Moss Miata

Safe removal and installation of shocks and springs without spring compressors

by Lance Carter

This process utilizes the long bolt method but bypasses the use of spring compressors. You will need help for one of the steps. Credit of course goes to those who shared the long bolt method.

1) Get the front of the car on jack-stands and remove the front wheels.
2) Remove the plastic shroud under the nose of the car (10mm socket wrench).
3) Detach the swaybar from the swaybar endlinks (17mm socket and 14mm wrench).
4) Loosen the swaybar bushing retainer bolts but to not remove them. This is will allow the upper A-arm long bolt to be completely removed in the next step (14mm socket wrench).
5) Remove the upper A-arm long bolt. It is the bolt that connects the two legs of what looks to be a letter A (21mm socket wrench and I used the car’s tire iron to hold the nut).
6) Raise the hood of the car and remove the circular plastic cover from the upper shock mount or top hat. Loosen the nut underneath but DON’T remove it yet (16mm socket wrench).
7) Use your jack to lift the lower A-arm just enough so that you can see the shock compress a little. You can tell that you lifted it enough because the nut that you loosened in the last step will no longer be sitting flush with the top hat itself.
8) Now it is time to remove that 16mm top hat nut. This will separate the spring from the shock.
9) Now lower the jack back down. You will notice the A-arms can now droop very low due to the fact that the long bolt has been removed. Low enough in fact that the stock spring is completely decompressed.
10) Remove the lower shock mounting bolt and the whole assembly except the top hat can be removed by hand (17mm socket wrench and 17mm wrench).


1) Put your shock/spring/bump stop combo together and mount the shock to the lower A-arm by lowering it through the upper A-arm’s hole and replacing the 17mm bolt. (The nut faces forward).

The following step requires two people
2) Have one person guide the top of the shock rod through the hole in the top hat while the other uses the jack to lift the lower A-arm.
3) Once the shock rod is through the top hat, attach the nut(s) to the shock’s threads to hold it together.
4) Replace the circular plastic cap if you like.
5) Remove the jack and replace the long bolt.
6) Tighten the swaybar bushing retainer bolts.
7) Reattach the swaybar to the swaybar endlinks. (The nuts face the inside of the car).
8) Reattach the plastic shroud and put your wheels back on.

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28 December, 2008

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