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Help getting lower control arm to drop enough for shock removal

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Old 07-04-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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Question Help getting lower control arm to drop enough for shock removal

Wondering if anyone has any tips to help me complete my front 5100 shock upgrade. I've gotten as far as unbolting the top of the shock assembly along with the 2 bolts on the end of the lower control arm (near the wheel). I've also loosened the bolts at the root of the control arm where the alignment cams are. But I'm not sure how much loosening is required as I can't get the lower control arm to drop enough to totally remove tension on the spring.

On the rear attachment point I've got the nut completely removed and the 2 alignment cams are floating free. On the front point, one of the cams is free but the other is stuck in place, but the entire bolt that goes through it is free to move. Hopefully this makes sense. Any suggestions for getting the LCA to drop further so I can remove the shock?
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Help getting lower control arm to drop enough for shock removal-top-shock-assembly.jpg   Help getting lower control arm to drop enough for shock removal-lca-rear-alignment-bolts.jpg   Help getting lower control arm to drop enough for shock removal-lca-front-alignment-bolts.jpg  
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
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First, you need to re install the center top nut on the shock shaft, and remove the 3 nuts on the perimiter.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
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maybe a bottle jack pushing down?
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
First, you need to re install the center top nut on the shock shaft, and remove the 3 nuts on the perimiter.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Yeah - it looks like you're trying to use the "no spring compressor" method.

Have you watched this video??

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st...sor-video.html

It would be a bad idea to try and unload the spring without even knowing that you're doing it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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Quick, replace that center nut and remove the three outside of it

No - you didn't have to remove or loosen the main lower control arm bolts where the allingment cams are. There are two bolts under the lower arm that bolt to the knuckle. Take those out and you will be able to slide the steering knuckle over and then will be able to maneuver the shock out. You may have to twist it out letting the coil guide you like removing a big screw.

Don't pull the knuckle too far out as you may pull your cv axle out of the slip yoke, but you'll have some play to get that coilover out.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
First, you need to re install the center top nut on the shock shaft, and remove the 3 nuts on the perimiter.
I'm trying to use the "no spring compressor" technique. Isn't it correct to leave those 3 and just remove the bolt from the top of the stack for this approach?
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutbackHack View Post
I'm trying to use the "no spring compressor" technique. Isn't it correct to leave those 3 and just remove the bolt from the top of the stack for this approach?
stupid idea
go rent one from autozone or simular
also looks like all your lca alingment tabs are completly folded over
and if what u say is true about your alingment cam i bet your cam is frozen into the lca.....
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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My local alignment shop charged me $30 to swap my coils it took him no time at all and i didnt pinch a finger loose an eye or break a sweat. The 1st time Ididit with an autozone comppressor and it was still quite a bit of work. Your just playin w fire. If you don't have $30 to have a shop do it you prob shouldn't even be lifting your truck.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brutalguyracing View Post
stupid idea
go rent one from autozone or simular
also looks like all your lca alingment tabs are completly folded over
and if what u say is true about your alingment cam i bet your cam is frozen into the lca.....
i think using the one from autozone is more of a stupid idea that using the truck that is surrounds the spring on three sides
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrmathis View Post
i think using the one from autozone is more of a stupid idea that using the truck that is surrounds the spring on three sides
i have used this one from auto zone many many times
never had a problem ive done 885x's and stock coils with them
very safe if done correctly and in all of 5 minutes


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Old 07-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bakerla View Post
and barefoot too
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #14
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For the "no spring compressor" method - there are three key elements here:

1. You don't need to remove the alignment cam nuts. You've got them plenty loose already.
2. You've gotta be supporting the LCA with a nice big sturdy stable floor jack so it can't go flying
3. You need to remove the two (four on some older models) bolts that hold the lower control arm to the spindle/lower-ball-joint assembly.

Be safe man. If you're doing it right, the jack will support the entire load and you'll never feel like you're loosening any bolts or nuts that are under load. This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing. If you're loosening a "loaded" bolt it'll feel tight, and something will go flying at high speed in a random direction when the last thread comes free.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurley0568 View Post
Man I had that same problem. I had to get a long steel pole
To pry the lower control arm down. It should slide in. I'm not telling you to do this but it worked for me. Good luck brother
You removed the entire coilover right? That's how I did it - but that's a different disassembly technique than what the original poster is trying to do.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
For the "no spring compressor" method - there are three key elements here:

1. You don't need to remove the alignment cam nuts. You've got them plenty loose already.
2. You've gotta be supporting the LCA with a nice big sturdy stable floor jack so it can't go flying
3. You need to remove the two (four on some older models) bolts that hold the lower control arm to the spindle/lower-ball-joint assembly.
Done. Plus I removed the swaybar and the top nut on the shock after lifting it to leave the tension. However when I slowly drop the floor jack out of the way the LCA seems to be limiting the downward travel of the shock, the spring never gets completely unloaded and the top of the shock doesn't clear the hole in the frame.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutbackHack View Post
Done. Plus I removed the swaybar and the top nut on the shock after lifting it to leave the tension. However when I slowly drop the floor jack out of the way the LCA seems to be limiting the downward travel of the shock, the spring never gets completely unloaded and the top of the shock doesn't clear the hole in the frame.
What's holding it back?

Once the two bolts that hold it to the lower spindle/ball-joint are removed, and the bolt that goes through the lower shock eye is out, the unsupported lower-control-arm should be able to swing like a door all the way down until it's hanging vertically.

If I were in your shoes at this point, and I couldn't figure out where the "hidden' tension was hiding, I'd jack it back up, put the center bolt back on the shock, remove the 3 bolts holding the complete coilover, and drop the entire coilover away and out. You don't want to be messing around with 500lbs of tension hiding there, just waiting for you to unexpectedly release it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #18
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Whos the one that completely destroyed your cams?!? Good luck with that man....
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #19
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Thanks. I'll try rebolting the coilover assembly back together and dropping the LCA again to try troubleshooting it some more without worrying about the spring releasing.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #20
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Does the lower control arm freely separate from the ball joint spindle?

You may have rust holding it in place even after the bolts are removed.

That would be a bit dangerous as rust is holding the tension and will let it go unexpectedly.

In that case, I'd reapply the center nut to the the shock so that it's holding the shock.

Then I'd hit the lower control arm with a hammer to cause it to separate from the lower ball joint. It won't go anywhere since not loaded by the spring. Then I'd jack the LCA back into place, use it to hold the spring pressure, remove the top nut and try again.

Again, err on the side of caution here.
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