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how to replace front/rear springs/shock on 4th gen

This is a discussion on how to replace front/rear springs/shock on 4th gen within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled Got home early and pulled off pass side shock/spring assembly. Got it in spring compressor. I ...

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled View Post
    Got home early and pulled off pass side shock/spring assembly. Got it in spring compressor. I see what you all meant about the rust. Mine is not as bad, but it's still gonna be a pain to get that damper nut off. Are these the right torq specs; front shock: 2 bottom bolts/nuts @ 48 ft-lbs, 2 top bolts @ 37 ft-lbs, 2 top nuts @ 32 ft-lbs...sway bar/stabilizer bolt @ 17 ft-lbs...damper bolt 'snug' with thread loc...upper control arm castle nut @ 72 ft-lbs?
    Haynes listed the castle nut at like 39 ft lbs On the damper I went hand tight without striping. I didn't see a torque spec for it in the book.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled View Post
    I didn't take the compression tool off, just loosened it. Sorry to mislead you, there is some compression. Don't want any projectiles till the Forth of July! I will get sawzall and cut it. Thanks!
    you may want to examine that shock mount real good. My failed and I didn't know it. Then I had to buy new ones and replace a busted shock.

    Funny, my shock mount popped off when I let the tension out. almost went all the way into the street on one, so yes, a lot of force in that spring.

    I had to compress the spring really far, until I had like over an inch of the lower spring wobbling around. I lubed up the shock mount and just sat there twisting the night away until it was separated from the spring.

    you may have to cut it off. that may be safer than what i didn't, letting it pop off, not a good idea at all.

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    Member TedsB4Csled's Avatar
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    OMG....What a fucking disaster! Got a sawzall to cut shock, but couldn't cut it at a safe point because the awful spring compressor was in the way and not able to compress enough. So I cut into the shock lower and got a spray full of oil in the face and all over. I was trying to save the shock mount and I knew it was coming so I had safety glasses and gloves etc... I never had such a fucking hard time even replacing struts on other cars. I think the county maintanance really did crap maintenance on this B4C. I've got a list of screw ups I found. Keep reading... Took 2 blades but I had to cut the top shock mount apart. I can't believe how fused the metal and plastic were, I think they used epoxy on it, this is unbelievable. I need to replace it. How long did it take to get from dealer? Also I need the plastic insert on the perch as there wasn't one! What a fucking day. Shock is apart though, BFD. I'm just disgusted. At this rate I'll have the record Koole-aid, and most unsafe work environment. Fuck this.
    Last edited by TedsB4Csled; 06-23-2008 at 03:28 PM.

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    Something Diabolical... chuckie669's Avatar
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    Damn bro, just take it to a shop next time. I tried messing with that shit, but a good spring compressor costs a fortune. After dicking around with it for an hour and having the first spring compressor fail, I took it to our local shop and it cost me $15 and less than 10 min for them to take both fronts apart and replace with new, shocks/springs. + I knew it was torq'd down right.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled View Post
    OMG....What a fucking disaster! Got a sawzall to cut shock, but couldn't cut it at a safe point because the awful spring compressor was in the way and not able to compress enough. So I cut into the shock lower and got a spray full of oil in the face and all over. I was trying to save the shock mount and I knew it was coming so I had safety glasses and gloves etc... I never had such a fucking hard time even replacing struts on other cars. I think the county maintanance really did crap maintenance on this B4C. I've got a list of screw ups I found. Keep reading... Took 2 blades but I had to cut the top shock mount apart. I can't believe how fused the metal and plastic were, I think they used epoxy on it, this is unbelievable. I need to replace it. How long did it take to get from dealer? Also I need the plastic insert on the perch as there wasn't one! What a fucking day. Shock is apart though, BFD. I'm just disgusted. At this rate I'll have the record Koole-aid, and most unsafe work environment. Fuck this.
    lol...Oh yeah, those things have inert gas under pressure in them, lol.. Look on the bright side, it can now safely be thrown away.

    Man, I can feel your pain. If you re-use your OEM dust boots be sure to do every thing at once. There is nothing worse than messing with that darn spring compressor. And trust me don't re-use the shock mounts unless you are positive that are in good shape. Sounds like you won't be.

    Yeah, the shop i go to has a big fancy wall mount spring compressor. Takes like two minute and looks like breeze on off, boom done deal.

    no plastic perch mount thing, ouch that sucks. I don't even know where you get those, junk yard I guess.

    my wife asked me last night if i felt my car appreciated all the work i put into it, lol...

    I can safely say the two of us in the same shop would be an insurance nightmare, lol...

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    LOL. Autozone lent me the dam spring compressor for free. That's how good it is. I think I will be ok on the other side now that I know what to do...maybe I'm kinda glad I did it here because I need the shock mount, it is JUNK, and the perch insert was MIA. I know how they feel drilling for black gold. LOL. I know it is recommended to do 1 side at a time, but I might as well do the 2 at the same time while I wait for parts. And I need to check the other side for the parts. My car does not appreciate me, but it goes fast. Sometimes. No amount of insurance would be enuf!

    Next time it will go to the shop Chuckie669, just need to make sure all the parts are there. Scary thing; 80% of shops I have taken it too have done damage or screwed things up.
    Last edited by TedsB4Csled; 06-23-2008 at 04:37 PM. Reason: sp

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled View Post
    LOL. Autozone lent me the dam spring compressor for free. That's how good it is. I think I will be ok on the other side now that I know what to do...maybe I'm kinda glad I did it here because I need the shock mount, it is JUNK, and the perch insert was MIA. I know how they feel drilling for black gold. LOL. I know it is recommended to do 1 side at a time, but I might as well do the 2 at the same time while I wait for parts. And I need to check the other side for the parts. My car does not appreciate me, but it goes fast. Sometimes. No amount of insurance would be enuf!

    Next time it will go to the shop Chuckie669, just need to make sure all the parts are there. Scary thing; 80% of shops I have taken it too have done damage or screwed things up.
    yep, the rent a tool program. I bet your spring compress is bent too, lol... Hey it works and it is free. I just found out they have an a/c vacuum pump and hoses on the loner tool program, woo whoo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedsB4Csled View Post
    LOL. Autozone lent me the dam spring compressor for free. That's how good it is. I think I will be ok on the other side now that I know what to do...maybe I'm kinda glad I did it here because I need the shock mount, it is JUNK, and the perch insert was MIA. I know how they feel drilling for black gold. LOL. I know it is recommended to do 1 side at a time, but I might as well do the 2 at the same time while I wait for parts. And I need to check the other side for the parts. My car does not appreciate me, but it goes fast. Sometimes. No amount of insurance would be enuf!

    Next time it will go to the shop Chuckie669, just need to make sure all the parts are there. Scary thing; 80% of shops I have taken it too have done damage or screwed things up.
    Yeah, you gotta have a shop you can trust. I just took the assembly off the car gave it to them, and then took it home and reinstalled. Rental tools blow balls...

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    The plot thickens.... spent over $300 on 2 shock mounts and other front suspension parts that won't be here till Monday! WTF!

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    wow what did you buy? I don't know about all of our sponsors but Summit is not too bad on somethings. I guess I'm lucky because my stuff comes from GA and takes 3 days at the most.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    ever get that feeling some one high jacked this thread,


    lol....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    ever get that feeling some one high jacked this thread,


    lol....
    LOL!

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    OMG again! Can't get the spring compressor to work, tried everything! So I asked a friend of mine taking automotive classes to compress the shock & spring and put the nut on. The school spring compressor is broken. I go to Firestone and they would do it but there spring compressor is broken. They tell me Exxon next door has one. I go next door and they put it on the spring compressor and tell me they can't do it the nut will not go down on the threads. I call KYB and they tell me the nut has to go all the way down on the threads. I try it and they are right, it won't go far enough. Now the threads may be stripped or cross threaded? I doubt it, but maybe. I go to the Chevy dealership and drop it off. The service guy is telling me they might not be able to do it! The dealership! WTF! Has everyone in town gotten a call warning them that I am coming and don't help him? LOL! Finally one of the mechanics says he can do it to leave it with him and the service guy tells me to give him a few bucks, OK! Let's see what happens. I still have to do the other side! I think this is the end of the line for me and this car. Not because of the car, but because of the lack of competent shops. I'm in a friggin' wheel chair and I still have replaced brakes, rear shock, bolted on SFCs, plugs, radiator hoses, bellows, lid, MAF, exhaust work, fuel tank repair, etc... WTF!!!

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    wow, who did you piss off to have such bad luck. What spring compressor did you get from the parts store? Mine was the typically McPherson strut style. You can rent/buy from any parts store for like 55 bucks. It takes a long time to crank it down by hand, and the more compression the more it moves around. One thing I noticed on the instructions was to keep the bolts oiled. Considering how many times I used the tool, I can't imagine why you are having such a hard time. It will build pop eye arms, lol...

    All I did was stick the shock in the vise, and work on it with a 3/4 socket and box wrench. I compressed until I could clearly see an inch or more of the spring left off that perch. After I had it loose from the shock mount. I would move it up and down making sure it bottomed out on the shock like it is supposed to without touching the perch, hence the inch or more gap between the perch and bottom spring.

    I couldn't tell you how far the nut goes down, but I figure if all you hear is the dust boot smacking the top of the shock, that's as far as it goes, without breaking something, .

    good luck, sounds like you need a bunch, lol...

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    The spring compressor is a 2-piece; like two vises on each side of the spring. You have to tighten 2 bolts on each side. The 'hooks' that mount on the springs would not fit very high and the length of the rods on the spring compressor interfere with the perch or top shock mount. KYB said that nut HAS to go down to the bottom of the thread or the top of the shock will bend and the unit will fail over time. The aviation style nut will not go that far down, I am trying it on the other KYB shock I have. Something is NOT right. I wish I could post some pics!

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    yep, those are the kind. You have to crank them down a little at a time and keep alternating or you will hit the perch, and bend the crap out of the rods.

    I did like 5-10 turns, switch, go back, etc. You eventually go from having like barely an inch of threaded rod sticking out the bottom to like half the thing going way past the perch. I wasn't kidding when I said it can take me like a hour and a half to compress and uncompress. My arms were killing me...

    pics would be cool. The nut has to go all the way down, huh. The shock mount is a layer and that sucker will only go as far down as physically possible. Then what do you do with that funny piece that sits in the shock mount? That would certainly add a layer of not going all the way down.

    Maybe mrr23 or some one will chime in. I don't see how the KYB shocks are any different than any other brand, including the ole De Carbons. I installed mine just like I took the factory ones off.

    Now you got me worried as shit.... The shop I go to didn't say anything about them being in wrong either.

    Sounds like we need an expert here, before i take out a passing car with a KYB shock shooting out the side, lol...

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    ok...after looking at the other shock and KYB shock next to each other - #1 the KYB IS shorter(got pics!), #2 the KYB guy was WRONG, there is no way to tighten over all the threads, even the damper nut on the stock shock was NOT all the way down. Amazing. Can't trust anyone. So what to do? Leave the nut where it is at, or tighten more? I think I will bring both shocks to dealership. Just when I thought I've seen the worst of it, there's more.

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    like I said, I tightened mine as best i could without stripping it. I don't see how any one else could do a better job. I would think an air tool would only damage the threads. I still have my old KYB. I'll take a pic of the damaged threads, and it wasn't me that did it.

    I always hand tight nuts up and down to make sure there is good clean turn on the threads before torquing down.

    If you think about the force in that spring versus the size of that nut. You will realize it is amazing it stays on at all. I hope it works out for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    like I said, I tightened mine as best i could without stripping it. I don't see how any one else could do a better job. I would think an air tool would only damage the threads. I still have my old KYB. I'll take a pic of the damaged threads, and it wasn't me that did it.

    I always hand tight nuts up and down to make sure there is good clean turn on the threads before torquing down.

    If you think about the force in that spring versus the size of that nut. You will realize it is amazing it stays on at all. I hope it works out for you.
    The shocks are at the dealership, hope they can figure it out. The damper nut on my shocks has a self-locking plastic insert, so you can't hand tighten it down the threads. I always heard they were called 'aviation nuts'. Thanks for listening to me rant! Wait till we attempt to put my torque converter in!



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    yeah, i vaguely remember the nut having the nylon stuff inside it. Yeah, normal nuts you flick them down like a kid. On the KYB I just did what I thought was right. The directions didn't call for anything special, heck, didn't say anything at all, lol....

    They guy that tried to help me out until I could get replacements just said make sure the shock mount goes all the way down. And stops on the shaft like it is supposed to. I don't think it is as bad is you think. The gas discharge was, but I think you had the nut right on your own.

    I guess I'm just the kind of guy that has never had good exp with dealerships of any brand. I've owned lots of different kinds of cars and come across a lot of slackers, both stealership and franchise shops. I have also met a few guys that seem to really care about cars and do a good job, funny those seem to be the guys that stay in one place for years, hmmm...

    sorry, but i am still giggling over that gas discharge you had. Scary, but I'm just a giggler by nature, gets me in all sorts of trouble too.

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