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Unread 05-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #1
Photog
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Default OME Install - no spring compressor

I installed a new set of OME shocks this weekend, to go with my OME springs.

Most people seem to use a spring compressor to assemble their front struts, if they are not already assembled. Spring compressors are difficult to use and dangerous.

Here is the process for installing the unassembled front struts, without a spring compressor.

Be careful not to damage any of the CV boots in this process.

First: Jack up the frame to the top of the highest setting on your jackstand. I placed mine under the bolts for the crossmember supports.


Also place a jackstand under the opposite rear corner, to stabilize the frame. If you dont do this, the action of jacking up the suspension, will compress the opposite rear suspension, and not allow the shocks to compress enough to be assembled.
(This photo was taken when doing the passenger side strut, so the stands are shown in the opposite corners as would be done for the driver side strut work).


Remove the tire, and you now have your suspension at full extension, with room underneath for a floor jack.
(There is no sway bar in this picture, you may need to remove that too.)


Remove the nut, washer and rubber bushing from the upper shock mount (arrow).
This will allow you to remove the shock, when you lower the A-arm. Do not remove the three bolts holding the upper spring mount to the frame.


With a floor jack tight against the lower A-arm, remove the two lower ball joint bolts (arrow points to one of the two bolts).


When the bolts are out, you will need to support the hub and brakes. I used 20" 2X4 under the wheel studs (upper in the bolt circle), instead of trying to tie it to something. It may also help, to screw a linger piece of 2x4 to the base of the vertical 2x4, making the system more stable. Or, you could add an eye-bolt & washer through the wheel well, and tie up the hub. (Note: this photo was added for visual understanding of the 2x4 support. Notice the OME strut is already in place.)


Then lower the floor jack and let the strut and spring extend to their full length. Remove the lower shock bolt.

I had to use a lever arm to help push the lower A-arm down far enough to get the bolt out. The lower A-arm bushing are causing the resistance. I used the jack handle over the ball joint fitting, and under the A-arm. I leaned on it with my knee, to free both hands for removing the bolt.
(Note: The lower A-arm bushings can be relaxed, by loosening the adjuster bolts that hold them to the frame. This will eliminate the need to use a lever on the lower A-arm. Make note of the eccentric positions before loosening them. When the struts are back in place, re-set the eccentrics to these positions and tighten.)


This is how the bar fits in the lower LCA.


Now, the spring pressure is relaxed, and you can wiggle the spring and shock out of the suspension. You will need to continue holding the lower A-arm down, to make room for this removal.

Now put your new shock and spring back in the same way. Don't forget to put the big bushing & washer on top of the strut, before installing everything.

As you lift t he spring and shock into position, you need to align the top of the shock and the top of the spring, into their proper positions. Push down on the lower A-arm, to place the lower end of the shock in it's seat. Install the lower shock bolt.


Now jack up the lower A-arm, while making sure the top of the spring, and upper shock are properly aligned. The shock stud will come up into its final position. Install the rubber bushing, washer, and nut.


Now the shock can hold up the suspension, so you can release the floor jack (or not).

Now you need to bring the hub back into position on the lower balljoint, and install the two large bolts.
Note: These use the Red LocTite, and factory torque specs of 166 lb-ft.




Make sure you don't have any spare parts that you forgot to install, tighten all of the bolts, re-install the swaybar if you took it out. And don't forget to set and tighten the eccentric bolts, if you loosened them.

And you are done!!!
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2004 Sport V6, OME lift, 255/75R17 MTR's, Spider Trax, Super Sliders, Truck Vault, Black Widow basket, shift knob, Mini CB, Lil' Wil Antenna, 276c GPS, Scion T1806, iPod, Scan Gauge II, ..Build Thread


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Last edited by Photog; 04-07-2015 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Added info based on peoples' experience.
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Unread 05-19-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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Thanks Brian, that's very helpful.

I'll be pulling mine apart this week when the rest of my front Bilstein parts arrive.

Ron
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Unread 05-19-2008, 03:08 PM   #3
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This process worked very, well. It used the weight of the vehicle and the power of the jack to do all the work. I cold probably do each side in under an hour, and no bad language. Very straight forward.

The previous time I did this, I used a spring compressor that used a large bolt to generater the compressive force. The factory springs were easy to compress; but the OME springs were almost impossible. I thought the compressor was going to break, and injure me. The forces permanently bent the spring compressor. This was one of the heavy duty clamshell style compressors; not the little bolts with the hooks on each end.

I recommend the "No-compressor "process very highly.
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Last edited by Photog; 07-24-2009 at 08:58 AM.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 06:13 AM   #4
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Nice write-up.
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Unread 05-20-2008, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog View Post
"No-compressor "process
My both sides took about 3.5 to 4 hours, including moving the sway bar out of the way (pretty necessary), waxing the lug nuts (oh what the hell), and taking a short test drive on the rough roads around my house.

The second shock took 45 minutes, I didn't really time set up and the first shock, but the first was ornery, esp since the sway bar was in the way. An inexpensive spring compressor would help for that last 1/2 inch where you have to really lean on the LCA to pop the bottom of the shock into the slot, and then to get the bolt in; I had to use a small round pry bar in the bolt hole to pry the shock into place while I slid the bolt in.

But it worked pretty well, and I'm done
I did use a wood clamp to crunch the spring just a little (maybe 3/8 inch), though I'm not really sure it helped all that much.

I also think, with a simple spring compressor, that I might be able to change the ride height in front without taking anything apart.

Measurements with 4 Bilsteins (rear HDs) front 5100 height adjustables at the third setting of 1.75" and the rear Firestone air bags pretty much deflated are (from the ground to the center of the wheel wells):
LF 35 1/8
RF 35 1/8
LR 36 1/2
RR 36 1/4
Leaving clearance under all the low bits (not counting rear diff) at around 10" which I'm pretty pleased with. The air bags could give me at least another 2" in the rear which would really help if I needed it.

Thanks again for the timely post Brian.

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Unread 05-20-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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Awesome write up - I'll be doing mine this weekend (probably). A guy at 4Wheel Parts said he had heard that a ratchet strap works pretty good at compressing springs. It would probably help with the last little bit.


Any pics of the 2x4 holding the hub assembly up?


Steve
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Last edited by TNcaveman; 05-20-2008 at 08:26 PM.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNcaveman View Post
A guy at 4Wheel Parts said he had heard that a ratchet strap works pretty good at compressing springs. It would probably help with the last little bit.

Any pics of the 2x4 holding the hub assembly up?
Steve
A couple of tools to have:
6mm Allen wrench to go in the end of the sway bar end link bolts while the nut is undone (without it you'd have to use vice grips on the end link ).

14 and 17mm wratchet wrenches are REALLY nice to undo the sway bar end links (with the allen wrench stuck in the end) and shock nuts where a socket won't work. I found a set of 3 double ended wrenches for $15. Not a necessity but it made it so much faster.

Supporting the hub
I put two lug nuts on the hub (for better grip and propped under them with a 1x6) which got knocked out while I was trying to get the shock out of the bottom, so I ended up leaving it hanging and not propping it at all on the second side. It's held up by the UCA anyway; but it will sway back and forth as you lean on it so watch the sway bar ends.

Just dropped it off for an after-lift alignment.

The 4R is noticeably taller to get into.

This and the next two pics.
http://www.indiana.edu/~nehrigr/truc...lift-2435.html

Should have been this way stock.
Did I mention... IT'S DONE
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNcaveman View Post
Any pics of the 2x4 holding the hub assembly up?
Steve
I didn't get any pics of the 2X4 support. I do have to get back into the driver side spring, to install the a large washer at the top of the shock. I will get a picture of the 2x4 support then, and post it. Maybe this wekend.

I will also show how I used the jack handle to pry down the LCA, to make plenty of room for the shock to go in, and the lower bolt.

Edited Post #1, with the extra pics.

On a side note: In the past, I had thought the upper ball joint seemd to limit the downward travel of the front suspension (this would have been bad). While I had the suspension apart, I checked into this. With out the shock in place, the upper ball joint is what limits the down travel; but the installed shocks are definitely a couple inches shorter, and end up being the travel limiter. Summary: The shocks definitely limit the downtravel, not the upper ball joints.
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Last edited by Photog; 07-24-2009 at 09:01 AM.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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Very innovative approach of doing it.

Just a very important note. The lower bolts that hold the balljoint to the spindle requires loctite (red I believe) when you reinstall them. This prevents them from vibrating loose and loosing the front suspension. See the factory repair manual for details and TQ specs.
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:55 PM   #10
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Cool write up!!!! very helpful info!
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Unread 05-21-2008, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Very innovative approach of doing it.

Just a very important note. The lower bolts that hold the balljoint to the spindle requires loctite (red I believe) when you reinstall them. This prevents them from vibrating loose and loosing the front suspension. See the factory repair manual for details and TQ specs.
Andries,
You are definitely correct on this. When I get back into my suspension, I will get a pic of the LocTite and torque specs, to edit into the first post. The text is now edited. This is a key point. Thanks for the reminder.

Edited Post #1 with picture of bolt with red LocTite.
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Last edited by Photog; 07-24-2009 at 09:02 AM.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 02:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNcaveman View Post
Awesome write up - I'll be doing mine this weekend (probably). A guy at 4Wheel Parts said he had heard that a ratchet strap works pretty good at compressing springs. It would probably help with the last little bit.


Any pics of the 2x4 holding the hub assembly up?


Steve
Here is the 2X4 support. I will add it to the 1st post also.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 02:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backroad View Post
An inexpensive spring compressor would help for that last 1/2 inch where you have to really lean on the LCA to pop the bottom of the shock into the slot, and then to get the bolt in; I had to use a small round pry bar in the bolt hole to pry the shock into place while I slid the bolt in.

Thanks again for the timely post Brian.

Here is how I used the jack handle to pry the LCA down far enough to make the job easy. (these pics added to the 1st post)


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Unread 05-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #14
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Great post!
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Unread 05-24-2008, 09:24 PM   #15
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Thanks!!

I'm glad it has been helpful to some folks already.
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Unread 05-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #16
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I'm in the middle of this - I'm taking the assembly to a local shop tomorrow to assemble it with a press. This should reduce the cost of the shop work since they don't have to dis-assemble the unit.

The lower A-arm did not want to go down enough to put the spring and strut in. No biggie - not too bad - except for the third nut on the top - not much clearance back there.

Going to do the rear tomorrow morning - hope to have it together for an alignment Tuesday.

Steve
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Unread 05-29-2009, 07:01 PM   #17
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Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but has anyone used this approach with the Daystar spacer lift?
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Unread 05-29-2009, 08:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeb*tches View Post
Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but has anyone used this approach with the Daystar spacer lift?
Good question looking forward to answers.
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Unread 05-30-2009, 10:46 AM   #19
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It should work very well. The whole process is the same, except you will also need to remove the three nuts holding the upper spring plate in place. I believe the Daystar system uses longer bolts, for the upper spacer.

If you are only going to use the inner spacer, then you don't have to worry about the three bolts. Same process as posted, just adding a spacer instead of replacing springs.
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Unread 07-23-2009, 09:12 PM   #20
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Default Works like a charm

This method works great - I was able to install OME suspension with relative ease thanks to Brian's useful post.

Before:


After:


I think this gave me more than 2.5-inches of lift. Maybe the old springs and shocks were worn out, but it feels like a good 3-4 inches higher. I should have made some measurements to be sure.

The new suspension is OME 886 coils in front and 896 in back, and the new Nitrocharger sport shocks that OME just introduced.

This is definitely the way to go if you don't want to mess with a spring compressor. I didn't remove the sway bar, and still didn't have any problem fitting the springs in:



One thing to watch out for though, I tore the ball joint housing on the right side by getting a little too rough with the jack handle while I was pushing down to fit the springs in. I think it was because I got lazy and didn't prop the wheel up with a 2x4 (I did on the left side). So I had to twist the lever around the wheel before stepping on it. But it's a $35 fix, so no biggie.
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