Front Suspension Idiocy!!! - TCCoA Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
PostWhore
 
dmw_4814's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Age: 56
Posts: 1,164
Send a message via Yahoo to dmw_4814
Front Suspension Idiocy!!!

The title of this post refers to the front suspension of my 1997 Thunderbird sport and the fact I was an IDIOT when I worked on it!!!

On Aug 4th, I replaced ALL my front suspension components that had not already been previously replaced by myself - those parts included new LCA's, new inner & outer tie-rods, new tension-strut bushings (both at the LCA's and the frame) and new Vogtland 1" drop coil springs (both front & rear). I had already replaced the shocks and UCA's.

Well, after I had the passenger-side completely together, I noticed that I had one of the washers backwards (the one on the backside of where the tension-strut goes through the frame, not the one on the forward side of the frame). By backwards, I mean that the dished side of the washer is not facing away from the rubber bushing - I'm not entirely sure it should be the other way, but I put all the other washers on the tension-strut with the dished sides facing AWAY from the bushings because the OE set-up was that way. O.K., so no big deal, right? Well, it kind of bugs the hell out me because I'm REALLY anal about things like that!

So, then I take my car to Sears on Aug 12th to get my new Continental tires mounted and balanced when the mechanic points out to me that the coil spring on the passenger-side is upside-down! I take a look and sure enough, it's exactly opposite the way the driver's-side spring is - duh!!! You see, the Vogtland springs have tighter-wound coils on one end, and the wire at the very end is tapered so that the spring is totally flat on that end. If you sat that end on the ground, the spring would point straight up-and-down; if you turn the spring over, it would lean over to one side because that end is not flat. I installed the driver-side spring with the flat end up, since the underside of the upper mount is flat and the lower spring seat on the shock has a step in it that matches the spring when it's installed that way (Vogtland e-mailed me that it doesn't matter which end is up; just that both sides are installed the same)!

Anyway, to make a long story short, I now need to take my passenger-side suspension back apart to flip the coil spring over and change that washer on the tension-strut, because I'm NOT paying Firestone over $350 to do it for me!!

So, what is the easiest way for me to correct my stupidity?!! If I take the nuts off of the tension-strut both where it goes through the LCA and where it passes through the frame, then take the nut and bolt out of the pinch-joint on the UCA and seperate the spindle from the UCA, will I be able to move the LCA back far enough to get the tension-strut out of the LCA once I also take the shock off of the LCA? I'd also like to change the spring by placing a floor jack under the shock, then removing the piston-rod nut from under the hood and then lowering the jack - that's how I installed them and it was SUPER-EASY because there was no compressing of the spring with a spring-compressor and the upper mount stayed bolted to the car! Or, am I going to have to remove the pivot bolt from the LCA where it bolts to the car body, thereby screwing-up my alignment significantly (I realize I'm just going to have to get an alignment anyway)?

Or, does anybody have any other suggestions I'm not thinking of?

In my defense, I'm really NOT that stupid - I just hadn't had much sleep and it was hotter than hell in my dad's garage when I did this work! Still, I'm not happy with myself, right now!

Dennis

Last edited by dmw_4814; 08-30-2009 at 03:06 AM.
dmw_4814 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:52 AM
6th Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 35
Posts: 604
Dont feel bad... one time i put a brake pad in backwards and didnt notice until after i was driving and heard a nice grinding sound when i came to a stop. *dons flame suit...*

In regards to your question, i have no clue lol - me and suspension dont get along too well.

- 4.8.15.16.23.42 -

"You never even hear it when it happens, do you?"
Canadian_LX is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 05:02 AM
Pedal Faster
 
Josh_Keady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: No. Oregon
Age: 35
Posts: 2,658
Send a message via AIM to Josh_Keady
Not entirely sure it matters what direction you install the spring... my admittedly limited knowledge of the laws of physics tells me that unless it's a high-performance car with a super-sensitive suspension, you're never going to notice the difference.

Josh Keady

1994 Super Coupe ('93 5.0L swap), 1990 Tbird 3.8L, 1982 Honda CB900F, 1972 F-100 SportCustom 4x4, 1970 Chevy Custom Camper / 20
Josh_Keady is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:01 AM
Road warrior extrodinaire

Super Moderator
 
Trunk Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: This Week: Russellville, AR
Posts: 11,804
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw_4814 View Post
...

You see, the Vogtland springs have tighter-wound coils on one end, and the wire at the very end is tapered so that the spring is totally flat on that end. If you sat that end on the ground, the spring would point straight up-and-down; if you turn the spring over, it would lean over to one side because that end is not flat. I installed the driver-side spring with the flat end up, since the underside of the upper mount is flat and the lower spring seat on the shock has a step in it that matches the spring when it's installed that way (Vogtland e-mailed me that it doesn't matter which end is up; just that both sides are installed the same)!

...

I'd also like to change the spring by placing a floor jack under the shock, then removing the piston-rod nut from under the hood and then lowering the jack - that's how I installed them and it was SUPER-EASY because there was no compressing of the spring with a spring-compressor and the upper mount stayed bolted to the car! Or, am I going to have to remove the pivot bolt from the LCA where it bolts to the car body, thereby screwing-up my alignment significantly (I realize I'm just going to have to get an alignment anyway)?

Or, does anybody have any other suggestions I'm not thinking of?

...

Dennis
Here's what I would do about flipping that spring.

Leave the LCA pivot bolt alone. I'd take the spring, shock and upper mount out as an assembly and take that to a shop and have them flip the spring using a spring compressor to take it apart and put it back together.
It should be relatively easy to remove with the front end in the air and the suspension on that side unloaded.
Just make sure that they line it back up right, so that the three upper mount bolts and the LCA mount at the bottom of the shock are in the correct place.

The local Goodyear shop here put mine together with their spring compressor for $25 per side.

Or, you could try the technique that you used initially. I've never tried that way, I don't know if there is enough room to do that with the LCA pivot bolt still attached when the spring is uncompressed to it's full length.

The way you have it mounted, with the flat section of the spring against the top mount, is the same way that mine are installed. Good luck working it out.

Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. FusionŽ Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
Trunk Monkey is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:26 AM
Seasoned PostWhore
 
tbirdtess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Western New York
Age: 53
Posts: 2,542
???

Hello

How tall are the springs? Do you even need a compressor?

I run 12" racing spring in my car. no need for a compressor.

Here is how I remove the shock.

Raise both sides of the front of the car.(sway bar bind thing)
remove tire
unbolt the upper 3 nuts
remove the upper ball joint bolt.(push Control arm up)
Remove the lower shock nut. (No jack needed)

The whole assembly will come out.

Paul

Paul [email protected]
1990 Thunderbird Circle Track Street Stock
351W 2bbl.
C-4 Auto
3.90 open rear
tbirdtess is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
PostWhore
 
dmw_4814's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Age: 56
Posts: 1,164
Send a message via Yahoo to dmw_4814
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh_Keady View Post
Not entirely sure it matters what direction you install the spring... my admittedly limited knowledge of the laws of physics tells me that unless it's a high-performance car with a super-sensitive suspension, you're never going to notice the difference.
The manufacturer of the springs (Vogtland) says that the up and down orientation of the springs does not matter - just that BOTH sides (left/right) have to be the SAME WAY.

As it stands now, both front springs are opposite of each other, so one needs to be flipped.

Dennis
dmw_4814 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TCCoA Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome