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Grims_73_2002

Bilstein HD Cartridge - Front Tube Fitup Queston

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'73 2002. I pulled my nice-new Bilstein HD cartridges out of the boxes this afternoon, and started setting up for installation into the front tubes. Visually, it was quickly obvious that the yellow part of the cartridge was longer than the tube. Verified that with a measuring tape - the cartridge's yellow portion is about 17-5/8" and the inside depth of both tubes is about 17-7/16". Inserted the cartridge anyways (see photo) ... it doesn't seat down all the way. Threaded the Bilstein collar onto the threads ... it only went down 2.75 turns (see photo), i.e. not enough.

Before I start using a hammer, do I have the wrong cartriges (ordered from BavAuto) or are my tubes not right. Any experience / suggestions?

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What about the shape of the bottom of the tube?

The Bilsteins use a pretty 'flat' cone down there, and

sometimes the bottom of the tube's anything but.

In te original design, the finish of the bottom of the strut didn't matter at all.

Or a rogue spacer? Some inserts take spacers...

all I got,

t

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I had an issue similar a few years ago. I bought a refinished set of strut tubes, there was enough gunk/rust/paint in the bottoms to not allow my HD's to sit all the way down. I found a piece of steel long enough to reach the bottom and was able to get it cleaned out enought for the shocks to fit properly. May not be your issue, but may want to look.....

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+1 on what Ryan said. Maybe even pour some laquer thinner down the tube, let it sit for awhile, then use something like a 30" length of 3/8" or 1/2" rebar to scrape around down in the bottom.

The struts do tend to collect stuff down in the bottom over the years.

Bob Napier

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I am in process of replacing my struts as well and noticed similar fitment as you described. Blistein HD part #34-000236. You mentioned 2 or 3 threads are engaged as you screwed the ring nut on. Keep in mind that you going to torque that ring nut to 95 (+/- 7) ft-lb, therefore you will have lot more threads engaged when it is torqued down. You need to get special tool from Blistein (E4-MS08/7) for this job. I just checked my assembly and can see only 4 threads exposed and that is basically same number threads were visible before tear down.

If you can, please share your installation / end results here.

Thanks.

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I seem to maybe remember shaving the paint off the bottom sides of the shocks to get them in just right.

Pete

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Mar 27-2013 Update:

To all above - thanks.

Lacquer thinner and all-thread got the glass beads, gunk, etc. out of Tube No. 1. I gained a few 16th's and I can now hand-tighten the alloy collar down 5 turns. The Bilstein strut collar tool will probably take it down a few more turns, but will probably be hard to source in Canada, so if anyone has one in the Toronto-Buffalo area, and you're willing to lend it for a while, let me know.

Tube No. 2 (not previously mentioned) is a totally different situation. My mechanic friend took about 2-days of effort to get the old Monroe out ... which he finally achieved by grinding out the cap at the bottom of the strut and apparently pushing the cartridge out somehow from the bottom. He then kindly welded the cap back on, and gave it back to me with a caution that the new cartridge will be tough to put in. No kidding - it only goes down 6 inches before jamming on the rust carbuncles, carbon buildup, etc. that was holding up the Monroe. So far nothing has worked to clear the crap out (varsol, wire brushes on bit extensions, etc.). This weekend - back to the mechanic; removing the bottom cap again, and running a small engine cylinder hone up and down the tube from both ends ... measuring for ovality, checking for straightness, etc. Will provide update later.

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You can make a pretty good ID hone by using a slotted cylinder of woodwith 36 grit sandpaper wound around it in the proper direction. Hook it to a piece of 3/8 threaded rod from Home depot and turn it in your drill. Hopefully you dont have much extra weld there. If you do, get a drill bit extender for 1/4" and some die grinder stones in a 3/8" drill and de-slag it by the braille method.

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heat the bottom of the strut tube with a torch, it will slide in easily but may never come out, next owner will have to deal with. Me, I use Boge/Sachs which slide in like a butter and ride a lot smoother than those trucker shocks.

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McMaster Carrhas a whole selection of collet and spanner wrenches. I've seen a couple different flavors of nuts on the tops of strut tubes over the years. (some of them weren't the actual mechanics either)

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