Author Topic: Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV  (Read 173 times)

SuperCNJ

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Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV
« on: November 24, 2022, 01:19:08 AM »
Hi All,

We bought a Honda FRV over the summer with the intention to use it for road trips and managed to get one with relatively low miles (61k) but after driving it for a little while we noticed that the car sounded really harsh and noisy over rough roads. It sounds very "crashy" as if there's no suspension. I took it to Honda for a winter check-up and asked them to take a look and the technician said it might be the bump stop. I'm no expert but this didn't seem right to me.

My understanding was that the bump stop only really engages when you get to the end of the suspension travel, such as when you hit a very deep pothole but the problem I have is not just potholes, it's on anything other than smooth tarmac.

So after doing a bit of research, it seems my shock absorber may be on its way out. I don't have any bouncing which I believe is an obvious telltale sign of a dead shock absorber but I can't see what else it could be. I decided to take up a discounted offer on a set of shocks but having not replaced shocks before, I have a couple of questions I hope someone can help with.



1. I am planning to reuse my existing spring with the new shock absorber and a new dust boot/bump stop but was wondering if I need to replace the other parts as well?

2.  Does the bearing plate (item 9 in the above diagram) need to be lubricated? If so, what lubricant should I use?

3. How far or tight do I need to fasten the single lock nut (item 14) on the top of the shock absorber? Obviously, I can keep tightening it which will compress the shock but is there a proper way to tighten this?

4. What are the torque settings for the nuts?
I've not been able to find torque settings for the Honda FRV but found settings for other cars. Do these seem right?

2 x Main bolts that join the hub to the bottom of the strut: 85Nm
1 x Strut centre locking nut: 44Nm
3 x Top mount nuts: 44Nm
1 x Steering tie rod castle nut: 65Nm

Thanks all! :)


Lord Voltermore

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Re: Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2022, 12:22:37 PM »
MacPherson struts are not an easy DIY job.     Sounds simple in principle  but suspension bolts can be a pig to undo without serious tools,  and  bolts could sheer off and need extracting. You might need a tool to separate the steering tie rod.   

Its also dangerous to attempt the job without proper spring compressors and  axle stands.   If you need to buy these or hire them for a one -off job   it might cost more than  having the whole job done by  a garage .They would also be able to check tracking if required.

I have done a couple getting on for 40 years ago when I  was better able to exert  brute force.  . Not something I would attempt now.  Sorry. I cant remeber if I had to grease the plate.  Some may be more sophisticated than others.

I hate paying for someone to do a job I could do myself.  But about 3 years ago I watched a mechanic  replacing brake discs rotors and pads on my Corsa. Using  a hydraulic lift , air tools and a hydraulic brake piston compressor it only took about half an hour  (plus a bit longer  cleaning, comparing new parts with old and stuff ) 

"I could have done that" I thought  and indeed not long  afterwards  I  did the exact same Job myself  on my Yaris.  It worked a treat, but it  took me 4 hours or  so crawling on my driveway :-[  and I had to buy a special tool I'm never likely to use again.       It was satisfying  but so is watching someone else work.   ;D

But good luck with the job if you do go ahead. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 01:14:38 PM by Lord Voltermore »
If you win the rat race you are still a rat. These days I would rather eat cheese and wait for them with baited breath.
(inspired by W.C. Fields.   -For me any field  is now a potential WC Field.

SuperCNJ

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Re: Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2022, 11:15:26 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I should have most of the tools I need to do the job (I think) including spring compressors, axle stands and an impact gun so hopefully tools aren't a problem. I do try to do some maintenance work where I can and being an Engineer I'm happy to get my hands dirty! I've just never had to replace shock absorbers before so looking for some advice in case there's something I didn't know.

I've watched a few youtube videos of people changing struts on similar cars which "looks" fairly straightforward (famous last words!) - although as you say some of the nuts look pretty difficult to break loose.


Jocko

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Re: Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2022, 11:26:06 PM »
The symptoms of a faulty shock absorber are normally the car bouncing and swaying not crashing. And 61K is low mileage for worn shock absorbers. It sounds more like failed rubbers somewhere. The Jazz is famous for the drop links failing and that knocks on anything but a smooth surface. Perhaps the FRV is the same. I would check elsewhere before you start on the shocks. It is a big job for no reward.

Lord Voltermore

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Re: Help with Changing Front Shock Absorbers - Honda FRV
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2022, 07:09:14 AM »
Phew, if you have engineering knowledge, in any field  you'll have the mechanical sympathy to make the job doable . Or know your limitations.

But I agree with Jocko.  Despite the opinion of the technician  I would also look at  other suspension links and bushes.  Some might only reveal wear with some serious use of a pry bar,  both with weight on the wheels and with them suspended. The technician may not have  done that. But it takes experience knowing how much movement is normal or acceptable. 

If they show any wear,  or look relatively cheap and easy to change  you might want to change them anyway.
And if they can be done independently without disturbing the struts it might be a good idea to  do them first to see if that alone cures the problem.  But as you already have the struts maybe do those first.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2022, 07:18:15 AM by Lord Voltermore »
If you win the rat race you are still a rat. These days I would rather eat cheese and wait for them with baited breath.
(inspired by W.C. Fields.   -For me any field  is now a potential WC Field.

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