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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Sep 2004, 09:00 pm
Steve Murphree
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Default 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
replacement on a 95 Accord. Any special tools required to compress springs,
etc.? Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement? I
recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to cup
badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said that
worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for all
input.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11 Sep 2004, 12:23 am
Caroline
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Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

"Steve Murphree" <smurphr1@midsouth.rr.com> wrote
> Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
> replacement on a 95 Accord.


www.autozone.com should have a free repair guide, specific to the 1995 Accord,
that covers this. I'm taking a course on this right now, and my sense is that,
for a careful DIYer who respects the stored energy in a charged spring, this is
not too difficult.

Read the autozone site's precautions on this very carefully, several times. I am
hearing some bad stories about techs who were not careful and let a charge
spring go. We're talking like 800 lbs. or more of force being suddenly dumped on
a workbench, through a wall, or on a person.

> Any special tools required to compress springs,
> etc.?


I believe you'll need a coil spring compressor. I understand this may be
borrowed from places like Autozone.

> Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement? I
> recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to cup
> badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said that
> worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for all
> input.


I recently read an article on Honda suspension problem diagnosis and repair. It
specifically mentions rear tire cupping. The pertinent paragraph is as follows:
_____
Other tire conditions that will have you checking the suspension will be cupping
and uneven wear. Cupping, usually found on the rear of the car, is the result of
the tire "bouncing" on the road. Struts were always blamed for this condition in
the past. But recently we've been seeing this condition on vehicles that don't
have any suspension problems. I suspect it's a combination of tire balance
problems along with soft suspensions.
_____

So how is the tire balance on your new wheels?

If you want to read the full, 4-page article, go to http://www.import-car.com/ ,
then click on "Search Back Issues," then put in the
key words

Dowie AND suspension AND steering AND diagnosis

The second hit is the article "Honda Suspension System Diagnosis and Service,"
by Bob Dowie, Import Car, 2004.

Updates welcome. I for one am trying to get some experience in this area. I have
a 1991 Civic, 156k miles, and the suspension appears to be fine (knock on wood).
But I expect parts of it to die before the engine!

Good luck.


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11 Sep 2004, 01:37 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

Steve Murphree wrote:
> Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
> replacement on a 95 Accord.


if you have the right tools, it's easy. getting the front "strut"
assembly off the car is literally 4 bolts. i think the rear is 3.

[really, they shouldn't be called struts, they're coil-overs, but
because that mcpherson stuff is so common on so many other cars, and
because it kinda looks the same, anything with a coil over some form of
suspension component is called a "strut" these days. the mcpherson
stuff /is/ a strut because it has a role in suspension geometry. the
honda suspension takes care of all that independantly of the
spring/damper bit.]

> Any special tools required to compress springs,
> etc.?


yes - a spring compressor. some of the traditional designs that hook
into the spring can be hard to use because the coil is very tight and
relatively close spaced. the "real" tool is large & expensive and
compresses each end of the strut and does not directly contact the coil.
i have done hondas with the cheap "normal" tool, but seriously, if you
have access to the big tool, it'll save you about 3 hours and 4 skinned
knuckles.

i made my own compressor that only touches the ends for about $20 in
steel & big threaded rod from home depot, but i have a welder, so it
wasn't much of a problem.

> Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement?


no. the wishbones take care of that - the "strut" is independant. one
of the beauties of wishbone honda suspension.

> I
> recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to cup
> badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said that
> worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for all
> input.


i can personally attest to many hondas going /way/ more than 115k on
original shocks and driving great. there can be many reasons for
cupping, not least of which is cheap tires. also check alignment & balance.

to check your shocks, i'd drive over your friendly neighborhood speed
bump and see how much damping you have. if the car bounces more than
twice, they're worn. if it doesn't, they're probably not.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11 Sep 2004, 01:47 am
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

Caroline wrote:
<snip>
> I recently read an article on Honda suspension problem diagnosis and repair. It
> specifically mentions rear tire cupping. The pertinent paragraph is as follows:
> _____
> Other tire conditions that will have you checking the suspension will be cupping
> and uneven wear. Cupping, usually found on the rear of the car, is the result of
> the tire "bouncing" on the road. Struts were always blamed for this condition in
> the past. But recently we've been seeing this condition on vehicles that don't
> have any suspension problems. I suspect it's a combination of tire balance
> problems along with soft suspensions.


one of my cars is a 2000 civic, and i discovered that it's possible to
put in the rear lower control arms the wrong way up. the result is
that, if it's just one, [sic] one side of the rear is about 1" higher
than the other! in combination with 25mm sway bars, that pretty much
has one rear tire close to lifting off the ground and it cups like
crazy. pretty stupid i'll agree, but the 3 different tire shops i took
the car to never worked out the problem but all were happy to recommend
i spend hundreds of dollars on new shocks that wouldn't have fixed the
problem.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11 Sep 2004, 01:12 pm
Grahame
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

Always, always make sure the part you are thinking of replacing actually
needs replacing.
Just because some tire technician suggests worn struts "could" be the cause
get a second opinion first or verify it yourself.
I have a 91 Accord with over 270,000 kms and still have the original struts
and many Honda technicians have suggested they only need replacing if
leaking.

"Steve Murphree" <smurphr1@midsouth.rr.com> wrote in message
news:Q6s0d.1101$787.125@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
> Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
> replacement on a 95 Accord. Any special tools required to compress

springs,
> etc.? Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement? I
> recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to cup
> badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said

that
> worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for all
> input.
>
>



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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12 Sep 2004, 10:51 am
Fish
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

hey jim beam,

i hope youre doing fine over there. is there any way you can shoot me a
image of your home made spring compressor?

i actually used the loaner spring compressor from autozone for my 98 civic,
and yea, i had compression problems because the grippers on the compressor
were too big for the spring, but i eventually got it to work. i got a
welder and i think i can make a compressor.

i sold the civic 1998 yesterday before i had a chance to replace the lower
engine mount. darn.

thanks in advance.
tom

"jim beam" <nospam@example.net> wrote in message
news:Fa2dnTfCJsebEt_cRVn-oQ@comcast.com...
> Steve Murphree wrote:
> > Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
> > replacement on a 95 Accord.

>
> if you have the right tools, it's easy. getting the front "strut"
> assembly off the car is literally 4 bolts. i think the rear is 3.
>
> [really, they shouldn't be called struts, they're coil-overs, but
> because that mcpherson stuff is so common on so many other cars, and
> because it kinda looks the same, anything with a coil over some form of
> suspension component is called a "strut" these days. the mcpherson
> stuff /is/ a strut because it has a role in suspension geometry. the
> honda suspension takes care of all that independantly of the
> spring/damper bit.]
>
> > Any special tools required to compress springs,
> > etc.?

>
> yes - a spring compressor. some of the traditional designs that hook
> into the spring can be hard to use because the coil is very tight and
> relatively close spaced. the "real" tool is large & expensive and
> compresses each end of the strut and does not directly contact the coil.
> i have done hondas with the cheap "normal" tool, but seriously, if you
> have access to the big tool, it'll save you about 3 hours and 4 skinned
> knuckles.
>
> i made my own compressor that only touches the ends for about $20 in
> steel & big threaded rod from home depot, but i have a welder, so it
> wasn't much of a problem.
>
> > Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement?

>
> no. the wishbones take care of that - the "strut" is independant. one
> of the beauties of wishbone honda suspension.
>
> > I
> > recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to

cup
> > badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said

that
> > worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for

all
> > input.

>
> i can personally attest to many hondas going /way/ more than 115k on
> original shocks and driving great. there can be many reasons for
> cupping, not least of which is cheap tires. also check alignment &

balance.
>
> to check your shocks, i'd drive over your friendly neighborhood speed
> bump and see how much damping you have. if the car bounces more than
> twice, they're worn. if it doesn't, they're probably not.
>



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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12 Sep 2004, 11:53 am
jim beam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: 1995 Accord Strut Replacement - Difficult?

don't have a digicam, but it's like this:

__ __
|__|__________|__|
|__________________|
X X
X X
X X
X X
X X
X X
X X
X X
_X______________X_
|__________________|

__________________
| ______________ |
| | / \ | |
|O| B | A | B |O|
| |____\____/____| |
|__________________|

the end plates are both the same. just wide enough for the lower part
of the shock to go through [position "A"] & i chock out the gaps
[position "B"] each side with wood, just to be sure it doesn't slip to
one side. the top has the tower plate on it and i think that's stable
enough.

the compressors are 5/8" stud - nice & stiff, & most importantly, you
can get a 5/8" drill from sears with a 1/2" shank that doesn't cost too
much! end plates are 1" box section, welded. i'd probably use 1 1/2"
section if i were to use it regularly. i'd also cut a pair of guides
that would bolt each side of the lower for stability and another for the
top for the tower plate. i'd also fix some tube of some sort to make
sliders for the stud - it works ok as is, but sometimes sticks when
you've uncompressed and are not keeping that plate level - the tube
should make it slide more freely as the box section can't get caught in
the coarse threads of the stud.

please note, this cannot take the stress of compressing the spring
significantly the way i built it. it's just supposed to compress the
spring enough to allow the shocks to be changed out, no more!

but i think this type of design is the way to go. springs can fatigue
if they get scratched or damaged - which is exactly what "traditional"
spring compressors can do when they touch the coil. this design does
not touch the coil so avoids potential for damage.



Fish wrote:
> hey jim beam,
>
> i hope youre doing fine over there. is there any way you can shoot me a
> image of your home made spring compressor?
>
> i actually used the loaner spring compressor from autozone for my 98 civic,
> and yea, i had compression problems because the grippers on the compressor
> were too big for the spring, but i eventually got it to work. i got a
> welder and i think i can make a compressor.
>
> i sold the civic 1998 yesterday before i had a chance to replace the lower
> engine mount. darn.
>
> thanks in advance.
> tom
>
> "jim beam" <nospam@example.net> wrote in message
> news:Fa2dnTfCJsebEt_cRVn-oQ@comcast.com...
>
>>Steve Murphree wrote:
>>
>>>Could someone please comment on the difficulty of front and rear strut
>>>replacement on a 95 Accord.

>>
>>if you have the right tools, it's easy. getting the front "strut"
>>assembly off the car is literally 4 bolts. i think the rear is 3.
>>
>>[really, they shouldn't be called struts, they're coil-overs, but
>>because that mcpherson stuff is so common on so many other cars, and
>>because it kinda looks the same, anything with a coil over some form of
>>suspension component is called a "strut" these days. the mcpherson
>>stuff /is/ a strut because it has a role in suspension geometry. the
>>honda suspension takes care of all that independantly of the
>>spring/damper bit.]
>>
>>
>>> Any special tools required to compress springs,
>>>etc.?

>>
>>yes - a spring compressor. some of the traditional designs that hook
>>into the spring can be hard to use because the coil is very tight and
>>relatively close spaced. the "real" tool is large & expensive and
>>compresses each end of the strut and does not directly contact the coil.
>> i have done hondas with the cheap "normal" tool, but seriously, if you
>>have access to the big tool, it'll save you about 3 hours and 4 skinned
>>knuckles.
>>
>>i made my own compressor that only touches the ends for about $20 in
>>steel & big threaded rod from home depot, but i have a welder, so it
>>wasn't much of a problem.
>>
>>
>>>Does the front end require realignment after strut replacement?

>>
>>no. the wishbones take care of that - the "strut" is independant. one
>>of the beauties of wishbone honda suspension.
>>
>>
>>> I
>>>recently had to replace tires because the rear tires were beginning to

>
> cup
>
>>>badly. Although the struts appear to be fine, the tire technician said

>
> that
>
>>>worn struts could cause that. The car has 115,000 miles. Thanks for

>
> all
>
>>>input.

>>
>>i can personally attest to many hondas going /way/ more than 115k on
>>original shocks and driving great. there can be many reasons for
>>cupping, not least of which is cheap tires. also check alignment &

>
> balance.
>
>>to check your shocks, i'd drive over your friendly neighborhood speed
>>bump and see how much damping you have. if the car bounces more than
>>twice, they're worn. if it doesn't, they're probably not.
>>

>
>
>


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