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Old 01-29-2012, 12:08 AM
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Default Strut top excess space FIX

Well here we go again yet another DIY to correct a problem with our cars. This time a minor problem with our Jazz/Fit.

Disclaimer: Standard stuff neither myself or Hondafitforums take any responsibility for anything you do to your own vehicles you do this DIY at your own peril.

Summary: to compensate for excess space between the top rubber bumper and the strut tower top.

Ease of DIY: If you can break the top nut free this is a no brainer. If the nut is stuck you need some skills with dremel type tool.

Tools needed: 17mm wrench to remove top nut correct size allen wrench for top of strut. If the nut is stuck a dremel tool with cutting attachments, big hammer and chisel.

Super glue, tape, toothbrush, anti-seize.

Parts needed: two damper mounting bases $12.00 each possibly two new retaining nuts.

As problems go this is a minor one with excess space being observed due to the inside the strut tower damper mounting cushion wearing.

Besides looking bad this problem SHOULDN'T cause major issues as the upper damper mounting bases only come into play when the suspension DROPS to it's lowest position like when you jack up the car or are playing crazy man and flying over bumps getting air.

To repair it correctly the damper mounting cushion should be replaced BUT this is a big job which would involve removing the whole strut and needing a wheel alignment after you are done.

But a repair can be done very easily

I WAS going to find some rubber or something to fill the excess space but when I got my new damper mounting bases I found that the rubber coating is just held on by 4 small rubber links that can be cut very easy and the whole chunk of rubber came be removed and will solve or search for something of the correct dimensions.

Here is a view of all we have been talking about with the inside the strut damper mounting cushion circled in red.



The part we are going to use two damper mounting bases are just above it in the photo.

OK FOR YOU PEOPLE THAT ARE AMONG THE LUCKY AND THE STRUT TOP NUT COMES RIGHT OFF FOR YOU CAN SKIP THIS NEXT PART AND RE-JOIN US LATER.


I tried everything including PB Blaster, big hammer, long wrench extension, and the nuts on my Jazz wouldn't budge they were ON THERE AND NOT COMING OFF.

So I had to resort to some "surgery" to get them off.

First I had to set up my "operating theater" covering that area with old sheets and towels to prevent everything from becoming covered in dust and debris from the dremel cutting tool.

I learned the hard way that dremel dust sometimes contains very SHARP tiny chunks of metal that end up stuck in my hands so a set of work gloves come in handy.



Then I hooked up my dremel tool and started my "surgery". The object of this part is to cut into the top nuts WITHOUT CUTTING INTO THE STRUT STUD THREADS.

I like to cut "pie shaped" cuts in the nuts I am having a problem with and then bending the cuts outward so I can smack them with a hammer and chisel.

Let me apologize for my less than perfect photography this time but the photos looked OK in the camera but sometime between the camera and my computer they got futzed up and are less than clear. A new camera is in my future.



A cut was made then banged on with the chisel and hammer and then again



then again notice the dust debris covering everything from the cutting



You can see there is very little room to maneuver and the damper mounting base gets cut also this is no big problem but try not to cut the rubber.

Eventually the nut comes loose and you can turn it off with your wrench or big pair of pliers and you end up with this.




OK EVERYBODY THAT WAS SKIPPING THAT PART CAN START READING HERE AGAIN.

Now is the time to clean out all the left over dust and debris with your trusty old toothbrush and get the strut top all nice and spiffy again.

The strut top needs to be nice and clean as that is where the top damper moves around and we are going to be lubricating this are with some grease.

This is what it looked like still with the excess space that we are going to FIX.



Here is the old damper and the secret to this fix can you spot it?



Here is the secret the rubber on it COMES OFF VERY EASILY.



It just takes a bit of prying to get the edge up then you can cut the small bits of rubber holding it together and peel it off.

Clean it up as we are going to be using it to make our FIX.

Grab your favorite "super glue" and here is the very best super glue I have come across after trying a bunch of them.



Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with loctite and receive NO COMPENSATION of any kind from them.

Take your nice new damper and put a dab of glue on each of the bumps on the bottom of it and around the round raised center portion.



Now carefully line up your old damper rubber piece that you cleaned up and put the old piece of just rubber onto the bottom so the two sets of bumps are pointing down on the stack of dampers.

With the new on on top of the old one and line up the bumps of both of them so they are aligned and the old piece of rubber sticks to the bottom of the new one like this.

Note the inner edge of the rubber where it hits the center UFO type bump in the middle. You may need to add some more glue and hold it down like in this photo so it ends up pushed down so the edge is lower than the metal.



Add a small bit of grease to the bumps and some anti-seize to the strut top threads so hopefully the nut will be easier to remove next time and slide the assembly back onto the strut stud.



Puts the nut back on and tighten it back down put the stud plastic cover back in place and DONE



Looks so good it could be a stock piece WITH NO EXCESS CLEARANCE ANYMORE and I bet the majority of Fit/Jazz owners never even knew this was a problem.




IF the nuts on your Fit come off with no major problems this fix could be done in a half and hour for both side at once. This was a bit of writing but most of it was for the stuck on nuts not the fix.The fix is very easy and can be done by anybody.

Last edited by claymore; 01-29-2012 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:09 AM
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So if I read that right, you bought an additional UFO thingie. Pulled the rubber off the old one and superglued it to the bottom of the new one?

Last edited by EXWRX; 01-29-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:16 AM
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That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:27 PM
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Default ...another claymore idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by claymore
Looks so good it could be a stock piece WITH NO EXCESS CLEARANCE ANYMORE and I bet the majority of Fit/Jazz owners never even knew this was a problem.
I agree! That is a lot less noticeable than seeing that "questionable gap" that was there before.
That was a cool "fix" that I would not have thought of. If it works, that sure would save a lot of time and money.
Have you noticed any improvement in the ride?

Last edited by macbuddy; 01-29-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:19 PM
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I was going to cut the ufo metal section off the new part so it wouldn't interfere with tightening it down increasing the excess space but then when "messing with my new goodies" I discovered that the rubber part would come off with just a very minor amount of work and the light bulb over my head went off.

Other than taking the top nut off it can be done in a few minutes it's so easy.

I wasn't aware of any problems I just didn't like the "Look" of that space so it's going to be hard to tell if anything improves.

On other sites some people have reported some thumping or banging noises coming from that area and I could see that happening if the top damper is really worn out but none I noticed.

In the giant close up you really see the extra rubber piece but if you just open the hood and look in the engine bay it looks just like another section of the top damper you just don't "see" it because it blends in so well.

One would really have to be a Fit expert to notice anything different in the engine bay.

Last edited by claymore; 01-29-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:22 AM
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Checked them today and everything still looks great after 4 months.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:24 AM
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Default "excessive space" on mine as well...

What a coincidence! I was thinking about posting on this thread today, but was too lazy to look for it. Since you brought it up, I will enter the following.
While changing out my plugs yesterday, I noticed that the "excessive space" on mine looked more open than it should. Today I popped the hood to check it out. The locking nut was more than finger tight, but when I took a 17mm wrench to it, I found that the locking nut, securing the front right strut was loose by at least 1.5 turns! Within a few seconds, the gap disappeared. As it should be, the one on the driver's side was still snug.
I guess I failed to torque it up enough when I installed these coilovers 3 years ago.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:25 AM
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Great minds think alike?
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