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Old 07-15-2020, 07:17 PM   #1
stewgee
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Default Shifter spring compressor

Has anyone in the Barn ever had the good fortune of purchasing the shifter spring compressor tool from Ecklers? Sounds good and looks good in the catalog but it is a real chore to use without taking your head off. I finally got the old spring out without killing myself but I have had no luck compressing the new spring sufficiently enough to get the clip on. Any suggestions will be appreciated
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:55 PM   #2
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

While wearing a pair of gloves and wearing safety glasses place the spring in a bench vice at the corner with part of it out of the vice and compress the spring all the way down. It will be difficult at first because the spring will want to squirrel around. Once it is all the way down put a loop of safety wire through the spring and twist it tight. Loosen the vice slightly and rotate the spring and put another loop of safety wire through the spring. Do this three times so that the three wire loops are even. Remove the spring from the vice and drop it over the bottom end of the shift lever. Carefully insert the spring retainer and cut the safety wire and with long nose plyers pull the broken pieces of wire out.

I did this a number of times many years ago until I acquired a spring tool.

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Old 07-15-2020, 08:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

I never had luck with the safety wire trick. With the tool it is tricky, though two people would probably make it a lot easier as I did it by myself. You can take the spring out by pulling the retainer out and having the housing angled towards the workbench and it will just bounce inside. Installation you need the tool.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

PM Sent to 20500

Last edited by Benson; 07-16-2020 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

For years I have been using a valve spring compressor meant for overhead valves. It is tedious work but I have always prevailed getting the shifter spring and it's keeper back in.
Sound like from above posts, that I have it easier than those using the shifter spring compressor that was meant to to do the job.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

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Originally Posted by chrs1961815 View Post
I never had luck with the safety wire trick. With the tool it is tricky, though two people would probably make it a lot easier as I did it by myself. You can take the spring out by pulling the retainer out and having the housing angled towards the workbench and it will just bounce inside. Installation you need the tool.
Installing with the compression tool is almost impossible. At least from what I've seen
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

I used the compression tool from Mikes. That was one of those things that turned out to be a non-event. It went right in. I had an old workbench that I drilled a hole in the top so that I could put the shift tower cover with the shifter upside down and held secure so I could concentrate on setting the spring without having to worry about the whole thing moving around.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

I've done Tom's method or somewhat like it but with a short dowel rod inside. I'm guessing but think it may have been 1/2" diameter and 2 3/4" long. This way you can rotate the spring safely with the dowel rod tightly clamped(spring will be almost fully compressed). Then thread the wire, tighten, move 120 degrees until you have three wires.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Berts and Brattons have them Berts is different than this style
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

With the spring retainer in place, I found that I could screw the spring into the gear shift using Visegrip pliers and grease. The last spring coil would not go past the retainer, so I cut it off. This gearshift has been in use since 2016 and it works great. I conclude that the OEM spring is excessive.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger V View Post
I've done Tom's method or somewhat like it but with a short dowel rod inside. I'm guessing but think it may have been 1/2" diameter and 2 3/4" long. This way you can rotate the spring safely with the dowel rod tightly clamped(spring will be almost fully compressed). Then thread the wire, tighten, move 120 degrees until you have three wires.
This method sounds promising. However it looks to me like the dowel would need to be a bit larger than 1/2 inch. Thanks for the idea Roger. And thanks everyone else for your suggestions.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Double up the wire. It's cheap insurance.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

You can also use a piece of copper pipe (can't remember the size, maybe 1") to put over the spring while you compress it in the vice and then use the safety wire. Adds a factor of safety.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

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Originally Posted by stewgee View Post
This method sounds promising. However it looks to me like the dowel would need to be a bit larger than 1/2 inch. Thanks for the idea Roger. And thanks everyone else for your suggestions.
Roger V you were spot on with the measurements of the dowel. Anything bigger than 1/2 inch would have been to big and would have made it difficult to feed the safety wire thru the spring. Anyway it worked rather well and that part of the rebuild is done. Thanks
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewgee View Post
Roger V you were spot on with the measurements of the dowel. Anything bigger than 1/2 inch would have been to big and would have made it difficult to feed the safety wire thru the spring. Anyway it worked rather well and that part of the rebuild is done. Thanks
Didn't have a wooden dowel but a 2 3/4 inch by 1/2" metal conduit worked just as well
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Not a bad idea
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by ryanheacox View Post
You can also use a piece of copper pipe (can't remember the size, maybe 1") to put over the spring while you compress it in the vice and then use the safety wire. Adds a factor of safety.
Not a bad idea for sure.
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

Just working on the same thing myself. I was concerned about the spring popping out of the vise jaws. So, I used a piece of all thread, two fender washers, and two nuts compressed to 2-3/4".

Now, what size safety should be used and can the wire be twisted with a common pliers or do I need a safety wire pliers to get it tight?
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

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Originally Posted by dmaxweb View Post
Just working on the same thing myself. I was concerned about the spring popping out of the vise jaws. So, I used a piece of all thread, two fender washers, and two nuts compressed to 2-3/4".

Now, what size safety should be used and can the wire be twisted with a common pliers or do I need a safety wire pliers to get it tight?
I do like that idea. I used standard black safety wire and twisted it with lineman electrician pliers. They are wide and worked well. Just be sure and put 3 wires equally spaced. The toughest part is getting all the wire out after you install the spring. Good luck
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: Shifter spring compressor

I like your idea as the spring is totally contained by the rod and washers, expanded on your idea I would use a washer just a little larger then the OD of the spring and cut three notches equal distance around each washer. This would allow you to not have to remove the washer to install the last two springs.
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