How To:Front Str.t assembly w/ SS springs and Moog everything else(Finalized 6/5/15) - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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How To:Front Str.t assembly w/ SS springs and Moog everything else(Finalized 6/5/15)

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Old 06-04-2015, 12:08 AM
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Default How To:Front Str.t assembly w/ SS springs and Moog everything else(Finalized 6/5/15)

Ya, Ya... another How To, I know.
But this one is for the guys who need it, like I did. This should answer the "what order do the Str.t's get assembled" along with what spring seats etc... with part numbers. One thing this write up has that I see many don't is the WHY it's done and not just BECAUSE that's the way it is.

Posting may be slow, I'm going through some gallbladder issues right now and some days are better than others. Surgery is set for 7/9. so anyway, lets get started.




Here's everything i used to assemble a full front shock assembly using NO parts off the car.

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First thing is inspect your moog lower spring seat isolator:

Here's your part #:
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You open the box and see this, the isolator you need and another seat, Dont get to excited though. you cant use the moog seat even if you want to:

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so whats the next thing the shade tree mechanic do? compare teh moog to the koni seat since you see a diffrence:

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As you can see above, the moog seat is bit larger than the Koni and the isolator is as well. But skip that for now. Grab your Koni shock and see what the tube diameter is right above where the spring seat sits above the notch on the shock:

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So here we go, the tube diameter is 2.05". So whats stopping me from using the moog?

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Size is, so stop asking and toss it to the side, it wont fit. 1.970"
Use the the Koni seat. 2.055"

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but wait, we still need the isolator. Oh, you mean the isolator that measures 4.460" in diameter?

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the same one that has to fit in the Koni seat that has an inside diameter of 4.425" and a radius at the bottom?

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Better hit up a belt sander or do a handjob on it guys, time to take some material off. I used a few passes on a belt sander and checked as I went along.:

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here's what your finished product will look like:

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Last edited by ROLEXrifleman; 06-05-2015 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:25 AM
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So now that you got that done. Time to put it on the shock!

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TADA! it has now taken me over an hour to take pics, measure and all that other crap to do something a retard could have done in 10 minutes. Bask in your glory:

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Enough basking, now get this piece, came with your shock:

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Place it on the top of the shock and then tap in place lightly and evenly as far down as it will go:

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Old 06-04-2015, 12:39 AM
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At this point I'm gonna fast track these nest steps and refrain from my witty banter. If you cant follow the pics below, STOP NOW! All these parts came with your shocks BTW:

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Old 06-04-2015, 12:55 AM
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Time to get some springs involved. I used a set taken off an 01' SS:

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Do a little dry run so you know what your working with:

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during your dry run some of you may notice the spring doesn't seat perfectly in the seat right by the isolator. If hats a problem for you, like it was me, hit the spring with a file just a bit till it seats:

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Once your dry run is smooth run your happy as over to Advanced Auto, or wherever else you rent your tools from, and get the spring compressor. $65 later I get to break this brand new loaner in!!!

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Clamp it up! Follow the directions, be safe. get a bite on the furthest points of the spring as you can:

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And if you have an impact, USE IT! compress your *** off!

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Old 06-04-2015, 01:11 AM
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just used those same spring compressors for my trailblazer last weekend. I would say an impact is a requirement, you'll spend all day trying to crank it by hand and probably not get it.
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Old 06-04-2015, 01:18 AM
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these next steps I'm doing without the spring in place for a few reasons. The 1st being I can get better pics with out the spring there, the 2nd being i'm not to fond of a fully loaded spring anywhere near my face.

Here are you Moog parts for the upper shock mount and isolator. Up to this point all pieces have been the same for both sides meaning you need two of the same of everything. EXCEPT THE UPPER SHOCK MOUNT. Pictured is teh part # for the passenger side. the part number for the driver side is K6516:

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The mount is on the left, isolator on the right. the hardware that comes with is not for the assembly of the shock unit, it's for the installation on the car. My isolator has some kind of rubber herpes. No big deal.

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Start with your shock assembly:

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place the upper mount on it. the mount should rest directly on the flat washer:

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take your isolator:

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place it in the mount:

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take your locknut that came with the shock, and tighten it down:

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i didint like the idea of no washer there, one didnt come with any of the items, so I went back and got some for when i do the final assembly. Do as you like in your case.

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time for bed, I'll wrap this up tomorrow night!
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:46 AM
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Good pictures!!
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:44 AM
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My isolator had herpes too, don't know whats up with that...
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:29 PM
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Excellent write-up. I did this several months ago with Strano springs. Since the springs were quite a bit shorter, didn't need to compress the springs much at all. I did have to dissemble the original setup to get the lower spring isolator, and then used a bench grinder to grind down the sides to get it to fit into the spring mount.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:56 PM
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Good stuff here
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:48 AM
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Stick with the OEM shock mounts & isolators, comparing the Moog ones, the later are significantly smaller -- just look at them side-by-side. I am not certain it truly matters, but it was enough to convince me not to use them.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:13 AM
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Good write up.
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:20 AM
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Awesome job there Rolex!
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by M4N14C View Post
My isolator had herpes too, don't know whats up with that...
I just installed my Viking coilovers and my new isolators had them too. They must not preach safe sex over there at Moog.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:30 PM
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Great write-up. I will be using this a reference for my customers. I am still a little baffled as to why Koni made that lower perch so small instead of making it the same size as the stock one.
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for all the kind words guys. I'm glad this info is useful.

I still have a few more pics to add to this to wrap it up. Those should be coming shortly.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:25 PM
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When last we left off i had shown, without the spring in place, where the other hardware went. well, that doesn't truly give you the full effect of the procedure so lets wrap it up the right way!


Lets rewind to this point:

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With the spring compressor installed and started place it on the assembly:

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toss the upper mount on top to see where your at.:

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Not even close!:

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Since we gotta compress more, outside I go! Not loading this to much in the house. After your compress enough put the upper mount back on top:

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Oh ya, compressed enough:

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with the upper mount on, verify that it along with the lower isolator are positioned correctly against the spring:

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with everything aligned come back up top:

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Put your upper isolator in place:

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Heres the washer I added:

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And now the lock nut. BUT do not tighten it! We have a very important step coming!
Put the nut on just enough that it makes contact with the isolator.

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Old 06-05-2015, 05:40 PM
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This next step is CRITICAL and can only be completed with the assembly off the car! Your shocks have "ears" on them that fit into the lower control arm. These "ears" must be orientated correctly in reference to the upper mount!!!!!

To achieve this I placed my original shock assembly on the floor next to my new assembly. Both resting on the same side of the upper shock mount.

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As you can see above you must have your spring still compressed. This is because you must ensure that the ears are at the same angle as the take off in relation to the side the upper mount is laying on.:

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If you need to move the shock, it can only be done if the spring is compressed. AND when doing all this you must also maintain the spring position against the upper mount and lower isolator as pictured earlier!

When you're angle is about right go ahead and slowly decompress the spring. Even with the spring loose now you can still put a 1/4 open ended wrench on the notch of the shock shaft and use an adjustable to finish tightening the lock nut.

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After you've finished tightening the lock nut, YOU'RE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so furious you forget to take a picture of your completed work only to realize it after both are installed on the car
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:22 PM
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Some closing thoughts:


1) I destroyed the use of your and you're in this thread!

2) some might ask why I decided to go this route vs. using the parts off the car..... for me it boiled down to time savings over money savings. i liked the idea of having the assembly ready to swap out vs. having to mess with the original assembly. Using your take off parts will easily save you another $100 but at what labor costs to you? At the end of the day this will boil down to the end user, only you can say whats best for you. Another thing I thought about was the fact I will never be doing this again to this car, so I wanted to start with a clean slate of parts. I had no clue what my original parts looked like when I came up with my plan so as far as I knew they all could have been great and easy to take apart. But with a 17 year old car in the Midwest...odds are I was screwed. Here is the notorious passenger side when I removed it:

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I'm glad I didn't have to deal with this!


in regards to the upper mounts being different sizes.... I had never heard of that till posted in this thread. But as can clearly be seen is correct, the Moogs are a hair smaller in size!

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had I know this earlier would it have changed my mind, NO. The mount fits into the rear control arm in a manner that, in my opinion, the sizes difference doesn't matter. Non the less, there is a difference.

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Old 06-05-2015, 06:38 PM
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One thing I would add because it wasn't clear in your posting, the upper mount should be FULLY seated with the nut tightened down to the shock shaft before the tension is released from the spring or you may get an odd clanking sound, from what I've read on here.
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