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How to Remove & Replace the Coil Springs on a 1966 Mustang

All the classic or early Ford Mustangs (late 1964 to 1973) have coil springs for the front suspension. If you are doing a suspension rebuild or a body lowering project, you must remove the coil springs. This process is relatively simple and you can remove both sides and replace them in about 3 hours.

Place the vehicle on a smooth level surface, turn off the car, put it in park, set the parking brake, and put the wheel chocks on the rear wheels. Put on safety glasses and mechanics gloves.

Remove the two bolts for the top shock bushing, and then remove the two bolts for top shock bushing bracket. Remove the bracket.

Before jacking up car, break loose the lug nuts on each front wheel.

Carefully jack the car from the front cross member where the front wheels are, about 3 to 4 inches off the ground. Place the jack stands on each side at the jack point behind the front wheel at the rocker panel. Lower onto the jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

Remove the lower shock mount bolts. You may find the rear difficult to reach. Use a long socket extension and universal joint to remove it. The shocks should now come out through the top of the shock tower.

Following the directions for the specific coil spring being used, compress the coil spring with the coil spring compressor. Remove the two spring lower bracket nuts, and the spring should easily come off the upper control arm and out of the shock strut tower. Don't lose the spring insulators. Handle the compressed spring very carefully. Uncompress the spring and remove the spring compressor. Repeat the same process for the other side.

Compress the spring with the spring compressor. Replace spring insulators and reinstall spring in shock tower. Replace the lower spring bracket nuts onto the upper control arm and uncompress the spring.

Reinstall the shock through the upper shock tower hole. Replace both brackets and bolts and tighten all to the correct torque. Reinstall the wheels and lug nuts. Check all bolts twice for tightening.

Jack car off the jack stands, remove stands and lower the car. Do a final tightening to torque of wheel lug nuts.

Remove wheel chocks and test drive the car.

Tip

Generally, replacing the springs does not alter the alignment; however, if after test driving, the alignment feels off—the car pulls or drifts—take it to a qualified alignment shop to have the car checked. If installing a lowering kit, it may take a week or so for the suspension to settle to final height.

Warning

Always wear Safety Glasses. Always be careful with a car on jack stands. Treat a compressed spring like a bomb. There is a lot of stored energy and can cause serious injury

Things You'll Need

  • Car Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • 3/8-inch SAE Socket Set
  • 1/2-inch SAE Socket Set
  • SAE Wrenches
  • Coil Spring Compressor
  • Mechanics Creeper (optional)
  • Safety Glasses
  • Mechanics Gloves
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About the Author

Dr. Marvin Phillips, known affectionately as Dr. Phil, retired from the practice of pediatrics in 1999. He currently is the CEO of a start-up ambulance service, and has been writing since college. He has published works in "Circulation Research" and "The Anatomical Record." He has professional experience in building, electrical,plumbing, woodworking, cabinetry and automobile restorations.