This is something we see more often than we would like to admit, even though a warning sheet is sent with every coilover kit. What do we mean about tooling the shock? For many of our coilover kits it will be necessary to remove your factory upper strut mounts from the factory suspension and install them on the coilover. When tightening the top coilover nut that holds the mount to the shock, the shock piston has a tendency to spin with the nut when trying to tighten everything down. So rather than tightening the nut the proper way, many people will take a pair of vice grips or other similar tools to hold the piston between the spring so they’re able tighten the top nut successfully (as shown below).
Why does this matter?
The reason why this is so damaging to the coilover would be what is left after the wrench is taken off. This method will leave sharp, sometimes deep, gouges in the shock piston where the wrench was clamped. These gouges in the shock piston will then move past the shock’s oil seal countless times while the vehicle is driven. Depending on how sharp and deep the gouges are they will eventually rip and tear the oil seal resulting in the shock losing pressure and leaking the oil onto the shock body. Every time we have a customer call in and complain of oil all over the shock two weeks after coilover installation is always due to using a tool improperly on the shock’s piston.
What is the correct way?
There are two methods that can be used to properly tighten the top nut of the coilover kit. You can see those two methods detailed below.
Be advised: tooling voids warranty.
Unfortunately damage to the shock seal due to tooling marks on the shock piston would not be classified as a manufacturer defect and thus will not be covered under warranty. If a shock is replaced under warranty and the defective one that is sent back has evidence of this tooling we will have to charge for the replacement.
Have questions or need help with tightening that nut properly? Give us a call directly and one of our customer service representatives would be happy to walk you through it, 801-365-1440.