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Need advice on front shock installation

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by Beau02, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Lots of small stuff; Grillcraft MX, Bilstein 5100's, Deck Plate Mod w/ K&N air filter, Airaid MIT, braided SS brake lines, Redline Tuning QuickLIFT hood struts, Extang Full-Tilt tonneau cover, fog light mod, gray wire mod, power outlets on-demand, Diff breather ext, additional contours to passenger side from oak tree.
    I recently joined TW, and reading all of the threads on shock installation inspired to me to do the job myself instead of just taking it to a shop. I got a set of 5100s from Downsouth Motorsports and started the task this afternoon.

    So, the rears are on and that was pretty simple. I have the front passenger assembly off and have put the spring on the new shock. Now I can't seem to get the assembly back on? The issue is that I can't get the bottom of the shock compressed enough to line up with the mounting holes. Is there some sort of trick to this? I haven't seen anything in the threads about having trouble compressing it to the point of being able to get the lower bolt in.

    Hopefully this makes sense. Can anyone give me some advice on completing the installation so I can get my taco back on the road???
     
  2. mjp2

    mjp2 The Lost Mod of Akalabeth Staff Member

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    Is the lower control arm hitting something and preventing it from drooping as much as you need?
     
  3. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Lots of small stuff; Grillcraft MX, Bilstein 5100's, Deck Plate Mod w/ K&N air filter, Airaid MIT, braided SS brake lines, Redline Tuning QuickLIFT hood struts, Extang Full-Tilt tonneau cover, fog light mod, gray wire mod, power outlets on-demand, Diff breather ext, additional contours to passenger side from oak tree.
    I can't imagine it would be stopped by anything - should I have disconnected something? The only thing under the truck right now is the jack stand on the frame. If I push down on the wheel hub I can make it drop a little, but not enough to get the holes line up, and of course when I take my weight off it returns back up to a resting position. I even tried putting the rim back on hoping that added weight would make it sag a little more and help out, but it didn't make much difference other than taking my working space away...
     
  4. chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    You may have to disconnect your lower control arm. At the lower part of the spindle, you will see 2 bolts. One on each side of the lower ball joint. Remove the 2 bolts and that will allow the lower control arm to drop enough to install the assembly.
     
  5. ChrisYoTaCoMa

    ChrisYoTaCoMa Chrome's for Harleys and old farts

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    I had to use a pry bar to hold it down to get the bolt in.
     
  6. TacoNut

    TacoNut IgnoringChrisWatchingEdLi veVicariouslyThroughMJP2

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    You won't be able to compress the coil over because of the spring. You need to get your Lower A arm to drop a little to get room to install.
     
  7. monoman

    monoman Time to get dirty!

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    Hey, nothing here, stop doing that!!
    Just look to your right! ->
    Just a little trick my cuz told me about when re-installing my springs after replacing my front shocks. (Had the same problem) Take your bottle jack that came with your truck & put it upside down on top of the a-arm. The bottom side of the jack should be snug on the top of the wheel well. Now just crank the jack little by little untill you can get that bottom bolt on. It works like a charm!

    ....and don't worry, you wont bend the inside of the wheel well! You just need a little bit to get it to work.....
     
  8. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Lots of small stuff; Grillcraft MX, Bilstein 5100's, Deck Plate Mod w/ K&N air filter, Airaid MIT, braided SS brake lines, Redline Tuning QuickLIFT hood struts, Extang Full-Tilt tonneau cover, fog light mod, gray wire mod, power outlets on-demand, Diff breather ext, additional contours to passenger side from oak tree.
    Thanks for the tips fellas - I'm planning on attacking it again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll get the passenger side back together and can do the driver side a little quicker.

    Side Note: I think the next time I'm going to take them somewhere to have the springs swapped . . . what a miserable task!
     
  9. mtucker

    mtucker Tacoma addict

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    I did that too. I used the middle setting on the 5100 and it took just a few pumps of the jack to lower the A-arm enough to get the shock hold lined up with the A-arm hole. It worked great.
    Matt
     
  10. FuTang909Inamo

    FuTang909Inamo Well-Known Member

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    Try disconnecting the sway bar before the ball joint(s). And yes the bottle jack is effective. When I did mine I did it with the bottle up not upside down. When I tried it upside down the bottle would slip. Also make sure you torque your hardware. The top 3 strut nuts, torque to 47ft lbs. The lower 101 ft lbs. IMO it would be a good idea to re-torque after you test drive your truck.
     
  11. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Okay, I got the passenger side back together and almost immediately ran aground on the driver side. I can't seem to get the lower bolt out. I soaked it with oil and now I'm waiting for it to soak in. I'm hoping that does the trick...

    Will the tips above also work in helping get the lower bolt free by easing up some of the pressure?
     
  12. chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    Get the nut off, and I usually use a 6" 3/8 socket extension and tap it out with a hammer.
     
  13. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    I'll try that again in a little bit after the oil soaks in. I've been beating on it with a dead blow hammer and even tried a standard hammer, but the standard hammer started to distort the end of the bolt so I stopped.
     
  14. TacoNut

    TacoNut IgnoringChrisWatchingEdLi veVicariouslyThroughMJP2

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    Do you have a drift pin you can use to knock it out?
     
  15. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    I'm not totally sure what a drift pin is? Is it like a large diameter punch?
     
  16. dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    Yes, it seems like you need to take the tension off of the bolt to get it out.
     
  17. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Can you elaborate on that a little? What's my best bet to take the tension off?
     
  18. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Lots of small stuff; Grillcraft MX, Bilstein 5100's, Deck Plate Mod w/ K&N air filter, Airaid MIT, braided SS brake lines, Redline Tuning QuickLIFT hood struts, Extang Full-Tilt tonneau cover, fog light mod, gray wire mod, power outlets on-demand, Diff breather ext, additional contours to passenger side from oak tree.
    Okay, I found the root of the problem, but it only makes me more concerned...

    It isn't a matter of pressure on the bolt, but rather that it's actually seized up inside the shock bushing. It will turn a little just because the soft bushing/damping material will allow it. My new plan is to douse it in penetrating oil, let it sit again overnight, and beat the hell out of it with a hammer again tomorrow. I hope that does it since I'll need to get to work on Monday!

    Any words of wisdom now that the real cause has presented itself?
     
  19. FuTang909Inamo

    FuTang909Inamo Well-Known Member

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    That's weird...the right came out easy but the left is seized up. I used a pry bar and just tapped the bolt out while working the pry bar at the same time.
     
  20. Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    2002 4x4 Limited TRD V6 Auto (176k, 1-owner)
    Lots of small stuff; Grillcraft MX, Bilstein 5100's, Deck Plate Mod w/ K&N air filter, Airaid MIT, braided SS brake lines, Redline Tuning QuickLIFT hood struts, Extang Full-Tilt tonneau cover, fog light mod, gray wire mod, power outlets on-demand, Diff breather ext, additional contours to passenger side from oak tree.
    Well, I finally gave up. I'll have to take it somewhere this week to get the last shock installed. I ran out of ideas. I even soaked it with penetrating oil, put it back together, and drove it around on some bumpy roads hoping that would help loosen it up . . . no dice.

    Thanks for the tips though - I appreciate everyone's input.
     
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