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installing new struts on my 98

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by toms98tacoma, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:17 PM
    #1
    toms98tacoma

    toms98tacoma [OP] New Member

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    Does anyone have a trick I don't know about? What kind of spring compressor do you need for the front struts?
    I just removed a strut and found myself in the emergecy room getting eight stiches in my hand.I'm real lucky I didn't lose a finger.
    Man those things are under some real tension.
    It appears that the spring compressor I rented from ADVANCED AUTO PARTS can't compress the springs the 3 plus inches needed.
    Now I've got a truck with one strut sitting in my garage and one hand to fix it with.
    HELP!!!!
     
  2. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM
    #2
    bwhit

    bwhit Well-Known Member

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    WOW, you are lucky...I'm not sure what kind of compressor they rented you but I went to autozone and got this
    [​IMG]
    $50 to rent, 100% refunded upon return. Worked great for me on the 5100's. Some folks said the ones they got from autozone didn't work for them. I had a buddy helping so we were able to compress both sides at the same rate...worked out pretty well. note: the safety pins you see pictured did not fit around my springs, went ahead without them...scared the whole time but seemed pretty secure. Put the eye of the shock in a vice if you have access...makes working verticle much easier. If you don't feel comfortable with any of this save your limbs and possibly your life and pay a shop to switch them out, it's not worth your skin.
     
  3. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:32 PM
    #3
    bwhit

    bwhit Well-Known Member

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    this = DEATH....do not position your body in-line with the shock and spring under compression.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:35 PM
    #4
    LonghornTaco

    LonghornTaco Can you pass the bailout please?

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    Man - glad to hear that you weren't hurt worse! I bought a pair of compressors from OReillys when I was doing my lift and started getting nervous when the bolts started to bend. And I think it was just like the ones I would have rented from them. Glad I didn't keep going!

    I ended up taking them to an auto shop to get compressed and the guy said it was REALLY hard to get them together. Said it was a bullet waiting to go off.
     
  5. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:42 PM
    #5
    toms98tacoma

    toms98tacoma [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the info. BWIT.
    I removed the strut first then tried to use the spring compressor to reinstall.
    I may have placed them too far apart.
    The compressor is like the one you used.
    I've done alot of shocks but never did struts.
    I'll try again in the morning.
     
  6. Nov 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM
    #6
    bwhit

    bwhit Well-Known Member

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    Be safe man...those things are dangerous as you found out. It's not just the springs you have to look out for, if those compressors slip off together you got a missle flying around.
     
  7. Nov 29, 2008 at 9:44 PM
    #7
    dually

    dually Low and slow

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    Not as many as the 98..
    Did you unbolt the bottom A-arm from the spindle? Thats what I had to do to put in my Eibach springs. I used a spring compressor from O'Reillys, but also chained the spring to the frame so it wouldnt rocket off. It went really smoothly..
     
  8. Nov 29, 2008 at 10:44 PM
    #8
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    yeah.....definitely be safe when you get back at it in the am man!!! glad to hear you werent hurt worse than you were.....................spring compressers care really mess ya up if you arent familiar with them or have never used them before.
     
  9. Nov 30, 2008 at 6:52 AM
    #9
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    USE this diagram!!

    If you don't have the bolts lined up properly, you won't be able to put it back on the truck.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nov 30, 2008 at 5:11 PM
    #10
    toms98tacoma

    toms98tacoma [OP] New Member

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    17" wheels added springs with 4 leafs
    I just finished the job,went Christmas shopping most of the day.
    I used a couple of crowbars and my wife to help gain the last inch of clearance and then hammered the lower bolt in.
    I've gained a new respect for the force on those springs.
    I really appreciate all the suggestions,they had me re-think the way I was doing things.
    I'll probably be posting again soon,I know enough about cars and trucks to be dangerous.My hand is real sore but appears to be healing.
    Thanks again.:proposetoast:
    Tom
     
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