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Old 07-11-2018, 05:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by booster View Post
Great to hear a success story and that you finally found a shop that knew what they were doing, as it appears many don't have a clue what it takes to put in the big springs.
Thanks for sharing all of this and all of your expertise. I'm new to all of this and will be investigating my '08 210P and seeing if it has some of this done already. Thanks again and safe travels!

Jim
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:43 PM   #22
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I’ll add another thank you. I have a 2008 190P and will be installing Bilsteins in the next couple weeks. Airlift bags might be next on my list. I appreciate everyone sharing what has worked and the pitfalls the look for along the way.

Jim
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:26 PM   #23
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Question for all the diy guys here regarding the Moog 81004 front springs.

Do these need to be compressed when installing?

I enjoy doing my own work but I really dislike compressing coil springs especially the big monsters on our vans. All the rest of the work is fine, just getting the coils in and out is my question. Thanks, Mike.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MikeK5117 View Post
Question for all the diy guys here regarding the Moog 81004 front springs.

Do these need to be compressed when installing?

I enjoy doing my own work but I really dislike compressing coil springs especially the big monsters on our vans. All the rest of the work is fine, just getting the coils in and out is my question. Thanks, Mike.
I did my springs. I used a floor jack to lower the control arm and remove the spring. Then used the jack to raise the control arm with the new spring installed. It was scary, though I have only done springs a couple times before. I would not do it again, I would try to find a shop that you trust to do it for a reasonable price.

I found the instructions below and have added some changes.

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS (with Mods)

Note: Spring kits are to be installed on vehicles with stock suspensions only.
Installation images corresponding to numbered process steps on next page.
1. Jack the front of vehicle in accordance to manufacturer recommendation and support frame with jack stands, remove the front tires/wheels. Start on driverís side
2. If equipped with front ABS brakes, disconnect ABS connecter [coil lead up against caliper], remove ABS lead and brake fluid line from where they mount to the upper control arm and spindle.
3. Remove tie rod nut and separate tie rod [this can be accomplished after nut has been removed by repeatedly striking the end of the steering knuckle with a hammer; do not strike the tie rod threads]. Use a gear puller to separate. Tap on knuckle with a hammer will applying gear puller pressure. If necessary, apply PBBlaster or similar to the joint to help it break free..
4. Remove bolts securing brake caliper assembly, slightly depress brake piston to make it easier to reinstall, remove caliper and tie up/support assembly to the side.
DO NOT ALLOW IT TO HANG UNSUPPORTED BY BRAKE LINE.
5. Remove brake rotor [remove and discard factory set/lock washers if present].
6. Remove the front sway bar end links, both L & R sides, where they connect to the lower control arms, this allows the bar to pivot if needed.
6a. Bolt an impact socket (I used 1-1/16") to the bottom of the control arm. This provides a "post" that protrudes below the control arm that will fit in the floor jack "dish" so the jack won't slip out from under the control arm when the control arm swings down past 45-degrees when removing or installing the spring.
7. Remove shock absorber upper and lower mounting nuts, drop and remove shock.
8. Position ample support under the lower control arm and lightly compress the coil spring.
8a. Loosen lower control arm bushing bolts
9. Loosen the upper ball joint nut and separate the ball joint from the spindle [this can be accomplished after nut has been loosened by repeatedly striking the side of the spindle adjacent to the ball joint with a hammer; do not strike the ball joint threads]. Use a gear puller to separate.
10. Slowly back off the support from below the lower control arm decompressing coil spring in a controlled manner, with tension released remove the ball joint nut.
10a. Use a cargo tie-down with hooks (or a bungee or some other means) between the steering knuckle and the upper control arm to keep the steering knuckle from flopping around. Or you can remove the brake disk to lighten the knuckle assembly, but this was more work.
11. To assist in the installation of the new spring, note the coil springs seated position and remove. Remove factory rubber spring isolator(s) and re-position onto new spring, match up old and new springs, look for unique features to identify the top vs. bottom.
12. Install new coil spring taking note to re-seat/index it the same way as was noted above.
13. In the opposite manner to its removal, now raise the lower control arm/coil spring to allow the upper ball joint to be reinstalled into the spindle. Clean ball joint post and hole surfaces.
14. Reinstall shock absorber, remount brake rotor. Reinstall caliper assembly; bolt it to spindle using a suitable thread locker. Reinstall tie rod to steering knuckle (Clean tie rod post and hole surfaces). Clamp knuckle to control arm to get the tapered post to seat; this holds the post in place so you can tighten the nut. Reattach ABS lead mounts and connector and reattach brake fluid line bracket mounting positions.
15. Refrain from reattaching sway bar end link until steps 2-5 & 7-14 are repeated on the passenger side. Once completed, then reattach sway bar end links at both sides.
16. Install the front tires/wheels. With installation completed lower vehicle.
17. Ensure torque values of all nuts/ bolts affected by spring installation are per manufacturer recommendation.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:33 PM   #25
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Yes, DIY with coil spring compressor. I think the coils can be removed from the outer or inner side of the suspension assembly. I think you have to use the spring compressor if doing the work from the inner side. Peteco's method above is from the outer side. I did it from the inner side.

- Vehicle front supported by stands.
- Removed sway bar link ends.
- Support the lower arm with a jack.
- Removed the shock absorber.
- Used an OTC 7045B Front Coil Spring Compressor to compress the coil.
- Dropped the lower arm by removing the pivot bolts.
- Removed the coil.
- Compressed new coil and put it in place leaving spring compressor on.
- Then the real fun part began trying to get the lower arm / pivot bolts to line up!

After that it was pretty much reversing the steps to finish up.

I'd tackle replacing coils again if I had someone helping otherwise I'd pay to have a shop do it.
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Old 07-26-2018, 03:55 PM   #26
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Thanks. I have only previously done this from the "outside" never occurred to me to try it the other way. If I undertook this then I would at the same time likely do shocks, ball joints, sway bar bushings, tie rod ends etc one of my main reasons for doing my own work is so I can spend money on good parts. This doesn't sound too horrible, I may give it a go.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:09 PM   #27
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I think the need to compress the springs is year dependent. The pre 2003 models like Marko has would need the spring compressed to get it in, but after that a stock length (which a the 81004 is) spring can be put in with Petco's method.



It is very, very close to not going in though, and needs to be done from the outside. It is a bit scary when you start to lift the lower A arm to compress the spring as the spring is just barely engage in the A arm spring cup. You might even consider putting a strap on it to hold it in so it can't pop out. Certainly stand clear and leave room if it does come out.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:38 PM   #28
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My C190 is a 2004 built on a 2003 chassis. Hopefully it would be able to change them out without compressing the spring. If it was just the springs I might consider paying somebody, local GM wants $300 to do the work. However, I look at as an opportunity to pull the whole front end apart and replace everything. That sort of labor charge I will not pay. I just hate those darn spring compressors had one slip on me once and have never liked them since. I have a nice long handle on my floor jack and can certainly stand way out of the way when starting to jack up the a-arm.
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:54 AM   #29
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Following!!!
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:24 PM   #30
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Default 81004 springs vs GM equal and front sway bar?

Hi I am new here and appreciate all the tech tips. being a life long engine and car builder, this is my cup of tea. I have just purchased my 1st 2018 RT 210 and on the way home from the purchase across the US. I noticed immediately all these issues. I have owned a 2003 3500 cargo van for 15 years so I know how it could and should ride and handle. My question is has anyone ever tried the GM equal spring to the 81004? I see these are the Moog Duramax springs.
I have access to alot of new take off Gm parts, so thinking of trying the GM D max springs. Also wondering about running a little larger front sway/stabilizer bar. GM also shows 3 different rear leaf springs for the rear. 9600, 10, 000 and 11000. Curious if anyone had tried the 11,000? Once again I have access to alot of these parts and always like to dabble in the untested waters. At least based on this post I know what has worked. Thanks for all the great info. Shaun
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