bajajoaquin

Heating Springs to Eliminate Load

Recommended Posts

I try not to start topics that seem purpose-built to get replies that tell me I'm an idiot, but here goes....

I recently got two MacPherson struts so I could use the springs for stock. Thing is that they're still assembled, and under spring load. I don't have a spring compressor. I do, however, have an induction forge. Since I can heat one section of coil without risk of heating the shock body or the plated chrome parts to dangerous levels, could I just heat the spring to a forging heat, which would cause the spring to deform and eliminate the load? Springs are painted, not otherwise coated.

As a bonus question, is there anything I can do with the chromed shock shaft? I had always figured there's no way to get the chrome off safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bit the bullet and bought a spring compressor kit of the amazon.  I think it was like $27 for the kit.  That is cheaper than any trip to the hospital. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just take them to a mechanic shop and ask them to remove the springs. Tell them you just want the springs and they can have the shocks for scrap. It's not worth messing with the shocks and I wouldn't recommend trying to heat them to get rid of the tension. Would it work? Maybe. I would Not recommend it tho. It's cheap enough to have them removed professionally. Added bonus, ask them if they have more springs. You might get hooked up. Take them a box of doughnuts too. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Take them a box of doughnuts too.

A bottle opener forged from an identifiable car part is also a winner with most mechanics. Definitely cheaper than a hospital trip.

On the other hand, if you really want to try this, please put me in your will for the induction forge before you get started, just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back home the guys would lower their cars by heating the springs with a torch and let them sag to the height they wanted.

Yes, it can be done, but it only takes a shop with a wall mounted compressor a second to remove them. image.png.4ae729b6f1af79d0eb22d8322391d910.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A do it yourself disassembly of Shock absorbers and/or struts is an invitation to view the next county .

I have seen a few youtube videos showing how you can do it at home without any specialized tools. Maybe you could do it correctly and maybe not. 

If you end up taking the "maybe not" option the spring can knock you into the next county or into next Thursday. Almost any car repair shop can disassemble the springs in five minutes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you choose to watch the mechanic use the strut compressor to remove the spring, do it from a SAFE distance, like the burger joint; while you pick up lunch for both of you. If you choose to do it yourself, order pizza, the EMT's, and a video crew to be on location before you start. Do not forget the obligatory *Hey Y'all, watch this*.

Is that one piece of spring (that may or may not have micro fractures) worth the cost of the hospital bill and the time off work if something goes a little wrong?  It is your call. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Charles and the rest on this one. I sustained a very minor injury a few years ago that could have been a life altering or life ending event with a little more bounce one direction or other. I wont describe the steps I took leading up to those events but flying steel is not your friend! Just because you've done something a dozen times doesn't mean it wont go sideways on you on number thirteen or twenty. If you want to mess with springs under tension purchase a good wall mount spring compressor or pay a pro to do it for you. Depending on what I make from them I can convert one truck spring into several thousand dollars. That's a good return if I don't end up crippled or dead. There is something to be said for harvesting "low hanging fruit". Purchase springs that are not under tension, ie just the spring, not the whole shock assembly, or else chose one of the one hundred percent safe ways to deal with the shock. As to the shock shaft that may or may not yield six inches of one inch water hardening steel when you're done, it's hardly worth the effort. There are easier, safer sources for that material. Good luck and stay safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All sound advice above, I've got coil spring compressors more than capable of dealing with the Land Rover spring I needed to change, they are not infallable! I can't help but cringe when using them and I can at least take most of the weight off the spring by lifting the chassis above the axle, not possible with a unmounted shock strut. Either get shop to strip them or find a source of strut free springs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.