How to catch window assist spring???

I have double hung windows that use a coil spring on each side to assist the window in its slide. The plastic clips that hold the end of the springs in tension have all broken, and the springs have retracted up about 6 inches inside the window frames.
Does anyone have a clever way of reaching up and grabbing those springs? I tried threading in a lag bolt, but it would not hold long enough to pull the spring down. Ditto for a mechanic's grab tool.
Any ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks.
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You have to pull the sash out far enough to grab the spring. The stop should be removable. If the jamb has vynil liners , force the sash to one side,pull towards you on the side you are prying. The sash will pop out.Replace the plastic with a suitable metal clip. mike
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For the OP.
I think Mike is right but to try and answer your question. Can you make small hook out of a stiff coat hanger or other wire? Buy or borrow a crochet hook?
Colbyt
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Thanks for the suggestions. The thing that is driving me crazy is that 15 years ago when I moved in, I fixed several of the windows by grapping the springs, but I don't recall how I did it, exactly. I have tried the several versions of the coat hanger recently, without any luck. I'm not sure if a crochet hook would get a purchase on the spring coil as there is no gap between the individual wires in the coil. I'm sure the sash removal would work, but it means prying off the wood work and all the associated paint damage. Thanks again.

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I assumed there was a hook on the end.
How about a set of straight forceps if you can find them. The several pair I have, all curved, always seen to do something impossible for me.
Colbyt
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wrote:

Self-tapping screw just slightly bigger than the ID of the coil, glued to a dowel, with a peice of pipe just about the OD of the coil, and a flared end slipped over it. Shove the screw end up and twist until it bites, and then slide the pipe up to pinch the spring in place.
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