How to Replace a Truck's Front Coil Springsby Russell Wood
Removing and replacing the coil springs on a truck can lift or lower the vehicle. It's also beneficial for basic maintenance. It's not a difficult job, but the work requires some basic mechanical skills and a good set of tools. For the purposes of this article, we'll be removing the front coil springs on a 1995 Chevrolet truck, although the process is very similar for other makes and models.
Using the 1/2-inch ratchet, loosen but do not remove the front wheel lugs. Use the jack to lift the front of the truck and set it on jack stands. The stands should be mounted on the frame so that the front of the vehicle is secure and suspended in the air. Remove the lug nuts, pull off the wheels and set them to the side.
Use the 3/8-inch ratchet to remove the front shocks. They're held in place by a single nut at the top, and a pair of bolts on the bottom of the control arm. Remove the shock through the bottom of the control arm.
Use the 3/8-inch ratchet to remove the tie-rod bolt on the spindle. Then use the ratchet to remove the sway-bar end links on both control arms.
Using the hook tool, pry the cotter pin off of the castle nut that secures the lower control arm to the spindle.
Pump up the jack to hit the lower control arm. Apply enough pressure to keep a solid lift on the arm, but not enough to lift the vehicle off of the stands.
Remove the castle nut that holds on the lower control arm. Once the nut is off, the jack should keep the lower control arm in place without allowing the spring to release tension.
Using the sledgehammer, pound the side of the spindle until the ball joint is free from the spindle. Lower the jack slowly to gradually relieve the tension on the spring.
Once the lower control arm is all the way down, use the pry bar to pop the spring out of the pocket. Once the spring is free, install a replacement model in the reverse order.
Things You'll Need
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set 1/2-inch ratchet and socket set Jack Jack stands 12-inch or longer pry bar Flathead screwdriver Hook tool 3- or 5-lb. sledgehammer
- Springs are under a lot of tension, so be careful when you remove them. For safety purposes, always keep the jack under the control arm.
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.