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I royaly messed up while changing suspension, I need help!

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I royaly messed up while changing suspension, I need help!

  #1  
Old 07-24-2013, 05:44 PM
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Default I royaly messed up while changing suspension, I need help!

Been working on my 91 honda hatchback, and decided to put in new front suspension since the old ones were shot. But because I am an idiot, and cannot read properly, I removed the large nut at the top of the shock absorber instead of the two mounting nuts near it. On both sides. Yes both times the spring went flying. I didn't think this was a problem until I called a shop to see if they could put the coil and new shock back together for me... He asked if it was still together, I said no, and then he explained that there is a very specific way it goes back together, and since both shocks are apart, he wouldn't have any idea which way to put them back together. Am I screwed? And help would be much appreciated.

I would also like to mention that I rented the spring compression tool from Autozone but it was too big for the spring, this is the only reason I ended up calling a local shop.
 
  #2  
Old 07-25-2013, 05:05 AM
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No you're not screwed. The shop you're dealing with are idiots if they cant figure out how to put together a shock assembly on one of the most common cars in america. I am at a loss when shops cant even purchase a $10 haynes manual if they dont know how things go together. Anyway....

The only compression tool that worked for me on front springs (for my 2000 civic) were the ones with U-bolts
Powerbuilt 647089 Strut Coil Spring Compressor - Amazon.com Powerbuilt 647089 Strut Coil Spring Compressor - Amazon.com

If you go this route, there are plenty of precautions. I can tell you a few. You or your P's take all responsibility for bodily harm. These springs can hurt you if you're not careful and you're lucky when they first popped.

As for assembly, here's a rough diagram.


The top hats are usually angled (at least they were on mine), because the frame is not horizontal where they sit, so you can feasibly put them in 180 degrees backwards, however, you'll find that the bottom of the shock wont align with the LCA and you'd just have to turn the hat and then the spring around. I found it very useful to apply some silicone grease to the surface of the spring pad (#10) so that i could rotate the shock and spring to get things to align at the bottom end of the shock when installing without having to re-compress the spring.

Make sure the two rubber pillow mounts (#7) at the top are oriented as shown. It's easy to put them in upside down. The top washer lip (#6) should be facing up. and the bump-stop washer (#12) usually has an inner lip that should be facing down.
 

Last edited by boiler1; 07-25-2013 at 08:01 AM.
  #3  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:23 AM
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Hey thanks for the detailed explanation! I actually did see that tool during my google searches, but I'm glad I can get it knowing it will probably work. I will order the tool today. I do notice though that my new shocks didn't come with the parts 9, 12 or 13 as listed in the above diagram. Do I need to take them off the old shocks and put them on my new ones? Thanks again for the help
 
  #4  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:47 AM
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I wont lie, that compressor is kinda crappy, but it's the only one with clearance.

Yep, those washers and bump stop typically get reused. They should be fine unless yours are really corroded. Did your new shocks come with dust boots?

The general idea is that when you tighten that top shock nut when the spring is compressed, it pushes all of those top hat bushings and washers together and against the bump stop washer. Should be no play or else the shock rod will come up when you hit bumps.

When you use that tool, make sure its threads are really oiled up and you locate the U-bolts directly opposite from one another, try to get it perfect. Also, when you compress, do it uniformily or else the spring will bend sideways and the U-bolt will start touching the shock. As you know, there isn't much clearance. Also, that compressor requires some pretty large sockets, so make sure you have them. I think it called for a 1-inch socket, but for some reason i had to use bigger. I have an electric impact wrench that made using the compressors much easier; you may be wrestling with it if you're using hand tools and/or dont have a vice to hold the spring. BTW, any of these hand compressors have been known to break, so the less you have hands/limbs/face around the spring the better!
 

Last edited by boiler1; 07-25-2013 at 08:05 AM.
  #5  
Old 07-25-2013, 11:30 AM
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I didn't really pay attention to my springs as I changed out the complete assembly, but check to see if the springs have tighter coils on one side. Most coils do and need to be installed correctly. It affects the spring rate of the compression.
I still have the old struts in a box on the self. Not sure how much difference between the 91 and 94 struts are but if you need an assembled image I can take pics for you. (not sure I could tell which are left and right though)
 
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