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TR4 Fitting New Shock Absorbers - Help please!


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Hi,

I have just fitted new bushes to the front suspension of my TR4 and the only thing left to do is fit the (new) shock absorbers. Simple you may say but please share the secret of how to get that fiddly bracket on the studs and the top nut fitted!

I guess the spring needs to be compressed with a jack underneath?

Where to put the jack though that will not break something (e.g. grease nipples) or obstruct the shock absorbers from entering from underneath the spring.

Thanks

Robert 

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I took the grease nipple out of the bottom trunnion, then jacked up the car and placed wooden blocks under the bottom trunnion, then lowering the car`s weight onto the blocks compressed the spring enough to get the shocker in. It was still all rather fiddly I remember.

Ralph

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You really should be using a suitable spring-compressor - a search of the forum will find many threads on the subject and examples ranging from the original Churchill service tool to various home-made options. All use a big strong threaded bar through the spring with appropriate plates.

do be careful - there is a lot of compressed force in there, using a decent tool would be wise.

...... Andy 

 

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+1 with Andy. People are killed or have fingers removed by springs every year, the idea of trying to control the spring forces with an under car Jack and wiggling the shock absorber out makes me wince…akin to juggling with knives. It’s not that it can’t be done but you really shouldn’t.

If you make up a beefy threaded bar with a selection of bridges and various ends it can be turned to a lot of jobs apart from spring removal, engine liner pulling, and many other close fitting parts, it’s worth doing it safely.

Mick Richards

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Sorry, but how can you use "the proper" spring compressor when trying to fit the shock absorber?. Doesn`t it get in the way?

Ralph

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You cant fit the shock absorber by compressing the spring with a spring compressor, you need to do as stated above take the grease nipple out and with a suitable sized piece of wood under the trunnion then just jack the whole lot up a little until you can catch the top nut on the shock.

Stuart.

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Clearly, one cannot have a spring compressor in use when changing the shock absorber because the compressor would be inserted in place of the shocker, and would only be required if one were changing a spring.

Ralph has a good solution, but another, as long as the car is restrained from moving fore or aft, is to place a hefty block of timber under the brake disc so as to hold the suspension compressed sufficiently to permit the bump stop to be removed and then the shocker.  The timber must be large enough to ensure that the disc won't spin!

Ian Cornish

 

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2 minutes ago, ianc said:

Clearly, one cannot have a spring compressor in use when changing the shock absorber because the compressor would be inserted in place of the shocker, and would only be required if one were changing a spring.

Ralph has a good solution, but another, as long as the car is restrained from moving fore or aft, is to place a hefty block of timber under the brake disc so as to hold the suspension compressed sufficiently to permit the bump stop to be removed and then the shocker.  The timber must be large enough to ensure that the disc won't spin!

Ian Cornish

 

I your going down that route you would be better under the hub as theres the disc water shield in the way on most cars behind the disc.

Stuart.

Edited by stuart
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Robert Could you please clarify whether the road springs are already fitted to the car or not ?

If not , then follow all the safety precautions given in the replies.

Once fitted you can leave the car secure on axle stands under the chassis, with the road wheel removed.

Remove the four nuts and spring washers securing the damper / shock Absorber lower mounting brackets to the underside

of the lower wishbone. Remove the locknut and nut , washer and upper rubber mounting from the top of the damper / shock Absorber. Withdraw the damper / Shock Absorber from the lower wishbone and remove the rubber mounting and washer from the damper rod. Remove the bolt and nut from the damper brackets to the damper. Clean up and fit new the new ones. ( Repair Operation Manual 60.20.02 )

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I have two axle stands with a section of angle iron bolted to the top.   The upright face of the angle iron has two holes drilled in it that fit over two wheel studs.  
Secure the angle to the hub face with wheel nuts.  Securely bolt the angle to the top of the axle stand. Lower the whole car so the weight is taken on the hub supported by the axle stand.  Be sure the car is high enough to get an extended shock into place.

That allows the car to sit in road going position so the front shocks can be fitted.

Peter  W

86D74E54-F932-41D1-A8CA-C15B9734B323.jpeg

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Thanks everyone. I think the various messages above have highlighted the problem which is that a spring compressor cannot be used as it uses the space where the damper/shock absorber normally sits.  Removal of the damper all went to plan and without hitch. The issue is with reassembly and with everything else assembled on the car .... how can the spring be compressed enough to allow the damper to be fitted?

The answer as I had been wrestling with seems to be to use the cars weight to compress the spring but as explained this needs the grease nipple to be removed and the careful positioning of timber to jack up (or lower) the car which will compress the spring. Of course the car needs to stay high enough off the ground to allow the damper to be fitted from below.

Thanks for the support.

   

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Well ... I am please to report a small success as after a lot of fiddling around I have managed to fit one of the dampers. Sadly however the "two steps forward one back" principle has raised its head as when I came to tighten the nut on the top of the damper the entire shaft (on the damper) is turning so it will not tighten.  

It is an adjustable Gaz damper and comes with a nyloc nut on the top which of course grips the shaft and hence contributing to the problem. Not standard part I know but any suggestions as to how to get the nut tightened (preferably without taking it off again!) are most welcome? 

My best theory is that once the car is lowered off the jack the damper will seat and be pressed hard up against the top of the turret and I will be able to get the nut tightened but .... frankly I am not convinced!

All suggestions welcome.

Many thanks

Robert

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1 hour ago, rjs993 said:

Well ... I am please to report a small success as after a lot of fiddling around I have managed to fit one of the dampers. Sadly however the "two steps forward one back" principle has raised its head as when I came to tighten the nut on the top of the damper the entire shaft (on the damper) is turning so it will not tighten.  

It is an adjustable Gaz damper and comes with a nyloc nut on the top which of course grips the shaft and hence contributing to the problem. Not standard part I know but any suggestions as to how to get the nut tightened (preferably without taking it off again!) are most welcome? 

My best theory is that once the car is lowered off the jack the damper will seat and be pressed hard up against the top of the turret and I will be able to get the nut tightened but .... frankly I am not convinced!

All suggestions welcome.

Many thanks

Robert

Robert - does your telescopic not have some sort of flats on the very end of the top thread - many do to counter this exact problem. You might get away with putting the full weight of the car on it to hopefully gain sufficient grip to tighten the nut , but if not and there are no flats to grip, could you not file some across the top few threads or cut a slot in the top to grip with a screwdriver? 

Cheers Rich

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Stuart - you're correct, placing wooden block beneath hub (rather then the disc) is easier, and I have a feeling that's what I did when I fitted new Konis a couple of years ago.

Peter's tool is very neat and very safe.

The Koni shocker has a flat, so one can grip this to prevent rotation when turning the nut.  I'm pretty sure that the standard shocker is the same.

Ian Cornish

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Thanks everyone the support has been fantastic.

Prompted by the comments above I took a close look at the damper on the workbench (waiting to be fitted to the other side). No flats ... but it does have a very clever allen-key cut out in the center of the shaft. Very effective it must be said! 

It would have been nice if this had been mentioned in the paperwork that came with the damper though!

Till the next time.

Thanks again.

Robert

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  • TorontoTim changed the title to TR4 Fitting New Shock Absorbers - Help please!

I did this again very recently. 

I got the bottom spring base as horizontal as possible by jacking it up at the outer edge so that you can still get access to where the shock absorber has to go. 

I also loosened the the bottom bush bolt so that the bracket can be swivelled and more easily pushed on to the 4 studs. 

The shock absorber piston should be extended as much as possible and the shock absorber can then be fitted. 

Don't forget to retighten the bottom bush bolt.

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