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Old 11-19-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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Default Back shocks, cake...fronts, WTF OMG I'm gonna lose it!

I'm trying to swap out my stock shocks for new ones and new springs, but I can't get the freakin front shocks off. The upper mounts...piece of cake. The lower shock bolt...no problem. I undid the castle nut on the upper ball joint and hit the spindle with a hammer a few times. I can't get it to budge. I thought about throwing some heat on it with a torch, but I know I'll just melt the rubber and destroy any future chance the upper ball joint has at life.
I even tried to do it the way in this write up:
https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...=shock+install
If you look at that write up, I tried to undo bolt #4, but I can't get my socket in there no matter what I try. I am VERY frustrated as I wasted any daylight I had on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, for what? Getting my car 1/2 done, that's what.
Any tips/ jokes/ comments at this point will be accepted/ appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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I used the long bolt method, the whole thing was just a piece o'cake..
Give it a try.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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I think I'm gonna buy some spring compressors and put them on the springs so I can relieve the pressure. That way I'll be able to lift up the shock, giving my access to that bolt that holds the spindle to the lower control arm.
Right now I sucessfully completed the F this method and packed up all my tools. In about 20 minutes I will be in route for lobster ravioli.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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I didn't use/need a spring compressor, btw.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
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Doesn't the upper control arm get in the way of a spring compressor? Seriously, use the long bolt method. Take out the long bolt of the upper control arm along with the sway bar end link. Only annoying thing, at least with my NA, is the tips of the sway bar bracket bolts get in the way, so you have to loosen those.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:54 AM   #6
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Fronts are always a PITA. Honestly the hardest part is getting that #4 bolt back in during INSTALL.

I would almost say it's easier to drop the sub frame a few inches and slide the shocks/springs out.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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long bolt or ban.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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long bolt method is like getting a handjob from your car compared to what you're doing.

done it many times on many miatas and never have issues.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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LBM or leave.

C
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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Long bolt for life!
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Long bolt. Seriously, the single "frustration" in the long bolt method is backing out the sway bar bracket bolts a bit so there's enough clearance.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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I just did the long bolt method. From Jacking the car up, taking the wheels off, pulling both shocks and springs and reassembling everything, it took me under 1 hour to get the car back on the ground and driving down the street.
Long bolt method for life.
I drove the car, it feels ok. At least it doesn't look like lift kit anymore.
Back shocks, cake...fronts, WTF OMG I'm gonna lose it!-lower1.jpg

Back shocks, cake...fronts, WTF OMG I'm gonna lose it!-lower2.jpg

Back shocks, cake...fronts, WTF OMG I'm gonna lose it!-lower3.jpg

Back shocks, cake...fronts, WTF OMG I'm gonna lose it!-lower4.jpg
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
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I was also really shocked at how easily the bolts came out of the upper control arms. Hardest part was cracking them loose, but once the nuts were off they slid right out with a little wiggle of the arms.
Thanks for your advice guys!
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:58 AM   #14
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I've swapped suspensions numerous times without using any of the methods mentioned above, what am I missing? If you unhook the FSB, the LCA can swing down enough to give the shock clearance to go in or out. Why bother with either of those bolts if it's an extra step?
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:17 AM   #15
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I'm using a deep socket in that writeup to get the #4 bolt out and you gotta undo the shock bolts first and get the bottom of the shock out of the way before you can get clearance to the #4 bolt.

Last edited by triple88a; 11-21-2011 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayge View Post
If you unhook the FSB, the LCA can swing down enough to give the shock clearance to go in or out.
no it can't. not unless you have one of those rare non-wishbone front suspension miatas.

On the rear, yes that's all you gotta do.

I don't personally like that writeup linked.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
no it can't. not unless you have one of those rare non-wishbone front suspension miatas.
Yeah it can, that's how I do it, but I also compress the springs, then manually push the piston rod in and then - quickly - remove the tophat, then the compressed spring, then finally the shock.

Piece of cake.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:14 AM   #18
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Car looks good. Even with those heavy-***, 31lb 16s.

Got some FCM components on their way. Looking forward to doing this job.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
no it can't. not unless you have one of those rare non-wishbone front suspension miatas.

On the rear, yes that's all you gotta do.

I don't personally like that writeup linked.
The UCA doesn't limit range of the LCA, just tags along for the ride. If you push the LCA down enough, you're still increasing clearance for the shock to come out. It's a little trickier with the stock coilovers since they're generally longer, but still very doable and a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the long bolt or castle nut.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richyvrlimited View Post
Yeah it can, that's how I do it, but I also compress the springs, then manually push the piston rod in and then - quickly - remove the tophat, then the compressed spring, then finally the shock.

Piece of cake.
Quote:
The UCA doesn't limit range of the LCA, just tags along for the ride. If you push the LCA down enough, you're still increasing clearance for the shock to come out. It's a little trickier with the stock coilovers since they're generally longer, but still very doable and a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the long bolt or castle nut.
I dont event think my short *** Teins would be easy. There's not enough clearance between the two control arms to angle it out, and then between the UCA and the fender wall...so they need to come almost straight up to clear the UCA then out to clear the fender.

This is how I first did my install back 2000, it took my 6 hours with power tools on a lift. The extra time it took wrestling to get the fronts in and out I could have removed the long bolt and cooked a steak dinner, took a nap, and played 3 hours of video games. I ended up having to get someone to stand on the control arm to get as much clearance as possible, while trying to compress the shock up against the fender wall a little at a time to shorten the shock and to hope and pray it went in.

Honestly, there's no "dealing" with the long bolt. Lower the two sway bar mount bolts flush with the nut, hit it with a wrench and a 21mm socket, and slide it out. I'd say it adds an extra 2-4minutes tops.

In fact, the long bolt method is so easy, I've pulled the shocks in the parking lot at work on my lunch break with nothing more than a scissor jack and some hand tools.
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