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    Mazda 323/626/929/GLC/MX-6/RX-7 1978-1989

    Shock Absorbers

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    REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



    Rear Wheel Drive GLC
    1. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support securely via the frame side rails. Remove the wheels.
    2.  
    3. Remove the upper shock absorber bolt from inside the fender well.
    4.  
    5. Remove the lower shock bolt and nut, then remove the shock.
    6.  
    7. To remove the rear spring, support the lower control arm with a jack. Remove the pivot bolt which connects the lower control arm and rear axle.
    8.  
    9. Very slowly lower the jack until the spring pressure has been relieved, and remove the spring.
    10.  
    11. Install the spring in reverse order of removal, but do not fully tighten the pivot bolt. Then, lower the vehicle until it is at normal ride height and torque the bolt to 47-59 ft. lbs. (64-80 Nm).
    12.  

    Front Wheel Drive GLC
    1. Remove the side trim panels form inside the trunk. Loosen and remove the top mounting nuts from the shock absorber assembly.
    2.  
    3. Loosen the rear wheel lugs, raise the car and safely support it on jackstands.
    4.  
    5. Remove the rear wheels. Disconnect the flexible brake hose from the strut.
    6.  
    7. Disconnect the trailing arm from the lower side of the strut. Separate the lateral link and strut by removing the bolt assembly.
    8.  
    9. Remove the strut from the lower unit by removing the two through nuts and bolts.
    10.  
    11. Remove the strut, and brake assembly. Clamp the strut assembly in a vise and loosen the nut at the top of the shock absorber.
    12.  


    CAUTION
    Do not remove the nut at this time.

    1. Compress the coil spring with a compressor tool. Remove the top nut and bracket. Remove the coil spring.
    2.  
    3. After mounting the strut assembly, lower the car to the ground and torque the mountings; Piston rod and mounting block: 41-60 ft. lbs. Mounting block and tower mount: 16-20 ft. lbs. Lower mounts: 40-50 ft. lbs.
    4.  

    1979-82 626
    1. Raise the rear end of the vehicle and place jackstands under the bracket on the front side of the lower arms.
    2.  
    3. Remove the rear wheel.
    4.  
    5. Remove the bracket attaching nuts from the upper end of the shock absorber.
    6.  
    7. Remove the lower shock absorber retaining nut and remove the shock absorber.
    8.  


    CAUTION
    Do not disassemble the gas sealed type shock absorber as it contains highly compressed gas. Defective shocks should be replaced.

    1. During installation, torque the upper bracket bolts to 28 ft. lbs., the lower bracket bolts to 32 ft. lbs., and the shock absorber attaching nuts to 53 ft. lbs.
    2.  

    1983-87 626

    See Figures 1 and 2

    1. Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support the crossmember with safety stands.
    2.  
    3. Remove the bolts and nuts attaching the lower end of the strut to the knuckle spindle, then carefully lower the suspension arm. Remove the brake hose clip from the lower end of the strut. Support the strut from underneath.
    4.  
    5. Remove the rear seat and trim. Remove the attaching nut and washer on either side the strut tower. Now, remove the support and remove the strut from the car.
    6.  
    7. Clamp the shock gently in a vise, using soft metal plates on either side to protect the shock tube from distortion. Keep the piston rod of the shock from turning while using a box wrench to carefully loosen the nut on the piston rod only enough for it to reach the top of the threads. The nut must remain securely fastened because the spring pressure is still dangerous.
    8.  
    9. Use two clamps designed for this purpose to compress the spring, one on either side. When the spring is securely compressed so there is no tension on the spring seat, remove the nut, washer, and mounting block and spring seat. Also remove the dust boot, spring, and stop. You can now replace the shock or have it rebuilt.
    10.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 1: Use two wrenches to unfasten the lower end of the strut (shock absorber) from the knuckle spindle



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 2: Compressing the rear spring on a front wheel drive 626. Although Mazda part numbers are shown, an equivalent tool may be used, but it must be designed specifically for this job

    1. If you're replacing the spring, make sure to release the clamps carefully and gradually before attempting to remove them. Also, be sure to clamp the new spring adequately for it to be installed safely. Make sure the spring is properly seated top and bottom and that the seat, block, washer, and nut are secure before releasing spring tension.
    2.  
    3. Once the spring tension is held by the nut at the top of the unit, torque it to 47-59 ft. lbs. (64-80 Nm). Torque the mounting block installation nuts located behind the rear seat to 17-21 ft. lbs. (23-28 Nm), and the bolts fastening the lower end of the strut to the knuckle spindle to 69-86 ft. lbs. (93-117 Nm).
    4.  

    1988-89 626 and MX-6

    See Figure 2

    1. Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support the crossmember with safety stands.
    2.  
    3. Remove the rear wheels. Release the U-shaped clip from the lower shock absorber mounting bracket and move the brake line out of the way. On vehicles equipped with ABS, disconnect the ABS wiring harness and mounting bracket from the lower portion of the shock absorber.
    4.  
    5. Release the trunk side trim fasteners and carefully pull the trim forward to reveal the upper portion of the shock absorber.
    6.  
    7. On vehicles equipped with AAS, disconnect the connector from the AAS actuating unit on top of the spring. Loosen the screws and remove the actuating unit.
    8.  
    9. On vehicles equipped with 4WS, disconnect the strut bar from the forked strut bar bracket by removing the bolt and lockwasher. Unfasten the nuts and remove the bracket from the spring mounting block.
    10.  
    11. Remove the nuts from the mounting block. Remove the lower shock mounting bolts and remove the shock absorber assembly from the vehicle.
    12.  
    13. Disassembly of the rear shock absorber is basically the same as described in Steps 4-6 of the 1983-87 626 procedure. The only step that you will have to add is if your vehicle is equipped with AAS. After the coil spring is removed, use needle nose pliers to check the rotation of the AAS actuating rod. The rod should turn freely. During installation, torque the upper shock absorber nuts to 34-36 ft. lbs. and lower mounting bolts to 69-86 ft. lbs. (93-117 Nm). If equipped with AAS, torque the actuating unit retaining screws to 22-31 inch lbs. (2.5-3.5 Nm).
    14.  

    323
    1. Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it with safety stands. On 1988-89 vehicles equipped with AAS, peel the rubber cover from the actuating unit and disengage the electrical connector. Unbolt the actuating unit from the mounting block.
    2.  
    3. On 1986-87 323s, compress the coil spring by using the coil spring holders 49 0223 640B and 49 0370 641, then remove the nut at the upper end of the piston rod.
    4.  
    5. Remove the bolts and nuts attaching the lower end of the strut to the rear suspension arm, and carefully lower the arm. Remove the brake hose clip from the lower end of the strut and move the brake hose out of the way. Support the strut from underneath.
    6.  
    7. Remove the nuts from the top of the spring mounting block, then remove the shock absorber assembly.
    8.  
    9. Remove the nut and washer that secure the shock absorber to the mounting block, then remove the mounting block, spring seat and dust boot. Then remove the bound stopper and the coil spring.
    10.  
    11. When installing the spring, check that the spring is well seated in the upper and lower seats. When installing the mounting block on the vehicle, make sure that the white point is to the inside of the vehicle. Torque the upper mounting nuts to 17-22 ft. lbs. (23-30 Nm) and the lower mounting bolts to 45-50 ft. lbs (2WD) and 58-86 ft. lbs. (4WD). If equipped with ASA, torque the actuating unit retaining bolts to 14-21 ft. lbs. (19-28 Nm).
    12.  

    929
    1. Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it with safety stands. Remove the rear wheels.
    2.  
    3. On vehicles equipped with AAS, remove the seal plate from the actuating unit and disengage the electrical connector.
    4.  
    5. Remove the upper mounting nuts and remove the lower mounting bolt and lockwasher.
    6.  
    7. Install the shock with the lower mounting bolt and upper mounting nuts. Torque the lower bolt to 54-69 ft. lbs. (73-93 Nm) and the upper nuts to 17-22 ft. lbs. (23-30 Nm).
    8.  
    9. Connect the AAS actuating unit connector and install the seal plate.
    10.  
    11. Install the rear wheels and lower the vehicle.
    12.  

    1979-85 RX-7

    See Figure 3

    Coil spring removal and installation for 1979-85 models is addressed separately in the preceding "Coil Spring" section. On 1986-89 RX-7s, the coil and shock absorber are one assembly.

    1. Raise the rear of the car and support it on jackstands.
    2.  
    3. Remove the rear wheel(s).
    4.  
    5. Open the luggage compartment hatch and remove the side trim from over the upper shock absorber mounts.
    6.  
    7. Disconnect the upper shock absorber mounts.
    8.  
    9. Remove the bolts holding the shock absorber lower ends and remove the shock absorbers.
    10.  
    11. Maneuver the right shock into position and tighten the lower shock mounting bolt to 47-59 ft. lbs. (64-80 Nm).
    12.  
    13. Tighten the upper mounts on the shock absorbers so that 0.32 in. (8.2mm) of thread protrudes from the nut as illustrated.
    14.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Fig. 3: Install the upper shock mount as shown-1979-85 RX-7

    1. When installing the left side shock absorber, install the lower mounting bolt with its head toward the inside.
    2.  
    3. Install the rear wheels and lower the vehicle.
    4.  

    1986-89 RX-7

    Removal and installation of the rear shock absorber is the same as for previous RX-7s, except that on 1986-89 models, the coil and shock absorber are combined as one unit.

    BOUNCE TEST



    Each shock absorber can be tested by bouncing the corner of the vehicle until maximum up and down movement is obtained. Release the car; it should stop bouncing after one or two bounces. Compare both front corners or both rear corners, but do not compare the front to the rear. If one corner bounces longer than the other, it should be inspected for damage; replace the shock if necessary.

     
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