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Front Spring and Shock Install

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Alex8181, Nov 20, 2005.

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  1. Alex8181

    Alex8181 Administrator

    May 16, 2005
    2005 Flint Mica
    Written By: Alex8181

    Difficulty (1-5): 4
    Time Frame: 2-3 Hours

    Intalling aftermarket springs and shocks, in this case TRD, is relatively straightforward with the right tools. With modifications like these, I can't stress how much the right tools will help speed things along.

    Step 1: Loosen the lugnuts on all your wheels, but do not remove them yet. Then jack up your car and place jackstands on the corners, all four if you're doing both front and back. The correct spot to put your jackstands are near the sideskirts of the car. If you look under the car there will be steel sidings where the jackstands can be placed.


    Step 2: When the car is safely lifted, finish removing all the lugnuts and remove the wheels.

    Step 3: We will start with the front suspension. Before taking off anything else, you need to support the lower suspension with a jackstand. Then remove the front stabilizer link assembly bolt.


    Step 4: There is a bolt in this area that holds the speed sensor and a flex hose. Remove that bolt and position the speed sensor and flex hose away from the shock assembly.


    Step 5: Now go to the top of the shock tower. Some people will remove the windshield wipers and the whole cowl, but if you just remove the two closest clips holding the cowl on each side, you will have just enough room to maneuver your tools underneath the cowl without removing it.


    Step 6: Remove the rubber dust cover carefully with a screwdriver. Underneath is a lock nut for the shock assembly, loosen but do not remove this lock nut.


    Step 7: Go back down to the wheel well and remove the 2 nuts holding the bolts that are connecting the shock assembly to the lower control arm. Do not remove the bolts themselves yet.


    Step 8: Go back up to the shock tower and remove the 3 nuts holding the shock assembly to the frame.


    Now you can go back down to the lower control arm and remove those 2 bolts. These bolts were quite hard to remove and I used a small sledge hammer to remove them easily. Then maneuver the shock assembly out of the wheel well.


    Step 10: Once the whole shock assembly is out, it's time to compress the spring and start disassembling the shock assembly. If you have a vise available you can put the large bolts and nuts back into the bottom of the shock assembly and use the vice to grip the bolts and nuts. This will keep the assembly steady while you work. I did not have the convenience of a vice and just did it unsecured. This is what the stock assembly looks like next to the TRD shock and springs.


    Step 11: Attach your spring compressor and compress the springs as much as possible. Be careful with scratching the paint off the springs and shocks. If you do scratch a little paint off just get some touch up paint and fill it in. Then remove the top bolt on the shock tower. You will need to use an Allen wrench and a box wrench.


    Step 12: Disassemble the rest of the assembly. The pieces shown below are in the order they are assembled on the shock assembly from left to right.


    Step 13: Here is a comparison of the stock shocks and TRD shocks. Notice the difference in rod legnth.


    Step 14: The smaller rod legnth means there wil be less shock travel, because of that we will need to cut the bumpstop to allow more travel. I decided just to cut it in half. There is no official bumpstop measurement that I know of, but this size bumpstop has worked out for me so far.


    Step 15: Re-install the new shock assembly using all of the pieces of the stock assembly. The TRD springs are shorter than the stock springs so your spring compressor will not be placed in the same area. When the assembly is together, you may also need to adjust the placing of the spring compressor while uncompressing the finished assembly. Also keep in mind the direction of the shock dust boot and metal cap, they need to point a certain way to fit the shock rod correctly. If everything is done right, you should end up with what is pictured below.


    Step 16: Maneuver the shock assembly back into the wheel well. Again, be careful not to scratch any paint off your new assembly.

    Step 17: Re-install the 3 nuts on the top of the shock tower. Torque to 38 ft. lbs.

    Step 18: Re-install the 2 lower bolts and nuts connecting the shock assembly to the control arm. Torque those to 177 ft. lbs. (or as tight as you can).

    Step 19: Go back up to the shock tower and tighten the center lock nut for the shock tower. Torque to 35 ft. lbs. Apply grease to the area and put the dusct cap back on. Insert the cowl clips. back on.

    Step 20: Re-install the speed sensor, the flex hose, and the bolt holding it. Torque to 14 ft. lbs. Than re-install the front stabilizer link assembly and its nut. Torque to 55 ft. lbs.

    Step 21: Step back and enjoy your handywork.

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