How to Replace the Front Spring on a 1988 Chevrolet Camaro

Coil springs provide absorption for varied road conditions, allowing a vehicle to have a smooth ride. When the springs are compressed for prolonged periods of time, they eventually lose their original length, causing the ride to suffer. Replacing the front springs on a 1988 Chevrolet Camaro requires a few specialized tools and should only be done by experienced mechanics.

Tools Used: Hydraulic lift, Wheel blocks, Pair of jack stands, 1/2-in. ratchet wrench, 1/2-in. ratchet, socket set, Adjustable crescent wrench, Lug socket, Allen wrench set, Coil spring compression tool

Replace Front Spring

Place blocks under the rear wheels so the prevent the vehicle from rolling when raised. Lift the vehicle with a hydraulic lift and place the two jack stands under chassis structural points behind the front wheels. This will cause the front wheels to sag due to the pressure of the coil springs and shocks. Lower the lift and reposition it under the control arm. Lift until the wheel is raised to is normal position.

Remove the lugs using a 1/2-in. ratchet wrench and socket lug. Place the lugs in the wheel and slide the wheel underneath the vehicle for extra safety. Use the appropriate sized Allen wrench to remove the retainer bolts for the brake caliper. Remove the caliper and and place it on a box or brick to prevent it from pulling the brake line. Locate the wheel hub assembly and remove the two bolts located on the flange of the lower and upper control arms. Remove the hub assembly and place to the side.

Use the 1/2-in. ratchet wrench and appropriate-sized socket to remove the front shock. Pull the shock away from the control arms and place to the side. Slowly lower the hydraulic lift under the lower control arm to allow the spring to release compression tension.

Remove the lift and place the coil spring compression tool inside the coil spring. Adjust the tool arms to grip on the spring and tighten the compression bolt with an adjustable crescent wrench.Tighten the compression tool until the spring can be removed from the control arm mounts. Slowly loosen the compression tool to remove it from the spring. Installation of the new spring is opposite of removal.

Tips & Warnings

Be sure to compress the spring using the hydraulic lift. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to remove the wheel hub assembly as the spring is exerting pressure against the mounting bolts.

Be careful when removing and installing springs. These springs are under tremendous pressure and can break out of the control arm mounts if not properly inserted or incorrectly removed.

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