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strut insert replacement question--solved

Well, some interesting developments since I posted about my strut insert
removal difficulty.

(1) the centering of the shock got accomplished by: turning the wheel way
out (to right), which sorta jammed the piston hard against the outside of
the strut mount, and then, backing the wheel off just a few degrees
magically brought the shock piston near to center. Magic!

(2) Now with the penetrating oil having worked for about 5 hours, I had
another go at loosening the retainer cap--cursing my measley 15" breaker
bar--and finally the cap let go and it's out. Whew! [Sorry I can't recall
the curses that seemed to work. :-)] My SO, who was in the car, claimed
that as I was leaning on the breaker bar, she was holding tight to the
steering wheel. We concluded that this probably aided directing the
torquing force to the cap removal.

BTW, to those with 100K+ miles on their OEM shocks (Brett?): the OEMs that
I removed were so soft that I could compress them with one finger. The
rebound rate was so slow as to be virtually non-existent (say about 30+
seconds to rebound 5 inches). The new Boge Turbo Gas shocks felt about
200-300% harder to compress, and they rebounded at about 1 second per inch
of travel. I noted that after the first new shock was installed, that side
(driver) was about 3/4" higher than the other (old OEM) side. Do I have
tired springs, too? Tomorrow, when both sides have new shocks in, I'll
drive around a bit and remeasure.


Previously on "As the Strut Turns":

>I'm in the midst of putting in new shocks. The driver's side ('91 200q)
>came out and a new shock went in like a good textbook example. No muss, no
>fuss. But on the other side, the piston is pointed very off-center
>(towards the rear of the strut mount) no matter how I move the steering. I
>was able to slide the upper washer and rubber stop out, but only with a
>lot of pulling on the piston. Wheels are on the floor, but jacking up a
>little doesn't appear to help.
>This wasn't a problem on the first side, where it seemed relatively easy
>to get the shock well-centered. Now, I can just manage to slide in the
>(cap-removal) tool and engage the hex, but the tool rubs pretty hard on
>the rear of the strut mount as I try to apply torque  (I say "try" 'cause
>the cap is not loosening yet, and I think that the extra pressure against
>the shock piston can't be helping the effort).
>Anyway, I've got some penetrating oil down there while I think about the
>next step. Do I just raise the car and push on the spring  (say with a
>block of wood) to get the strut centered? How high can I raise the car
>without danger of losing the spring?

Phil Rose				Rochester, NY
'91 200q				mailto:pjrose@servtech.com
'89 100