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TRWspring, Bilstein shock, Dragvette strut install (Read 19485 times)
Feb 7th, 2006 at 6:12pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Tacoma, WA

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TRW spring, Bilstein shock, Dragvette strut installation


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NOTE: This whole job took me about 7 hours to do. If you follow the instructions I've laid out, it will save you about three hours of work time, providing it is your first time to attempt this. I've learned several shortcuts and things NOT to do by trial and error.  Should only take 3-4 hours now. I hope this helps someone down the road.


Today I got started installing my TRW Spring, Bilstein shocks and Dragvette struts.


I will add here as I go...

First, I jacked up the Vette and put the Jacks a few inches behind the door frame on both sides: (Note: I don't know how much harder it is to do with the tire carriage cover and rear shocks as I don't have either one back there.)
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Then took off both rear tires. I place the jack under the spring bolt to relieve the tension. I then C-clamp the spring so the jack wouldn't slip while I loosened the Spring bolt.
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Here is what it looks like after I took the spring bolt out. Quite a drop.
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Next, I loosened the 4 big bolts holding the spring to the rear end.
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The Spring is out!  :boldpurple: It is heavy too!
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Okay, now it was time to remove the L-shape bolt holding both the shock and strut.
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After loosening that bolt, I removed the top shock bolt in order to remove the bottom L-shaped bolt holding the shock/strut.
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Here is what that L-shape bolt looks like that holds the shock & strut.
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Next I went over and removed the bolt holding the strut to the strut bracket.
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Yay! :boldpurple: I am now halfway as I got the spring, shocks and struts off. 
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Big difference between the stock strut and Dragvette strut.
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This took me about three hours. Tomorrow I will get started on installing the new TRW spring, Bilstein shocks & Dragvette struts.
« Last Edit: Feb 10th, 2006 at 6:20pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #1 - Feb 7th, 2006 at 7:55pm

Maximus79   Offline
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Finally a decent enough day to work on something,eh,Jack?  Nice work! :cheers:
 

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Reply #2 - Feb 7th, 2006 at 9:19pm

69Shark   Offline
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Nice Jack!
:cheers:
Scott
 
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Reply #3 - Feb 8th, 2006 at 3:56am
Old School   Ex Member

 
That's a lot of work to do alone in one day!  Nice going Jack.

Great pictures too.

Chuck
 
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Reply #4 - Feb 8th, 2006 at 8:46am

68-73   Offline
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Great job...wish I could have read this before I did mine. Make sure you put some threadlocker on those adjustable struts after you get it alligned...if they come loose you'll have a mess.
Alan :cheers:
 
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Reply #5 - Feb 8th, 2006 at 11:44am

Fly-n-C3   Offline
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Great job Jack :thumbsup:... I can't wait to see the finished project...
 

[center]Chris / Fly-n-C3 - 1977 Corvette L-82 / 4spd &&.........&&&&
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Reply #6 - Feb 8th, 2006 at 10:10pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Thanks guys! It is gonna be nice once it is done.

I posted a question on the trailing arms, (didn't know it at the time) in the Tech catagory. Now, I have another question. I read somewhere that your not suppose to tighten certain bolts down until AFTER you let the Vette down off the jack stands? Anything to this?

quote by Alan
Quote:
Make sure you put some threadlocker on those adjustable struts after you get it alligned...if they come loose you'll have a mess.

You say After the alighnment? And what do I threadlock, the bolts mounting it to the rearend and to the shock bracket? what about the two adjustable Nuts? Threadlock those too?

I'm going to try to get it done Thursday afternoon... hah! ... more like Friday with my talents. Cheesy :crazy:
 

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Reply #7 - Feb 9th, 2006 at 4:05am

68-73   Offline
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Just threadlock the adjustable bolts...I had mine come loose twice after each allignment. I blamed it on the techs, but it's easier to back them off one at a time and apply the threadlock & retighten. Maybe the high hp & tq put a lot of strain & twisting on them. Also after your allignment unless you're allowed to be right there...check all bolts & make sure they're tight. Nobody cares about your car like you do...
Alan
 
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Reply #8 - Feb 9th, 2006 at 10:30am
77GA-RED   Ex Member

 
Very cool Jack. The pictures and the discriptive work sounds simple and to the point. I'm really glad this section was added a couple months back because this is invaluable stuff.

Mike :cheers:
 
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Reply #9 - Feb 9th, 2006 at 6:50pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Okay, today I got the Shocks and Struts in and ran out of time to put the Spring in.

I installed the Bilstein Shocks at the top first, then at the bottom.
As you can see by the pix, I installed the bottom Shock first before putting the L shape bolt through the strut bracket. MISTAKE! It took me well over an hour to do that. On the other side, I installed the strut bolt in first, then put the shock on, barely. This only took an half hour.
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Next I installed the dragvette spacer that goes between the strut bracket and differential, (
RED arrows
).
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The cam bolt is suppose to be set at 6 o'clock. The left is correct, but I have to set the drivers tomorrow as I ran out of time...
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Here is what it looks like so far... with TRW spring on the gound waiting to be put in.
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« Last Edit: Feb 9th, 2006 at 7:11pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #10 - Feb 10th, 2006 at 7:07am

69Shark   Offline
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ATTITUDE is the diff between
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Looking good Jack!
I bet you can't wait to take her for a spin!

Today is going to be very nice!

Scott
 
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Reply #11 - Feb 10th, 2006 at 8:48am

68-73   Offline
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Jack
Just remember your car needs to settle for awhile & if you can't get the back end down you'll have to go to longer bolts. I ended up using  10" grade 8  bolts. Looks like you're doing a great job & this should answer many question & help lots of people.

Looks like I'm in for a snow storm tomorrow...I'd rather have rain.
Alan
 
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Reply #12 - Feb 10th, 2006 at 9:19am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Tacoma, WA

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Quote:
Jack
Just remember your car needs to settle for awhile & if you can't get the back end down you'll have to go to longer bolts. I ended up using  10" grade 8  bolts.

Looks like I'm in for a snow storm tomorrow...I'd rather have rain.
Alan

The TRW spring came with a longer than stock bolts @ 9" while Dragvette came with the 10" ones.
Boy was I wrong. When I measured the two bolts, the stock one was 7", TRW was 7-1/2" and Dragvette was 8". No good.... I'm still at least 2" too high (4.5" from fender-lip to top-tire). I'm going down to get a 10" bolt and I have to do it all over again. Angry
I will drive it around a bit and see if it settles some first.


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« Last Edit: Feb 10th, 2006 at 5:08pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #13 - Feb 10th, 2006 at 5:11pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Okay, wrapup time... (with exception of having to get two 10" spring bolts to replace the 8" ones).

Today I put in the TRW spring. Unless your VERY strong, it helps to use a jack to hold the spring center in place to start the 4 bolts. There is a heatsheild and cover plate that is bolted with that.
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Next was to install the spring bolts. These were tricky and I can save you about an hour of time with the shortcut I learned. Only run the 4 bolts in the center (last pix above) about halfway in so you can jiggle the outer spring a tad in order to get the long spring bolt in the top AND the spring (two red arrows). I tried it with the 4 center bolts all the way in and an hour later still couldn't get that bolt in. Did the other side this way and it only took 10 minutes! You also have to use a jack to move the spring up in order to get the bolt through (bottom red arrow). Be sure NOT to slip the jack off the metal tip or else you'll ruin the spring!
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The struts are very easy to adjust. Just use a level on the wheels and turn the two outer nuts on the strut bar (red arrow) and twist the knurled part of bar (yellow arrow) until you get the correct wheel/tire level:
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BEFORE:
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and AFTER. Not bad, not bad at all! Grin
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« Last Edit: Feb 10th, 2006 at 9:40pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #14 - Feb 10th, 2006 at 9:38pm

Maximus79   Offline
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Looks a bit neater & cleaned up under there! :cheers:
 

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