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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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losing your mind over compressing springs

I'm thinking about renting a spring compressor to change the crappy front shocks in my truck. Someone told me that a few years ago a local "kid" was found dead in his parents garage with a large chunck of his head and a coil spring embedded in the ceiling. We can all guess how that happened. Is using a spring compressor really dangerous? If the compressor is of high quality, in good shape, and used by a half-way intelligent person who can read directions is the job all that dangerous? I would think that if one took his/her time, and kept the "armed" spring pointed in a safe direction that the job wouldn't be that bad.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:14 PM
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yes they are...IMO...if you have no expericen with them....i don't recommand using them at all...take the springs to a shop to save ur life!!..that's crazy some kid died!!

FYI...i had my trd coils (progressive coils) compressed with 3" spacers at tire kindom and they end up breaking the compressor...it was wall mounted also...i don't know what coil springs u are going to use but IMO i wouldn't use it because i have no expericense with it...and i dont' think i well every use it after seeing that coil compressor bust!

but i did get it compressed at NTB...
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:33 PM
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He's absolutey correct!! Take them to a shop and get them done..I have done many sets and still get nervous knowing what "could" happen..
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:09 PM
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ditto...I have done some before, and its scary to say the least ...the last set I did we took to Big-O and they charged $40 for the pair...well worth it IMO.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:24 PM
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Everyone is right it is dangerous. Me and my cousin did two sets mine and his and I wont do it again. I borrowed the compressors from auto zone and it took me and my cousin holding the spring one person each side to crank it down. The kind I used like a long bolt with a hook on the top that fit like a washer and the bottom hook screwed on like a nut. It's not a good Idea its hard to turn and takes awhile. Just save your time and facial features and go to a shop who has the proper equipment.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97TacoDude
I'm thinking about renting a spring compressor to change the crappy front shocks in my truck. Someone told me that a few years ago a local "kid" was found dead in his parents garage with a large chunck of his head and a coil spring embedded in the ceiling. We can all guess how that happened. Is using a spring compressor really dangerous? If the compressor is of high quality, in good shape, and used by a half-way intelligent person who can read directions is the job all that dangerous? I would think that if one took his/her time, and kept the "armed" spring pointed in a safe direction that the job wouldn't be that bad.
There's a bunch of different ways you could injure/kill yourself working on your truck, just have some common sense. I've compressed springs before, it's no big deal. Just be safe about it.

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....Mike
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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There are many horror stories. There's one about a local chain tire/suspension store that will remain un-named. Anyway, it was "rush hour" with many customers in front of the counter. Suddenly a spring and a string of one of the workers intestines came flying through the observation window into the lobby and impacted a sample tire, bouncing off and landing at the feet of some customers. Not pretty. Needless to say the worker was killed. I am scared to death of spring compressors.

I forgot to mention that Kermit the Frog and a guy from The Chemical Brothers was in the waiting room.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97TacoDude
I'm thinking about renting a spring compressor to change the crappy front shocks in my truck. Someone told me that a few years ago a local "kid" was found dead in his parents garage with a large chunck of his head and a coil spring embedded in the ceiling. We can all guess how that happened. Is using a spring compressor really dangerous? If the compressor is of high quality, in good shape, and used by a half-way intelligent person who can read directions is the job all that dangerous? I would think that if one took his/her time, and kept the "armed" spring pointed in a safe direction that the job wouldn't be that bad.
Yup, it happens. Even the shop that I had my 2nd set done at had had an accident with their heavy duty wall-mount unit.

Unless you have and air-ratchet and at least a 20gal compressor, forget it. Even then, the experience is nerve-racking to say the least.

Pay the $ and have them done. Average price that I've seen posted is from $20/pr to $40/side. shop around.

been there, done that

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:14 PM
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I heard a story once about this guy filling up his truck at the local gas station, and the pump slipped and went up his ass, and it fill up his colon like a water balloon, and then he sharted and some lady on the other side of the pump was talking on her cell phone and a spark shot out of it and the shart spray ignited and her hair melted to her hand which melted to her phone, and her ear became fused with her acrylic nails and the gas station attendant came running over to help her but he got disemboweled by a flying coil spring from this dude's tacoma when him and his buddy were trying to install a spacer in their garage a few days earlier, and the spring kept flying and hit a school bus and decapitated the bus driver, then ricocheted off the handrail and flew back through the bus and killed like 30 of the 40 kids by coiling in one eye then through their skulls, grinding up their brains, then coiling out of their other eye. Then the coil flew across the river with chunks of gall bladder and liver and eyeballs hanging from it, and the fish in the river jumped up and ate pieces of the raw entrails as it flew by, and then it landed at the feet of a young couple making out at a riverside park on their lunchbreak. I heard it was nasty, and the young couple were kinda freaked out by it. You should just have an experienced shop do your coils.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:18 PM
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wow...is that a true story? taht's freaky!!
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synovus
I heard a story once about this guy filling up his truck at the local gas station, and the pump slipped and went up his ass, and it fill up his colon like a water balloon, and then he sharted and some lady on the other side of the pump was talking on her cell phone and a spark shot out of it and the shart spray ignited and her hair melted to her hand which melted to her phone, and her ear became fused with her acrylic nails and the gas station attendant came running over to help her but he got disemboweled by a flying coil spring from this dude's tacoma when him and his buddy were trying to install a spacer in their garage a few days earlier, and the spring kept flying and hit a school bus and decapitated the bus driver, then ricocheted off the handrail and flew back through the bus and killed like 30 of the 40 kids by coiling in one eye then through their skulls, grinding up their brains, then coiling out of their other eye. Then the coil flew across the river with chunks of gall bladder and liver and eyeballs hanging from it, and the fish in the river jumped up and ate pieces of the raw entrails as it flew by, and then it landed at the feet of a young couple making out at a riverside park on their lunchbreak. I heard it was nasty, and the young couple were kinda freaked out by it. You should just have an experienced shop do your coils.
LOL. Can you recite that in one breath?

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:26 PM
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LOL. Can you recite that in one breath?
Anything's possible with enough helium... or nitrous.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hytenor
LOL. Can you recite that in one breath?
That's kinda like the story about how when you install a lockright and drive in rain or snow you will spin out and fly off a cliff and roll 47 times and land on a busload of handicapped kids bursting into flame and killing yourself because you installed a lockright and drove on rain.

Later,
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:45 PM
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That's kinda like the story about how when you install a lockright and drive in rain or snow you will spin out and fly off a cliff and roll 47 times and land on a busload of handicapped kids bursting into flame and killing yourself because you installed a lockright and drove on rain.

Later,
....Mike
but at the speeds you drive you don't have that problem

I will hopefully be joining the slow-motion crowd by AZ rocks

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synovus
Anything's possible with enough helium... or nitrous.
Hmm, and that would enable you to do that in one breath, how?

I could probably teach you

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Yeah, well, I'm just glad I snagged a few Spector cans before EPA converted them to Sphincters
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synovus
I heard a story once about this guy filling up his truck at the local gas station, and the pump slipped and went up his ass, and it fill up his colon like a water balloon, and then he sharted and some lady on the other side of the pump was talking on her cell phone and a spark shot out of it and the shart spray ignited and her hair melted to her hand which melted to her phone, and her ear became fused with her acrylic nails and the gas station attendant came running over to help her but he got disemboweled by a flying coil spring from this dude's tacoma when him and his buddy were trying to install a spacer in their garage a few days earlier, and the spring kept flying and hit a school bus and decapitated the bus driver, then ricocheted off the handrail and flew back through the bus and killed like 30 of the 40 kids by coiling in one eye then through their skulls, grinding up their brains, then coiling out of their other eye. Then the coil flew across the river with chunks of gall bladder and liver and eyeballs hanging from it, and the fish in the river jumped up and ate pieces of the raw entrails as it flew by, and then it landed at the feet of a young couple making out at a riverside park on their lunchbreak. I heard it was nasty, and the young couple were kinda freaked out by it. You should just have an experienced shop do your coils.
LOL !! Thats the best story Ive ever heard! haha im still laughing!

p.s. just be safe and use a quality compressor, be sure to clean and oil the threads before you get going on any sort of puller or a compressor like this becuase that can make or break a puller. And its faster but I wouldnt really recommend and impact becuase the operation could be jerky and make things more dangerouse than they need be, just take it smooth and easy with a wrench and a vise. Oh and oil your threads! It went without any problems the 3 times ive done mine(twice becuase I lined up the spacer wrong the first time)

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 11:17 PM
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Sure it can be dangerous. Just get spring compressors with the biggest diameter stud you can, and don't scimp on the cost, low cost = low quality. Don't point a loaded spring at your head, it's a shame that young kid didn't have someone to tell him that...

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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 11:21 PM
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jason demello did mine, hes buff and did it with his bare hands, no actually he used the compressor too. it was money well spent IMO.

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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synovus
I heard a story once about this guy filling up his truck at the local gas station, and the pump slipped and went up his ass, and it fill up his colon like a water balloon, and then he sharted and some lady on the other side of the pump was talking on her cell phone and a spark shot out of it and the shart spray ignited and her hair melted to her hand which melted to her phone, and her ear became fused with her acrylic nails and the gas station attendant came running over to help her but he got disemboweled by a flying coil spring from this dude's tacoma when him and his buddy were trying to install a spacer in their garage a few days earlier, and the spring kept flying and hit a school bus and decapitated the bus driver, then ricocheted off the handrail and flew back through the bus and killed like 30 of the 40 kids by coiling in one eye then through their skulls, grinding up their brains, then coiling out of their other eye. Then the coil flew across the river with chunks of gall bladder and liver and eyeballs hanging from it, and the fish in the river jumped up and ate pieces of the raw entrails as it flew by, and then it landed at the feet of a young couple making out at a riverside park on their lunchbreak. I heard it was nasty, and the young couple were kinda freaked out by it. You should just have an experienced shop do your coils.
i'm crying over here!!!!
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 12:00 PM
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 03:12 PM
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spring compressors aren't that bad at all, i've used them 3 times with no problems what so ever, the way i look at it is if something freak like that was to happen to me then it was probably my time to go anyway just used a rachet and be safe, its like guns aren't safe but when you have one do you go around shooting it without looking, no, just be safe and you won't have any damn problems
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2005, 10:27 PM
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Just aim them away from your head. Oh yeah, use an impact wrench, it saves a hell of alot of time. I have used spring compressors from auto zone a couple of times and I always use alot of caution when compressing and un-compressing the coils.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 11:56 PM
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Even though this is an old thread I thought I would post my two cents. A stock tacoma spring done with the do it your self compressors isn't too bad. However do not confuse this advise with the safety issue of a loaded spring. If you are adding a spacer the spring has to travel that much further in the compressor. Potentially adding thousands of pounds of additional pressure. I have seen those do it yourself models, even a good one, bend under pressure and that can be scary. And I'll never forget when the local tire shop shot my spring across three bays of their garage trying to install a spacer on it. That was with a competent technician using a high quality wall mounted spring compressor. In fact the only reason he survived was because he was smart enough to stand behind the structural I-beam that it was mounted to. Anyway I don't think I'll be doing any more with my home model, and I don't recomend anyone else do it either. Unless you like to live dangerously. Good luck to anyone even considering it.



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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shovelracer
Even though this is an old thread I thought I would post my two cents. A stock tacoma spring done with the do it your self compressors isn't too bad. However do not confuse this advise with the safety issue of a loaded spring. If you are adding a spacer the spring has to travel that much further in the compressor. Potentially adding thousands of pounds of additional pressure. I have seen those do it yourself models, even a good one, bend under pressure and that can be scary. And I'll never forget when the local tire shop shot my spring across three bays of their garage trying to install a spacer on it. That was with a competent technician using a high quality wall mounted spring compressor. In fact the only reason he survived was because he was smart enough to stand behind the structural I-beam that it was mounted to. Anyway I don't think I'll be doing any more with my home model, and I don't recomend anyone else do it either. Unless you like to live dangerously. Good luck to anyone even considering it.
great story. The guys at the shop that did my coils the last time pointed out a large hole in the cieling insulation, about 25' up, above and a ways from the wall mounted compressor...same problem.

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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97TacoDude
I'm thinking about renting a spring compressor to change the crappy front shocks in my truck. Someone told me that a few years ago a local "kid" was found dead in his parents garage with a large chunck of his head and a coil spring embedded in the ceiling. We can all guess how that happened. Is using a spring compressor really dangerous? If the compressor is of high quality, in good shape, and used by a half-way intelligent person who can read directions is the job all that dangerous? I would think that if one took his/her time, and kept the "armed" spring pointed in a safe direction that the job wouldn't be that bad.
Damn, I didnt have any trouble when I compressed my coils for my cornbred. But that might be b/c there are 2.7L coils. I was still nervous to compress them myself cuz it was the first set I ever did.

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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-07-2005, 08:50 PM
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Damn, I didnt have any trouble when I compressed my coils for my cornbred. But that might be b/c there are 2.7L coils. I was still nervous to compress them myself cuz it was the first set I ever did.
It might've had something to do with it. But care and caution goes a long way, taking your time compressing them; unloading the springs and readjusting the compressors if they slip on the coil, etc...

In 99% of the cases in which accidents happen it's probably because someone cut corners, was in a rush, or started drinking too early.

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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synovus
I heard a story once about this guy filling up his truck at the local gas station, and the pump slipped and went up his ass, and it fill up his colon like a water balloon, and then he sharted and some lady on the other side of the pump was talking on her cell phone and a spark shot out of it and the shart spray ignited and her hair melted to her hand which melted to her phone, and her ear became fused with her acrylic nails and the gas station attendant came running over to help her but he got disemboweled by a flying coil spring from this dude's tacoma when him and his buddy were trying to install a spacer in their garage a few days earlier, and the spring kept flying and hit a school bus and decapitated the bus driver, then ricocheted off the handrail and flew back through the bus and killed like 30 of the 40 kids by coiling in one eye then through their skulls, grinding up their brains, then coiling out of their other eye. Then the coil flew across the river with chunks of gall bladder and liver and eyeballs hanging from it, and the fish in the river jumped up and ate pieces of the raw entrails as it flew by, and then it landed at the feet of a young couple making out at a riverside park on their lunchbreak. I heard it was nasty, and the young couple were kinda freaked out by it. You should just have an experienced shop do your coils.
LOL!!!

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudferret
It might've had something to do with it. But care and caution goes a long way, taking your time compressing them; unloading the springs and readjusting the compressors if they slip on the coil, etc...

In 99% of the cases in which accidents happen it's probably because someone cut corners, was in a rush, or started drinking too early.
Yea I waited until I got them done to start drinking, LOL. I cant complain too much b/c It didnt take too long to take them off, compress them, add the spacers and change shocks, re-install and slap the thornbirds on. It was about 3 hours, Not to bad for 30 degree weather in a barn with a Dirt floor and no heater.

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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-08-2005, 05:07 PM
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Just like several have posted, do not put your self (or allow others) into the path that the spring would take if the compressor broke. I have done 5 sets so far, with an autozone compressor and had no problems. Work careful, respect the stored energy of the compressed coil and stay out of the likely path of the parts in the event of a compressor failure. I use an air impact wrench, seems safer to me.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-10-2005, 10:29 PM
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I used two sets of spring compressors from auto Zone ($40 each and returned both on their money back guarantee). Had to go to two stores. If the compressor bolt or nut threads appear damaged get another spring compressor set. Make sure nothing is missing and the nuts spin easily on the bolts.
First I mounted the spring strut in a table vise upright. Used thick leather gloves. Before loosening anything I firmly clamped the base of the spring to the lip of the shock flange with a decent sized vise grip. This really helped control the spring as it was compressed or as pressure was released. Fit the concave part of the compressor nuts between the spring coils when they were not attached to the compressor bolt. Once in place on the coil it was easy to thread each bolt through each set of compressor nuts. Safer than banging them in between spring coils. I hand tighten all four . Made sure all four bolts were parallel with the shock. an air impact wrench or big 1/2 drill makes it hard to consistently control the torque load on each nut. used a 3/8 rachet and took my time. Had a 1/2 rachet but the 3/8 was easiest to tell if each nut was torqued down evenly. If the 3/8 rachet became too hard to turn then I knew I was doing something wrong. Went back to one of the other bolts and invariably found one with a lot less pressure on it. By equally compressing 4 bolts slowly but surely it was safe for me. Ditto when it came time to release pressure. By the way, the springs were from a non trd Tundra. Can't imagine doing this job with only two bolt compressors on each spring.
No wonder spring compressors (both the equiptment and operators) can get damaged.
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