I have always used AZ etc... compressors
Just inspect them before you take them and make sure the threads are not mush. I always disassemble, clean with brake cleaner and re-lube before I use them. They usually come with dirt in the threads. Also you can disassemble them to get the clamp pieces in the right spot on the spring and then assemble. I have used "methods" like this emoji to get them in place before I figured it out...
No, don't use ANY spring compressors for 80 springs. Instead, open up the suspension completely w/o stretching your brake lines. I'd suggest doing the following:
- undo sway bars
- undo shocks
- undo brake line/hose brackets so that they can move
- use your floor jack to tilt up one side of axle while pushing down the other side by merely standing on the hub. This will really open up the suspension
- use a bottle jack to force the suspension to open up farther if you need it to stay open while you put the new springs into their home locations. Place the bottle jack between the arms and the chassis.
For the record, you will NOT like any rental spring compressors for 80 springs. These aren't just springs, they are SPRINGS, Landcruiser size, not Jeep size If you use them rental POS compressors, you are going to be flinching at the sight of the spring compressors all thread shaft slowly bending. Trust me on this one, do not rent them.
I have a MAN Size spring compressor tool that I have used in the past but truthfully, it's just easier to follow the method I've outlined above.
Having two floor jacks and tall jack stands (6 ton) really help with this project.
On the front axle you can loosen the frame side radius arm bushing bolts and the axle will drop right down once you take off all the other stuff Ali mentioned. I think I tried using the jack to push the axle down at first when I did this, but I ended up just loosening those two bolts and that seemed to work pretty well at the time. You could theoretically do that on the rear axle too, but there's a lot more bolts, so maybe not worth it unless you're swapping out some of the links anyway.
Hell, I don't use a spring compressor even working on the front struts. I let gravity and the weight of the vehicle to help with the uncompressing of the coils. The trouble with using spring compressor tools on the front coils is that once you've managed to stuff the compressed springs inside the struts, sometimes it's hard to actually remove the tool and let go of the springs! The coils are so close together that they won't let the tool come out easily.
I don't have this job to do, but I just learned a lot of good information about spring compressors. Basically, don't use them on 80 springs Gravity can be helpful on vehicle repair. Thanks for all the input.
I got more data points from swapping out the Slee 4" heavies with Dobinson 3" heavies. The rear axle requires the twisting as I mentioned above. However, the front doesn't require the twisting method. Once you disconnect the sway bar from the frame (as oppose to disconnecting from the axle) and undo the bottom shock nuts, the front axle will drop like crazy. BUT, be mindful of stretching the front brake line. I have extended lines so this was a non issue for me. Axle will drop down enough to have the front springs literally fall out!
I found it easier to disconnect/reconnect the sway bar from the frame mounting than dealing with the axle end mounting. At the axle end, you have to line up the sway bar end and the space is tight. It just requires more fiddling than disconnecting/reconnecting at the frame mounting location.