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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys i have quite a few suspension parts on the way from Scp, so i was hoping you guys could inform me on what tools i will need along with any "special tools" that will make life easier in the process. Im getting shocks, 1 in. lowering springs, uppers, lowers, bushings, knuckles, etc.. Everything i believe, but the sway bars for now. Oh and also i plan to install my 93 mk8 driveshaft finally so anything i might need for that to?
Any advice helps, thanks in advance.
 

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The one thing you NEED is an.....18mm (?)..... ratcheting wrench for the UCAs. It might be 19mm. I don't remember exactly. Be sure to get one that has a reversible switch, because if you back out the bolt too far you're going to have a b!tch of time getting your wrench back out.


If you opt to get one that doesn't have a reversible switch, like I said, be mindful of how far you've backed out so you can get your wrench out of the tight spot and then use a manual wrench or your fingers to finish backing out the bolts. I have this set and it's worked out great for me for working on my DD and my wife's car.


For the driveshaft, you will need to lower the gas tank. Be sure you run down the gas, the lower the better. Remember, every gallon of fuel is 8lbs of weight. Gas light on would be easiest weight wise. Plenty of info here on how to lower it.

If you look in my suspension thread, IIRC page 2, another member posted a photo of how to press out the upper UCA bushings using a home made tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats really all i will need? 18mm, a 15mm, air hammer, spring compressor i think, theres stuff i need to press in right? Im new to all this
 

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The Parts Guy
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You need a wall mount spring compressor to safely assemble/disassemble the front shock/spring assembly. If you don't want to purchase one, take the parts to a local auto shop. The rear springs do not require a compressor. Control arm and knuckle bushings can be pressed in/out with a large vise or a shop press. No need for an air hammer. You will need more wrenches and sockets than just 15mm and 18mm.
 

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Make sure the upper shock mounts are clocked correctly or make sure whoever’s doing it does, otherwise you’ll never get them positioned right to bolt up. And you don’t need a spring compressor if you do do it yourself, particularly with lowering springs. You can compress it with a jack underneath the LCA and install the nut from the top once the shock comes through the mount hole. It’s not as convenient but it does solve the potential clocking issues and saves a few bucks.

The gas tank only needs to come down a little bit, only lower it so much until you have a straight path to pull the shaft out(front strap bolts only need to be loosened, not removed IME) I highly recommend getting an extra jack and using both to support each side of the tank, with a wide piece of wood between. Makes things much more stable even with a moderate fuel level.

I’ve removed every nut and bolt on both front and rear suspension without air tools. If rust is a factor a grinder and torch is far more necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Make sure the upper shock mounts are clocked correctly or make sure whoever’s doing it does, otherwise you’ll never get them positioned right to bolt up. And you don’t need a spring compressor if you do do it yourself, particularly with lowering springs. You can compress it with a jack underneath the LCA and install the nut from the top once the shock comes through the mount hole. It’s not as convenient but it does solve the potential clocking issues and saves a few bucks.
When you say clocked right you just mean in the correct position or?
 

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Yes, the top mount and LCA mount need to be positioned in a specific direction in relation to each other since there is no bearing for the spring to spin on(like on struts, which these aren’t lol). If it’s misaligned when you bolt the top of the assembly to the towers the bottom claw of the shock will be at an angle to the LCA’s mount, and it’s impossible to rotate due to the spring pressure and friction.

there’s an illustration on the alignment in the shop manual, or use your old assemblies as a guide
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good to know ill be double/triple checking all my work for this job dont want the wheels to fall off haha
 

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The Parts Guy
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I have my wall mount compressor set up such that it captures two of the three mounting studs on the upper mount, fixing it in a set orientation. I pay attention to the orientation of the lower mounting tabs when disassembling, and make sure I line everything up in the same manner when reassembling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So any other tools im gonna need? Someone recommended i have a pickle fork tool to help with removal of some things. I have a spring compressor tool all the wrenches and sockets i should need, we have a vise. Believe thats everything u guys said i will need.
 

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The Parts Guy
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You don't need a pickle fork. The lower balljoints and tie rod ends should be removed from the spindle via the method outlined below.

Please don't attempt to use this kind of spring compressor tool: Steel Macpherson Strut Spring Compressor!

37986
 

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If your ball joints and tie rod ends are stuck enough that just thwacking won't remove them (and old enough, they may be!) there's one tool that helps.

Here's the tool at Harbor Freight: 3/4 in. Ball Joint Separator

There ARE other brands, usually of a better grade. That's just easy to find to show you what it looks like. And for one front end job, it'll do OK.

And two important notes.

1) LUBE THAT SCREW! I can NOT emphasize this enough! If possible, dip it in some motor oil (the old stuff drained from the motor will do fine for this), and make sure it's nice and slick.

2) It does NOT apply the pressure to remove - what it DOES, is apply tension so you can THEN thwack it and it comes out. Expect this tool to go flying when the stud releases.

And a suggestion.

3) After taking the nut off, put it back on just enough to end at the end of the stud; that way it won't all go flying around when it releases.

RwP
 

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If your removing the lower controller arms you need to mark the position that the camber bolt which holds the LCA to the frame is in. If marked correctly and bolted back up in the correct position the camber will be very close to spec and not tear up the tires before alignment.
 

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Yes. That way it's not deadly dangerous driving a mile or two to get it aligned.

RwP
 
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