When replacing front shock/struts (DIY), is it necessary to compress the
springs, or can the installation be done without this step?
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Holy Crap! That spring compressor are only meant to compress the Mcpherson
strut type spring... you know... the spring located inside of the struts...
not MB springs except the new C class which uses McPherson struts.
Even as that picture show, that guy did not use the safety hook that is
supposed to be used with those compressor. The reason he didn't use it is
because they don't fit... too small.
McPherson strut type springs are only 1/2 the thickness of MB or chassis
springs. and are far weaker in spring tension strength...
I used Sir Tool compressor and it has failed on me too. I was lucky I only
hurt my wrist.
For Oneguy... I suggest strongly you get the MB service manual and study
what is involved before you do it.
Those photos were from when I changed the pads on my sportline springs up
front. Wouldn't do it again. Had the compressors slip half a dozen times
each side before I got a good "seat". My friend was pissed when I returned
the compressors to him bent...
In response to the original question, yes you can change the front shocks
without a spring compressor. IIRC, you detach the sway bar at the wheel
hub, then unbolt the shock up top. The wishbone should swing down and free
the top of the shock without releasing all of the spring tension, and it'll
remain stable and secure while you pull the shock. I do reccomend putting a
jack under the wishbone and jacking it up a bit once you free the top of the
shock, to make sure there is no chance of the spring coming out.
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