I replaced my CVjoints, now my car bounces

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I really didn't want to get into the minor fray while you still had the challenge ahead of you, but I feel the only way we make progress is to reach a little farther each time. Before you had not changed a strut; now you have. For everybody there is a first time for everything. There are some things that are outside our abilities (I stay out of auto trannies and differentials and shy away from exhaust systems), but posting in fora like these is enough to find out if there are any "heavens, no!" warnings. Yes - poo-poo on the nay sayers.
Mike
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Good job, I was going to say, to get an idea of your shocks condion push down on your car it should bounce up-down-and-stop if the shocks are good. If not, boing boing boing boing. LOL Did you use one of those screw down spring compressors to disassemble your strut? I did once, good grief, next time I will pull the strut and pay a shop a couple bucks, or buy my buddy at the tire place dinner, and have them throw it on their hydraulic spring compressor.
Those springs are DANGEROUS when compressed, a vice is not the tool to use for compression, but for holding things while you use the compressor they work well.
If you havent done something before, take your time. For me a Haynes manual (15$) is essential as a general reference. . . when i did my timing belt, they told me to take off my cruise control. . . . which is on the other side of the engine bay from the timing belt. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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The first time I did a strut I was really strapped for cash, had a paucity of tools and the stores hadn't started the loan-a-tool program. A strut compressor was out of my budget, so I got a bunch of muffler clamps (the U-shaped things) and carefully fastened them in strategic places before I loosened the big nut. Well, the big *hardware* nut, to clarify which nut we are talking about. I got the strut apart without incident and got the spring off before... "ZING!" all the clamps slipped around to one side of the spring. I succeeded in getting it all straightened out using a big pair of channel locks and a pair of vise grips, but my hands hurt when I was done. I actually got the other side done without incident.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

Along the same lines, the Harbor Freight spring compressors are perfectly adequate for a small FWD car and dirt cheap. Mine have probably done 5 or 6 different cars. They are a PITA with hand tools however; oiling the screws helps some but not a lot.
I wouldn't try them on a really stiff suspension or a heavy car though... fortunately my larger cars don't have struts and therefore don't require a spring compressor.
nate
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Okay, well I replaced my driver's side strut and now my car bounces again. It is no where near as bad as it was with the bad strut, but it is still unsafe. I changed the driver's side and when I compare it w/ the passenger side it is much more springy. The passenger side (original strut) is hard to push down on. If I push down on the hood above the wheel it barely moves and there is not much bounce at all (it's quite hard -could a strut be bad and be too hard?). When I do the same to the driver's side (non-OEM strut) it goes down relatively easy (not much though) and then up, but then returns to the original level with only a single up and down. ... it's just easier to 'wobble' the car from that side. I was wondering if I could have messed the spring up when I had the compressor on there, maybe have left them on for too long. I doubt it..
I wonder if the damper brand I got is just crappy and doesn't "dampen" very well or if it was a fluke and I got a weak one. It was the cheapest Autozone had, a GABRIEL ULTRA SHOCK/STRUT, which came with a lifetime warranty. The other one they had, the GABRIEL GUARDIAN SHOCK/STRUT, was only a dollar more with a one year warranty though..
The spring still 'springs', but the damper doesn't 'dampen'. I'm guessing it to be the damper, but would a spring do anything like this? Maybe while I had the compressor on it it lost some length (got shorter) compared to the passenger side spring? Not entirely likely, but I read you should replace both springs at the same time. Maybe I should replace both struts at the same time. Anyways...
any suggestions? Thanks all!!
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You're not really supposed to replace just one. You should replace them in axle sets.
And what year and model Honda is this? Most older Hondas do not have "struts", but dampers instead (yes it matters). It is critical in those cases that you snug down the bushing bolts with the suspension at its normal resting attitude.
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The strut is bad, replace it.

That test you did indicates the strut is ok.

Nope

Should be fine.

Replace the bad strut on the passenger side now. This is why it is recommended to replace struts/shocks in pairs. I would also recommend the rear shocks. You can check them the same way you did the struts.

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Have a hefty friend or two bounce the front end while you are watching the various parts, especially the struts. The struts should expand and contract exactly as the front end moves - if the front end is bouncing 2 inches, you should see the strut move two inches on one end relative to the other.
Here's the thing. A good strut will compress (mainly it's the springs around the cartridge that hold the car up) but will resist the expansion, so the front end won't overshoot measurably when it comes back up. If the strut is going boing (technical term) it is clearly bad or just too wimpy - new or not. Heavy duty shocks really do have a lot more damping.
However, if the front end is bouncing two inches and the shock is moving one inch, keep looking until you see where all that play is coming from. Just keep your fingers away from the pinchy parts 8^O
Mike
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okay, so this is starting to make more sense (squeeze a little bit of knowledge out at a time..)
when my driver's side tire hits a bump and absorbs some shock, the passenger side is supposed to counter-act that and help w/ the absorption? So, if the passenger side was 'stiff' then it wouldn't absorb as much and cause the driver side to seem to bounce? That makes sense then. Also, tightening the bushings w/ normal load on the springs was a good suggestion (or procedure). I noticed that I could torque down the lock nut at the top of the damper rod a few more turns w/ the tires on the ground. this may help out as well, perhaps.
Also, my car wants to go to the left now, which is the same side I replaced the shock on. I've heard you wanna get an alignment after suspension work, but this is a hard pull to the left. Is this typical or could something be loose/not adjusted correctly? Maybe if I tighten down the locknut on top of the damper rod some more I will get less pull? I guess the length of the strut would place the tire at different angles, no?
Thanks for the great data and help...
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That has me worried. If the toe-in were only affected the tires would wear badly and the steering wheel wouldn't sit straight, but it wouldn't likely pull to either side. It sounds like something isn't put together quite right. When you replaced the axles, did they go in without a fight?
Alignment isn't normally affected by replacing drive axles, but that isn't a bad occasion for checking alignment. I'm wondering if you would be money ahead to take it for alignment, being sure to fess up about how it got the way it is now.
Mike
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Well, the axles went in moderately easy. The hub side was cake, and the tranny side took a little coaxing, but after I got it past the ring clip it was good to go. The strut replacement was some few days after I replaced the axles and there was no drift at all. I'll ride it a few short miles over the next few days and probably replace the passenger side strut and see where we sit then. I may get an alignment check and perhaps they can recommend something or find an issue.
thanks Mike...
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Yup, the passenger side strut was bad. I replaced it and it rides like a champ now. Still the problem w/ alignment. I rotated my tires after I did the dirver side strut and that's when I noticed the drifting problem. It was several thousand miles ago that I performed my last tire rotation, so maybe one of them got an uneven wear spot. Could that result in a car that pulls to one side?
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