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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, i am replacing the four FF3 shock absorbers in my opel GT, after seeing a number of videos where people talk about how they did it and about how easy it was, i cant for the life of me, to release the ball joint of the top arm in order to extract the coil over. Maybe there is something in the process i am overlooking. Is there a video where i really can see it being done, no only some guy explaining how he did it?
 

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I am the guy who made these two recent YouTube instructional videos dated earlier this year.


To remove the upper control arm connection at the steering knuckle, put the original nut back on making sure the stem is "not" protruding because you do not want to deform it's male threads. I realize there is very little room to swing a hammer, but do your best to tap upward on the nut to break the tapered connection loose. Apparently you have some corrosion preventing an easy disconnect. The heavier the hammer, the better the results.

I don't recommend tapping on the control arm itself unless your plan is to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am the guy who made these two recent YouTube instructional videos dated earlier this year.


To remove the upper control arm connection at the steering knuckle, put the original nut back on making sure the stem is "not" protruding because you do not want to deform it's male threads. I realize there is very little room to swing a hammer, but do your best to tap upward on the nut to break the tapered connection loose. Apparently you have some corrosion preventing an easy disconnect. The heavier the hammer, the better the results.

I don't recommend tapping on the control arm itself unless your plan is to replace it.
Thank for the videos! I have tried exactly as you say, apparently there is no corrosion at all in my car . Maybe it is because i am using a rubber hammer to avoid damaging anything. The control arm seems made of really soft metal, even the rubber hammer can make a dent on it!
 

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Thank for the videos! I have tried exactly as you say, apparently there is no corrosion at all in my car . Maybe it is because i am using a rubber hammer to avoid damaging anything. The control arm seems made of really soft metal, even the rubber hammer can make a dent on it!
I used a regular hammer. I imagine a rubber mallet would be ineffective. If not comfortable hitting it, loosen the nut 2 to 3 turns, place a socket on the nut and hit that with a regular hammer. Using an impact socket would be ideal because they take such a hit much better than a chrome one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Got it! What made the trick for me was to place a jack under the bottom control arm and lift it a bit, then hit the nut once with the rubber hammer (with a socket over the nut) and it popped out at the first attempt.

Now i need to buy a spring compressor tool. Any recommendations? (safety first)
 

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Got it! What made the trick for me was to place a jack under the bottom control arm and lift it a bit, then hit the nut once with the rubber hammer (with a socket over the nut) and it popped out at the first attempt.

Now i need to buy a spring compressor tool. Any recommendations? (safety first)
Glad you got it apart.

I bought a spring compressor like THIS ONE specifically for my Sky rear shocks. My new front shocks were bought pre-loaded with new springs and all, but I used the compressor on my old front loaded shocks which I took apart to evaluate their failures and set aside the good parts for resale.

I replaced all 4 original shocks, the fronts came with new springs, the backs were only the yellow shock. All else including the springs were reused in back.

After the job was complete, I determined that one front and one back shock failed. The bad front shock could not be compressed, the back had only 50% travel. I consider the remaining front and rear shock good for reuse so I have them for sale locally (Chicago area) on Craigslist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad you got it apart.

I bought a spring compressor like THIS ONE specifically for my Sky rear shocks. My new front shocks were bought pre-loaded with new springs and all, but I used the compressor on my old front loaded shocks which I took apart to evaluate their failures and set aside the good parts for resale.

I replaced all 4 original shocks, the fronts came with new springs, the backs were only the yellow shock. All else including the springs were reused in back.

After the job was complete, I determined that one front and one back shock failed. The bad front shock could not be compressed, the back had only 50% travel. I consider the remaining front and rear shock good for reuse so I have them for sale locally (Chicago area) on Craigslist.
I finally was able to replace all four shocks. Has to bought a set of ball joint separators for the rear ones as it was definitely impossible with the hammer only. After extracting and examining the nearly 100,000 km old shocks they looked in pretty well condition, money and work for nothing i thought, however, after going for a test run yesterday (after aligning the four wheels at a workshop) the difference was staggering! The car feels much more soft on the bumps and much more stable in turns and accelerations. Should have done it much before!
 
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