A spring compressor tool squeezes a spring so you can remove or install it in the application of your choice. You’ll need a robust spring compressor to shrink down a powerful spring, but it needs to be small enough to fit into an accompanying shock.
Spring Compressor Design
Spring compressors have a very simplistic design. They are long bolts threaded with claws that fasten onto the spring. When you tighten the mechanism, the tool compresses the spring and expands when you loosen it.
Spring Compressor Safety
Because of the excessive force that a typical tension spring is under when compressed, improperly using a spring compressor may lead to severe injury and even death. You may suffer blunt force to the head or chest when a hunk of steel comes loose.
For proper safety, consider the following:
Wear Protective Gear
You will need safety goggles in case something loose comes flying. If you have an SA-rated helmet, that can do an even better job safeguarding your head and face.
Choose the Right Tool
Use a high-quality, adequately sized spring compressor tool designed for the specific type and size of spring you are working with. Make sure the tool is in good condition and properly maintained.
Read the Instructions
Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions for the spring compressor tool and the specific spring you are working with. Follow the recommended procedures and guidelines.
Work in a Controlled Environment
Perform spring compression in a well-lit, clean, and organized workspace. Make sure there is ample room to work and move around without obstructions.
Secure the Spring
Before compressing the spring, ensure it is securely positioned within the compressor tool and properly aligned. Ensure the spring is not damaged or worn out, as weakened springs can be more unpredictable.
Release Tension Gradually
When compressing or decompressing the spring, do so gradually and evenly to prevent sudden energy releases. Sudden releases can cause the spring to shoot out, leading to potential injury.
Use Proper Techniques
Follow the correct procedure for compressing or decompressing the spring. Avoid sudden movements, jerks, or excessive force. Use a controlled and steady approach.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Keep your body and others safe from the spring and the tool while compressing or decompressing it. This minimizes the risk of being struck by a released spring.
Position the Spring on the Shock
Position the spring on the shock so the bottom coil is seated correctly. Follow your vehicle’s repair manual to figure this out, as the mating surface is not always flat.
How to Use the Tool to Compress Springs
Place two pieces of a spring compressor tool directly across each other and clamp them to the coils’ top and bottom.
Gradually tighten the compressor pieces and push the pins locking the coils if any exist. Slowly tighten the compressors with the top hat pointing away from you. You can use a wrench to ensure equal force distribution between the top and bottom clamps in the process.
If you try to install the spring without a compressor, it may become impossible to screw the shock together.
The spring’s bottom and top would be too far apart. Also, if you were to take apart the shock without using a compressor, the spring could explode and launch upward like a missile if it’s possible to loosen the bolts with the spring’s pressure. Hence the necessity and importance of spring compressor tools.