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Mazdaspeed Archive => Suspension => Topic started by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 02:44:55 AM



Title: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 02:44:55 AM
Flat-rate book shows 4 hours rear, 3 front.  I know most good mechanics can cut flat-rate times by a lot.  It will undoubtedly take me longer without a lift and air tools but I've done it before on bigger cars and the thread by millsj in the archives looks pretty straightforward.  I don't understand why the rears call for more time because it looks a lot easier back there, unless they are somehow harder to get to.  My biggest concern is getting the long bolt in front loose and out of the way.


Title: Re:
Post by: Lokiel on February 23, 2016, 03:10:27 AM
6 hours if you know what you're doing and have a rattle gun. Fronts take the longest.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 03:13:45 AM
Thanks,

It might be worth renting an air gun, or looking for a deal at Harbor Freight.  I thought the fronts should take longer.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: joeereid on February 23, 2016, 03:46:55 AM
Fyi. Long bolt method has a lot more complications if you're running the RB Sway Bar and Blocks.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: darkcambria on February 23, 2016, 03:50:24 AM

6 hours if you know what you're doing and have a rattle gun. Fronts take the longest.

That's pretty high. I've done front and rear in a little over 2 hours before.

The rears are pretty easy but it is annoying to get to the nuts for the top of the shocks. The drivers side gets annoying with the fuel filler in the way but that can actually be unbolted and moved out of the way.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: '95MSM on February 23, 2016, 04:06:15 AM
darkcambria summed it up nicely.

I think if I hustled, I could do all four comfortably under two hours using the long-bolt method in the front.

One thing that can really make a difference is what you have for a spring compressor. If you use suicide sticks, add at least half an hour of work and 5 mins of cussing. I compress the assemblies in my hydraulic press - very safe, very reliable results. The last time I used suicide stick spring compressors I broke the last segment of my righthand bird finger when the two compressors decided to meet on one side of the spring.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 04:39:22 AM
Thanks for the warning.  I do have suicide sticks but may rethink how I'll go about it. 


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: mr_hyde on February 23, 2016, 06:16:19 AM
A lot of the variable will depend on how crusty the car is.  If you are in the rust best with a 150k mile year round daily driver, it could be 6 hours per corner and bring a cutting torch.  If you have an Arizona garage queen, 1 hours per corner is reasonable.  With the long bolt, you don't need spring compressors.  Drop the lower control arm with a floor jack.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: m3fan4ever on February 23, 2016, 02:27:02 PM
I just did this job a month ago. I was alone doing this for the first time, the suspension and related bolts had never been touched, used the long bolt method, and watched several youtube videos multiple times before starting. It took about 6-7 hours. I was putting in brand new coilovers so assembling them and adjusting them once on the car is part of that time. Standard tools including an impact wrench. Get yourself some Kroil penetrant. The stuff works magic.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: millsj on February 23, 2016, 05:03:33 PM
If you are looking for tools and are going to be doing work yourself, invest in an electric impact wrench.  It is by far my favorite tool in the shop. 


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 07:28:32 PM
I have an 18v cordless impact wrench and spring compressors.  I never heard the term suicide sticks before but guess that's what 95MSM meant.  The car has been in Florida all its life and I regularly flush out the fender wells when washing or bleeding brakes so I'm hoping it won't be too crudded up under there.  FM tells me the V-Maxx may lower the car a bit.  I don't want to go much lower, but I'm told it won't be much if I use the highest setting.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 23, 2016, 07:41:07 PM
A lot of the variable will depend on how crusty the car is.  If you are in the rust best with a 150k mile year round daily driver, it could be 6 hours per corner and bring a cutting torch.  If you have an Arizona garage queen, 1 hours per corner is reasonable.  With the long bolt, you don't need spring compressors.  Drop the lower control arm with a floor jack.
I was thinking about using that method.  I think there's a thread on that in the archives and will look for it.



Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: 04TitaniumGrayPhilly on February 23, 2016, 08:14:59 PM
When we installed my old TEIN FLEX into my buddy's 02 SE, it took 4 hours including a few small BS breaks, and a front sway bar.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 24, 2016, 02:01:12 AM
Here's a Youtube on the long-bolt method.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrZals4D-BA






Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Lokiel on February 24, 2016, 05:33:39 AM
If you are looking for tools and are going to be doing work yourself, invest in an electric impact wrench.  It is by far my favorite tool in the shop. 
+1
First time I did this job was with hand tools and it took me a LOT longer than 6 hours.
A quality cordless rattle gun is one of the best tools you'll own (awesome for swapping rims and any of those stubborn suspension nuts/bolts) so buy it for this job, it's definitely a good reason to purchase one.

Tip for those rear nuts, especially the one near the fuel line: Use a 6-point impact socket rather than a 12-point or loosely fitting regular socket since those nuts are a bugger to get off and round-off easily. Have some replacement nuts ready to go rather than re-installing the OEM nuts. Impact sockets tend to fit tighter so will be less likely to round/mangle the nut.
- on one car, the owner had mangled his so badly I needed to hammer the socket onto the nuts to remove them (luckily the nut metal was so soft it didn't damage the socket at all).


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Lokiel on February 24, 2016, 05:47:40 AM

6 hours if you know what you're doing and have a rattle gun. Fronts take the longest.

That's pretty high. I've done front and rear in a little over 2 hours before.

The rears are pretty easy but it is annoying to get to the nuts for the top of the shocks. The drivers side gets annoying with the fuel filler in the way but that can actually be unbolted and moved out of the way.
Keith's book quotes 6 hours and I reckon that's about right for a guy doing it on his own using just stands - there always seems to be a show stopper/slower of some form.

If the long bolts come out easily that saves a LOT of time but more often than not I've found the port side harder to remove for some reason. Using the scissor jack under the control arm can help since it takes the weight off the bolt but sometimes you need to use punches to help persuade the long bolt out.

Also, if you have height adjustable shocks, you can spend a lot of time jacking the car up and down, adjusting the shocks to get them right (Hint: do one side until you're happy, then measure the distance between the top and bottom collars and set the other side the same). The shocks will settle over the next couple of days anyway so you'll end up "dicking about" with the height again so don't bother spending too much time getting them perfect initially like I did.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 24, 2016, 07:51:40 PM
I just ordered the V-Maxx shocks, but bushings are back ordered at FM so I'll try to pick up some elsewhere. Regarding the upper shock-mount bolts in the rear, I don't think I'll need to touch those if I use the method jacking up the control arm.  Looks like all I need to remove in the rear are the sway bar link, lower shock mount, ABS sensor and the nut on top of the shock.  I once saw a video that said you have to also remove the sway bar mount, so I'll see when I get in there.





Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: millsj on February 24, 2016, 09:02:59 PM
This how-to details what all you need to do.
http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25152.0.html (http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,25152.0.html)


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on February 25, 2016, 02:21:33 AM
Thanks,

I went over your post in the archives earlier and it was a big help.








Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 09, 2016, 01:37:08 AM
Shocks are in and I'm fiddling with ride height now.  I haven't driven it much but I do notice that it rolls over bumps instead of seeming to slam into them.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 10, 2016, 03:43:23 AM
Got some more miles in today.  Significant improvement, no question.  Body roll doesn't seem to have increased.  Suspension still pleasantly firm but sucks up the bumps now instead of slamming into them.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 13, 2016, 08:00:15 PM
It's scheduled for alignment tomorrow.  I tried to get to 13.5 rear and 13 front, but at 13.5 the helper springs in the rear are fully compressed, so I guess I'll have to go at least an inch lower all around.  Some of the vicious mall speed bumps around here are already a problem but I don't see much choice.


 


Title: Re:
Post by: barmato on March 13, 2016, 11:44:53 PM
The helper springs usually are fully compressed.  Lowering the ride height isn't going to change that unless you lower it so far you're sitting on the bump stops, which you don't want to do.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on March 13, 2016, 11:49:14 PM
It's scheduled for alignment tomorrow.  I tried to get to 13.5 rear and 13 front, but at 13.5 the helper springs in the rear are fully compressed, so I guess I'll have to go at least an inch lower all around.  Some of the vicious mall speed bumps around here are already a problem but I don't see much choice.

This makes no sense at all   :shockeyes:


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: millsj on March 14, 2016, 12:31:34 AM
I'm at about 12.75" in the rear with helper springs. My helpers are only about 10 lb springs and are only there to keep the main spring seated against the top hat when I jack up the car. I could easily drop the rear another 2" or more but I have no interest in going very low. If you have adjustable spring perches, you should be able to go lower if you want.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 14, 2016, 01:55:43 AM
It's scheduled for alignment tomorrow.  I tried to get to 13.5 rear and 13 front, but at 13.5 the helper springs in the rear are fully compressed, so I guess I'll have to go at least an inch lower all around.  Some of the vicious mall speed bumps around here are already a problem but I don't see much choice.

This makes no sense at all   :shockeyes:

Where am I wrong?



Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on March 14, 2016, 02:02:50 AM
You say you can't get to 13.5" but yet you want to go lower.

Wait, do you mnean you wanted to go higher to avoid the helper springs from being compressed??  They are going to be compressed until the springs are unloaded.  the helper springs are designed to help keep the springs seated when the suspension is unloaded and them being compressed when loaded is fine.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 14, 2016, 02:11:12 AM
No, I got it to 13.5 and 13, but I was concerned that the helper springs were effectively only spacers at that point because they were fully compressed.  I just dropped it to 12.5 and 12 and now the helper springs are showing some space between the coils.  I've never had a setup with helper springs, so I'm not entirely sure how they're supposed to function, but it didn't look right to me to have them bound like that.




Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 14, 2016, 02:27:10 AM
To clarify, the helper springs were squeezed flat with the suspension unweighted and a perch setting that got me to 13.5.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: pokeyjo on March 14, 2016, 03:29:04 AM
Did anyone else find it too much longer than expected to loosen the bolts for the sway bar mount on the passenger side?  On my car the inter cooler pipe gave me very little arc to twist the wrench.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: ZaXoS on March 14, 2016, 05:31:38 AM
will an alignment change ride height on the miata? Say within half an inch or less?
Still trying to figure out why all my wheels are on different ride height within .25 or so from each other (left to right)


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: millsj on March 14, 2016, 12:45:51 PM
Just set your ride height to a height in which you feel comfortable and don't worry about what the helper springs look like.  The helpers don't have any sort of affect on handling.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: SilverMiataRacer on March 14, 2016, 01:08:18 PM
will an alignment change ride height on the miata? Say within half an inch or less?
Still trying to figure out why all my wheels are on different ride height within .25 or so from each other (left to right)

It is normal for the standard suspension to be different on each corner.  It's actually normal for coilovers to be different if you adjust them for corner weighting and not even ride height.

As for your question, no, ride height affects alignment not the other way around.


Title: Re: How much time to swap shocks?
Post by: Qwimby1 on March 14, 2016, 02:50:32 PM
Just set your ride height to a height in which you feel comfortable and don't worry about what the helper springs look like.  The helpers don't have any sort of affect on handling.

Thanks.  It looks like 13 is as high as the V-Maxx wants to go.  At 13.5 there were almost no adjustment threads left and I was concerned about coil bind, though the car did ride quite well.  I didn't think the helper springs should be bound with the suspension unloaded, but I guess that doesn't matter much.