Suspension swap DIY

Suspension swap DIY

Postby subi_man on Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:36 pm

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Suspension swap DIY

Boring but important disclaimer: This is intended as a guide only, no liability or responsibility by the author is assumed and Newtriton.net (its employees, moderators or agents) accept no responsibility for damages or injury that may arise. Do NOT attempt this if you are not confident in your abilities or equipment. Working under your car is dangerous, please take necessary care at all times and always use car stands. Extra care should be taken with the coil springs when they are under pressure. Ensure all components are fit for use and that ALL nuts and bolts are re-installed and tensioned properly. Since you are dealing with suspension, stability and steering components, always DOUBLE-CHECK your work, and that everything has been installed properly.


Notes
--> In this guide we installed a complete Dobinson’s suspension kit. Other kits will be similar, but their components may differ from those pictured here, and assembly may be slightly different.
--> If you are installing raised suspension, you are going to need longer rear brake lines after installation, it is important to check the amount of tension on the lines with the new suspension fully extended.
--> In the notes below, I refer to the assembled spring/shock combination as the strut.
--> Pictures can be clicked to enlarge for extra detail

** For comparitive purposes, please remember to measure your before and after ride heights (from centre of wheel to edge of wheel arch) and post them on the forum!! **

You will need;

Trolley jack(s), car stands, good quality spanners and sockets, hammer/mallet, jemmy & podger bar (or large old screw driver and piece of pipe (1m) to use as a lever), torque wrench, spring compressors (2 sets, or access to a mechanic/suspension place with hydraulic compressor), Allen key set, suitable grease for shackle rubbers and torque specs for all suspension components from Triton manual (can be dowloaded from my FTP space). The Dobinson's tailshaft spacer requires longer bolts, which are not supplied – you will need to source some if you are installing this spacer.

Front
Disconnect the front swaybar links on both sides (1 nut) TIP: there is an allen-key socket in the end of the thread to assist in removing the nut if the thread is tight.
Click to view larger picture

You can work on one side, then the other, or jack both front wheels off the ground. Always have safety stands under the crossmember or chassis.

Remove the wheel(s).

With a jack under the lower control arm to support the weight, remove the 3 bolts holding the upper ball-joint to the upper control arm (you need to be careful the jack fully supports the downward pressure to avoid damaging the threads of the bolts, or the ball-joint housing as you undo the bolts)
Click to view larger picture

Lower the jack to allow the lower control arm and strut to fully extend. Important note: make especially sure the hub cannot fall away from the car, as this may cause the inner CV joint to pop out – you REALLY don't want this to happen, so secure it to the strut tower with an occy strap.

Remove the bracket securing the ABS sensor cable from the front of the shock (1 bolt). Do the same for the bracket under the upper control arm (2 bolts).

Remove the upper control arm (two bolts) and move it out of the way
Click to view larger picture


Remove the three nuts on top of the strut.
Click to view larger picture

Make sure the strut is at full extension, if necessary force the lower control arm downwards carefully with a jemmy bar. Then, remove the bolt from the bottom of the strut.
Click to view larger picture

The strut can now be removed from the car
Click to view larger picture
Click to view larger picture

In most cases, the strut top and dust boot need to be removed to be used on your new shock & spring combo. Take note of the orientation of the 3 studs on the strut top, relative to the bracket on the front of the shock - you will need to refit the top in the same way to ensure the strut orientation is correct (so the studs line up with the holes in the tower).

Before compressing the spring, loosen (but DO NOT remove) the top nut, otherwise the shaft will most probably rotate and it will be hard to undo. SPECIAL WARNING: DO NOT loosen the nut any distance past the end of the thread – the spring could become a projectile that will cause serious injury or even death (in this pic the top has already been removed, but you get the idea)
Click to view larger picture


You need to compress the spring far enough to enable the top to be safely removed (1 nut). We were able to de-tension the spring and remove the top from the shock by using several spring compressors BUT I would highly recommend taking it all to a suspension place and having them dismantle the old, and assemble the new – it will save a lot of sweat and time! If doing it yourself it will be handy if you have a vice/clamp. We used a set of Triton woodwork Superjaws to hold the strut while we compressed the springs. Click to view larger picture

Compare your manky old springs and shocks with the shiny new ones. Heavy duty springs are VERY hard to compress compared to the stockers so take extra care if you are doing it by hand
Click to view larger picture

For oil filled shocks, remember to compress and extend the shock to full length at least two times to get the fluid circulated properly. It is normal the first time you do this there is not much resistance in the compress/extend. Should firm up after the first time.
Click to view larger picture

Once your new strut is assembled, installation is basically the reverse of the above steps. If you are installing raised suspension, it will be difficult to get the lower control arm down far enough to get the strut re-installed – extra help and a jemmy bar will probably be required. A podger bar will help locate the bottom of the shock properly. If you are on your own or having trouble, you can use two spring compressors to assist in compressing strut to make fitting easier. Be sure to fit them in spots so they can easily be removed once in!
Click to view larger picture

Important note: Upper control arm bushes/bolts, and lower strut bolt should only be fully torqued when the wheels are re-installed and the car is resting on the ground. Just nip them lightly up initially.

The lower control arm can be jacked up to re-install the upper ball joint, but take care not to tip the car off the stands while jacking. Make sure you have reinstalled all the nuts & bolts removed in the steps above.

Do the other side and that should have the front sorted!

*****
Rear
The rear springs are very easy in comparison to the front, but again made easier if you have an extra set of hands helping you.

Remove the spare tyre (thanks Greedy)

Jack up the car, place on stands (not under the diff or springs - we used the towbar) and remove the wheels.

Remove the shock absorbers.

Undo the handbrake cable where it is attached to the spring (1 bolt). Support the diff (we used the trolley jack in the centre to be able to lower it to allow for the bigger camber in the new leafs) and remove the u-bolts from one side. The leaf spring can then be removed (1 bolt at front, 2 on the rear hanger).
Click to view larger picture

Grease your new bushes (and rub a little on the new shackles too) and install the new leaf spring, hangers, old bump-stops and u-bolts (u-bolt can be torqued now, but nothing else). The front (fixed) spring hanger may need some grease to help the new spring and bushes slip in (we even had to bend out the edges slightly to get the nolathane bushes to fit in). If your kit came with camber wedges, put them between the axle and spring.
Click to view larger picture

Do the same for the other side, then install the shock absorbers. You may need to jack up the diff to assist lining up the lower shock absorber mount.
Click to view larger picture

Reinstall the wheels, lower the car and torque all the spring, hanger and shock absorber bolts/nuts correctly. Don’t forget to grease your new greasable shackles after they are all torqued up ! If your kit came with a tailshaft spacer, that can be installed now.
Click to view larger picture

Now you should be done! Double-check your work, tidy the shed and go for a drive (OK, we drove first and then tidied the shed). REMEMBER: Check the tension on the rear brake lines when the rear suspension is fully extended, you may need longer ones like me
Click to view larger picture

Don’t forget to check and re-torque the U bolts (and good idea for rest of suspension) after 500km. Enjoy your new suspension!! Congratulations :-)

Click to view larger picture

Extra special thanks must go to Choady for his company, assistance, encouragement, additional tools (Superjaws FTW!!), workshop manual and memory when it came to writing this up!! Thanks heaps mate 8-)
Andrew

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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby Eelesy on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:06 pm

Excellent report mate, im gonna add this page to my favs for when i attempt to out my spacers in
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby daryn on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:49 pm

Subi,

Absolutely awesome.

Some useful tips may also be gleamed from here:

NB. These are general tips and some points may not be relevant to our Tritons

Installation Tips

* Measure your vehicle's ride height before installing Springs. This will ensure you know the amount of variation after installation. On a level surface, measure from the upper wheel rim to the highest point of the fender well, before installation and after. And before you measure 'after' dimension, drive the car hard for ten miles to let the springs, spacers, etc. settle properly.
* Before removing springs from your car, put a sequential number mark on each component, from top to bottom. This will help you reassemble the new and existing parts in correct order.
* Before disassembling the strut assembly, draw a vertical line with a marker across each component. This will help you reinstall all the OE parts with the original factory orientation.
* Mark the position of all alignment-related mounting bolts. This allows a good starting point for the post-installation alignment.
* Work on one corner of the car at a time. Some OE strut assemblies have up to 10 pieces which must be assembled in the exact order in which the factory installed them. Disassemble one corner, and if you make a mistake or lose track of the order of assembly, you can refer to the corresponding assembly as a reference.
* Reinstall all bolts in the same orientation (up or down) in which the manufacturer installed them.
* Mark parts to indicate left and right side before removal. Many parts are designed specifically for the left or the right side of your car.
* Note any protective tubing on the factory springs, and the locations. Springs are designed to reuse all factory tubing and isolators to prevent noise and premature wear.
* Many struts on front-wheel-drive cars have a steering bearing located between the chassis and upper strut mount. Note the orientation and be sure not to contaminate or disassemble the bearing. Proper care must be taken to ensure this bearing is installed exactly as the factory installed it to prevent steering noises and premature wear of related steering components.
* Brake lines and anti-lock brake sensors: Note the routing and mounting positions of all wires, cables and brake lines. Reinstalling the links differently from the factory position can result in damage or brake failure.
* Support the spindle and brake assemblies with wire, wire coat hangers or welding rod. Failure to support the spindle may allow the inner axle to disengage from the transmission.
* Do not let the brake caliper or spindle hang on the brake line. This may damage the brake line and cause premature wear or even failure of the line.
* Always use the proper spring compressor to remove springs from your car, or when disassembling a strut. Springs store an enormous amount of energy and can seriously injure you os someone else if this energy is released unexpectedly.
* Leave 1/4" to 1/2" space between the end of the coil and the spring seat pocket. This will help prevent spring noise when encountering large bumps.

The above has been taken from http://www.lovells.com.au/products.php?p=coil with some slight alterations.
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby Buzzy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:00 am

Good write-up subi , nice work mate ;)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby Greedy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:58 am

Covered just about everything. Another top article. Maybe just a point to remove spare tyre as well when starting rear suspension. Makes the job a lot easier. ;)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby subi_man on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:48 am

Thanks Greedy - another thing I forgot to add!! :oops:
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby brenze87 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:40 pm

great article subi. just wondering if yours was a lift or stock replacement. also was 1 pair of spring compressors enough for the new springs.
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby Wallace on Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:32 pm

Subi-man wrote
"spring compressors 2 sets,"

Brenze the suspension kit was Dobinsons 50mm lift package and two sets of spring compressors are required or access to a hydraulic press which is set up for this sort of work.......... ;)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby patto on Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:44 pm

And dont go cheap on the compressors - you will need quality for this job - i just did my coils and holy sh#t were they stiff.. We broke 2 spring compressors...

As for install me and my old man went the opposite. We dropped the lower control arm at the camber bolts - marked them before hand.

We had a jack under the lower control arm, and slowly lowered it once the bolts were out, then undone the top of the strut and it basically slides out.

For fitting the strut back in got the strut in place jacked up the control arm untill the lower strut is housed and locate the bolt. Then with one person guiding the strut we jacked from the opposite rear corner putting pressure on the front control arm with the strut housed kept on jacking untill we could house the camber bolts once again.

Seemed a little easier going this way - i thought.


But def before attempting make sure your confident and you have all the right tools to get the job done right and most of all safely.
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby subi_man on Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:50 pm

We thought about removing the lower control arm, but did not want to mess with the camber adjustment - silly in hindsight, because I booked for a front wheel align 2 days after the install anyway :lol:

Thanks for those extra tips patto 8-)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby patto on Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:48 am

Yeh the only reason we chose to go that way was because my old man whom has a wealth of experience was there.. Still had the alignment checked afterwards just to be safe - best spend $20 rather than buy 2 new tyres.
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby Buzzy on Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:33 am

Hey subi is there a designated left & right spring or are they both the same?
Just looking at the code on yours L 43-018-R
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby subi_man on Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:37 am

I did wonder that myself mate, but both rear springs had the same code :?
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby KevO78 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:29 pm

Thanks subi for posting this up, it gave me the confidence to do it myself. 2" taller now :D
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby subi_man on Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:26 pm

Good stuff Kev - what kit did you put in?
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby KevO78 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:54 pm

a 2" lift from ultimate susspension 8-)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby ratstriton on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:49 pm

Hey subi
Got to thank you for your guide it was a great help on the weekend just for a reference point if i got a bit lost. :D
Thanks
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby paqueras on Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:32 pm

Its possible and safe to put the leaf springs under the axle?

i want to lower the triton no lift it..
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Suspension swap DIY

Postby Stapler401 on Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:59 pm

Pretty sure my leaf spring are already under my axle
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby snowman on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:07 pm

[quote=subi_man] Click to view larger picture[/quote]

it over axle.
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Suspension swap DIY

Postby Stapler401 on Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:25 pm

snowman wrote:[quote=subi_man] Click to view larger picture


it over axle.[/quote]
I can't tell you how sure I was. But nope. It's under as per pic
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby mimmo_gsr on Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:29 pm

Hi All,

I just installed the Ultimate Kit this morning and thought I should add another tip I found.

When installing the front struts put them roughly where they need to go and then reinstall the top wishbone and just put the bolts through.

I bolted up the strut and then tried to reinstall the wishbone and struggled to get the bolts in behind the spring.

Other than that I think it took about 3.5hrs so its pretty straight forward.

I also noticed no reference to the Upper Bump Stops in this tutorial? Do they need to be trimmed/removed? as I couldn't fit them back in.

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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby tassie_ml on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:22 pm

could someone post up the torque settings for this install....thanks ;)
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby paqueras on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:46 am

Stapler401 wrote:Pretty sure my leaf spring are already under my axle


Any pics?
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Re: Suspension swap DIY

Postby gowie77 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:49 pm

tassie_ml wrote:could someone post up the torque settings for this install....thanks ;)


http://ftp.users.on.net/~holmes2804/Triton%20suspension/

Click on the above link, then click on the files ending in .PNG and it shows all the torque settings. Awesome post Subiman was really helpful.
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