Sagging isn’t in style anymore. Worn-out springs can cause that undesirable early ’00s look — and also negatively impact the vehicle’s ability to react to changing road conditions. Luckily, go-to 4×4 guide BleepinJeep has a step-by-step how-to video detailing how to restore a little firmness to your ride. Though he uses a gorgeous late-’80s-early-’90s Jeep Cherokee XJ to demonstrate the process, removing and replacing coil springs is generally similar on many vehicles.
First, some safety housekeeping: springs are under major tensile compression, even when they’re worn, so keep that in mind when dismounting perches or letting them loose. Never work on a vehicle with just a jack — proper jackstands placed in manufacturer-approved support points are imperative.
While the vehicle is on the ground, consider removing the shock absorber and swaybar if you have the clearance to do so. Otherwise, raise the vehicle, remove the wheel, and place another jack under the axle to reduce tension on the shock and swaybar before removing them. Look for a spring retainer on the rear side of the bottom spring perch, and use a ratchet to remove it.
Many chain auto parts stores rent spring compressors free of charge. Place the spring compressors as close to 180-degrees apart as possible — placing these too closely at the outset can cause the spring compressor to “walk” closer to each other, creating compression on one side that can be somewhat dangerous.
Gradually tighten each spring compressor, alternating between the two in small increments, until the spring itself comes loose from its perches. Once the spring is out of the car, loosen the spring compressors gradually, re-apply them to the new spring and compress it gradually.
Fit the compressed spring into the perch, ensuring that the top part faces upward. A pry bar can be handy to get the bottom end onto the bottom spring perch. Once the spring is seated, gradually loosen the spring compressor while alternating each side. Pivot the spring into place using a pipe wrench, reattach the spring retention clip, lift the axle to reattach the shock absorber and swaybar, reinstall the wheel and be sure to torque your lugnuts down.