Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

MacPherson Strut/Damper

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
The use of a coil spring compressor is required for this procedure. A spring compressor must be used to retain the spring before removing it from the strut. Failure to use this tool can result component damage as well as serious or even fatal injury.


CAUTION
Exercise great caution when working with the front suspension. Coil springs and other suspension components are under extreme tension and could cause severe injury if released improperly. Never remove the nut on the top of the strut piston without using the proper spring compressor tool.

1984-85 Accord

See Figure 1

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle. Make sure the stands are correctly placed.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the brake hose clamp from the strut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake caliper mounting bolts, then remove the caliper. Use string or stiff wire to hang the caliper out of the way. Do not disconnect the brake hose from the caliper.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower control arm.
  12.  
  13. Remove the pinchbolt at the bottom of the strut. Place a jack or other support under the control arm. Use a plastic or rubber-faced hammer to tap the knuckle downward and off the strut; do not allow the disc and knuckle assembly to fall when it comes loose.
  14.  
  15. In the engine compartment, remove the rubber cap and the 3 nuts from the upper shock mount.
  16.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Strut mounting used on 1984-85 Accords


CAUTION
DO NOT remove the center or shaft nut from the top of the shock absorber.

  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Place the strut into position at the top mounting point. Make certain the tab on the base of the strut is aligned with the slot in the strut fork. Install and finger-tighten the nuts.
  2.  
  3. With the strut correctly aligned at the bottom and top, place a jack under the lower control arm. Raise the jack until the car BARELY lifts from the stand; this will force the strut into the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Install and tighten the self-locking pinchbolt to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Tighten the three upper mounting nuts to 28 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Install the rubber cap at the top mount.
  8.  
  9. Install the stabilizer rod and tighten the bolts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the brake caliper. Install the brake line clip to the strut; tighten it only to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the front wheels and lower the car to the ground.
  14.  

1986-95 Accord and 1984-95 Prelude

See Figures 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. If equipped with an air bag, properly disable the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), as detailed in Chassis Electrical .
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake line bracket from the strut. Remove the damper fork pinchbolt.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the bolt securing the brake line bracket



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the damper fork pinchbolt ...

  1. Separate the fork from the damper.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: ... then separate the fork from the damper

  1. Remove the three nuts from the shock tower in the engine compartment. Remove the damper assembly.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the three nuts securing the damper to the shock tower ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... then lower the damper assembly from the vehicle


CAUTION
DO NOT remove the center or shaft nut from the top of the damper.

To install:
  1. Install the damper fork over the driveshaft and lower arm. Install the damper into the fork so that the strut tab matches the slot in the fork. Align the three upper bolts with the holes in the shock tower.
  2.  
  3. Install the bolts and nuts finger-tight, but make sure all are present and reasonably snug.
  4.  
  5. With the damper correctly aligned at the bottom and top, place a jack under the lower control arm. Raise the jack until the car BARELY lifts from the stand; this will force the damper into the fork.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the lower fork bolt to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Tighten the pinchbolt to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm). Do not tighten the upper mount nuts yet.
  10.  
  11. Install the brake hose clamp to the strut.
  12.  
  13. Install the front wheels. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  14.  
  15. With the weight of the car on the suspension, tighten the upper mount nuts to 28 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Properly enable the SRS system, if equipped, and connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 7, 8, 9 and 10

  1. Remove the strut/damper assembly from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Install a spring compressor on the spring. These tools are usually available at auto parts suppliers. There are many different types; follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Tighten the compressor just enough to take the tension off the top spring seat.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: A spring compressor must be used when disassembling the strut

  1. With the spring compressed, remove the center or seat nut. Use a hex wrench to keep the shaft from turning while the nut is being removed.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Use a hex wrench to keep the shaft from turning while the nut is being removed

  1. Remove the upper mount. Carefully remove the seals, spacers and bearing (on 1984-85 Accords) at the top of the damper; keep them in order for proper reassembly. Remove the compressed spring.
  2.  
  3. If the spring is to be replaced, release tension on the arms of the compressor slowly. Remove the tool when the spring is at normal length with no tension on the compressor.
  4.  
  5. By hand, check the shock absorber for smooth operation through the full range of travel. Check it also for smoothness during short strokes of 2-4 in. (51-102mm). Replace the unit if any sign of binding or uneven travel is felt.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Damper assembly and components used on 1984-85 Accords



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Fig. Fig. 10: Damper assembly and components used on 1986-95 Accords and Preludes

To assemble:
  1. Hold the strut assembly upright. If a vise is used, pad the jaws to avoid damage to the strut/damper assembly.
  2.  
  3. Install the rubber bump stop on the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Compress the spring and install it onto the shock. Make certain the bottom coil is exactly aligned in the bottom seat. Install the shaft dust cover.
  6.  
  7. Install the upper spring seat, spacers, bearing (on 1984-85 Accords), seal and mount. On 1984-85 Accords, coat both sides of the needle bearing with grease before installing it. Make certain the upper spring seat is aligned with upper coil of the spring.
  8.  
  9. Install a new upper shaft nut. Tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) on 1984-85 Accords and 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) on all other models.
  10.  
  11. Slowly release the spring compressor, making sure the released spring fits into the upper mount correctly.
  12.  
  13. Install the strut/damper assembly in the vehicle.
  14.  

 
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