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Thread: Control arms and shocks/struts question

  1. #76
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    5,706
    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    I'm also beginning to think the mechanic who transferred the old shock to the spring and mount aligned it incorrectly. I tried both struts on the passenger side, and once I got the 3 studs in the holes in the engine bay, the holes on the bottom were lopsided with the control arm. They lined up vertically, but were lopsided horizontally. Needless to say I'm a bit ticked off; I was hoping to get this done by tomorrow (I actually have to go to the hospital on monday), but since the mechanic is closed tomorrow I guess it'll have to wait another week. Would there be a safe way for me to change the alignment of the strut mount/spring by myself?
    Mount the shock at the top and just leave the bottom end hanging loose. Loosen that big nut as much as you can, leaving a thread visible. This is to relieve a bit of the tension on the spring. Then take a long screwdriver or pry bar, place through both holes, where it mounts to the control arm, and twist until it lines up. Thats actually normal.. Then as far as the through bolt going through the shock bracket AND feeding through the bushing, use your jack to raise the arm until 1 side lines up.. insert the bolt and tap on it to get it about 1" along the way.. use your jack to adjust until the other side lines up and tap the bolt on through.
    When your' done with all that, then tighten up the topside nut until fully seated, and then the 3 nuts holding the assembly to the wheel well.

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    223
    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    Mount the shock at the top and just leave the bottom end hanging loose. Loosen that big nut as much as you can, leaving a thread visible. This is to relieve a bit of the tension on the spring. Then take a long screwdriver or pry bar, place through both holes, where it mounts to the control arm, and twist until it lines up. Thats actually normal.. Then as far as the through bolt going through the shock bracket AND feeding through the bushing, use your jack to raise the arm until 1 side lines up.. insert the bolt and tap on it to get it about 1" along the way.. use your jack to adjust until the other side lines up and tap the bolt on through.
    When your' done with all that, then tighten up the topside nut until fully seated, and then the 3 nuts holding the assembly to the wheel well.
    Hey guys, sorry I've been away, I've been REALLY sick the past few weeks. But anyway, my dad took the struts back to the mechanic, and he seems to be under the impression that they're McPhearson-type struts that rotate, and that I could just stick a screwdriver through (after mounting it to the top) and it would rotate on the mount. I tried that just for kicks, and it ain't budging. He said he adjusted them again (to the diagram I provided from my shop manual), but it's still not lining up when I try to put it in. The arms on the bottom of the strut are fitting over the control arm just fine, but it's off like 1-2mm so that it's not sitting flush against the bolt hole through the bushing, and the bolt won't slide through.

    I tried the method you suggested, but the threads on the top nut just keep spinning with the nut once I get it loose about halfway, so the spring doesn't decompress even a little bit. Really frustrated at this point, as I don't wanna injure myself by just re-compressing the spring myself (off the car), but I'm also not getting anywhere with the mechanic.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    I tried the method you suggested, but the threads on the top nut just keep spinning with the nut once I get it loose about halfway, so the spring doesn't decompress even a little bit. Really frustrated at this point, as I don't wanna injure myself by just re-compressing the spring myself (off the car), but I'm also not getting anywhere with the mechanic.
    A deep socket won't work for this task. You'll have to hold the top part of the shaft with a large adjustable wrench and loosend the nut with a separate adjustable wrench.
    You might also consider loosening the lower arm bolt, at the frame, and see if it gives you enough play to get the shock attached. And, I don't recall if you did this, but remove the sway bar link at least from the spindle end.

    Good luck with it.

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    223
    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    A deep socket won't work for this task. You'll have to hold the top part of the shaft with a large adjustable wrench and loosend the nut with a separate adjustable wrench.
    You might also consider loosening the lower arm bolt, at the frame, and see if it gives you enough play to get the shock attached. And, I don't recall if you did this, but remove the sway bar link at least from the spindle end.

    Good luck with it.
    Thanks for the help, managed to wiggle it in after pulsing the top nut with an impact wrench!

    Just for clarification, does the strut rod to LCA nut need to be tightened while the car is on the ground? I know the UCA and LCA to frame bolts need to, but I'm just not sure about the Strut rod Bushing nut. It looks like it would be blocked by the wheel if I did it while it was on the ground. Could I just compress the suspension with a floor jack to where the weight of the car is resting on the jack instead of the jack stands to get the same effect?

  5. #80
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    Thanks for the help, managed to wiggle it in after pulsing the top nut with an impact wrench!

    Just for clarification, does the strut rod to LCA nut need to be tightened while the car is on the ground? I know the UCA and LCA to frame bolts need to, but I'm just not sure about the Strut rod Bushing nut. It looks like it would be blocked by the wheel if I did it while it was on the ground. Could I just compress the suspension with a floor jack to where the weight of the car is resting on the jack instead of the jack stands to get the same effect?
    I've always just tightened them with it raised. Haven't seen any issues. Good to hear you got it sorted out.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    223
    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    I've always just tightened them with it raised. Haven't seen any issues. Good to hear you got it sorted out.
    Welp I'm a complete and utter dumbass. I over-greased my new lower ball joint. I can tell the boot cracked, and grease started oozing out of it. I was just about to put the wheels on too. Should I take it back and get a replacement (has a lifetime warranty)? Or is this not a big deal? Ugh this just really sucks. Sorry guys, the one thing i DIDNT ask, was how much to grease em.

    Thank god I returned the Rockauto ones I bought, and these are the ones I bought from O'Reilly, and they have new ones in stock. But it's just gonna be a huge ~~~~ to get the shock back out, loosen everything, and do it all over again.
    Last edited by Roboplex; 02-09-2018 at 10:56 PM.

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Pacific Rim
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    6,721
    Just because grease came out doesn't mean the boot is cracked - has to go somewhere when it's full & that's how you know to stop. Wipe it off and double check.

    Pretty crummy boot if it did crack and it's new, tho...

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
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    223
    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Just because grease came out doesn't mean the boot is cracked - has to go somewhere when it's full & that's how you know to stop. Wipe it off and double check.

    Pretty crummy boot if it did crack and it's new, tho...
    Yeah it's definitely torn. Straight rip right down the side. I did put ALOT of grease in it, probably like 10 pumps (I know, really dumb idea). They're Precision brand parts from O'Reilly, suggested by my mechanic. None of the other joints did this. I'd love to just buy a different brand but EVERYTHING I just put on the car is Precision brand, and there's NO WAY I'm undoing the entire job I've been working on for a month. Plus, I like being able to get a warranty part from a brick and mortar store.

    It's also possible that there was some air in my grease gun (I did bleed the hose, but there may have been an air bubble) that increased the pressure in the joint enough for it to burst.
    Last edited by Roboplex; 02-09-2018 at 11:27 PM.

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