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Discussion Starter #1
I thought it would be worthwhile to document my experience for other novice mechanics.

(1) Getting front wheels off the ground

First you need to get the front wheels of the car off the ground. See this excellent thread: Car Jacking

Perhaps it possible to replace a front shock with the wheel still on the car, but it would surely be a lot harder.

(2) Removing an old shock

Tools needed

  • 17 mm wrench (required)
  • 17 mm socket (optional)
  • Strap wrench (optional)
  • Rubber mallet (optional)
Remove the nut(s) on the top of the shock. You might find that when loosening these nut(s) that the upper shock body rotates as you turn the wrench. If so, a strap wrench works better than your hand to hold the shock while loosening the nut.

Once the top nut(s) are off, compress the shock so that it drops below the top mounting bracket.

Note 1: A PO of my Spider installed blue, possibly Girling, shocks on the front. The top nut was 9/16”, and there was only one, so you may well need a wrench other than 17mm.

Note 2: The clearances above the top of the shocks are different between passenger and driver sides, with there being more clearance on the driver side.

Remove the nut and washer from the bottom of the shock and then work the bottom of the shock off the bolt. (There is no reason to remove this bolt.) Don’t lose the washer with a large cutout that sits on the shoulder of the mounting bolt, located to the front of the car side of the shock.

(3) Installing a new shock

Tools, assuming installation of a Koni shock:

  • 17 mm wrench (quantity 2 required)
  • 17 mm socket (optional)
  • Silicon spray (optional)
  • Rubber mallet (optional)
The necessary pieces to attach the top of the shock to the car, listed in installation order from bottom to top, are:

  1. Shock
  2. Large washer
  3. Rubber donut with lip pointing up
  4. --Car’s mounting bracket--
  5. Rubber donut with lip pointing down
  6. Large washer
  7. Nut
  8. Thinner lock nut
The necessary pieces to attach the bottom of the shock to the car, listed in installation order from front of car to rear of car, are:

  1. Washer with large cutout to sit on shoulder of mounting bolt (you may need to reuse the original one)
  2. Shock
  3. Large washer
  4. Nut
Attach the bottom of the shock loosely first. Silicon spray makes it easier to push the shock’s bushing onto the bolt. A bit of persuasion with the mallet may be needed.

Before extending the shock through the mounting bracket, place a washer on top of the shock followed by a rubber donut with its lip pointing up.

Extend the shock up through the bracket and then place another rubber donut with its lip pointing down, followed by a washer, and then a regular nut on the shock's stud above the bracket.

Tighten both nuts, the one on bottom of the shock and the lower of the two on the top of the shock.

Once the top nut is tight enough so that the upper body of the shock no longer rotates, add the thinner lock nut. (Due to there being less clearance above the shock on the passenger side, you might need to thread the thinner lock nut onto the top of the stud before tightening the first nut.)

Use two wrenches to double nut the top of the shock. An effective one-handed technique is demonstrated at
 
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