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Thread: Front shock removal w/ arc actuator

  1. #1
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    Front shock removal w/ arc actuator

    These seems like a stupid question but I have everything apart in the front end and the shock and spring is ready to drop out except for one problem. The bracket for the arc actuator won't fit through the hole in the fender. The bracket is held on by the center nut which is not to be removed until the spring is compressed. What am I missing here? The hole just doesn't seem big enough and I really don't want to butcher it.
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  2. #2
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    There are two nuts, with the bracket sitting between them. The black flanged nut goes on last (pre-shock removal/post shock installation) and holds the bracket against the nut that secures the top end of the shock shaft to the upper mount.
    Last edited by KMT; 05-08-2017 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    There are two nuts, with the bracket sitting between them. The black flanged nut goes on last (post shock install) and holds the bracket against the nut that secures the top end of the shock shaft to the upper mount.
    Thank you. I'll give that a try. The instructions on tccoa don't spell that out. It just says DONT TOUCH THE CENTER NUT! Of course you can't see there's another nut under the bracket.
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  4. #4
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    you remove the ARC actuator (depress clips on the sides), The three nuts in the fender tower should already be off, if not remove them. Knocking the tie rod end out of the spindle will open everything up enough to pull the assy out.

    This how to was very helpful my first time: http://www.tccoa.com/articles/mn12ho...ng_springs.htm
    Last edited by JonS; 05-08-2017 at 03:07 PM. Reason: corrected for accuracy
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    It just says DONT TOUCH THE CENTER NUT! Of course you can't see there's another nut under the bracket.
    That is correct.. you can take the top nut+arc bracket off w/o any worries, but you need to compress the shock/spring with a floor jack, by raising from the lower control arm, BEFORE removing the 2nd nut. Once that nut is loose, you can slowly lower the control arm, and the shock will gently drop out from the mount.. thats also MUCH safer than trying to use the spring compressor tool.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    That is correct.. you can take the top nut+arc bracket off w/o any worries, but you need to compress the shock/spring with a floor jack, by raising from the lower control arm, BEFORE removing the 2nd nut. Once that nut is loose, you can slowly lower the control arm, and the shock will gently drop out from the mount.. thats also MUCH safer than trying to use the spring compressor tool.
    Have you installed them with the reverse method???

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by potshotscott View Post
    Have you installed them with the reverse method???
    Yup. Remove the upper arm ball joint from the spindle and line up the stem of the shock with the upper shock mount hole, and use the jack to raise it all up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    Yup. Remove the upper arm ball joint from the spindle and line up the stem of the shock with the upper shock mount hole, and use the jack to raise it all up.
    This is the first time I've heard of this method. So the spring mount stays in place and the spring and shock drop out as you lower the control arm? I imagine this makes it quite easy to align the coil with the spring mount as well instead of having to mark everything with a straight edge. Is it difficult to get the shock aligned with the spring mount center hole while compressing the new spring?
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    This is the first time I've heard of this method. So the spring mount stays in place and the spring and shock drop out as you lower the control arm?
    Thats correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    I imagine this makes it quite easy to align the coil with the spring mount as well instead of having to mark everything with a straight edge. Is it difficult to get the shock aligned with the spring mount center hole while compressing the new spring?
    Not too hard, but you'll wish you had that 3rd arm You can use a long screwdriver through the mount hole to guide the stem.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    So the spring mount stays in place and the spring and shock drop out as you lower the control arm?

    I dropped mine still assembled, then took them to a local shop that had a wall mounted compressor and paid them to swap old shocks for new. They knew to obey alignment. Made my part of the job much easier

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    This is the first time I've heard of this method. So the spring mount stays in place and the spring and shock drop out as you lower the control arm? I imagine this makes it quite easy to align the coil with the spring mount as well instead of having to mark everything with a straight edge. Is it difficult to get the shock aligned with the spring mount center hole while compressing the new spring?
    Better way is just to do it all in the car. You don't need a spring compressor at all if you follow careful and orderly steps. Front springs can be changed in a couple hours in your driveway, no problem.

    1) raise the car, remove the sway bar end links from the control arm and rotate the sway bar out of your way. Unbolt the bracket for the brake line and ABS sensor from the body. Break lose the lower shock mount bolt. Disconnect the upper control arm from the spindle. At this point the spindle will want to flop freely outward, so attach a tether to it of some sort.

    2) Put the wheels back on and lower the car down until the wheels touch the ground. Don't put the full weight of the car on the wheels, just set it so they are on the ground and more or less in kind of the stock position.

    3) Remove ARC stuff and both upper attaching nuts. The car will spring up about 1/2" as you remove that nut but nothing will go anywhere or cause any drama. Now you can lift the car up and taking care to not let the wheels flop outward again, simply raise the vehicle until the lower arm hangs free. Remove the lower shock bolt. Now with a tug, or perhaps the help of a big screwdriver, you can remove the now completely relaxed spring/shock assembly. Be careful not to drop it on your head or other body part (toes, etc) because it's kinda heavy.

    4) Reverse procedure to re-install. I've done this more times than I can count. First time seems a bit scary but after you do it once you'll realize it's pretty simple overall and barely takes any more time that it would to remove the shocks as an assembly and saves you the time/expense of having a shop do it for you. It also assures proper alignment since you actually remove the upper shock mount at all.
    Last edited by XR7 Dave; 05-09-2017 at 12:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    Ya thats why i tape mine down. People think its bc i dont have a moonroof seal (which is true) but its really to keep my roof from ripping off .
    Email me here.

  12. #12
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    So I did use this method but found in order for the lower control arm to drop far enough for complete spring relaxation I had to loosen the lca to frame bolt and remove the lca to strut nut. Then separate the strut and lca completely. Also separate the tie rod end from the spindle. The spindle was just flopping around at this point.

    Another stupid question. As I was getting my you know what kicked by the rear upper control arm bolt I wondered how i was going to torque this thing. Have to torque from inside the wheel well (bolt side)?
    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUDXR7 View Post
    Another stupid question. As I was getting my you know what kicked by the rear upper control arm bolt I wondered how i was going to torque this thing. Have to torque from inside the wheel well (bolt side)?
    For the spindle bolt, torque the nut.. not the bolt. The bolt is staked so that it doesn't spin in the spindle arm. However, you may need to hold it with a wrench until it seats fully.

    Same thing with the UCA bolts that hold it to the frame. Those however, are not staked. You can reach behind the spring with a torque wrench and an extension if you want to torque the bolt.
    Last edited by TbirdSCFan; 05-13-2017 at 01:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    Alright, I'm stuck here. I went to do the drivers side and while I was pressing the spring and shock back through the shock mount something came free. In the picture there is a metal sleeve being forced up through the shock mount that is preventing me from fully tightening the nut down. Also, and I can't explain this, there is a rubber grommet with a threaded nut in it that popped out of place and I can't even understand how the shock stud passes through this as it did on the passengers side with out threading. This really puzzles me and I'm sure I could figure it out if I took it all apart but every thing is back together and torqued so I'd rather not. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Name:  IMG_0559.jpg
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    1989 XR7 5-SPD - 15,700 miles - Garage Queen

  15. #15
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    Good evening



    I believe the shock mount bearing/sleeve separated and broke during the install. There is a cover top attached the the mount that the rubber grommet goes under. See attachment pictures:


    https://www.rockauto.com/info/143/MP..._FRO__ra_p.jpg

    https://www.rockauto.com/info/143/MP..._BAC__ra_p.jpg


    You will need a replacement. Maybe other members can chime in.

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