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Aftermarket Shock Replacements  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 11-24-2014 08:37 am
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NigelK
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Hi Eric

The spring compressor I bought when I changed the shocks and springs on my GT was too long. You might struggle to find a sufficiently short one in most auto parts shops.

But, you can easily compress the front spring using a trolley jack under the lower suspension arm (remove the grease nipple first) which will allow you to remove the shock absorber. This link is to an excellent step-by-step guide how to change front shocks and springs on a Healey, with very helpful pictures.

https://sites.google.com/site/johnsjensenhealeywebpage/maintenance-projects/5-front-suspension

The part I found really tricky was re-assembly - getting the tie rod, lower suspension arm and shock absorber bracket all lined up so the two bolts could be inserted. In the end I had to be rescued by my friendly local Jensen mechanic (who also happens to be Chairman of the Jensen Owners' Club...)

Also, correct torquing of the bolt securing the shock absorber to the bracket is pretty much impossible without a crows foot.

Best wishes,
Nigel

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 Posted: 11-24-2014 09:07 pm
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Screenplay
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Eric,
It's not difficult to remove the spring with a spring compressor; it's really something that can easily be done by many home mechanics. Use the internal compressor type that runs up through the center of the spring (after removing the shock absorber) and just make certain to exercise caution. Make sure all four of the arms of the tool are firmly in contact with the coil as you tighten (compress) the spring. Also, don't compress any more than necessary to unseat the spring from the control arms. Just remember to loosen (decompress) the spring as soon as it is out of the car-there is a lot of energy in a wound spring and there is no need to keep it compressed longer than necessary. I don't have a favorite video, but there should be numerous ones online showing the process.
Clinton

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 Posted: 12-20-2014 05:28 am
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Eric
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Hi Nigel,
Just finished rear suspension. Looks like somebody replaced bushings and springs previously, so just going to do front shocks for now. Did you run into trouble aligning the bolt holes because you were replacing springs as well, or is this a problem I'm likely to encounter just replacing the shocks ?

Thanks

Eric

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 Posted: 12-20-2014 09:29 am
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NigelK
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Hi Eric

The bottom bolts of the front shocks affix to a separate 2-piece bracket, which is itself affixed to the lower suspension arm by 3 bolts, 2 of which are the same bolts which affix the control arms (tie rods) to the lower suspension arm. So you'll need to remove these two bolts regardless of whether you are replacing the shocks and the springs, or just the shocks. Have a look at that web link I posted before and it'll make sense.

I think the job of aligning these bolts is much easier if the car is up on a hoist and you can get enough physical leverage to line things up. When I tried to do it, my car was on axle stands and it was impossible to get enough leverage from a prone position on my garage floor!

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Nigel

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 Posted: 12-20-2014 09:32 pm
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Eric
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Thanks Nigel..good to know. If there is any possible snag, I will definitely experience it.

Eric

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 Posted: 12-25-2014 06:18 am
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Frank Schwartz
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You don't need a spring compressor or any fancy tools, I did mine with a set of socket and open end wrenches...but you must read my article in the JHPS magazine as to how to do it without pain....it's so easy and I remember previous jobs on the JHs just trying to get the front end thingys back in place....and I use Monroe shocks...work great for me....

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 Posted: 12-25-2014 06:18 am
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Frank Schwartz
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You don't need a spring compressor or any fancy tools, I did mine with a set of socket and open end wrenches...but you must read my article in the JHPS magazine as to how to do it without pain....it's so easy and I remember previous jobs on the JHs just trying to get the front end thingys back in place....and I use Monroe shocks...work great for me....

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 Posted: 12-25-2014 06:21 am
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Eric
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Thanks Frank. How do I access your article in the magazine?

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 Posted: 12-28-2014 05:09 am
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Frank Schwartz
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Hi:
I will have to look back and see what issue it was in. I can make you a copy of it, however, if you give me your snail mail address. Do you have a parts manual? You will need it to identify the parts...I can make a copy of the related pages if you don't.
Getting the rear shocks off and on is easy...the fronts, as I wrote, can be a first double class bugger as the coil spring will try to push the whole assembly back and getting it back in place is almost enough to drive a man to suicide. My method is easy and works without all that bother...
Frank

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