1996 Acura Integra: front suspension problems

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Old 09-24-16, 11:08 PM
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1996 Acura Integra: front suspension problems

1996 Acura Integra LS 4 door automatic:


Removed old strut from front driver side and installed new one onto shock spring. Trying to put the unit back onto car but the suspension won't go far enough down to reconnect lower control arm bolt.

I am stepping on the suspension with full force but it still comes up short by about 1/4 inch or less. I have watched videos of this job and there always seemed to be enough play in suspension to easily connect lower control arm bolt.

Not sure what to do about this.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 06:58 AM
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Like in this video?
Is your suspension same?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ko9leCf2t0
INstall bottom strut end first. Then you surely have CA bolt in place. get jack under the CA and jack it up so that strut plate bolts go into the fender.
Report back please.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 08:35 AM
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That is the video I watched. Suspension is the same. But when I attach the fork to the lca it sits higher so i am having to step on it.
I only have one side on jack stand. Going to jack up both sides and remove both tires. This is the way it was last time I did this and I did not have this problem.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 10:10 AM
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looks like I put the passenger side spring on the driver side. This might be causing the problem.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 11:27 AM
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very plausible. They do have difference. Though I doubt as spring length is determined by shock length. Shock rod to be exact. If you have a longer spring on and have upper plate tightened all the way down, that's the length you get. Longer spring will simply compress a bit. You sure you do not have the opposite side STRUT? Just in case. I've done strange things myself.
It should not matter one side up or both.
LONG prybar strategically driven through LCA and under crossmember will give you enough leverage to press it down. Suitable piece of lumber or pipe will work too.
BTW, have you considered installing strut into wishbone and then installing it?
 
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Old 09-25-16, 11:48 AM
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A long pry bar is what I always used.but I was always on a rack also.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 04:23 PM
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Yeah it's sort of hard to DIY single person as you have to jump on CA to bring it down while feeding bolt through. Some acrobatics required. Or 2nd set of hands.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 07:05 PM
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Got both new struts on to the front except that the right pinch bolt would only go in about 80 percent. I stopped before I stripped it out. I went for a short test drive for a few blocks and there is a clunking sound on the right side. Both bump stops inside the old struts were toast, (which I had not anticipated). I replaced them with polyurethane bushings temporarily. Guessing this is the source of the clunking.

Planning to take this to my local guy before I do any damage to the car. Would it be safe to drive it to the shop? Probably going less than 2 miles.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 08:56 PM
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Angry

did a little research and found that the clanging noise could be a loose upper strut mount Had a hard time getting these really tight because I don't have a ratcheting wrench. Going to buy one and snug these down tight and see if that helps.

Can the upper strut mount bushings be changed without having to take the shock out again?

I don't think I can handle another hour using the coil spring compressor.
 
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Old 09-25-16, 09:20 PM
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Just call it quits and give the job to someone better equipped.
 
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Old 09-26-16, 08:49 PM
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taking it to the shop tomorrow.

I was able to use a drill bit to socket adapter and my compact drill driver to snug the strut mount to a point where I am comfortable that I can drive it downtown without damaging the new struts.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 07:58 AM
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Don't feel offended or down. it is very hard to advise anyone over the internet. Job like this is done with simple basic tools but may require some ingenuity with coming up with cheat pipes and such. For the future reference, simply replace strut with QuickStrut or its equivalent from KYB. Those are 20 minute replacement jobs. No hassling with spring compressor. Also, most suspension shops will swap shock on strut for you for small fee. There are many ways to skin this bear and not all of them are cheaper but surely more convenient - and safe.
Also, if you really want to DIY such things, get a clamshell spring compressor. best tool for the job ever.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 07:56 PM
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No offense here. I appreciate the feedback. Tightening down the strut tower nuts solved the clanging problem. The car has a nice ride even though only the front struts are new. I asked the shop to double check my work just to be sure.

Going to have the shop do the rear struts. Even though I was able to use the spring compressor without incident in the front, $200 out the door just sounded like a smarter plan.

I had already replaced the front sway bar end link bushings and the shop is going to do the rear. Should be riding smooth and squeak free by the end of the week


Thanks.
 
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