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Old 11-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default I need suspension help!

Hey everyone, I recently got some FM Vmaxx Xtreme coilovers and I had no problems putting on the fronts, but I am having a ton of trouble on the rears.
The biggest problem is the 4 14mm tophat nuts. I stripped the passenger side rear one really badly, but the front passenger side came off with basically no resistance. The two driver side nuts absolutely will not budge at all. I have soaked them all in liquid wrench several times now. I only have basic hand tools, so I need suggestions on how to get the nut off and where to find some replacements. I have to have this stuff done by Wednesday night to get an alignment on Thursday, so I can make my track day on Saturday (Friday will be the day of travel).

I also cannot get my rear passenger side swaybar endlink bolts to budge. I used an 18 inch breaker and they didn't move! I am trying to remove the swaybars because I have FM swaybars coming in Wednesday.

This is all on a 2001.

Last edited by Chilicharger665; 11-11-2013 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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You should be able to cut the endlinks with a sawsall.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:28 AM   #3
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I need the endlinks, as I don't have new ones.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
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14mm wrench, hit it with a small sledge hammer.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:11 AM   #5
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I tried that with no luck. The endlink ended up snapping in half and the nut still has not budged. After getting angry, I pulled the swaybar off of the car, put my full weight on the swaybar and cranked on that nut with an 18 inch breaker. Still no movement. That is the most seized thing I have ever seen.

So, now I get to buy endlinks! What should I get? I have an alignment Thursday morning, but will a lack of swaybars installed affect getting an alignment? As in could I install the swaybars after the alignment with no ill effects?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:14 AM   #6
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Also, where should I get replacement nuts for the tophats? Are they just generic nuts or do I need to get Mazda ones?

The driver side rear tophat nuts still will not budge after soaking for 8+ hours in liquid wrench. I need suggestions!
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Wow. Never would have expected this on a NM car.

Best endlinks are probably 949's adjustables.

Swaybars connected/disconnected should not affect an alignment (unless the bar is really out of whack). If you corner weight you should disconnect them because their function is to shift weight between the left and right sides. If you then reconnect with adjustable end links, you can setup the sway bar perfectly neutral or you can adjust lengths to preload one side or the other. If you go with factory, fixed-length endlinks, you won't have this options and may end up with a bit of preload that you can't get rid of.

BTW, a lot of people with higher powered cars disconnect the rear sway altogether. Otherwise, you'll find the car to be "loose" (oversteering) due to excessive stiffness in the rear suspension (a sway bar adds spring rate to the loaded wheel).

I run RB tubular in front and stock in back. I've got RB's adjustable end links, but they are a PITA. They use the same direction threads on both ends, so they have to be disconnected to be adjusted. That's not the right way to do it. 949's have opposite direction threads and operate like a turnbuckle so you can finely adjust them on the scales. I wish I had those.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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Well, I am now $210 poorer. I couldn 't get emilio to answer his phone, so I bought the PITA Racing Beats from FM with 2nd day air. My area always gets deliveries late in the day, so I will be getting an alignment without them.

Okay, so that is one problem solved, but I still need help on the others! Where should I get replacement nuts and how the hell do I get the seized and rounded nuts off in the first place?
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Since you have to replace the nuts anyway . . . try a nutsplitter or hit it with a bit of dremel and then a cold chisel.

Didn't the new shocks/tophats come with new nuts? If not, grade 8.8 flange nuts should do the trick -- or get OEMs used or from Mazda if you have time.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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Get a one size smaller star socket and hammer it on to the stripped one. Heat the nut up with a butane torch or similar and then crank on it. Just be careful about the fuel stuff if it's on the drivers side.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
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Ok, I got a impact lined up to borrow, but I won 't get it until tomorrow. I am going to go ahead and go find new replacement nuts and see if there is any place that will let me rent a dremel or something similar to cut those old nuts off.

There was no new hardware with what I got. I have to reuse my stock tophats and hardware.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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I went and got some vicegrips on some advice from a NAPA guy to get the nuts off. Was that smart?

I also went to 4 different places and no one had flanged nuts in metric. I got some regular nuts with washers for free to try, though. Will that work?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Don't ask me how I know this, but the 3' handle from a Harbor Freight floor jack slips neatly over a breaker bar handle.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
I went and got some vicegrips on some advice from a NAPA guy to get the nuts off. Was that smart?
I don't see how you will fit vicegrips down into the holes for the nuts in the rear.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:24 PM   #15
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Regular nuts with lock washer + flat washer -- or perhaps nylon locknuts + flat washer would be OK.

I forgot about the rear nuts being in a recess. What a PITA.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:08 AM   #16
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I am a true noob. I have regular nuts and flat washers. So I need to go back down to the hardware store and get some lock washers that will fit in there?
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:18 PM   #17
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You definitely want a self-locking feature on these nuts -- don't want them coming loose you know. Flange nuts provide this on the cheap because their large contact surface adds a bit of turning resistance in addition to spreading the clamp load. I think you've already discovered the turning resistance part.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #18
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Or just double nut it, you don't need your sways on for the alignment but you do for your track day. Running no rear sway is autox fail boat tech or a horrible loose car.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #19
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Ok, the nearest Mazda dealer is 100 miles away and I got some of the right nuts coming. I will go get them Friday morning. I am going to move my alignment to Friday morning. Since I have the right nuts coming and the alignment shop is about 3 miles away, I will just use what nuts and washers I have on hand to get it there and then swap them out with the right stuff when I get back on Friday. Then after the alignment is complete, I will swap the right tophat nuts on and reassemble the car. Then I have to drive 5 hours that night to get to the track day location. The timing on all of this is going to be very tight.

Now to get those damn nuts off... I borrowed an impact, so wish me luck!
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilicharger665 View Post
Well, I am now $210 poorer. I couldn 't get emilio to answer his phone, so I bought the PITA Racing Beats from FM with 2nd day air. My area always gets deliveries late in the day, so I will be getting an alignment without them.
Sorry we weren't in when you called. Our website works just fine. Ordered yesterday Tuesday Nov 12, you would have links in NM Thursday for $5.60 shipping via USPS.
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