Three Spring-Removal Procedures

This is the hairiest part of the whole operation if you use curved turnouts or wyes (as opposed to medium or large radius right or left turnouts, which are easy to deal with), but I'll hand-hold here, so don't get nervous. Consult the photos for extra guidance.

Getting springs from Medium or Large radius right or left Pecos is not challenging. Grab your turnout, turn it face down, use a sharp needle-nose pliers, move the throwbar until the spring is most accessible, pull the spring end up and over to the side to dislodge one end, let go and get a new grip in the center of the spring, pull the spring away from its still-attached other end as you twist your pliers as if to roll the spring around it, and pivot the pliers around the spring as pivot point until the twisting feels like it's doing the most good, then give a final twist/pull on the pliers and the spring should come out. Note: the metal tab in the center of the Peco on the flip (front) side of the spring site may have become loosened by your shenanigans. Use a small screwdriver blade to push down on loosened or bent parts of the tab or clip or whatever it is, in order to restore it to its original condition.

If you're not using curved turnouts or wyes, you're done. If you are, get set for some creative destruction. It's possible to remove the spring by using razor blades and/or Dremels and cutting it out, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone has devised a fairly slick way of doing this with a minimum of destruction. I used this method on one turnout and liked the fact that the spring was out but disliked the turnout's appearance afterwards. So on to plan B . . . . .

Face it. Turnouts look kind of delicate, so you're not eager to perform a springadectomy operation that involves a partial Peco disassembly. But the springs aren't accessible on these types of Pecos, so what are you going to do, ask Scotty to beam them out? Okay, I see the end there on the top, and—yes—it's not too hard to dislodge that end. But removal is quite another thing. Perhaps you'll have good luck if you dislodge an end and leave the spring in the turnout and put it on your layout. But when you move the throwbar back and forth and feel all that friction and realize that friction means wear and wear means eventual problems, you may—like me—be inclined to increase your security about the matter by giving the surgery a try. Here goes:
• Turn the wye or curved turnout face down and use a little screwdriver blade to push down hard on the fat T-shaped piece of plastic next to each of  the two cracks where it is joined to the wide tie that's at the points end of the throwbar. Another way of saying this is the fat T has its top toward the frog end and its trunk toward the points end, and the pushing will be on the T—right next to (on the T side of the crack) the crack between the side of the trunk and the turnout parts it's connected to; do this on both sides of the trunk, but don't push on any plastic that's not on the T side of the crack. You'll often hear a little cracking sound but you won't want to break anything, slip, hurt the points or throwbar, etc.
• Next, at the bottom of the T, there's a small slot where you can jam a small screwdriver blade at the same time you're trying to pull the two ends of the turnout apart—as if stretching it. It helps to have a dental tool or nail or something stuck through the ties and into a little hole in the workbench so you have something to pull against (don't use clamps—you'll hurt the Peco). Then you don't need three hands but only two: one for stretching and one for jamming—not too hard, you're just trying to push down a plastic tab.
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