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O.K., as some of you may be aware, I completely replaced my front suspension on my '97 Thunderbird sport last month and also installed Vogtland 1" lowering springs all the way around at the same time. For some strange reason that I can only relate to a moment of sheer stupidity, I installed the front passenger-side spring upside down in relation to the driver's-side. Now some of you may think that doesn't matter, but it does - each spring has an end where the top coil is tapered so the spring is flat (the coils are also more tightly wound on that end); the other end isn't like that. It's only logical that the tapered end should go up as the underside of the upper mount for the shock is flat and the shock, where the lower end of the spring sits on it, has a "step" that fits the end of the spring that isn't tapered perfectly. Now, the coil springs don't HAVE to be installed that way, in fact, Vogtland informed me that the up and down orientation of the springs doesn't matter, but the left and right sides MUST be installed the same way! I wasn't even aware I had mis-matched my left and right sides until I was getting new tires a week later and the mechanic at Sears was kind enough to point out my stupidity to me!

Anyway, I took apart the front passenger-side suspension last Wednesday to correct my spring install mistake and my stupidity ended-up costing me another $83.00!! You see, when I was attempting to remove the nut from the top of the shock piston rod, it somehow messed-up the threads on the rod and became very difficult to turn. I had it about half-way off and gave it a good amount of effort and the flat end of the piston rod, where you use an adjustable wrench or other type of wrench to keep it from turning, freakin' BROKE RIGHT OFF of the piston rod, rendering the shock completely useless!! I ended-up having to use a grinder to grind the nut off of the piston rod so I could get the shock out of the upper mount and then I had to purchase a new strut from CarQuest auto parts for $83.00! Luckily, CarQuest sells KYB-brand shocks, so I was able to get the exact same kind as what was already on there (I really didn't want 2 different brands of shocks on my front-end!), plus they had it for me in only a little over an hour!

Here is a picture of the end-result of my stupidity:

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/l32IqJdSLS1ZFDEa_M5a3Q?authkey=Gv1sRgCKLGr57VzoDVrQE&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_o33-awNdKZ0/Sq14iNvX-2I/AAAAAAAAAQQ/ZvJUFihy4UQ/s800/P9090005.JPG" /></a>

And here is a picture of a CORRECTLY installed Vogtland spring:

<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/kZG4wuSuPz1aMlStMNszHw?authkey=Gv1sRgCKLGr57VzoDVrQE&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_o33-awNdKZ0/Sq14rjfro6I/AAAAAAAAAQU/sP6V4BYBuJc/s800/P9100001.JPG" /></a>

The moral of the story is PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING so it doesn't end-up costing you more trouble and money later on!

Dennis
 

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So, what was holding the spring tension while you were removing the nut?

Mine turned off easy using spring compressors, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, what was holding the spring tension while you were removing the nut?

Mine turned off easy using spring compressors, lol.
I had a floor-jack under the LCA/shock and I just was intending to change the spring by taking the nut off the piston rod and then lowering the LCA/shock as a unit (I originally changed my springs last month using that method and it was actually WAY easier than having to use a spring compressor!) but, of course, that wouldn't work until I ground the nut off the piston rod (after the top of the piston rod broke). I had the car jacked-up off of the jack-stands when I was removing the nut.

I took the LCA/shock out together because I was having trouble (again!) getting the shock lower mounting bolt out of the LCA, even though I just had it out less than 4 weeks ago!

Dennis
 

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your lucky you didnt get hurt doing it like that, i took my spring and shocks to a shop that had a hydraulic strut tool, a little safer than what you did
 

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Discussion Starter #5
your lucky you didnt get hurt doing it like that, i took my spring and shocks to a shop that had a hydraulic strut tool, a little safer than what you did
I changed my springs like that last month, too, and it's very easy, MUCH more so than using a spring compressor! I'll admit it may not be quite as safe as using a spring compressor, but it's safe as long as you're careful.

Dennis
 
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