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Front strut install

This is a discussion on Front strut install within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Over the weekend i installed a pair of Bilstein struts on the front of my 2000 SS. Here are some ...

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    Front strut install

    Over the weekend i installed a pair of Bilstein struts on the front of my 2000 SS. Here are some thoughts on my experience.

    1. I bought both types of spring compressor-the clam shell and the two piece set. I ended up using both of them. I used the clam shell to compress the spring while removing the old and installing the new struts. I used the two piece to remove the clam shell. The clam shell hooks were a real pain to disengage from the spring. Be careful where the hook of the clam shell sits on the coils-when installing the rubber mount on the top, it sat right on the hook which made removal more difficult.

    2. It took me about 6 hours - 4 hours for the first one and two for the second.

    3. Between busting loose the nuts and wrestling with the spring compressors, I was pretty well beat up. Use lots of penetrating oil on the nuts before hand. My back still aches.

    4. The torx bolt under the master cylinder is the product of an engineer that doesn't work on cars. I loosened the master cylinder but still couldn't get a clean shot with the torx socket. I ended up using the torx socket with the driver attachment included in my ratcheting box end wrench kit. It just fit under the master cylinder and I turned it with the 1/2 inch wrench.

    5. Do not remove the plastic sleeve that covers the strut stud from the coil when you remove the strut. The hooks of the compressor may obstruct enough to prevent you from putting it back in when the new strut is installed.

    6. I greased all the surfaces I thought should be greased to minimize squeaks. This came in handy when I had to rotate the strut to line up the lower mounting holes.

    After all this, I hear a clunking sound from the front when I drive over bumps in the road. It sounds as if something is loose. My guess was some of the mounting bolts weren't tight but I checked all the mounting bolts and they are tight. Any thoughts?

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    Paid 2 Post Daycrew SexOnWheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZandSS
    ....After all this, I hear a clunking sound from the front when I drive over bumps in the road. It sounds as if something is loose. My guess was some of the mounting bolts weren't tight but I checked all the mounting bolts and they are tight. Any thoughts?
    Do you have lowering springs? If so you could be hitting the bumpstops as Bilsteins are not valved for any springs besides the stockers.

    I know that after my install:

    Suspension Install ~pics~

    I had some banging going on which turned out to be the endlinks/poly swaybar bushings just seating in.

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    I used the stock springs. I will replace the sway bar link bushings with new polys and see what happens. That was something I intended to do when I replaced the struts but forgot to order them.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZandSS
    4. The torx bolt under the master cylinder is the product of an engineer that doesn't work on cars. I loosened the master cylinder but still couldn't get a clean shot with the torx socket. I ended up using the torx socket with the driver attachment included in my ratcheting box end wrench kit. It just fit under the master cylinder and I turned it with the 1/2 inch wrench.
    next time remove the two nuts that hold the master cylinder to the booster. then pull the master cylinder off the booster. the brakes lines will bend a tiny bit. nothing that will hamper the operation of the brakes system. done it many times seeing as i run an alignment/suspension shop.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZandSS
    After all this, I hear a clunking sound from the front when I drive over bumps in the road. It sounds as if something is loose. My guess was some of the mounting bolts weren't tight but I checked all the mounting bolts and they are tight. Any thoughts?

    you might not like this one. if everything you can see is tight, then most likely the top nut on the shock isn't tight enough.

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    You're right,I don't like that. I'm putting in the new sway bar links this weekend and, if necessary,will pull the struts off. How far should the top nut be tightened down?

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    until you can't turn it anymore.

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    Pulled off both struts and torqued the nuts down and installed the new links last night. Happy to say the thunking noise is gone. It took me about 2 hours total so my time is improving.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    good deal.

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