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need some help on suspension work

This is a discussion on need some help on suspension work within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Hello Guys. I'm new here. I've read of this great site many times over the last 8 years on the ...

  1. #1
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    need some help on suspension work

    Hello Guys. I'm new here. I've read of this great site many times over the last 8 years on the CorvetteForum. I suspect you guys are also experts on the Gen IV F body suspension.

    My abilities - I've completely rebuilt the front suspension & steering linkange on my '79 Camaro (actually rebuilt the whole car). I've also replaced struts and a spindle on my '86 IROC (although it's been a while). So I know how to do the work, but I have never disected the front suspension on a Gen IV F body.

    My nephew wants to replace the springs and struts on all 4 corners of his '94 Camaro. Since he's just completed his second tour in Iraq - I want to help him out and keep his car running a while longer until he can earn some good money and replace it (don't tell anyone, but it's a 6 banger).

    1. Is the front strut inside the coil spring?
    2. Do I need an external spring compressor to get it out?
    3. Is there another way w/o the external compressor? Can we disconnect the lower ball joint? (I really don't want to do that though). Is there an easier way? I don't really need to take the assembly apart, as long as I can find a way to get it out.

    My nephew says for $300 he can buy Edelbrock springs and struts/shocks for all four corners. Does that price sound right, or is it too low?

    1. Assuming we do get the old ones out, will the new ones be assembled in the compressed state w/ a strap so that it can be slipped into place and the strap cut?

    2. I assume the rears will be easy.

    Any help would be appreciated !!

  2. #2
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    Anyone?

    Please let me know if there are any other sections of this board or bbs that would be better for suspension questions.

    Thanks !!

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    1. Yes the front strut is inside the spring.
    2. You don't need a spring compressor to get the strut out of the car, but you will need a spring compressor to get the springs off of the struts.
    3. You will need to disconnect the ball joint to get it out.

    At Summit Racing the Edelbrock front struts are $253 ea., so your nephews price is way off.
    1. Struts don't usually come with the springs mounted. So you'll have to swap them over. Not sure what kind of package you're gonna buy.
    2. The rears will be easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger1166 View Post
    1. Yes the front strut is inside the spring.
    2. You don't need a spring compressor to get the strut out of the car, but you will need a spring compressor to get the springs off of the struts.
    3. You will need to disconnect the ball joint to get it out.

    At Summit Racing the Edelbrock front struts are $253 ea., so your nephews price is way off.
    1. Struts don't usually come with the springs mounted. So you'll have to swap them over. Not sure what kind of package you're gonna buy.
    2. The rears will be easier.
    Jigger, thanks so much for the reply.

    I do have a pickle fork and a 4 lb sledge (and an air chisel too) so I can separate the ball joint from the spindle. I've done it before on my '79 when replacing springs, and then put it all back together with no problems. I have since read it's best not to use a pickle fork unless you intend to replace the ball joint (as if it damages the joint / boot). Have you ever heard that?

    I thought that price seemed too low. I've got to educate him so he quits believing in fairy tales. I told him to bring the car over Friday (tomorrow) and we'll pull the front wheels off and see what it will take. After that, maybe we'll go to Autozone and see what they have. Maybe they have an external spring compressor as a loaner tool? I'll check with them. I've got lots of loaner tools from them before (ball joint press, power steering pulley puller etc) I have an internal compressor, but no external. I'll also see what Summit has in terms of struts / springs. The springs need replacing too. I've bought plenty from Summit over the years .....arg.....

    Glad to hear the rears will be easier !! Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by need-for-speed View Post
    Jigger, thanks so much for the reply.

    I do have a pickle fork and a 4 lb sledge (and an air chisel too) so I can separate the ball joint from the spindle. I've done it before on my '79 when replacing springs, and then put it all back together with no problems. I have since read it's best not to use a pickle fork unless you intend to replace the ball joint (as if it damages the joint / boot). Have you ever heard that?

    I thought that price seemed too low. I've got to educate him so he quits believing in fairy tales. I told him to bring the car over Friday (tomorrow) and we'll pull the front wheels off and see what it will take. After that, maybe we'll go to Autozone and see what they have. Maybe they have an external spring compressor as a loaner tool? I'll check with them. I've got lots of loaner tools from them before (ball joint press, power steering pulley puller etc) I have an internal compressor, but no external. I'll also see what Summit has in terms of struts / springs. The springs need replacing too. I've bought plenty from Summit over the years .....arg.....

    Glad to hear the rears will be easier !! Thanks again.
    Yes, you can tear the grease boot with a pickle fork.
    When I sepearte the joint, I hit the steering knuckle sharply with a swift blow, right where the ball joint stud passes through the knuckle. Make sure the nut has been removed, and anything else putting tension on the joint. The hit should knock the joint loose. It may take a few hard hits. Make sure you get a good swing. It will have to be from under the car, on the inside of the knuckle.

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    Thanks jigger. I just noticed there's a good sticky thread at the top of the suspension page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by need-for-speed View Post
    Thanks jigger. I just noticed there's a good sticky thread at the top of the suspension page.
    Your welcome.

    They removed the master cylinder totally.
    Not necessary. You need to take the two nuts off, leave the brake lines connected, and move the master cyl. just enough to access the strut nut/bolt. The brake lines are flexable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger1166 View Post
    Your welcome.

    They removed the master cylinder totally.
    Not necessary. You need to take the two nuts off, leave the brake lines connected, and move the master cyl. just enough to access the strut nut/bolt. The brake lines are flexable.

    That is an excellent point jigger, because with removal, one would have to bleed the brake system. What a pain in the azz !!! Your method is the way to go.

    Update: I rode around with my nephew in his 98 Camaro today and IMHO it is fine. I told him he doesn't need to do anything. The history was lost in translation and I was slightly mistaken on what he had done previously. It turns out that he replaced the shocks / struts on all 4 corners about a year ago. At the time, he didn't think to replace the springs, which was a mistake since it was all disassembled at the time. But it rides o.k. so I told him to leave it alone now. Of course, I would have replaced the springs while it was apart - but it's too late and it's not like it's a fine azz Z-28. He just needs this thing to get him to work and through tech school.

    My (rule of thumb - slightly simplistic) thoughts on suspension are that if the ride height is good, the springs are o.k. If it bounces forever after hitting a bump or nosedives when applying the brakes, the shocks are bad.

    Do you agree?

    In his case, the ride height is just fine and w/ the new shocks, there is no nosediving or bouncing.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by need-for-speed View Post
    That is an excellent point jigger, because with removal, one would have to bleed the brake system. What a pain in the azz !!! Your method is the way to go.

    Update: I rode around with my nephew in his 98 Camaro today and IMHO it is fine. I told him he doesn't need to do anything. The history was lost in translation and I was slightly mistaken on what he had done previously. It turns out that he replaced the shocks / struts on all 4 corners about a year ago. At the time, he didn't think to replace the springs, which was a mistake since it was all disassembled at the time. But it rides o.k. so I told him to leave it alone now. Of course, I would have replaced the springs while it was apart - but it's too late and it's not like it's a fine azz Z-28. He just needs this thing to get him to work and through tech school.

    My (rule of thumb - slightly simplistic) thoughts on suspension are that if the ride height is good, the springs are o.k. If it bounces forever after hitting a bump or nosedives when applying the brakes, the shocks are bad.

    Do you agree?

    In his case, the ride height is just fine and w/ the new shocks, there is no nosediving or bouncing.

    I do agree.
    It sounds like his car is ok.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigger1166 View Post
    I do agree.
    It sounds like his car is ok.

    Thanks Jigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by need-for-speed View Post
    Thanks Jigger.
    You're welcome.

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