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Discussion Starter #1
I need to do my front and rear shocks on my W211. I've not used a spring compressor in a number of years... like 30 years. The only kind I've ever used is the kind that is 2 different identical compressors that you put on opposite sides of the spring and then alternate tightening back and forth until you have the spring compressed enough. Those seemed to work just fine.

So when I look at the WIS, it shows 2 different ones for the front struts type springs and the back coilover springs. Apparently, both are made by Klann and there are knock-offs available.

Is there a reason one shouldn't or can't use the "old school" type with the two different pieces? The old school type is certainly more universal and doesn't care if it is a coil over or a mcpherson type. Maybe it won't fit in the space?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That tool in the vid wont work for coil over struts, I always use three compressors for a coil over for safety, grease the threads too.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CMDPLM/?creativeASIN=B000CMDPLM&linkCode=w61&imprToken=.Vad22eAP5RCotgfQZEN7g&slotNum=7&tag=car-search-20

@Kajtek1 Right! That's why I was wondering about this style with the single screw. I'm sure they can be used safely if one is careful and uses the tool properly. And of course there are some major differences in tool quality as well. I know the brand MB suggests is nearly $1000 and that's out of the question. This is what MB shows in their WIS.
@ot1 No, the style in the video isn't the strut style, but the style for them is similar with just one screw. Looks like this and what is shown in the MB WIS.
https://www.amazon.com/8MILELAKE-Macpherson-Spring-Compressor-Interchangeable/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=pcpherson+spring+compressor&qid=1560508593&s=automotive&sr=1-3-spell

The style I'm familiar with using is this.
https://www.amazon.com/OrionMotorTech-Automotive-Mcpherson-Compressor-Compressible/dp/B078X57CZL/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=pcpherson+spring+compressor&qid=1560508593&s=automotive&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1

And like @ot1 said, you'd use 3 of them. There is almost no way for a spring to escape from 3 of these used in unison. Yeah, it's a slow boat to China to tighten them down, but a spring under tension is scary as hell.

I'm guessing that the reason they went to the single screw style was twofold. - Speed of removal and fitting the tool in the tight space. Perhaps there isn't enough room to fit the separate screws in there for the rear springs. That is what I don't yet know. For the front strut, the separates type should work fine, since the strut will be out of the car and on the ground before you try to compress it. Plenty of room. For the rears, I don't know. It may come down to renting the right tools, instead of buying.
 

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That tool in the vid wont work for coil over struts, I always use three compressors for a coil over for safety, grease the threads too.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CMDPLM/?creativeASIN=B000CMDPLM&linkCode=w61&imprToken=.Vad22eAP5RCotgfQZEN7g&slotNum=7&tag=car-search-20
Those spring compressors are fucking dangerous.

I use these for the front
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0UT55Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_jY6aDb68TVH13

And these for the rear.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0149WLL3Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_MZ6aDb9STMRYR
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is one of those jobs best left to a professional shop, IMHO.
John
You hit my sore spot! LOL

Yes, safety is a concern when compressing springs and certainly not just anyone should tackle this, so I can respect that caution. There's a lot of guys here that are rookie mechanics, so something as dangerous as spring compression can end badly. With respect, I have more than enough skills and experience and won't do stupid things like that guy did in the video when he pulled sideways on the spring while it was in the compressor. That was just ignorant! And then he's like "I don't know why it came out." Really? Pretty sure I know why. The springs are not completely captive in that type of compressor and can potentially bow outward on one side, which is my major concern on that type of tool and why I was asking in the first place about that type. That video told me what I suspected; stick with the old type compressors if I can which may be slower, but A LOT safer.

"Car repair professionals" is a very sore subject, but let's go off-thread for the moment since you've thrown it out. Let me tell you (and anyone else that will listen) why I now try to avoid letting shops touch my vehicles except where absolutely necessary. True professionalism in car repair seems to be a dying skill, or I've just got bad luck. I was doing stock restorations, engine rebuilds, speed shop hop-ups and flipped cars in my younger days before and after college until my business took off in my late 20's and I no longer had time. (I'm now a 58 year old mechanical engineer & business owner.)

Why did I make this commitment to get away from "professional" shops where I can?
  1. Cost
  2. Work Quality
  3. Trust (or lack thereof)

  • Cost
Things like brake jobs are a perfect example of rape and pillage. Takes me maybe 90-120 minutes to do an axle on jack stands. Parts for the front axle are about $150 for my car. Take it to a shop and it's $500-$600 per axle easy, if not more. So that's $350+ for labor which equates to 3+ hours work on a lift? Spare me. Ask a shop to replace the belt on the CDI; you get a 2 hour estimate. Yes, you have to pull the fan, but it's simply not that hard. Takes me 45 minutes to complete this if I go really slow. I had the black death on my car recently. The estimate was $8,000 at a dealership and $5000 at an indy. (That's a long interesting discussion in itself.) Fixed it myself for $100 in parts, $25 in cleaners/solvents and $150 in special tools. I have maybe 10-12 hours in it, with at least 6 of that being clean up. The only way I could have come close to those prices is if I would have had to have replaced the injectors with new. Going with new injectors would have actually saved me about 2 hours in labor.

  • Work Quality
Rushed oil changes, not cleaning up the area they are working on, not touching up underbody where they see it, stripping out the underbody retaining clips because they use air tools on them, banging up the suspension parts using improper tools, not replacing harness zip ties when removed to do a job, etc. I could go on and on and on. The reality is the mechanics are under tremendous pressure to get cars turned fast, and that means they simply don't have time for the details and they take short cuts where they should not. In some cases, they simply don't care. In other cases, they don't understand the technical reasons certain jobs should be done in in certain manners with no short-cutting.

  • Trust
This is the biggy. Lets start with the parts mark-up that a shop does, which is total BS. That really chaps my shorts. They are already FAR overestimating the time (as a worst case), so then they add insult to injury. I expect details to be observed by a professional, which seems to not happen. In the last 6 months, I had a transmission severely under-filled and an engine under-filled. An indy under-filled the tranny and the DEALERSHIP under-filled the engine. Both are reputable shops and of course, you expect the dealership to be top-notch. They were relying on their machines to put the right amount in. There was some sort of machine malfunction on the tranny flush and the dealership simply looked up the wrong engine and put the wrong amount in! Neither bothered to check with a dipstick, which any rookie should do as the final step and is part of the factory WIS procedure on any vehicle.

So yeah... Unless I truly can't fit something in my schedule, it requires a tool that I can't get my hands on or there is some machine shop work involved, I'm probably going to do the job myself and I know it will be done right and every detail followed.

Off my soapbox and back to talking about the specifics of the various spring compressor types, which is what this thread is about.

With respect,
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Those spring compressors are fucking dangerous.

I use these for the front
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0UT55Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_jY6aDb68TVH13
But how do you really feel? LOL

I like the look of that type for the front. The adjustment for the jaw on one end seems a good idea. I'd still go with three of them on a spring. The other type with external acme thread always seemed OK in the past. But again, I used three of them, not two. Two just doesn't seem like the safest approach.
 

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You hit my sore spot! LOL

Yes, safety is a concern when compressing springs and certainly not just anyone should tackle this, so I can respect that caution. There's a lot of guys here that are rookie mechanics, so something as dangerous as spring compression can end badly. With respect, I have more than enough skills and experience and won't do stupid things like that guy did in the video when he pulled sideways on the spring while it was in the compressor. That was just ignorant! And then he's like "I don't know why it came out." Really? Pretty sure I know why. The springs are not completely captive in that type of compressor and can potentially bow outward on one side, which is my major concern on that type of tool and why I was asking in the first place about that type. That video told me what I suspected; stick with the old type compressors if I can which may be slower, but A LOT safer.

"Car repair professionals" is a very sore subject, but let's go off-thread for the moment since you've thrown it out. Let me tell you (and anyone else that will listen) why I now try to avoid letting shops touch my vehicles except where absolutely necessary. True professionalism in car repair seems to be a dying skill, or I've just got bad luck. I was doing stock restorations, engine rebuilds, speed shop hop-ups and flipped cars in my younger days before and after college until my business took off in my late 20's and I no longer had time. (I'm now a 58 year old mechanical engineer & business owner.)

Why did I make this commitment to get away from "professional" shops where I can?
  1. Cost
  2. Work Quality
  3. Trust (or lack thereof)

  • Cost
Things like brake jobs are a perfect example of rape and pillage. Takes me maybe 90-120 minutes to do an axle on jack stands. Parts for the front axle are about $150 for my car. Take it to a shop and it's $500-$600 per axle easy, if not more. So that's $350+ for labor which equates to 3+ hours work on a lift? Spare me. Ask a shop to replace the belt on the CDI; you get a 2 hour estimate. Yes, you have to pull the fan, but it's simply not that hard. Takes me 45 minutes to complete this if I go really slow. I had the black death on my car recently. The estimate was $8,000 at a dealership and $5000 at an indy. (That's a long interesting discussion in itself.) Fixed it myself for $100 in parts, $25 in cleaners/solvents and $150 in special tools. I have maybe 10-12 hours in it, with at least 6 of that being clean up. The only way I could have come close to those prices is if I would have had to have replaced the injectors with new. Going with new injectors would have actually saved me about 2 hours in labor.

  • Work Quality
Rushed oil changes, not cleaning up the area they are working on, not touching up underbody where they see it, stripping out the underbody retaining clips because they use air tools on them, banging up the suspension parts using improper tools, not replacing harness zip ties when removed to do a job, etc. I could go on and on and on. The reality is the mechanics are under tremendous pressure to get cars turned fast, and that means they simply don't have time for the details and they take short cuts where they should not. In some cases, they simply don't care. In other cases, they don't understand the technical reasons certain jobs should be done in in certain manners with no short-cutting.

  • Trust
This is the biggy. Lets start with the parts mark-up that a shop does, which is total BS. That really chaps my shorts. They are already FAR overestimating the time (as a worst case), so then they add insult to injury. I expect details to be observed by a professional, which seems to not happen. In the last 6 months, I had a transmission severely under-filled and an engine under-filled. An indy under-filled the tranny and the DEALERSHIP under-filled the engine. Both are reputable shops and of course, you expect the dealership to be top-notch. They were relying on their machines to put the right amount in. There was some sort of machine malfunction on the tranny flush and the dealership simply looked up the wrong engine and put the wrong amount in! Neither bothered to check with a dipstick, which any rookie should do as the final step and is part of the factory WIS procedure on any vehicle.

So yeah... Unless I truly can't fit something in my schedule, it requires a tool that I can't get my hands on or there is some machine shop work involved, I'm probably going to do the job myself and I know it will be done right and every detail followed.

Off my soapbox and back to talking about the specifics of the various spring compressor types, which is what this thread is about.

With respect,
Scott
You forgot to mention, forgetting to put the belly covers back on, or leaving out most of the fasteners. I hit a bad pot hole in chicago one night, bent the tie rod, still couldnt be aligned, the sub frame was tweaked too, so the dealer replaced it, picked up the car just before closing and drove it about an hour away, started hearing an ocassional squeak, was up on the interstate, got louder and louder, pulled off and two of the five lugs were missing, one was four turns loose and the
Another two turns loose, last one wasnt snug either, I figure i was just a couple of minutes from losing the wheel at 60mph. That third lug was damaged so i took lugs from two other tires and got off the interstate, scarey.
 

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But how do you really feel? LOL

I like the look of that type for the front. The adjustment for the jaw on one end seems a good idea. I'd still go with three of them on a spring. The other type with external acme thread always seemed OK in the past. But again, I used three of them, not two. Two just doesn't seem like the safest approach.
Those jaws of the type TJTS1 posted do not lock on, unlike the type I posted which do have locking pins, much safer feeling for me. The heads are forged steel, but I still use three. To get the tension off the top strut nut, that spring has to be really collapsed well. The energy that spring has collapsed makes it dangerous for only two compressors, if one of the jaw breaks it flys and the other compressor doesnt lock on it will become a missle too!
 
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