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Next on the list front shocks, but first

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Old 15 Apr 2016, 11:19 am
rsrocket1's Avatar
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Default Next on the list front shocks, but first

Two days ago, I replaced the upper and lower torque struts on my 09 Cruiser.
The old bushings were non-existant so it was good to have changed them. After putting them in but before tightening the bolts, I could not get the spacing to 119mm. The best I could to was 116mm.

After speaking with NitroPT yesterday, I went back to try to adjust the upper torque strut spacing to 119mm as stated in the service manual. No matter where I tried placing the floor jack, I could not get the spacing any larger than 113mm. I had to use two 2"x4" blocks and another 2"x4" section stood on end in order to reach the engine in the already lifted car. After an hour of adjustments and repositioning the jack everywhere I could, I had to throw in the towel and concede 116mm was the best I could do. It was only 3mm difference so it couldn't be too bad.

My shocks came in yesterday so while I had the wheel off and the car up on jacks, I could take the opportunity to put in the new shocks. These were complete assemblies with springs so I didn't have to risk life and limb swapping the old ones out. The shocks also came with the top plate clocked properly so there were no adjustments needed.

Changing the front shock assemblies was a piece of cake which was good because by the time I got over to the left side, the sun had gone down and I was doing it in the dark with just a 6" work light. Everything took twice as long to do in the dark were you have to keep moving the light around.

A couple of quick bursts with the impact wrench on the strut nuts while holding the bolt steady made for easy removal. Make sure you turn the nuts and not the bolts which are splined. I drove the bolts out with a few whacks of a plastic mallet.

New shocks

They felt good, but so far the biggest improvement in the ride of this car has been #1 replacing the worn out torque struts which made the car feel like it was floating and caused a noticeable "clunk" when accelerating after coasting and #2 replacing the rear shocks which were also completely worn out and essentially doing nothing.

This morning, I was going to ask if anyone else had trouble adjusting their torque struts to meet the 119mm distance when I looked at the service manual illustration one more time. Additionally, the manual says to support the engine in front of the centerline of the engine. There was no way you could increase the distance measurement when rotating the top of the engine towards the back of the car. Then it hit me. I was measuring bolt center-to-bolt center and not what the figure told me I was supposed to measure which was bolt center to a hole on the support. DOH!

So I took a proper measurement just a little while ago and it showed the current spacing to be 123mm. Not bad, but certainly adjustable to 119mm. Oh well, one more time under the car.

Last edited by rsrocket1; 08 Dec 2017 at 02:21 am.
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