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Old 09-06-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


having a hard time- bought a spring compressor at harbor Freight - this one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/gm-vehi...ool-95344.html

and doesnt work. Seems like I squashed it down to the tightest possible and still, spring wont fit into the door spring "ends"- its only say, 1/8" too wide still!

Seems like if I close the door (87 sunbird, 2 door) the gap between the spring "stops" gets wider some, but the distance between door edge and main pillar on car body gets narrower! Cant win!

How it happened: I removed the whole car door to install new hinge pins , and spring fell out. After installing new pins, I figured Id worry about the spring later, since I didnt have the compressor tool. Maybe I shoulda put in the spring and squashed it as I pushed in the door ??

Thanks.

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Pics would help, but this will be a PITA no matter what. Don't burn too many calories trying to figure out the spring compressor. See if you can borrow a different spring compressor from a car parts place. Harbor Freight stuff isn't necessarily made to the best tolerances....

I'd take the darn thing apart and put it back together with the spring in place - if you can get the hinge pins in with the spring under compression - proly a 2 person job.

Good luck these sorts of jobs are the worst.

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Pics would help, but this will be a PITA no matter what. Don't burn too many calories trying to figure out the spring compressor. See if you can borrow a different spring compressor from a car parts place. Harbor Freight stuff isn't necessarily made to the best tolerances....

I'd take the darn thing apart and put it back together with the spring in place - if you can get the hinge pins in with the spring under compression - proly a 2 person job.

Good luck these sorts of jobs are the worst.
Geez, Leah, I think youre right. Time to rethink this, and yes, 2 people. That mean get the wife off the sofa and get her to hold the door as I push in the pins.......LOL
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:31 AM   #4
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


It helps a lot to support the door to get weight off the hinges. I had an 89 Beretta and would use the scissor jack to support the door. Had to put blocks of wood under it so it would work but helped a lot. It is a two person job though. HF equipment sometimes needs 'adjustment'. Put the compressor in a bench vice and hit with an angle grinder. Wah La! It'll fit.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


oh wow. that compressor looks too thin on metal to do the job. betcha, either jaws spread open, or where the center bolt is, it compressed metal in. just looks like a tin can steel.
I normally start, in case like this, with making a tool work then. You may want to bend jaws in more, which should allow you better range of compression. put wide washer under the center bolt head, to make the surface substantial. If you decide to bend the jaws, make sure you do not kink sides of them in or out, as you will lose any structural strength in them.

hmmmm... honestly, I have no idea what that spring looks like and where it fits, but won't good channel locks do the job? well along with pair of strong hands to squeeze, of course. but, say, channel lock handles can be squeezed in a vise, you know, and then, say, a zip tie or coat hanger secured, with tie consecutively cut, when spring is in the right place...
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


I would suggest going to a local body shop and asking if they can install it, they have better tools and have probably done quite a few.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Thanks to all you guys above! Nope, no body shop- its me or nothing. Ive been living without the springed door for years, anyway- no biggee- just wanted to try to get it in now that I had some free time.

Now, UK, thats some good thinking- modifying the cheapo HF tool. But, forget vice grips- I cant afford to add stuff at the ends of the coil spring as that space is too precious for the "room" I need in that tight door "crack".

BTW, its a plain coil spring- 1" diameter, say, 3" long extended. Its very powerful- cant budge it by hand.

Lemme try modifying the $8 HF "tin can" /sheet metal wimpy squeezer, like UK said- then I'll advise, OK?
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


you can also squeeze that spring in a vise and secure it with a cord or coat hanger. we used to compress shock springs that way. I have no doubt you'll be able to compress it enough and tie so that is stays. drawbacks are 2 fold:
1. when you insert that spring in, you have to cut your tie; it may spring out or move into a wrong place.
2. it may open in your hands, if tie lets go. absolutely wear heavy gloves for this procedure.

your best bet is to toe it between the inner coils, if you can. if you tie it across outside coils, you will end up with tie material stuck between spring and bracket. not that it can't be punched out, but if you can, try tying inside the spring. also, tie(s) will not permit to slide pin inside the spring.

this vise grip:
http://www.amazon.com/Irwin-23EL5-8-.../dp/B0000TFGFU

has flat strong jaws. with some mods, it might work well for you.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


You want to wear eye protection too. Setting the spring in the door is tricky and that thing will get away from you fast if you're careless. Set the compressor one coil in rather than on the very end of the spring. A little grease on the ends can help it wiggle in there a little easier, too.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


If you pull the pin back out on that hinge, you can set the spring in place and then push the door back in place and put the pin back in. I usually put several layers of masking tape on the door edge so I don't scrape the paint. I had a couple of those spring compressors and never had any luck with them.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Update: geez, I thinbk only way is to yank out the door. UK, that Amazon.com vice grip is too wide at the traverse angle, ifn you understand what I mean. But, I did try squeezing spring on bench vice and still no luck as it kept twisting and going Ka-boiiing out of the jaws. man, this litle spring is dangerous.

Yes, thanks, but I am wearing safety glasses, and gloves.

Like I said, seems like I'll have to get the wife of the sofa (she can record Dancing With The Stars), and help hold the door. Seems like the weight of the door, plus the huge surface of the door one can push on, then push in the pind upper/lower, is the only way. Only reason for delay is the stinkin rain deluge weve had here lately...

Thanks big time, forum buddies.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


OK, rain stopped for a few hours, so, tried by hand pushing down on it for it to squeeze just a 1/8" to get it into the jaws of the HF tool, and squeezed it all the way. No way its going in there. Its still about 1/8" -1/4" too wide. Imposible, period.

have to yank the door. Gonna return the dumb tool. I will report back.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #13
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Russians have a proverb:

Терпенье и труд
Всё перетрут

patience and elbow grease
will grind through everything.

I still vote for compressing it in a vise. That it wants to twist tells me 2 things:
1. spring edge is not flat, causing twist; grind sucker down flat
2. there's way to keep it straight whilst squeezing in a vise. sorry, brother, I'd rather not mention it. It's fairly finger breaking. But come to think about it, if it's only 3 inches long, maybe you can grab it on the outside with wide players, to steady coils.

if it's only 3mm (1/8th) compressed spring difference, why don't you simply shave it down a forth? it'll still work, when sprung open.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:59 PM   #14
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


UK,

I really appreciate your continued support and encouragement, but lemme splain: I managed to compress it down to the squashed MAXIMUM tightness- no left over springiness. And, even with that spring squeezed down to max, it wont fit into the space . Vice doesnt matter. And even though the Hf tool ended up doing its job, cant understand why that stupid spring wont go in that space.

I just cant see how without removing door one is to get the spring in there.

I wont mess with shaving down/cutting off a revolution of the coil. it will ruin the shape, I believe. But dont worry, UK, I know youre almost wishing you could be here to help, even, I can sense it- typical of reliable/loyal forum buddies trying to help. I will get it soon. 2 pins to pop out.

Have a good Sat night.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #15
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Ever install a door spring on a 2 door?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Russians have a proverb:

Терпенье и труд
Всё перетрут

patience and elbow grease
will grind through everything.
.
Is that what that Russian saying means? I was thinking more along the lines of perestroika glasnost Vodka during Sibarian cold winter........

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