyu are porbably trying to spend, but it DOES get the job done quickly and safely.
http://yotatech.com/showthread.php?t...hlight=branick
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwpower
That's the one from Snap-on. It's cheaper than I thought.

Something to keep in mind...make sure the one you get can handle being used with an impact gun. I believe the Snap-on one can be used with an impact. Not sure about the Craftsman. The Snap-on looks much better quality, IMHO.

If someone wants picts, let me know I'll put some up.
I'd like pics if possible. Are the Snap-on nice to use? The Craftsman don't sound like the best quality, and could be dangerous. I have XREAS and don't want a shop to touch it. The wall-mount is sweet. But I'd pick up coilovers for that $$$.

Last edited by Bluto; 06-27-2005 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto
I'd like pics if possible. Are the Snap-on nice to use? The Craftsman don't sound like the best quality, and could be dangerous. I have XREAS and don't want a shop to touch it. The wall-mount is sweet. But I'd pick up coilovers for that $$$.
Craftsman work fine as I loaded up 882s on them more than once and 881s several times. It is usually the operator that is dangerous.

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Old 06-27-2005, 08:11 PM   #14
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A buddy of mine had a fingernal ripped out a few weeks ago- I'm never using internal spring compressors again. We were being careful and using it correctly and it slipped loose. We were working on Chevrolet coils, which require an internal compressor. I know most struts can take an external compressor, which seems more safe. If I can't get it with an external, I'm going to a spring shop.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:22 PM   #15
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Yes, pictures would be good, bmwpower. And also yes, the harbour freight $13 special was what I had. The all-thread bowed under load. the nuts then binded. After I had the shock mounted, I could not get the "bolts" to loosen. Ended up wrapping rags around the whole thing to dampen the flying parts and had to cut the compressor bolts. That was exciting to say the least.

I was looking at the $130 dollar hydraulic compressor that harbour freight offers online. It is a floor mount vertical unit. Is that the one I should avoid if I value my life? The bottom part of it looks like it could work, but I'm not sure about the top part that mounts to the spring. I looks flimsy.
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:02 PM   #16
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I need a compressor ASAP so rather than start a new thread im gonna semi-hijack.

iBilinTuc, heres a bad boy http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...ayphotohosting
its more than id pay.
maybe this one...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=63700


Does the Harbor Freight compressor your speaking of look anything like these...

1. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=35625

2. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=35625

3. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=35625

4. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...526055541&rd=1

For those of you that know....are any of the ones i listed (1-4) junk or worth getting for ocassional jobs?
Which one is best? I need to buy/bid tonight.
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Old 06-28-2005, 05:33 AM   #17
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Rocket, The model that I had problems with is like the one shown in #2. The bolts are actually all-thread with nuts spot-welded onto them to serve as bolt heads. One these "bolt-heads" twisted loose. The all-thread metal was too soft and would bend (or bow) as the load increased; the hooks began to act as levers.

The model that I am looking at from Harbour Freight looks like the second eBay "bad-boy" you have linked. It is this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=45860

Let me know what you end up with.
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Old 06-28-2005, 07:39 AM   #18
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I would not get that one from Harbor Freight. The design is questionable. Looks like cheap stamped steel and regular (unhardened) bolts. How that arm at the top stays in place under tons of force is beyond me.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:12 AM   #19
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The arm at the top - yes - that is my concern. The bottom looks like it can supply the umph, but the top looks like it WILL bend.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:21 PM   #20
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I just used mcpherson one's from Sears. Worked fine.
You can kinda see it in this pic I took awhile back of the assembly order
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:21 PM
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