Does anybody have a link to a video or some instructions on changing the front coil springs on my 04 Sierra? I have the spring compressor tool, but just wanted to see someone do the job to make sure I do it correctly and safely.
(1) Ordinarily, The Front Suspension Coils on GM and GMC Full Sized Pick Up Trucks CANNOT be Mechanically Compressed or Restrained during their Full Dis-Assemby as shown in the linked Video. All Coil Springs can store an ENORMOUS amount of Potential Energy ...even when only compressed just a few inches. The Floor Jack Control MUST be Maintained in such a manner as to GRADUALLY RELEASE THAT ENERGY.
(2) Before removing any of the Fastening Hardware holding the Upper and Lower "A" Frames together...DO NOT COMPLETELY REMOVE THE CASTLE NUT(S) WHEN TRYING TO BREAK THE BALL JOINTS LOOSE.
(2) As a precaution... Place the Floor Jack under at the Bottom of the Lower "A" Frame and raise it up to the point of making Light contact before removing the Front Non-MacPherson Strut Shock Absorbers:
(3) Make Damned Sure to be using a DECENT Floor Jack that is NOT going to be "Leaking Down" once it is positioned as shown in this Video to Capture and Support the Lower "A" Frame and Control its Motion CAREFULLY...AT ALL TIMES!
(4) Do NOT Re-Position the Floor Jack Off-Center when Hammering in a Pickle Fork to release the Lower Ball Joint from the Front Suspension... Again...after removing the Ball Joint Threaded Shaft of the Safety Cotter Keys... The Castle Nuts should only be LOOSENED enough to be able to allow you to Jar things loose.
(5) Work on ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE SUSPENSION AT A TIME and NEVER place your hands or body parts within the area where the Coil Spring can SLIP and FLY OUT of that containment space. Keep ALL Family, Friends, Animals and Gawkers at a Safe Distance, too. Lower the Jack SLOOOOOWLY...
Pretty simple. Pop the unit out of the truck then take you time with the spring compressors til they got a good hold and you can pop ou the strut. Compress new spring and slap em on the strut. Done a bunch and they are not real bad. If not adding a lift they really are non-issue.
Well, I’m into it now . Looks like I need upper and lower ball joints while I’m this far in. Do I have to drill, grind, beat those 4 rivets out on the lower? Also, is the upper pressed in? I didn’t see any type of retention ring holding it in.
A Good, SAFE Job! The Rivets on the OEM Factory Upper or Lower (depending upon Year-Make-Model) Ball Joints will either have to be Burned Off with an Oxy-Acetylene Torch (NOT My Favorite Approach), Drilled out... or you can just Grind them off (very carefully) with a 4" Angle Grinder. The New Ones will come with New Replacement Fasteners: Bolts, Washers and Nuts that will need to Torqued To Spec for the New Installation. This Video covers Three Ways to remove the Riveted Ball Joints:
If the Truck has an EXTREMELY High Mileage History... My inclination would be to save a LOT of Secondary Labor by simply replacing the Upper and Lower "A" Frames entirely with Brand New Ones that are already outfitted with the Brand New Bushings, Ball Joints, Rubber Grease Boots and Zerk Grease Fittings Pre-Installed.
You'll Need a Ball Joint Press Loaner Kit from AutoZone or purchase one from either NAPA or Harbor Freight, either the Upper or Lower Ball Joints (depending upon Year-Make-Model) must be Pressed out using Heavy Duty "C"_Clamp and the appropriate encapsulating Steel Cups and Plates to drive the Old Ball Joint Unit out of the "A" Frame(s) and also to drive the New Ones right back in place. Don't forget to Install the New Locking Spring Steel Rings.
The Dudes in this Video would've probably had an easier time doing the Installation of the Lower Ball Joint had they used a High Pressure Grease on the Threads of the "C" Clamp Driver Bolt FIRST. Get the Ball Joint Body Alignments as close to PERFECT as possible... and wear Work Gloves and a Face Shield to avoid getting flying chunks of Metal and Abrasive Powder embedded in your Eyes and Mouth.
And For God's Sake... Would it have KILLED them to run a Wire Wheel or Bristle Brush all around those "A" Frames and Mount Holes to knock off most of the Dirt and Rust ...FIRST?
Thanks @MRRSM ! I’m going to get the loaner press kit when I pick up the new joints in the morning. I like the idea of grinding the rivets then I’ll just punch them out. I thought about replacing the A arms, but these look pretty good. I guess this truck has had a decent life here in SC. It’s always been parked on pavement.
Just make certain that the Bushings on Both the Upper and Lower "A" Frames are nice and snug....as even with Brand New Ball Joints and other New Suspension Repairs... Having Bad Bushings on those Paired "A" Frames will make it almost impossible to ever get a Correct Front End Alignment.