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Old 02-11-2007, 07:21 AM   #1
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Default Suspension reassembly question

When I torque the control arm bolts, is it necessary to compress the suspension by applying pressure to the underside of the control arm with a jack (in order to simulate the weight of the car)? I ask because I am experiencing some odd behavior over bumps on my 97 after installing the 1.6 differential and I tightened the control arm bolts with the suspension unloaded. I also left the chasis bracing off and the swaybar disconnected and wasnt sure if it was that, or if it was my method of reassembling the suspension.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:56 AM   #2
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Uh oh....
You should have bolted everything back together, not to tight but enough to hold everything in place, then put it all under load and fully torqued all the bolts up
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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how do you torque that **** while it is on the ground?
I torqued mine while it was in the air when i did the shocks last time no problems. just taker in for an alignment.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:27 AM   #4
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Nope, you need to torque them when they're fully compressed, otherwise you've basically torqued the bushings down in their relaxed position. An alignment won't fix the problems that creates.

Easiest way to do this is, while the car's still up on stands, just use your jack on the bottom of the control arms and raise it until the car just begins coming off the jack stand, then tighten everything down.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
Uh oh....
You should have bolted everything back together, not to tight but enough to hold everything in place, then put it all under load and fully torqued all the bolts up
poly bushings are nice to have.... this isn't a problem unless you have stock bushings
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnamx-5 View Post
how do you torque that **** while it is on the ground?
I torqued mine while it was in the air when i did the shocks last time no problems. just taker in for an alignment.
ramps
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Old 02-11-2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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poly bushings are nice to have.... this isn't a problem unless you have stock bushings
Don't bet on that
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:34 PM   #8
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oh i guess i never realized how much it screws up the handling. I ill go out there and jack it up by the control arms and retighten that stuff.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:13 AM   #9
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Ok, wow i never realized how much of a difference that could make. I just figured that after a few miles, the bushings would twist around and not make it ride like crap. Anyway, I took some time to retorque them with the suspension jacked up and it feels like it should now.
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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did you jack them up, loosen them, then tq them down while on jackstands?
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamania View Post
did you jack them up, loosen them, then tq them down while on jackstands?
Basically, ya thats what i did. I just jacked right under one control arm at a time, no jack stands. The other side was held up by the tire and i only lifted the tire off the ground like an inch.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #12
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hmmm, what bolts, just the control arm ones? I'm trying to think if I used ramps or not.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #13
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how would you get to the bolts if you have the wheels on (as you would need with ramps)? the bolts I retorqued were all of the control arm bolts aside from the alignment bolts.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akaryrye View Post
how would you get to the bolts if you have the wheels on (as you would need with ramps)? the bolts I retorqued were all of the control arm bolts aside from the alignment bolts.
you need to fix all of them, including the alignment bolts. If you take it to an alignment shop obviously it will be sitting flat when they set the alignment, but be sure to tell them you need all the bolts loosed and re-tightened on the lift regardless of what your alignment is when it rolls in (if the alignment is correct they won't loosen/retighten otherwise).
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:41 PM   #15
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You don't usually loosen your alignment bolts when you swap out the springs/shocks, though...so those should never have been touched.

Yes, I'm not sure if you'd have enough clearance or not to tighten the lower shock mount bolts, for example, with the wheels on the car and the car on ramps. Again, what I've always done is jack up the car under the wishbone, then tighten the bolts.
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:48 PM   #16
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yup, what brian said
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