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Old 09-10-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
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Default Doing my suspension next week... any pointers?

I have my Xida coil over suspension ready to go on the car, just need to remove the stock parts and install then new Xida's with the upper mount from my stock shock assemblies. Do I need a spring compressor to remove those upper mounts from the stock setup?

Any weirdness I need to look out for? I have done shocks on other cars, just wondering if there are any quirks to the Miata I should watch out for.

Later,

Keith
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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I had success using the "long bolt method" found over at the m.net garage. It was pretty easy and I had never swapped coilovers before.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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long bolt method and use the car as your spring compressor.

Probably give everything a good spray down with the rest penetrator of your choice.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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^ Don't listen to this guy.

Get a ******* spring compressor. You can rent it from autozone for $0.

Or just do it the redneck way (Youtube). Because its safe of course...
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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I'd rather do it my way than use a tool called suicide sticks. This way is much less dangerous. And I mean, have you even changed out stock springs? Theres not much energy stored in these ***** as springs.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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You might want to look up more than one method for doing the fronts. The long bolt method didn't work for me because the long bolt was completely seized in place.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:50 PM   #7
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Start spraying every suspension bolt with pb blaster now. Do it daily up until you are ready to start unbolting bolts.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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I've removed the tophat from a bunch of stock springs and never used a spring compressor. I did borrow one from advance auto once, but it was pretty much useless. I always take the shock/spring out, then remove the nut. It's like an adult sized jack-in-the-box, a lot more buildup of drama and anticipation than actual explosion. I wouldn't stick my eyeball next to the nut when removing it or anything, but in my experience there doesn't seem to be much danger to it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I'd rather do it my way than use a tool called suicide sticks. This way is much less dangerous. And I mean, have you even changed out stock springs? Theres not much energy stored in these ***** as springs.
Yea I have changed springs on a number of shocks. I won't say I use a spring compressor every time, but I definitely wouldn't tell a guy who is doing his first spring removal not to use them.

I would at least leave the top hat in the car, undo the bolt at the top slowly and use a jack under the control arm to drop it slow. Probably what leafy was suggesting

Stock springs have inches of preload in them, taking a tophat to the face definitely won't feel good.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #10
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So, leave the upper mounts in the car while removing the shock and spring, then remove the mounts to put them on the Xida's. From what I remember seeing the "how to" video on 949 website, with the collars towards the bottom of the shock there is zero pre-load on the Xida springs when you install the upper mount. I will study all the methods in the miata.net garage, thanks for the heads up on that!

Now, I have done spring and shock swaps before but this is my first adjustable setup. I am looking for a "mild" drop, not putting it into the weeds. So, should I run the collars up until the springs are slightly pre-loaded to get where I want to be... or where about should the collars be for initial installation?

Thanks,

Keith
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:56 PM   #11
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Long bolt method and non-removal of the tophats here. I was told I HAD to remove the tophats and you absolutely don't. That will save you some work right there.

I disassembled the springs in my hands. The springs are weak. Point it away and you will be fine.

I wrote all about it in one of my posts a long time ago. I'll see if I can find it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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You really only need to worry about adjustment collar clearance in the rear, so just eyeball that and bolt it up. Do one corner at a time and then put a jack underneath the control arm, jack it all the way up until the car pogo sticks, and then torque the long bolt.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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Xidas and "mild drop" will probably just mean set the bitches as high as you can possibly put them.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:50 PM   #14
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https://www.miataturbo.net/showthread.php?t=75984&page=2

I wrote my full step by step instructions on that page.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:57 PM   #15
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FYI, if you don't have stock bushings, I'd suggest using the lower ball joint method. It unbolts and is much easier than the long bolt method, IF you have poly bushings to let the control arm drop away. If you're planning for an immediate alignment, you can loosen the lower control arm, but I'd just suggest the long bolt method if you don't have poly bushings.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
FYI, if you don't have stock bushings, I'd suggest using the lower ball joint method. It unbolts and is much easier than the long bolt method, IF you have poly bushings to let the control arm drop away. If you're planning for an immediate alignment, you can loosen the lower control arm, but I'd just suggest the long bolt method if you don't have poly bushings.
I am stock bushings, and about 55,000 miles on the car, so even as a 99 most of the bolts on the car are in good rust free condition. I will start spraying on penetrating oil over the next few days

So, assuming I do the upper control arm bolt method on front and rear, do I need to then remove the top mounts to put them on the Xida's? The instructions on the 949 site don't show installing them with the top mount on the car as an option, and how tight the top nut goes seems to be a "visual" assessment of the tightness, tighten it "just until the grommet distorts a little bit" Can you see this grommet if you install the shocks with the top mount already in the car?

Keith
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #17
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The stock top hats install from the bottom, but are secured from the top in the trunk by two nuts. The shaft goes into the hollow hole of the top hats and is then secured up top.

That being said, just call Emilio and get him to tell you what to do. I have horrible clunking sounds from the stupid Vmaxxs I put in, so maybe my method isn't the right way to do it.

Do it once, do it right. Call Emilio.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:05 PM   #18
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why are you leaving the top hats in the car? previous suggestion is saying to leave the top hat in the car until you release the spring. At that point you can remove the top hat and put it on the shock.


The nut on the shaft is usually locking, so torque requirements are low. I think the FSM has like 25-30 ft-lbs or something in that range for stock. If you realllly need torque requirements for the Xidas, you can call/e-mail 949. Its very low though, just check the deflection on the rubber bushing.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seefo View Post
why are you leaving the top hats in the car? previous suggestion is saying to leave the top hat in the car until you release the spring. At that point you can remove the top hat and put it on the shock.
Yeah the assembly video pretty clearly shows you can slap the top hat onto the shock without any spring resistance. Assemble and then put onto the car!

You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy the suspension is to replace. This was one of the first "major" mechanical procedures I did when I began wrenching and it gave me zero problems. Apply anti-seize when you bolt the long bolt back up.

Next week I'll be able to help more after I've done my own
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:22 PM   #20
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If you have an intercooler in the car with the hoses running in the usual place, then the long bolt method sucks because the intercooler hoses are in the way.

2 bolts remove the lower balljoint, no messing with intercooler hoses.

--Ian
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