Strut/spring reassembly question

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JHZR2

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I'm putting my existing springs onto new struts. I removed the compressor for better or worse from the spring to clean them and put cold galvanizing zinc on the spots where the coating is disturbed. So then I re-compressed the springs and are trying to reassemble. I am compressing at the same point I did to remove, but the compressed spring sits very crooked on the strut. If I allow it to be crooked, just tilt the spring, and put on the bearing/mount, there are a few threads poking through. So I can put the socket on it, hold the shaft with a 6mm hex, and tighten. For now the spring and zinc washer is crooked in the bottom of the strut. Is this normal? The bearing spins free via the mount, very nice. But everything is crooked. So I've been using a HF spark plug socket (my never-used craftsman doesn't fit but the HF does) with a crows foot to tighten it. I'm holding the shaft by the hex. There is no way on the ground or in a vice that I'll be able to torque this thing to 78 ft-lb while holding with the 6mm hex. So my questions are: Is it safe/acceptable to decompress the spring given that the nut has been torqued at least past 20 ft-lb? Is it acceptable to do the final torquing with the strut on the car, where it is well supported, fully safe with the spring in place, etc? Thanks!
 
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It can be hard to compress springs once they are fully released. I try to do the swap with out releasing, but i understand why you did. As long as the springs are compressed enough to not interfere with tightening the top nut, i tighten them as much as i can and install them. After i set the car on its own suspension again i tighten the center nut again. I tighten it as much as i can. i don't like to spin the strut rod though. I also tighten the assembly to body mounts again once the weight is on it. P.S.just make sure the spring end sits where it should on the bottom as you release tension.
 

JC1

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I would try to tighten the top nut as much as you can. Then with the new strut and the old spring together I would try and compress the spring about another inch tighter if you can. That way you can try to get the top nut as tight as possible before reinstalling the strut assembly and making sure the bottom part of the spring is seated correctly in the strut before it's in the car. Regards, JC.
 

JHZR2

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OK thanks. Yes if it doesnt align right to the spot where it is supposed to sit, Ill have to re-compress. 75 ft-lb is incredibly tough to achieve with a system like this, with a 3/8" wrench, etc. it will be MUCH easier to do it on the car... The question really is, how tight is tight enough???
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
OK thanks. Yes if it doesnt align right to the spot where it is supposed to sit, Ill have to re-compress. 75 ft-lb is incredibly tough to achieve with a system like this, with a 3/8" wrench, etc. it will be MUCH easier to do it on the car... The question really is, how tight is tight enough???
I can't say i've ever used my torque wrench to do this, i just go as tight as i can by hand, I figure i'm getting at least 50ft lbs like this. I think a bit (not much)antiseize can help get the nut all the way down with less torque.
 
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JHZR2

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OK Im using a crows foot, which Im sure doesnt help with torque application... Im having a hard time getting 30 ft-lb on my clicker wrench.
 
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The crooked is normal, just make sure the end of the spring sits in the perch...it looks good in the picture. The nuts that come with the struts are designed to not spin on freely. I don't know the correct terminology but the have a "slightly" different pitch than the shaft so they don't loosen up on their own. Impact guns are the easy way, don't worry about spinning the shaft. Struts are designed to spin when you turn the car...just don't go crazy...go in pulses.
 
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You might have better luck going anticlockwise with the hex at the same time as going clockwise with the outer socket. You can spin the center strut shaft. But once you get the top threaded on a few threads, decompress the spring, recenter your compressor, and get that baby lined up on its perch.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: eljefino
You might have better luck going anticlockwise with the hex at the same time as going clockwise with the outer socket. You can spin the center strut shaft. But once you get the top threaded on a few threads, decompress the spring, recenter your compressor, and get that baby lined up on its perch.
Yeah its the "how many threads" question... Were all worried about a compressed spring, but sitting there on the strut, its still under a decent amount of compression...
 
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You can also put a cheater pipe on your allen hex wrench to allow more torque. Don't forget that the crows foot will change your torque wrench readings a bit.
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: eljefino
You might have better luck going anticlockwise with the hex at the same time as going clockwise with the outer socket. You can spin the center strut shaft. But once you get the top threaded on a few threads, decompress the spring, recenter your compressor, and get that baby lined up on its perch.
Yeah its the "how many threads" question... Were all worried about a compressed spring, but sitting there on the strut, its still under a decent amount of compression...
Snug is tight enough on the nut. Its perfectly normal for the spring to be crooked, just try to get it in the right place as you are loosening the compressors. I use a inside hex socket on a 1/2 ratchet and a box wrench to tighten them, torque it up on the car.
 

JHZR2

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Ok. Made reassembly of the second one much more sure and easier. If only I could have not busted the paint on the struts and gotten the stupid zinc washer that goes under the spring to lay flat and proper. Bent a bracket trying to get the zinc and spring aligned proper. Things never go my way with this stuff...
 
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put the bent bracket in your grandfathers vise and put a large screwdriver or something in the strut mounting holes and it should straighten up.
 

JHZR2

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Yeah I got it straightened out. Just annoying that it bent. And that the paint cracked where it bent, plus the spots where the compressor scratched the paint.
 

JHZR2

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Hmmm,... Good point. May have a look. I just don't want it to start to corrode there and then go under the paint and ruin the strut...
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Hmmm,... Good point. May have a look. I just don't want it to start to corrode there and then go under the paint and ruin the strut...
Spray the strut with some Boeshield B9 after it is installed. Allow it to dry. That stuff will hang on for a long time.
 
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