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Thread: HOW TO: Protege 5 Strut and Sway Bar install

  1. #1
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    HOW TO: Protege 5 Strut and Sway Bar install

    This post is to help you install struts and a sway bar on a protege5 as well as troubleshoot problems with the install. If you run into problems like I did and no replacement parts, it may take you up to 12hrs (seriously, if all your bolts are seized)

    Tools you will need

    Big ass breaker bar (½” drive)
    Sockets 10-21mm (x2)
    Metric Hex keys, 6mm is defiantly needed but you should just have a whole set
    Lots of wrenches both ¼ and ½” drive
    Wire wheel and wire brushes for air drill
    Jack stands and preferably a hydraulic jack
    Dremel or rotary tool with lots of wire wheels and wire brushes
    Utility knife or “exacto” knife
    Spring Compressor
    At least a full can if liquid wrench
    Optional but really useful, compressor with impact gun, air wrench, air drill
    Blade screw driver (smaller one)

    Step 1: the night before wash your wheel wells and try and get all the dirt out, once dry, soak ALL bolts in your wheel well with liquid wrench



    Step 2: Jack the front of the car up and place on jack stands, then take your wheels off, this is where the impact gun and hydraulic jack will come in handy

    Step 3: Open your hood and mark the orientation of stock struts, there is a white dot that is pointing in a specific location. (if you are looking directly at the strut, or looking at the Tokico logo, the white mark should be on the furthest right corner if you are on a lowered car, if you are running stock springs, when looking at the logo the dot should be closest towards you on the right)



    Step 4: Remove the ABS sensor, if you pull or damage this sensor its going to be $$$ our of your pocket going to the stealership. I think it’s a 12mm to take them off, 1 is the cable guide/mount that connects to the strut itself, the other is closer to your disc. Unbolt the abs sensor and put it somewhere safe out of the way in the wheel well so when you take our your strut you wont pull the cord.






    Step 5: uncouple your brake line (metal clip) then endlink for the anti sway bar (14mm)


    Last edited by pr5owner; 06-17-2007 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #2
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    Step 6: uncouple the strut bolts 17mm




    Step 7: uncouple the bolts that hold the strut on the car, for the last bolt, loosen, then hold the strut up with your hand, with your other hand, un-tighten manually with your fingers, 14mm



    Step 8: there is a plastic sheet at the top of your strut, keep this plastic washer sheet thing somewhere safe for reinstall later



    Step 9: compress the spring so that there is a little clearance between the top or bottom of the spring and the strut. Spring compressors are all different, I went to Canadian tire to rent one, they charged me ~$120 for a deposit, but apparently if I give it back to them within 3 days, I get 100% refund so the rental is actually free. The spring compressor uses a 19mm hex to turn the large bolt. When compressing the spring, put 1 on each side and make 5 turns on 1 side, then make 5 turns on the other until the spring is compressed.



    Step 10: take the top bolt off, it’s a 17mm I believe, an impact gun works really good here since the piston turns when you use a wrench. Once loose, remove 1 part at a time, and place them in the floor in order since you will reinstall in reverse order. Parts should be

    - Piston Rod Nut
    - Mounting rubber
    - Bearing
    - Upper spring seat
    - Upper spring seat rubber
    - Coil spring
    - Dust Boot
    - Bound stopper (the wide part is towards the top, narrow part is towards bottom)
    - Lower spring seat rubber
    - Shitty factory shock absorber



    Once everything is apart, wire wheel the shit out of the bolts so you have a mirror like shine, this will make your bolts go on WAY easier, use a little liquid wrench to put them back in if you need too



    Reinstall the exact way you took it out

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  3. #3
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    Step 11: reinsert the strut back into your car, MAKE SURE YOU orient it properly, the white dot should go back where it was, I believe its different if you have lowered Vs a stock ride height.




    Step 12: once both sides are done, put your wheels back on and lower the car off the stands, then jack it up again, and lower it once more and listen for any weird sounds,

    Step 13: open your trunk and clean everything out of it, for me that was kind of a problem. Had to disconnect my amps, subs, distribution block, bunch of other crap and stuff.




    Step 14: once cleaned take of the trunk trim off, use a blade screw driver to pop the little fasteners out, make sure you don’t step on them!!!





    Step 15: removing the struts is almost the same as the front, remove in this order

    >>ABS Sensor


    >>Brake line


    >>Endlink (possibly seized)


    >>Main strut bolts (also possibly seized)


    >>Metal Black can thing (held in by 2x14mm nuts)


    >>Rubber Boot underneath the metal can thing (no picture sorry)

    >>3x strut bolts 14mm
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  4. #4
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    NOTE: my main strut bolts were seized, so this is where your breaker bar, impact gun, and a lot of liquid wrench comes in, just impact gun the hell out of it using a 6 sided socket (vs 12) let your compressor recharge, while recharging, use your breaker bar on that thing and try and move it, then impact gun the hell out of it. Eventually the vibration and torque will cause it to loosen. I had to put about 200lbs-250lbs of pressure on the breaker bar before it started moving.

    NOTE: If your end links are seized try this, blast the bolt end with air, and scrape off all the crap inside, then put a hex key in, use a wrench to secure it so the key itself wont move, then use a 14mm wrench to turn the bolt. You will have to do this if the endlink bolt spins freely. Also you can try grinding the crap off the bolt before torqueing,


    NOTE: the Mazda mechanic that put in lowering springs on my car (like 3 years ago) really screwed everything up good, they pinched my alarm trunk wire in TWO different places, this is what you get for trusting idiots with your car. If you think about getting Mazda to do any work, you should think again and do it yourself, that way you know its getting done right.



    Step 16: Once your strut has been removed, it’s the exact same process as the front strut

    - Piston Rod Nut
    - Mounting rubber
    - Bearing
    - Upper spring seat
    - Upper spring seat rubber
    - Coil spring
    - Dust Boot
    - Bound stopper (the wide part is towards the top, narrow part is towards bottom)
    - Lower spring seat rubber
    - Shitty factory shock absorber




    Step 17: install in reverse order
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  5. #5
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    TO INSTALL A SWAY BAR (in the above pics I circled both bolts for the endlink, this was preparation for sway bar install)

    Step 1: Undo the endlink bolts (if you haven’t already done so)

    Step 2: undo carriage Bolts


    Step 2.5: troubleshooting crossmember bolts,

    if the nut inside the cross member magically “unwelds” it will look like this




    The bolt will spin freely and will never come out no matter how fast you spin your impact gun
    To separate the bolt you will need a wrench with a shallow 17mm socket, beside the bolt you will see a larger rectangular opening,
    Place the wrench with 17mm socket inside (ensure you set your wrench to reverse to loosen), you may not need to hold it there as there is not very much room inside the cross member and the wrench will hit one of the sides, you can now unscrew the bolt, I do not recommend using an impact gun, just use your breaker bar and go slow so the wrench doesn’t pop out.


    Step 2.75: after you get your stuck sway bar out, Compare your crappy stock uncooperative sway bar with your new kick ass bar
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  6. #6
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    Step 3: lube your bushings, the tube supplied kinda sucks (should have been a syringe), you squeeze the tube, release and all the lube goes back to the bottom, so to make it easier
    - Cut the top off for the opening
    - Cut a little slit in the bottom
    - Push all the lub to the top






    Step 4: put the bar in place and put the endlinks in the mounts to hold the bar in place, you can also tighten the endlink nut on but only screw it on half way


    Step 5: screw on the bracket to the cross member, screw on the horizontal bolts first but only finger tight (bolts that are on the vertical side of the cross member)

    Step 6 use your jack to compress the bracket and then screw it onto the cross member (my hydraulic jack works better than the stock jack since it has a non slip rubber pad in the middle)

    Step 7: lower your car and put your wheels back on, then take it for a spin.

    I have a clunk on the passenger side rear, ill figure that one out and post how to fix it. I think its that metal can thing hitting some plastic, ill need to check it out.
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  7. #7
    Weighted Companion Cube gimpo2's Avatar

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    oh noes, the rust! it burns us!!!

    thats a damned good detailed write up


  8. #8
    Registered Member Black_Protege_5's Avatar

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    Good write up. Why is everything so rusted out though? From the snow?
    Last edited by aMaff; 06-17-2007 at 09:16 PM. Reason: b/c my spelling sucks :p

  9. #9
    P5T R.I.P. khaosman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Protege_5
    Good right up. Why is everything so rusted out though? From the snow?
    freakin' Californians Yes, snow, and the salt junk that they put on the road to help melt it/get traction.

    Good writeup. I think I cross-threaded that carriage bolt that you broke Well, I don't really plan on taking the bar off so I guess it is ok.

  10. #10
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    mmmmmm suspension work is funnnnn (jerkit)

  11. #11
    Banned Brian MP5T's Avatar
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    The location of the paint dots on the front top mounts should be noted during the removal. It is imortant to put it back the same way.

  12. #12
    Sleeper Mods: Yes Sveivo's Avatar

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    Wow. Awesome!

    Edit: Is removing interior in the back pretty easy via popping the fasteners?

  13. #13
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Protege_5
    Good write up. Why is everything so rusted out though? From the snow?
    salt + gravel + snow + rain

    the salt eats away at the paint
    the gravel chips and destroys the paint
    the snow and rain oxidzes the metal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dim
    Wow. Awesome!

    Edit: Is removing interior in the back pretty easy via popping the fasteners?
    yeah its all fasteners and clips, you either just yank it (makes a horrible sound but nothing breaks) or you undo the fasteners then yank it.

    Quote Originally Posted by red99pro
    mmmmmm suspension work is funnnnn (jerkit)
    yeah but, the dealership wants like $910 to do it not incl cost of parts, $910 can go back into parts now, what can i get for that much... hmmm......

    dealer ship says 1.5hrs per strut, $130/hr labor (this is all cdn btw), 1hr for sway bar

    1.5 x 4 = 6hrs x $130/hr = $780
    1 x $130 = $130

    thats $910, the dealer isnt gonna clean your bolts either, they will just fuk everything up like they did last time. im not paying $910 to screw up my car when i can make it better.
    Last edited by pr5owner; 06-17-2007 at 11:37 PM.
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  14. #14
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    In six hours, i could lower 4 or 5 cars. Thats too long. Its also $50 per camber bolt. Thought id throw in that two cents.
    Last edited by red95_240sx; 06-18-2007 at 12:10 AM.

  15. #15
    GenCoupe>Protegé5 pr5owner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red99pro
    In six hours, i could lower 4 or 5 cars. Thats too long. Its also $50 per camber bolt. Thought id throw in that two cents.
    but if all the rear bolts are seized i doubt it,

    also i shinned every bolt to a mirror finish lol
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