Simple Homemade Butt Spring Compressor

Just about all of us here at Hooniverse tinker with our own cars. We do a lot of stuff. Tim does all the stuff, but some things are better left to the professionals, because some things may not be good for our health. Swapping suspension coil springs and/or struts was always one of those risky things for me. I have been hearing folktales of mechanics being killed by springs my whole life, so I stay far away from them.
Typically, when swapping coil springs and/or struts, I’d spend half of my Sunday removing all four strut assemblies from the car. Then I would drop all four of them off at a shop. Then I would go back home to bring the new parts, which I forgot on the first trip. Then, a pimply-faced kid at the shop would take them apart, replace needed parts, and put them back together for me, often not forgetting how everything went back together. Then I would just put the whole assemblies back in the car next weekend, after riding a bike to work for a week, put the wheels back on, realize that I forgot something, take everything apart again, realize that I need to swap three other things “while there”, curse, take care of the bleeding, assemble everything, and then take a day off work to have the car aligned. Easy.
But some people are not like me. Some people are just plain stupid, and they stupidly attempt to fix everything themselves. The above video, which I think comes to us from Russia, a place where they often like to take unhealthy shortcuts in order to get things done quickly and efficiently, while smoking, shows a handy homemade spring compressor that makes swapping those pesky struts a breeze. This may be just be the thing for you idiots who insist on doing stupid/dangerous things like that yourselves. The amount of compression is dependent on the length of your bar and the weight of your ass. Yes, there are little clamp-y springs compressor thingies, and big wall-mounted springs compressors, but this is way, WAY, faster, and seems safer, kind of, not really.

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  1. neight428 Avatar

    In the absence of a video, I give you these people doing dumb things with stored energy in automotive components.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Video is fixed. Or should be fixed. Sorry.

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    Is the video blocked for those of us who might be misguided enough to try it ourselves?

  3. nanoop Avatar

    I read through the entire article, even after I understood that the link is missing. This speaks for your writing, I guess.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Sorry. Should be fixed now.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        No need to apologize – I felt entertained anyway!

  4. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Pro Tip: Zip-Ties are your friend.
    Actually, no. And messing about with springs and such could just get you killed. At least a gnarly scar that all the chicks will dig. A compressed spring is storing a few thousand foot-pounds of energy – a lot more than your thumb was ever engineered for. Which is why I bought my Sears spring compressors that positively latch around the spring, so they can’t possibly slip off and decapitate you.
    When I didn’t have those, and when there wasn’t space for my super duper compressors, I used inferior compressors, and when the spring was fully compressed and otherwise still on the car, I took a length of chain, looped it around the spring, and bolted it off tight. Which is why I can annoy you today.

  5. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    On the list of dumb ways to change strut springs, this is rather clever, and seems relatively safe.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I’d feel better about it with some sort of recess or other retention method in the floor for the lower end of the strut, and of course it’s just asking for trouble if one slips off the seat, but other than that yeah, it doesn’t look too bad.

  6. neight428 Avatar

    Seems safer than using the ones you can borrow from the local parts shop. You have to spend quite a lot of time with your hands near the Harbor Freight level tolerances and nackered threads storing the spring energy getting them on and off. With this approach, it’s much quicker and could be made even safe with some kind of shield underneath. Not bad.

  7. Kiefmo Avatar

    The last set of struts I swapped were specced to hold up the business end of a Honda Odyssey, and were a battle even with three spring compressors in place. I don’t think even this rig would compress those damned springs without at least two me-sized asses in place.
    Future-me is taking my strut assemblies to a shop instead of renting those beat-to-hell compressors from OReilly.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Yea, but that ride is so comfy!

  8. GTXcellent Avatar

    That’s a man who can get things done – just look how he keeps that ciggy going in the corner of his mouth the whole time, yet never gets smoke in his eyes.

  9. anonymic Avatar

    “Take care of the bleeding”