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Thread: How to: Change shocks and struts!

  1. #1
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    How to: Change shocks and struts!

    NOW I'VE GOT TO WARN YOU: THIS SHIT CAN BE DANGEROUS IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS:

    1:SPRING COMPRESSOR-They had it at autozone for 50$ rented (WHICH I DIDNT HAPPEN TO GET A PIC OF IT IN ACTION OR A PIC AT ALL! Damn)

    2:AIR COMPRESSOR, OR BALLS OF STEEL AND A DAY THAT HAS 48 HOURS INSTEAD OF 24


    Without this good luck!

    3: 17IN, 14IN, 22IN, AH, NEVERMIND. JUST BRING A WHOLE SET OF SOCKETS HAVE THEM BY YOUR SIDE! if you cant match it to the right size DONT DO IT! STOP HERE!



    4: Air rachet

    5: Air hammer (If attainable; Damn this works magic!!!)

    6: Impact gun



    Oh and a lighter for a lil' herbage

    7: The scissor jack from the trunk

    8: A heavy duty jack

    9: Jack stands

    10: Heavy duty hammer, not a rubber mallet, a huge ass steal mallet and pry bar if you dont have the air hammer

    11: Gloves for safety

    12: About 100 rags

    13: Googles

    14: Pop up canopy for shade, and if you're unlucky like me, it poured bad while I did the front!


    Before I started

    So the 1st thing you want to do is park car on flat surface. Next thing we do is position the jack under the car, jack it up, and put the car on jack stands. Next you want to remove the tire.


    (pic was after job)

    After you take tire off remove break line 4rm the strut bracket by removing the clip that holds it.



    Then you want to unhook the ABS sensor and finally the sway bar endlink with a 14in socket.

    :::MOST IMPORTANT TO AVOID DEATH! APPLY SPRING COMPRESSOR TO SPRING AND COMPRESS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE::::

    After all that, the strut will look like it's ready to just take the bolt out from the control arm, so proceed to take off the bolt that holds it in the control arm boot. You can see it in the pic with the brake line.
    NOW nothing is holding the strut, so just pull it out and slip the new one in....HAHAHAHA fuck no. Here's where you get the pry bar and mallet (if no air hammer).
    What you want to do is angle the pry bar under the control arm. There's a gap it its into you need to hit that pry bar into the gap to spread it wide enough to get that strut out.
    Hit it about 10x's until you think its stuck. If you hit it hard enough the strut will slide out. If you can't get it; spray WD-40 every 1-2 minutes let it soak in, then have at it again. I'LL SKIP A LITTLE BIT OF THE BANGING...
    1, 2, 3-4 hours go by.... now strut slipped out finally!
    Pop the hood, there is a single bolt left to undo. There are 3 nuts and one in the center, undo the bolt in the center and the strut should be able to be completely pulled out. Don't pull on the plastic cover that can stay up there. There's this damn bearing up in that piece. Don't get me started, I was showered with bb bearings and pissed cause I thought I broke something important!!! Just dont pull it!!!!!



    So anyways, now you have everything off. What ever you do, don't try to lower your car to get strut in! I had an incident you'll see in a bit... NEXT get the new strut and new spring.



    So, for reinstall you want to put the spring and strut together. Make sure you turn spring on strut until it can't turn anymore. You'll know when it stops. There's a gap and a little lip to hold it from turning anymore... Ok while the spring is on the strut, hook one piece of the compressor to the 3rd coil and the other to the second because you need to have room to work. Connect the other end of compressor to the strut itself. There's a lip the compressor can grab onto. Compress the spring completely and evenly you always want to compress evenly on each side. Turn on 5 times then alternate to the other.
    Once compressed, slide the strut into that plastic cover I told you not to pull. After the strut is in, the hole to mount up top leave try to get bottom of strut into control arm boot put some grease or wd-40 to make it slide in. If you can get it aligned with the boot hole strut to hole that is, use the mallet or air hammer to get the strut in the boot. Once the strut is in the boot, put the bolt back in that holds strut in place at the control arm. Lastly, tighten the top mount bolt, re-attatch the endlink and the ABS sensor and brake line with the clip, then slap on the tire. All done with front strut!



    Now the rear is simple as can be.
    6 major things to do, 3 on each side...

    1st remove the endlink, not from sway bar, but from the control arm. You need an allen wrench to hold it because it turns. Also, you need a straight wrench, or if you have one that is a ratchet wrench, those kick ass! Remove the endlink from both sides. Keep in mind your rear end must be on jack stands by now!

    Anways, loosen up the sway bar from its mounts, but don't remove you just need to push the sway bar down and toward the front of the car like this:



    After that, the sway bar is out of the way.



    You want to undo the bolt that holds lower control arm to the upper portion but: BEFORE YOU LOOSEN IT MAKE SURE YOUR SCISSOR JACK FROM YOUR TRUNK IS RIGHT UNDER, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T, THE SPRING WILL FLY OUT RESULTING IN SOMEONES DEATH! OR A SERIOUS DING DEPENDING ON WHAT IT HITS.
    Once unbolted, lower the jack slowly. That way spring will come out with its hands to the sky! Pull out spring, if you look under control arm there's the shock. Undo that bolt as well. The shock should just sit after undoing that bottom bolt at the top of the inside of the wheel well there's this:



    It came from or mounts to this spot:



    Everything from the outside by now looks like this:



    Now you simply want to undo the bolt that holds shock onto that mount shown in the pic. Hold top with a vice grip and then use a 13in. wrench to twist off. Once done, and old is off, slide in new shock and spring:



    Slide strut through control arm.
    Re-attatch mount to shock.
    Remount shock to top inside mounting point.
    Rebolt shock at bottom of control arm.
    There's this rubber gromet thingy for the spring slide that onto new spring. Slide new spring into place, making sure the spring is slid into the hole that holds it in the control arm, use your little handy black floor jack. Remount the spring. Get both endlinks in before you bolt hand tight. You always want to start off with hand then switch to a tool.
    Anyways, get endlinks in, remount, tighten the sway bar and make it extra tight!!! Triple check all bolts with the rachet or torque wrench. Slap the tires on and test drive slowly if done right car will feel badass! Don't do it like I did the 1st time. I fucked up my cv joint and had to pop that off and put the bearing in that back together.



    And another angle:



    I took off and damn. I was like, "fuck what did i do!" It was the cv axle on the passenger side. I let the car drop a bit too low when putting front strut on. It popped out it was a quick fix. Luckly, I caught on to it as soon as i got done.
    I was tired. I did this by myself. It's usually a 2 person job. So anyway, if all goes well you should look like this by the end.

    END RESULT! LOOK!

    FRONT


    BACK


    WHOLE CAR LEFT


    WHOLE CAR RIGHT


    ENJOY AND HAVE A BEER! Oi!
    Last edited by Saskatchewan17; 11-11-2009 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Zach Sport6's Avatar

    2009 Subaru WRX Sedan

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    Nice thanks for the write up!
    Traded....


  3. #3
    Registered Member


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    Nice post, I'm looking into doing mine soon. How do you like the KYB struts? Did you use KYB shocks too? You impressions of them after a few months would be great. Thanks

  4. #4
    Dog Mod FTW! Saskatchewan17's Avatar

    2008 TR Mazdaspeed 3

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    I just spent about a half an hour cleaning that up... just to make it a bit easier to read.

  5. #5
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    Hey nice walk through!! I think having a good attitude and being able to laugh is essential to working on cars. Otherwise you just get angry at every little set back and throw your torque wrench at the wall breaking it.

    Very nice job and the humor is a plus! Thanks!

  6. #6
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    whered this thread go?
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  7. #7
    Registered Member ohioan's Avatar

    Ms3, silver gt

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    Probably ended up in the speed3 section because alot of people have been asking for a how to on the struts.

    I do have to ask though, on the rears, I didn't have to mess with the end links one bit to take the shock out. Is that different from the non-speed?

  8. #8
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    but the sway bar is connected to the endlink it shouldnt be diff how did you get the sway bar to move??
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  9. #9
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    un do the link, from the arm. and push down. IF hard, loosen the 4 bolts that mount it ot the frame, is should move. (i usually on all the ones i have done havwent needed to do mor ethan just unbolt links from arm.)

    Even without a compressor takes me maybe 3 hours, with a compressor for only the front struts, its a 2 hour job 1 person.

  10. #10
    Registered Member

    2007 Cosmic Blue MS3, 2014 6 GT

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohioan View Post
    Probably ended up in the speed3 section because alot of people have been asking for a how to on the struts.

    I do have to ask though, on the rears, I didn't have to mess with the end links one bit to take the shock out. Is that different from the non-speed?
    I think he did springs too.
    Black '87 RX-7 TII (finally gone - donated to Kars4Kids)
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    Cosmic Blue '07 Mazdaspeed 3 (helping me forget my rotary love affair)
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  11. #11
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    ya i did springs and struts....5hrs total the hardest was the front ones like the rear you dont have to compress the spring...i didnt have to do anymore than wha =t i wrote i swear it, just pulled that endlink off and pushed the sway forward then undid the control arm, the rear was simple.
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  12. #12
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    i dont know how dude did it in 3hrs and doing it without a compresser is just ridiculous thinkn bout it those springs are tough doesnt matter how fast you do it though its the quality of the work as long as your shit is done right and safely....
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  13. #13
    Registered Member

    Mazdaspeed 3

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    i think he was saying without an air compressor. I have done the struts and shocks in about 3.5 hours or so. Thats using hand tools only and the manual spring compressors.

  14. #14
    Registered Member ohioan's Avatar

    Ms3, silver gt

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    ^ agreeeeeeed. I don't think you "need" the compressor like everyone says. more fun wrenchin!

  15. #15
    texasbootboy210 southendskin210's Avatar

    mazda 3 2007 cai,rkm ss,adv. timing mod.....

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    oh ya wrenchn it is fun IT MAKES ME FEEL EXTRA MANLY LIKE IVE GOT COSMIC POWERS LOL...but i spoil myself and buy air tools...i guess i took my time then cuz i wasnt bout to fuck up my own car
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