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Can't Install the Rear Springs & Dampers on my S1 - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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p1renn

Can't Install the Rear Springs & Dampers on my S1

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I'm having a hard time installing the rear springs and dampers on my S1. The spring coils are so close together that the spring compressor tool (I have 3 of them!!) doesn't work within the tight spacing. And that's the problem because you really have to compress the spring in order for the damper to align with the rear upright where you put the bolt through. Is there a trick to this that makes the job easier? I am now the world's leading expert on spring compressor tools and sadly I haven't found one that will seem to work in the tight confines of the Esprit spring. Any help would be appreciated!!

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Try using a couple of ratchet straps around the springs. This worked a treat on my Elise springs which are very closely coiled. The only other option is motor cycle spring compressors but none that I managed to find would open up far enough. Be careful when you release the ratchet straps if you use them, don't get your fingers caught in them.

Martyn :)

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I put the springs on by extending the damper to its fullest and put on the lower washer and rubber spacer. Put a trolley jack under the bottom of the damper, and gently raise the short distance to get so that the screw pushes through the plate at the top. Secure the top with big washer and nut. Use jack to lift bottom of damper enough that bottom pin can be used to secure it. Now you can use the jack again to lift it with no worry about the damper moving in some awkward direction, and just fit the other bits such as rubber stop washer and both nuts.

Take care when doing it this way as lifting the bottom of the damper puts the compression on the spring so it could fly off and hit you if you do not take precautions such as only lifting a short distance and finding a suitable (not bungee straps) strong way to secure them to the car.

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I had this problem too. In the end I used heavy duty nylon straps from the hardware store. Each one was rated at 220lbs breaking weight. Jack the car up and let the spring uncompress. Then insert the straps through the coils. Be sure to insert as many straps as possible and install them all the way round. I think I used about 15 straps. Drop the car down, the spring compresses and then tighten up the straps. When you jack the car up again the spring will remain compressed and you can remove it. Oh I also added some heavy duty bailing wire just as a precaution. With the spring out of the car and compressed, use a spring compressor to lock the spring down and then start to remove the straps and wire. Once they are removed back off the compressor and release the tension on the spring. Installing the new springs is just the reverse. The first side took about and 1.5 hours because I was being super cautious but once I got it all figured out the second side took about 20 minutes. The key is to having everything laid out and and ready to go. Work quickly as you obviously want the spring compressed for the shortest time possible.

I realize that this is a highly unconventional way to do this job and some may consider this method extremely dangerous but it successfully worked for me. If you are in doubt and /or uncomfortable then take the car to a professional shop and have them perform the spring/shock swap for you.

Gavin

Edited by GavinS1

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on the fronts I use a hydraulic press with the damper upside down. Take care how you locate especially at the top to prevent it all spitting out across the workshop.

On the rear I put it on the hub pin and then jacked the hub compression the spring until the shock shaft was proud enough to get a nut onto.

Roger

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