Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

MacPherson Strut/Damper

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
Exercise great caution when working with the rear 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 Figures 1 and 2

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheel(s).
  2.  
  3. Firmly block the front wheels. Elevate and safely support the rear of the car.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear wheel(s).
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the brake line from the hose. Plug the line and hose immediately to prevent fluid leakage and entry of dirt.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Rear strut assembly on 1984-85 Accords

  1. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower arm.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake drum and disconnect the parking brake cable.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bolt securing the strut assembly to the hub carrier.
  6.  
  7. Remove the strut mounting nuts.
  8.  


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 shock into the knuckle.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: The tab must align with the hub before installation

  1. Install and tighten the pinchbolt to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Tighten the three upper mounting nuts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm). Install the rubber cap at the top mount.
  4.  
  5. Connect the parking brake cable and install the drum.
  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar.
  8.  
  9. Remove the line plugs and connect the brake line to the brake hose.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear wheel; lower the car to the ground.
  12.  
  13. Top up the brake fluid and bleed the rear brakes.
  14.  

1984-87 Prelude
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Firmly block the front wheels and loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels.
  4.  
  5. Elevate and support the rear of the car. Remove the rear wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the clamp securing the rear brake hose.
  8.  
  9. Remove the stabilizer from the lower arm.
  10.  
  11. Loosen the lower arm pivot (inboard) bolt.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the radius rod nut and the bolt securing the hub carrier to the lower arm.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lockbolt securing the bottom of the strut.
  16.  
  17. Remove the three retaining nuts securing the top of the strut. Lower the suspension and remove the strut.
  18.  


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

To install:
  1. Fit the shock into the upper mount; install the upper retaining nuts finger-tight.
  2.  
  3. Place the strut into position on the lower arm. Install the mounting bolt. The tab on the strut must align with the groove in the hub carrier.
  4.  
  5. Place a jack under the lower strut mount. Raise the jack until the weight of the car is on the jack.
  6.  
  7. With the suspension under load, tighten the lower mount bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm). Tighten the upper nuts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Tighten the radius rod nut to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) and the lower arm pivot bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the stabilizer bar.
  12.  
  13. Install the rear brake hose and secure the line clamp.
  14.  
  15. Install the rear wheel. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  16.  

1986-95 Accord and 1988-95 Prelude

See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: The strut is secured to the body and to the knuckle assembly

  1. Remove the strut upper cover from inside the vehicle and remove the upper strut retaining nuts.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the screw securing the cover, then remove the cover



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the strut retaining nuts. Do not loosen the center nut

  1. Firmly block the front wheels and loosen the lug nuts for the rear wheels.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the strut mounting bolt and remove the strut.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the bolt securing the strut to the knuckle, then remove it from the vehicle


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

To install:
  1. Fit the shock into the upper mount; install the upper retaining nuts finger-tight.
  2.  
  3. Place the strut into position on the lower arm. Install the mounting bolt.
  4.  
  5. Place a jack under the lower strut mount. Raise the jack until the weight of the car is on the jack.
  6.  
  7. With the suspension under load, tighten the lower mount bolt to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) on Accords or 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) on Preludes. Tighten the upper nuts to 28 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the rear wheel. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

  1. Remove the strut 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 spring tension off the top spring seat.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: A spring compressor must be used to disassemble the strut

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

  1. Remove the upper mount. Carefully remove the seals, spacers, bearing or bushings at the top of the shock; 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: Exploded view of the rear strut components used on 1984-85 Accords



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the rear strut components used on 1984-87 Preludes

To assemble:


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Exploded view of the strut components used on 1988-95 Preludes and 1986-95 Accords

  1. Hold the strut assembly upright. If a vise is used, pad the jaws to avoid damage.
  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 seat, bushings, collar, seals and mount base.
  8.  
  9. Install a new upper shaft nut. Tighten it to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) on 1984-85 Accords. On 1984-87 Preludes tighten it to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm). On 1986-89 Accords tighten it to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm) and on 1990-95 Accords and 1988-95 Preludes, tighten it to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Slowly release the spring compressor, making sure the released spring fits into the upper mount correctly.
  12.  
  13. Install the strut assembly in the vehicle.
  14.  

 
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