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04
May
08

Project KP30; Open Leg Surgery

Well all has not gone smoothly with the top mounts. They added around an extra 35mm to the length of the strut I had to screw the coil-overs down to get the height I wanted. Problem was I had run out of travel on the damper so it was locked solid even with no bump stop fitted.

I had been living with about 25mm travel with the stock top mounts which was OK, but it did crash a little over anything bigger that a pebble! That and the tyre rubbed on of the arch under hard cornering.

Time for some drastic action. Cutting springs is for pussies; cutting struts is where it is at!

I stripped all the internals out and drained the oil. I have always been a fan of these struts as they are so easy to rebuild and can be completely stripped to nothing. In this pick you can see the inner damper tube and the piston. Both of these needed shortening as well as the strut shell.

First to go was the shell;

I measured up the struts and made the first cut. I wanted to take about 2.5″ off the total height of the strut. This whole thing was a pretty one shot deal as I have no idea where I would have got a replacements set of struts for it from if it went horribly wrong!

Here is the bare strut shells, one cut, one stock;

The strut features a threaded cap that hold it wall together a the top. As I had no way of cutting a new internal thread on the strut shell I cut and reused the threaded top section I had removed.

I then welded this back onto the strut shell making sure it was correctly aligned to the rod ran true.

Next  job was shortening the damper tube. Quick measure and a cut. Here it is next to the stock tube;

Now came the really messy part;

I turned down the damper rod to allow me to cut a new thread on it and create a new platform, lower down, for the top mount bearing top hat. This took ages as the rods are hardened and chromed;

The excess 2.5″ was then cut off

and I cut a new M14x2.0 Thread onto the rod.

I also turned down some new nylocks to fit;

I ordered some new 7″ springs to replace the 9″ spring I was running. This allowed me to bring the collar to roughly the middle giving me maximum height adjustment;

Meanwhile my strut seal arrived from Toyota, only a 3 month wait and I only have 1 of them so far! Well, at least I have one I guess!

Last job was to clean everything thoroughly, a fresh coat of paint and put it all back together;

So now I have my KW top mounts fitted and at the height I am running easily 3.5″ of plush travel so no more crashing and the camber I have dialled in has killed the rubbing for good!

I’m just glad it worked out or I would have be keeping chickens in it until I found a new set of struts!

Fitment pic (looks high as it’s shot looking up the arch, the tyre is tucking slightly though.)

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