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Old 12-03-2008, 09:33 PM   #26
mla163
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Originally Posted by wtyree View Post
I'm just now getting around to installing the RCE wagon springs I bought from TiC earlier this year. I've got an 02 wagon and am installing koni inserts, RCE wagon springs and group n top hats. I did get 04+ rear top hats to go with the RCE wagon springs. This thread really helped with the pictures because when I took the top perch off, the conical washer fell out before I could see how it was oriented. Anyways, I'm having a hard time getting the torque on the top nut without the top perch rotating out of alignment. The service manual even calls out a special tool to do this. How have you guys done it? It was already to late in the day to call TiC or RCE. I guess if I don't get an answer before I start again tomorrow I'll give them a call.
Do a little search, I've gone thru this too. Hit it with an impact wrench as tight as you can get it, but don't go nuts. Put it on the car, put everything together and let the car down. There should be enough weight on the car to keep it from spinning. I don't even know if the "special tool" exists.

Here's a good one http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1515466
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:41 AM   #27
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When assembling all this stuff, do you need to grease the parts... especially the scooby spacer and the contact of the conical washer to the strut tops?
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:48 AM   #28
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No, if those parts are moving relative to one another, you're already screwed.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hokie-wrx wagon View Post
Here's the rear suspension:

My factory rears had a lower rubber seat that fit between the bottom of the spring and the top of the strut perch. It does not seem to appear in the pic. Did you reuse these on the D-Specs? I didn't, but that's mainly because I didn't notice the lower rubber seat until after I had both sides assembled and one side reinstalled. The spring seemed to sit just fine without the lower rubber seat, so I am thinking it won't be a problem. So far, I have not noticed any ill effects.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:46 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Zebe View Post
My factory rears had a lower rubber seat that fit between the bottom of the spring and the top of the strut perch. It does not seem to appear in the pic. Did you reuse these on the D-Specs? I didn't, but that's mainly because I didn't notice the lower rubber seat until after I had both sides assembled and one side reinstalled. The spring seemed to sit just fine without the lower rubber seat, so I am thinking it won't be a problem. So far, I have not noticed any ill effects.
I think the rubber seats are there to reduce clunk noises if you ever fully extend your rear (which is easier to do than the front).

You're in no danger without them, but if someone ever is in the process of assembling struts/springs, they probably should put it on there.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:36 PM   #31
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%&*%^&*$ ok, one difference with Ohlins FPS struts vs d-specs on the install is that because the Ohlins are inverted, you can't use the "mouse pad and vice grips" method to hold the shaft to prevent it from spinning. Therefore, you MUST use pass-thru sockets and hex wrench.

BTW, anyone know the actual size of the hex wrench that fits?

(I haven't finished assembling because of this tool snafu)

Also... I wasted a lot of time fiddling with the right position for the spring compressors on the front springs. Because the fronts have barely 3 coils exposed (unlike your average import car), it's not so obvious where to put the spring compressors. And the compressors MUST span at least 3 coils... 2 is not enough

The problem with 3 now is that the compressor will get stuck in the perches. The only place I found that worked was one compressor goes about 2" in from the end of the bottom coil. The other compressor goes about 4" in from the end of the top coil. And unfortunately this is NOT 180 degrees apart... more like 160.

Another thing... make sure to orient the compressors so that the tightening nut of the compressor is pointing to the TOP of the strut. If it's pointing to the bottom, the perch has a tendency to get in the way of a wrench.

You need to majorly compress the springs because they won't sit nicely in the perches while you line up the top hat/perch. This is because the strut sits at an angle in the car and so the spring is tilted at an angle. This bring you to the next problem... make sure you have a hex t-wrench and pass thru socket set for the top nut. You have to tighten the nut (but not torque) at this time or else the pieces won't be aligned on the shaft.

Don't forget a 14mm washer for the rears to space the top nut away from the top hat. Often, the threads on the shaft don't "go deep enough" and the nut stop (due to lack of threads) before it makes contact with the top hat surface.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:25 PM   #32
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Why won't the "mouse pad/vice grips/hold the strut with your hand" procedure work on inverted struts? Rather than holding the shaft, you're holding the housing, which is the part that will move with the tophat, preventing the assembly from tightening. Am I missing something?

Actually, now that I think about it, this is the same thing that I've done with STi struts, which are also inverted, and it worked fine.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by TurbojonLS View Post
Why won't the "mouse pad/vice grips/hold the strut with your hand" procedure work on inverted struts? Rather than holding the shaft, you're holding the housing, which is the part that will move with the tophat, preventing the assembly from tightening. Am I missing something?

Actually, now that I think about it, this is the same thing that I've done with STi struts, which are also inverted, and it worked fine.
Hmmm... maybe I need to try again... I thought it was still spinning while wrenching.

Also... pretty hard getting your hand in there between the coils to get a good grip. And no, I don't feel comfortable using vice grips on my strut housing.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #34
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For the wagon pinks in the front I used one compressor covering two coils and the other compressor on the other side covering three coils. The line that connected the two compressors was either perpindicular or parallel to the strut ear (can't remember). The main PITA for me was to get the spring uncompressed and have everything keep alignment (rubber isolators seated properly and the 3 tophat holes facing in the correct direction). If you don't have anything to hold the strut and are only using hand tools you kind of have to be a brazilian jujitsu master to simultaneously hold the strut assembly and wrench the compressors (at least for the cheapey Harbor Freight compressors I was using).

Try using a hose clamp or two around the mousepad and grabbing the tails of the hoseclamp with the vice grips. It always made me nervous vice gripping the shaft.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #35
dzrt_hrd
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Ok in your first picture you have the "insulator"(?) on the spring when you install it. Is this necessary? I just put the cobb springs on my 08 and in the front I'm hearing a clanking sound when I go over bumps and I'm wondering if I didn't rotate the spring in the lower perch to the stop or if the spring is vibrating against the raised edge of the perch.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:54 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by dzrt_hrd View Post
Ok in your first picture you have the "insulator"(?) on the spring when you install it. Is this necessary? I just put the cobb springs on my 08 and in the front I'm hearing a clanking sound when I go over bumps and I'm wondering if I didn't rotate the spring in the lower perch to the stop or if the spring is vibrating against the raised edge of the perch.
On the fronts, there's a rubber insulator/isolator that fits between the top of the springs and the upper spring perch. The gray pieces of plastic that are pictured on the springs are to protect the coating on the "dead" spring coils (the coils that touch when the car is under static load). While I don't have experiential knowledge of the Cobb springs, from what you describe it could be quite possible that the springs are not seated properly. It might be possible to lift up the front end to unload the springs so that you can rotate them and seat them properly.

Also, did you orient the upper spring perch properly? I know for the 02-07 front struts, there were three holes in the upper spring perch that needed to be pointed outward (or, in the same direction as the lower strut clevis/bracket.

Lastly, did you torque down the upper strut nut properly? If that's loose, the hole thing will rattle over bumps.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #37
dzrt_hrd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorongil View Post
On the fronts, there's a rubber insulator/isolator that fits between the top of the springs and the upper spring perch. The gray pieces of plastic that are pictured on the springs are to protect the coating on the "dead" spring coils (the coils that touch when the car is under static load). While I don't have experiential knowledge of the Cobb springs, from what you describe it could be quite possible that the springs are not seated properly. It might be possible to lift up the front end to unload the springs so that you can rotate them and seat them properly.

Also, did you orient the upper spring perch properly? I know for the 02-07 front struts, there were three holes in the upper spring perch that needed to be pointed outward (or, in the same direction as the lower strut clevis/bracket.

Lastly, did you torque down the upper strut nut properly? If that's loose, the hole thing will rattle over bumps.
When I installed the springs I did note how the upper perch was oriented and replace it the same way. My first fear WAS that I hadn't torqued the top nut down properly but I checked it and it's down as much as it can be. I did make sure that the top insulator was in place before I put it all together as well. As soon as I can I'm going to try and make sure everything's seated properly. Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:45 PM   #38
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Bumping this old thread... This should be sticky'd. By far the best detailed strut assembly pictures I've ever seen on this board.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:45 AM   #39
Scooby921
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Done. Added to the install/walkthrough sticky.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #40
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can you clarify which 14mm washer to get. The typical SS and SAE spec 14mm washers are too big (outside diameter) to comfortably fit under D=spec nut inside the top-hat.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:39 AM   #41
chimchimm5
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Originally Posted by redrexmeister
can you clarify which 14mm washer to get. The typical SS and SAE spec 14mm washers are too big (outside diameter) to comfortably fit under D=spec nut inside the top-hat.
I bought my washers at an autopart store. Over here we have Autozone and Kragen (now Oreillys). These 14mm fit just fine in the stock, GroupN, and WL ComCs. Not cheapest but they fit and are autopart grade.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:06 AM   #42
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thanks, do you remember part number/manufacturer. Our local Vatozone had only M12 washers, the salesman claimed it was biggest size they have. I may try to order online.

Did the washer help to eliminate rear clunk?

Also, considering D-specs are sedan strats how is the alignment? Can you still get within OEM specs? or need camber bolts?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by redrexmeister View Post
thanks, do you remember part number/manufacturer. Our local Vatozone had only M12 washers, the salesman claimed it was biggest size they have. I may try to order online.

Did the washer help to eliminate rear clunk?

Also, considering D-specs are sedan strats how is the alignment? Can you still get within OEM specs? or need camber bolts?
Locally, we had M14's too... but I guess that's up to the store.

I actually have Ohlins FPS (sedan) struts on my wagon so the rear clunk issue was never present. However, I did note that without the washer, the top nut ran out of threads before it was actually holding the top hat flush; ie there was top hat play and I could clack it up and down. With the washer, the nut is able to hold the hat down. So I'd say I needed the washers.

As for camber... you have no choice but to do SOMETHING about it. I never aligned it with only sedan struts because I already knew that wasn't going to work. You'd get something closer to 0 camber max with sedan struts and that just defeats the whole purpose of a more performance oriented suspension over stock.

So I'd recommend just getting the Whiteline Com-C's to go with your new D-specs. You probably don't want to be using old top hats anyways, and if you're going to buy new hats you might as well buy the com-c's.

That being said, with Com-C's I could only get a lousy -1.0 camber max out of them. Which SUCKED. So now I'm working on the slotting solution with the Com-C's (because I like the caster). And/or the H&R Triple-C's camber bolts in the front lower. (H&R's have a torque spec much closer to the stock bolts... wayyy more than the SPC camber bolts). This is a work in progress. You last, most costly and most correct solution would be sedan arms (and sedan sway bar, endlinks, probably axel).

In the rear, I'm not sure. I had SPC camber bolts in the top.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:15 PM   #44
Quatty-24BS
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Did u use stock bump stops if so did u cut them
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