BADASS of New England

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 Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
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Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:36 pm

Tried swapping shocks/springs yesterday with the u-bolt kit from Navy Lifer but it got dark out so I had to put everything away...only got 2 bolts on one shock off. I actually had to drop what I was doing and go get some of those Craftsman ratcheting box end wrenches because you can't get a 1/4" drive socket wrench up on top there...but anyway...

Pulled the car back into the tent with the pass. side shock dangling unbolted at the bottom and called it a night. That's where I'm working on it right now because of the rain. Put the car on jackstands, removed rear wheels, the rear end started hanging because of the unbolted shock. I was actually able to pull the spring out on that side by pushing down on the axle tube a little. But then I couldn't get the other new spring in there, so I then jacked up the rear end, removed the other lower shock bolt like it says to do in the Haynes manual. But, the jack wasn't setting level or something and now the whole rear end is hanging out crooked...and I'm afraid to let it go down further. I've got each drum setting on concrete blocks of different sizes. Laughing

I actually don't even remember what I did here because I'm so frustrated. I don't even feel comfortable getting under this thing!
I think I just need to relax and go back to working on it later in the week when it's not raining. Or just go try to get the pass side spring in there like I originally intended...So much for just swapping shocks out...stupid frigging car... Shocked


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:01 pm

I give up on this thing...hahaha

I just put all my tools away, I don't have time for this crap. What I'm basically unsure of is if I can let the rear end hang by those two small control arms that go from the pumpkin to the frame of the car as well as the regular control arms. I hear people say the rear will fall out, but I don't see how it could?

I took one of the concrete blocks out on one side to see if I could get the spring in, but it's worse than when I tried before because of the block on the other side of the car not letting it down.

I think I need to find a second jack and play with this some more. I think I'm just frustrated because of the conditions of where I have to work...I have plywood sheets on the ground in my tent garage and the jackstands on them. Shocked
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bammax



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Any time the car is on a lift the rear is held by the control amrs. That's what they're in there for is to hold the rear-end. The only thing to be concerned with is stretching the brake hose too far. If the hose gets stretched or the driveshaft hits the safety loop (assuming you have one) then don't lower the rear anymore. Otherwise let it down and get to work.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:54 pm

Good to know...that's what I figured. Thanks man. Arrow

I'll probably go back to it on Wednesday when it's not raining anymore...I was just afraid the rear would fall down too far and mess everything up.

I think my main problem is the floor isn't exactly level in there, and the rear wouldn't balance on the jack right (it's a big Snap On jack too).
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:41 pm

I forgot to mention, when I took out the pass. side spring, the top few coils looked bent at an angle, is that normal? The springs I am putting in are not, and they were in my old Impala for about 5K miles.

The KYBs really do seem a little longer than the Bilsteins, lets hope the car rides better, it's damn near unbearable on rough roads right now...
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:45 am

I dont think you had to remove the other side lower shock mount (unless you couldnt find any help)
You could just step down on the drum & buy yourself the room you need for the spring to go in.
Of course you need someone else to either step on it or insert the new spring.
What springs were in there? Sounds like they were lower then stock impala springs?
Its Wed & there's probably a river running under the tent right now so hold off
I'm in Revere if you need a quick hand
Next time pull into my work lot & I'll send some guys out to help you
You know where I am?

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Steve


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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:25 pm

Haha it's cool, thanks though! I was just getting frustrated trying to get it back in. I might just bolt the other side of the axle back in and try again. And yes, while the floor is surprisingly dry in there, water does pool up near the edge right where I'd be working... Mad

The springs are "TRW Hef-T-Coils". They are a taller variable rate load control spring. What happened was I put these in my old green Impala along with KYB shocks, because I wanted the rear a few inches higher than stock for a little bit of rake or at least level it out, but also because the rear overhang on this car is so long, it's easy to scrape the tailpipes pulling out of driveways and such. The KYB shocks seemed a little longer than the stock ones.

I ordered the same springs for the yellow Impala, but this time went with Bilstein sports for shocks. I had a guy do these, and when I got the car back, it seemed to ride pretty hard in the rear. After a while the pass. side spring started making a noise pulling into certain driveways at an angle. It also didn't seem like the car lifted as much in back as the green one did when I did the same springs on that car . I suspect the Bilsteins are slightly shorter than the KYBs are which may be constricting and binding the rear coil springs, and I should have gone with the 1517s back there.

Last year, I noticed that some demo derby guy had bought my old green Impala and was parting out unnecessary stuff from it. I went and got the new springs and shocks that were in there as part of the deal I made with him, I doubt they even have 5K miles on them. I'm going to put all these in the Impala, then put my Bilsteins in the Caprice at some point (or save them for something else I guess).
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:38 pm

Do yourself a favor & go rent the external spring compressor from AZ
You can close the spring up, put it in & open it up
Does that car have the same insulators?
I know an aggressive spring will (in relatively short # of miles) eat thru them
This may account for your past noise
Easy enough to check if you think to look there.
Just dont hurt yourself working on wood (it's at LEAST 3/4 right)?

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Steve


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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:46 pm

My buddy Bob texted me a few days ago asking if I needed a spring compressor, I think he has one.

It has the energy suspension red isolator things for up top, but nothing at the bottom. I was going to spray rubberized undercoating where the springs sit on the axle.

I think the wood is actually 1/2, but it might be 3/4. There is packed stone under that. Needless to say, I was mostly frustrated because I didn't want to be under the thing. I did put the tires and wheels under my car so if it came off the jackstands, it wouldn't really fall down. If I can get the one spring back in, I'm just going to back the car out and do all this in the driveway when we have that upcoming heatwave. haha
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:54 pm

Those insulators will quiet it down
They also ass a little height (1/2-5/8") if used top & bottom
Good luck, it always goes easier the 2nd attempt

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Steve


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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:25 pm

sdstick wrote:
ass a little height

Laughing

I could have sworn I had the old rubber ones that were originally in the car...if I do I'll put those on the bottom!

Think I'd have a hard time getting the axle back up if I let it down with the shocks both unbolted? It did say to do it in the Haynes manual... Neutral
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justinlamb82



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:02 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
My buddy Bob texted me a few days ago asking if I needed a spring compressor, I think he has one.

It has the energy suspension red isolator things for up top, but nothing at the bottom. I was going to spray rubberized undercoating where the springs sit on the axle.

I think the wood is actually 1/2, but it might be 3/4. There is packed stone under that. Needless to say, I was mostly frustrated because I didn't want to be under the thing. I did put the tires and wheels under my car so if it came off the jackstands, it wouldn't really fall down. If I can get the one spring back in, I'm just going to back the car out and do all this in the driveway when we have that upcoming heatwave. haha


I have a set of spring compressors if you need them !!!!!! cheers
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:49 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
sdstick wrote:
ass a little height

Laughing

Oops Embarassed

Matt Trakker wrote:
I could have sworn I had the old rubber ones that were originally in the car...if I do I'll put those on the bottom!

I would, if nothing else metal to metal means rust. Undercoating works for a day

Matt Trakker wrote:
Think I'd have a hard time getting the axle back up if I let it down with the shocks both unbolted? It did say to do it in the Haynes manual... Neutral

The problem is once you jack it UP, you cant move it around to get it lined up with the shock bolts. Did you have a bad experience with a spring compressor? I know they have the potential to kill but you shouldnt have to compress much

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:12 pm

sdstick wrote:
Matt Trakker wrote:
sdstick wrote:
ass a little height

Laughing

Oops Embarassed

Matt Trakker wrote:
I could have sworn I had the old rubber ones that were originally in the car...if I do I'll put those on the bottom!

I would, if nothing else metal to metal means rust. Undercoating works for a day

Matt Trakker wrote:
Think I'd have a hard time getting the axle back up if I let it down with the shocks both unbolted? It did say to do it in the Haynes manual... Neutral

The problem is once you jack it UP, you cant move it around to get it lined up with the shock bolts. Did you have a bad experience with a spring compressor? I know they have the potential to kill but you shouldnt have to compress much


I found one of the old rubber ones, which is actually in great shape. But I know I had 2 of them, so I'm kinda pissed about that. Either way, the rubber one doesn't want to go over the ring on the axle that the spring slides over, so I guess it's moot. It seems like the bottom ring is bigger than the top one in the frame, by a slight amount. I was thinking over putting the urethane ones on the bottom and the rubber back up above, because the urethane replacements are a bit bigger. Maybe I should order two more.

I didn't use a compressor because I thought you didn't need one, I never saw any mention of it when I was looking at various forum threads on all the boards about spring and shock swapping...lol
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:46 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:


I didn't use a compressor because I thought you didn't need one, I never saw any mention of it when I was looking at various forum threads on all the boards about spring and shock swapping...lol
Most of the threads have people lowering thier cars so stock height springs come out then the easy part. Sounds like these springs your putting in are taller to "ass a little height" lol

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Steve


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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:53 pm

I think what I'll do tomorrow when I get to working on it again is put a wood block in where the spring goes, and try to jack the rear up again so I can rebolt the bottom of the shock on the other side. Then try swapping the shock and spring on the pass. side...if I can't, go get a compressor...hopefully I can get the thing in. I will admit I kind of gave up quickly, it might just go back in, since the other one slid right out with some finagling...and I wasn't even stepping on the axle or anything
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:59 pm

Some people even use the ratcheting tie downs to compress the spring.
I never went for that method (or tried it) but if you only need to buy a LITTLE

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mean ss



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:00 pm

you don't need a spring compressor for rears, when you get both shocks off the bottom mount have someone push down on the end of the rear end then you can take out or put in the new springs, once both springs have been replaced then you can jack up the rear to catch the shock mounts
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Fishah



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:15 pm

mean ss wrote:
you don't need a spring compressor for rears, when you get both shocks off the bottom mount have someone push down on the end of the rear end then you can take out or put in the new springs, once both springs have been replaced then you can jack up the rear to catch the shock mounts

Agreed. That's how I always did it. Unbelievably easy. It's a 10 minute process.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:10 pm

Wow. So I just let the whole rear end hang down, lower it all the way while keeping an eye on that brake hose, or let it down just enough? That's what I was trying to do in the first place... Laughing
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mean ss



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:25 pm

the stock bushings in the control arm will hold it from comming all the way down, thats why you only tighten them
at ride height
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GasTT



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:36 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
Wow. So I just let the whole rear end hang down, lower it all the way while keeping an eye on that brake hose, or let it down just enough? That's what I was trying to do in the first place... Laughing

Yup.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:57 pm

Got it back together, sans spring compressor. cheers Thanks for all the help!

The KYBs are WAY longer than the Bilsteins. The quick change U-bolts worked and made it night and day easier. I can't believe GM didn't install these things from the factory, having to reach up above there is completely retarded.

I took some pics, I'll post them tomorrow when I take a pic of how the car sits on the ground. I got everything done, then went to lift it off the jackstands, and the jack wouldn't go up! Released it down to the floor and it won't even go up at all. All the fluid leaked out when I had the rear end up in the air or something. Shocked I'll have to buy more oil and try to get it working again tomorrow, I don't feel like getting the bumper jack out and all that crap. lol

Now I have to go take a shower.
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toomanytoyz
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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:34 pm

Congrats. Sounds like you had days of fun. Wink

Now go swap the rear in your truck. Wink

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:45 pm

toomanytoyz wrote:
Congrats. Sounds like you had days of fun. Wink

Oh, I did. It was nice having rust flecks fall on my face and laying on my back on muddy plywood.

Quote :
Now go swap the rear in your truck. Wink

That's getting done early next week (I hope). Cool
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toomanytoyz
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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:50 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:


That's getting done early next week (I hope). Cool

How...? You start on it today? Razz

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Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:55 pm

Haha...I'm not even touching it, that's how. I just found all the parts and cleaned it all up/painted it...lol
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:49 pm

I'm still getting noise from the springs! Laughing I just went back and replaced some washers I had down on the bottom shock bolts, and noticed that if I grab the springs, I can move them a little bit and it recreates the bang noise I get over bumps. I think I may toss some insulators/isolators under the bottom of the springs, but am I supposed to even do that? I can't remember either car having them down there.

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mean ss



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:55 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
I'm still getting noise from the springs! Laughing I just went back and replaced some washers I had down on the bottom shock bolts, and noticed that if I grab the springs, I can move them a little bit and it recreates the bang noise I get over bumps. I think I may toss some insulators/isolators under the bottom of the springs, but am I supposed to even do that? I can't remember either car having them down there.

they only came with them on top, but I put some on the bottom too
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:58 pm

Cool. Cool

I noticed that with the one original isolator I had from the car, it would slip over the cup in the frame up top, but not over the cup on the top of the axle tube, it was too small. The red urethane ones I had did seem to just make it over that cup. So I'll probably grab another pair of those.
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:04 pm

They dont come w/ isolators on the bottom.
What makes the bang?
Is it the end of the coil hitting the perch?
Maybe rotate them 90 deg if thats the case?
Dont know

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:21 pm

The bottom of the coil hits the perch that's welded onto the axle tube, I could grab them by hand and sort of rotate them slightly. The problem was mostly with the driver's side. Seems to make the noise whenever I go over a bump, super annoying. With the original springs, I got nothing, then when I put the last set of variable rates in, it made the noise from the pass. side. Now the driver's side is doing it...lol
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:33 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
when I put the last set of variable rates in,....
Tighter wound coils UP?

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:19 pm

Yep, the ones closer together are up top. Very Happy

These are making noise again...I'm going to try and get it solved before the roundup. I also get a quick clank from the rear suspension over bumps. My radio doesn't work and if I can't mask the noises with music I'll go insane!

I've since gotten another pair of the urethane Energy Suspension isolators to put on the bottom of the springs. I did not see any indents or anything that denoted which way the springs went, but I'll pull them out again and maybe see if they need to be going a certain way.

Another issue is this:


When I took out the Bilsteins, they just had a through bolt coming out the bottom that went through the bottom shock mount on the car, with a nut on the back. I went to put the KYBs on there, and had no hardware with them, couldn't use the Bilstein stuff either as it didn't seem to come out of the shock, the KYBs are a diff. design too. I went to Lowe's and put that contraption of a bolt, a stop nut (the Bilsteins had stop nuts), lockwashers, and some other flat washers together. As you can see, the body of the shock is touching the shock mount. Maybe that's part of my clanking problem?

On my 93, which is basically the same suspension set up, there is this spacer thing that goes in between the shock and the mount:



What the hell is that thing, and where can I get one? Do I need it? I've looked and can't find them...but I don't remember them being on my Impala?
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bammax



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:35 pm

That could be your banging noise right there. You deffinetly need the spacer to keep everything aligned and in place. Look at the angle mismatch between the shock and the mount. Just figure out what size bolt you're using, then get a couple nuts or washers that fit it and add up to the thickness of the stock spacer. Then get the same bolt but in a longer version. That's how I'd do it anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:36 pm

Pick up a couple lower shock mount bolts found in the Help section at any auto parts store. Problem solved.
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Shock-Bolt-Kit-Universal-1-2-20---Qty--1-Dorman---OE-Solutions_5016940-P_N3133_A%7CGRP2037____
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:47 pm

IMPALADAKID wrote:
Pick up a couple lower shock mount bolts found in the Help section at any auto parts store. Problem solved.
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Shock-Bolt-Kit-Universal-1-2-20---Qty--1-Dorman---OE-Solutions_5016940-P_N3133_A%7CGRP2037____

I looked at those bolts Billy when I realized I had no hardware, but something about them struck me as weird so I just made my own. I think it was the rubber things on the Dorman ones wouldn't work with the built in rubber on the KYBs or something like that.

I have enough bolt sticking out, so I'll probably just put some nuts on there and some washers, or something like that. I actually built it up with washers on the back of the mount where you can't see in the pic, after "WTF"-ing about this when putting it back together. What about the spacer on my 93? Do those come with the car or with shocks? I wonder what happened to the '74s...lol


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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toomanytoyz
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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:52 pm

I was going to say what Billy said. I've had to use those on my cars before. Like when I removed the bilsteins to install my springs and control arms in the Impala. The bolts broke when I removed them so I got those Help! parts. They worked like a charm. Smile

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:56 pm

Maybe I'll try them then...but the bolts I "made" were basically the same as those Dormans...it's a 1/2 bolt with a washer in front of the shock rubber bushing, bolt goes through the bushing and shock mount (this is where the spacer should be), then on the other side of the mount I have a few washers stacked up, a lock washer, then a nylon insert stop nut on the end. So I think I just need something to build out where that spacer goes.

Funny how so simple can be such a PITA
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:29 pm

I think everything is good now-

Got the second pair of isolators from Jegs. I put the newest ones up top, and used the ones I already had on top of the springs on the bottom, they were stretched out a bit from being installed already so they fit easier on the axle mount area (still needed to use a hammer to seat them)...



The springs were tougher to install, had my brother step on the axle to get it tilted down enough and got them in. Also did a quick spray bomb so I wouldn't have blue brake drums anymore.
Laughing





It rides great now. No more clanking or "BONGGGG" sounds! Also, I tried simulating that missing metal spacer that goes behind the lower end of the shock and in front of the axle mounting area. I used a hex nut and a couple big washers. Tightened the hell out of it and put blue Loctite on the threads, hopefully that should hold up a while until I figure out what I'm doing with those lower bolts. I still think I may put some Bilstein 1517s in the back of this car, it seems the longer KYBs really helped out, but they aren't as "tight" as a Bilstein.


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Think I screwed up the Impala...uh yeah...   Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:40 pm

Hotchkis supplies an aluminum spacer for right there when you use thier extended LCA's
Tell me what dia, thickness you want & what bolt size you used, I'll make you up a couple

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