On my 1996 XJ6 the wishbone bushes need replacing. The top ones seem straight forward, but the bottom ones seem a little more involved. Am I right in assuming that I need to
a) Remove the tie rods to get the fulcrum bolt out. Is that sufficient, or does the steering rack need to be removed?
b) Build a spring compressor tool to remove the spring and bottom spring pan? Or maybe that is not necessary, I was thinking if I replace the pan bolts one by one with long rods, support the pan with a jack and then release the jack, the pan would be guide down by the rods until the spring is decompressed. I am a little scared of a little pin holding a threaded rod in place with the full load of the spring on it…
And I have decided to go with a belt and braces approach on the springs. The huge amount of energy stored in the spring scares me. So I am building a spring tensioner (will post pictures) and will replace the spring pan bolts with rods with nuts on them and will gradually move the nuts while decompressing the spring with the tensioner. So the spring can’t go anywhere should the tensioner let go.
Having done numerous spring off/on jobs on XJ40, XJR and old ‘S’ types using the threaded rod through the middle of the spring, using a roll pin as the top anchor I have no doubt that done correctly its a no brainer, I would personally not use plain rods and a jack to remove the spring, I like having the rod through the middle as the spring cannot go sideways.
I made a spring compressor when working on my front suspension a few years ago and I did this by using a large threaded rod and drilled a hole through one end and used a long bolt shaft as the cross piece. At the other end a suitable nut and a number of thick washers. All this was well greased.
I used a 3/4" threaded rod 22” long and the cross piece was a 5/16" bolt shaft 1 & 7/16" long.
The cross piece has to be short enough to pass through the hole in the spring pan and the top spring mount and long enough to fit securely into the notches in the top mount.
The large diameter of the threaded rod will prevent it moving sideways enough to dislodge and cause grief.
The compressor has to be passed up through the spring pan and top mount with the cross piece aligned across the car and then turned 90 deg to engage in the top spring mount.
When reassembling the lot I used a bolt shaft with the head removed screwed into the lower suspension arm to guide the spring pan onto it.
With the load off the suspension the spring pan only has to be lowered a couple of inches before the spring load is zero. In the pic below, with the spring compressor installed, the nut is only finger tight.
I also made up the threaded rod compressor, had a hole drilled at the top for a pin, got the assembly loose, then replaced the lower ball joint. Suggest having a second person with some common sense watching the procedure as you work on it.