After seeing a little interest in homemade spring pullers, I thought it would be helpful to share how I my first one.
For those of you who have never pushed a spring into place vs. pulling.....you need to try it. Pushing (in certain applications) works so much easier. The newer sleds have a lot less room and the muffler springs on the xp,xs etc., including the 850 are easier to install when you have a puller with a notch for pushing.
A shoe string, vise grips,needle nose etc. are all good for removing but reinstalling is where the "push" makes a big difference.
Here are a few tips to make your own:
The most important part is the length. The longer the better due to increased leverage and reach.
3/8 diameter round stock 15 inches or longer.
Use a grinder or belt sander to taper the end (like a screw driver)
You want the very end to be 1/8 to 3/16 thick when done.
Drill a hole at the very end and one on the side using a 9/64 or 1/8 drill bit.
The hole on the edge would be approx. 5/16 in. down from the tip.
After drilling both holes, use a cut off wheel or a hacksaw to complete the hole openings.
Cut the material out at an angle for the hole on the side same angle as the red lines in pic. below.
Once your holes are finished, grind the tip on both left and right sides (blue lines) to create an angle to reduce the tip width for tight areas around the exhaust springs.
A T handle offers much better pulling/pushing leverage vs. a screwdriver handle but if you have no access to a welder, just start with a piece of round stock that is 20 in. long and heat with a propane torch (3-4 min) and bend into an L shape 4 in. long for the handle.
The very bottom pic. is a puller that I made many years ago using a belt sander and a hand drill. It's side hole is worn bigger, but still works great.